getting to know the process
who is patricia?
Infinite Self Help is a vault of all the resources and insights I routinely give to my clients as a therapist - offered freely online so that I can serve as many people as possible. I offer in-person counseling sessions at my office in Jacksonville, FL and online coaching calls via Zoom to anywhere in the world.
In this culture we are so often defined by what we do, and today I am so proud of the fact I am a professional counselor. I get the awesome privilege of hearing people's stories, holding space for them as they heal, and supporting and motivating them as they achieve goals for personal growth. It is important, sacred work. When my clients find their sense of inner peace, it radiates outward into the world benefiting untold others. We can all make this shift, collectively making the world a better place.
In order to provide this experience for my clients, I must be completely in the present moment during our sessions. The most important factor is for my client to feel like I completely understand where they are coming from and accept them in the moment without judgement. It is my belief that this is the main role of a counselor, yet so many therapists don't hit the mark. Some of them have a mindset constantly judging whether or not the client is telling the truth, or mentally flipping through the pages of their psychiatric diagnostic manual. I see each client as a person, not a diagnosis, and I use my energy to actually listen to what is being said and understand your experience.
Additionally, over-scheduling leads to burnout and damages the ability to be fully present. For this reason I only accept a maximum of 12 client appointments each week. This allows me to be at my best for each and every client. My presence and authenticity allow me to stand out and I often hear from clients who have seen many other therapists that I'm the first person to really "get them."
What the process looks like:
finding the right fit and The first session
Seeking out a counselor can be the hardest part of therapy. It's often difficult and anxiety-provoking to reach out for help for the first time. A great stigma in our society creates resistance to counseling as people struggle to be "strong" and manage problems on their own. Yet asking for help shows true strength and courage. Humans are meant to connect and collaborate, not suffer on their own.
Once you've made that phone call and gotten through the door, most clients find that the initial anxiety fades as they talk through their difficulties. In this session I will ask a lot of questions to get as much information as possible to conceptualize a plan. I will follow your pace and check in to see how you are feeling. By the end of the session I will have a good picture of what areas to work on and you will likely feel great relief getting everything out and knowing the growth process has begun.
week by week
In my practice the source of healing and growth is the counseling relationship itself. Each week when we meet, our relationship will grow and strengthen just as your own inner self is growing and strengthening. Initially my voice and my image might appear in your mind throughout the week, as you practice your homework assignments and collect experiences to report back to me during our next session. Over time you will find your own inner guidance to replace me, and find yourself standing more strongly on your own two feet.
I do recommend weekly appointments for at least the first month to get a good foundation in. Sometimes clients feel better quickly and choose to skip this step, then we have to go backwards a bit to find ourselves again when things get rough. Depending on the sensitivities of your nervous system and the triggers it carries, it takes some time and consistency to build a feeling of absolute trust and safety. If you are going to be opening up to me about your deepest fears and insecurities and feeling super vulnerable, it makes logical sense that this process takes some time and care. When the foundation is set and the relationship feels totally secure, then we can shift to meeting every other week without harming your progress.
After meeting weekly or biweekly over time, you may find you want to keep a monthly appointment to keep you steady. At some point you will find that you have gotten all that you need out of our relationship, and it is time to part. If the time comes a year or two down the line where you're ready for another round of personal growth or new wounds needing healing emerge, the relationship we have built still exists and you can return to counseling again. The journey never ends and my door is always open.
The positive feedback I have gotten most often in my personal and professional life is my ability to authentically relate to people and create a feeling of safety. I feel humbled and confirmed knowing scientific evidence supports that the counseling relationship is in itself healing.
I am thankful I found a counseling program supporting a blend of holistic, integrative and scientific approaches. I graduated with my Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Florida, and completed my internship experience at the Hubbard House shelter and outreach center for domestic violence in Jacksonville, FL.
Currently working towards full licensure as an LMHC, I work under Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern status and the supervision of an LMHC.