Name: Patricia Petrone
Licensing Info: LMHC, NYS, License no. 006722
Where you live: Rochester, NY
Hometown: Rochester, NY
Amount of time working at Talkspace: five months
Time working as a Therapist: five Years
Why are you working in therapy/mental health?
I have a passion for helping my clients to become — or get back to — their best selves, whatever that may mean for them. The journey is different for everyone.
What made you start working at Talkspace?
I think it is a revolutionary startup. It is allowing people who normally would not have the opportunity to engage in therapy to have that opportunity. It is affordable and accessible, and now I get to work with clients all over the country and world! I had to be a part of it!
What has made you feel the most pride in your work?
Being able to walk through the hard times with my clients and be a support to them when they sometimes have no one else. To see the smile on a client’s face when they make a very significant change and knowing I helped them to get there; it is a really amazing feeling.
Can you think of a specific instance or moment that was inspiring?
I had worked with a transgender client who was an addict for two years in a hospital setting. He had many struggles he was going through but made great changes while he was there with me. Eventually I had to let him go because he completed the program successfully.
Recently, he found me (as I no longer work for the hospital) and contacted me to continue our work together, this time on a new set of challenges, as he has remained sober with no relapses. This was a very special moment to me and meant so much. I was thrilled there would no longer be a timeline on our work together and I could be there with him to walk beside him as he continues to grow.
Why is what you do important?
I think everyone, no matter where they come from, needs someone. I think often the people in our lives support us, but sometimes in ways we don’t ask for or are not always useful to us. A therapeutic relationship is so unique. Sometimes you need someone who is totally unbiased and removed from your situation on a personal level. That person can help you see things through a much clearer lens. I think that is something everyone really needs, especially in the complex and fast-paced world we live in today.
If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
I would say my number one piece of advice would be to be honest, and give it time. It takes time to build a connection with any therapist, but this is really the most important part of the whole process. Many clients drop out of therapy before they even get that chance to connect. Honesty is something that might not come right away. As you build your comfort as a client, trying to be as honest as you can be will only help you along further. Otherwise, your therapist can get an inaccurate picture of where you are. Being honest about a concern you might have with your therapist is also extremely valuable.