Lisette Infante, LPC, Clinical Director
Hello, my name is Lisette Infante, the Clinical Director of Atlanta Counseling and Coaching.
On Becoming a Counselor
I can say that I became a counselor because I care about people, and I want to help them. I know, I know it sounds cliché -- and honestly, it’s so much more than I can put into words. I come from a big Cuban family and that entails big personalities, high cultural energy -- not to mention a million cousins. I had my very own, built-in micro-society. It was later in life that I realized I had learned how to navigate complex relationships and many times found myself being a peacemaker because of this environment. This experience helped me develop interpersonal and listening skills that I use today as a therapist. I never really thought about these characteristics as skills -- it was just the way I operated. I would like to say that I have always wanted to be a therapist, but the truth is that I didn’t realize this was my passion until I was a sophomore in college. It was in my Social Psychology class that a light bulb went off, and I realized this was what I was meant to do. The rest was history. I realized that I loved, and was good at, putting the pieces of someone’s puzzle together and helping them see the whole picture of their lives, symptoms, and goals.
Professional Background + Counseling Philosophy
I've been in the counseling field for about 10 years now and worn many hats in meeting the needs of clients. In additional to a mental health counselor, I’ve worked as a case manager where I’ve supported clients in their independence and worked on the business side as well. These different roles allowed me to come to truly appreciate and understand people as a whole and not just the “problem” they are coming in and seeking support around. In these 10 years of practice, I’ve primarily worked with individuals who experience severe and chronic mental health issues such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety, and Personality disorders. I’ve worked with clients individually and in group therapy. The last few years I've specialized in working with thought disorders.
I'm grateful to be able to help clients give a voice to their experiences and feelings when they're confused and making connections that aren't grounded in reality. I also love the journey of helping clients learn who they are outside of the symptoms they experience. Personal characteristic and symptoms often get tangled up and lumped together, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sometimes, in order to reinforce the difference between symptomatic experience and personality traits, I’ve supported clients in developing an independent lifestyle. This includes me visiting their homes in order to help them build structure in their lives and set "life-worth-living" goals even if symptoms persisted.
One of the most meaningful compliments I have ever received came from a colleague who said they felt “seen” by me. That is exactly the type of experience I strive for each of my clients to experience and encourage the counselors who work with me to pursue. I feel this approach helps strengthen and foster a strong therapeutic relationship between therapist and client. Research has also shown this relationship is the biggest contributing factor in whether someone gets better and is able to move towards change. As I like to say, "We're all in the process of growth."
In my practice, you’re probably not going to get the blank therapist stare from me or any of the counselors who work with me here. We always strive to be genuine and honest in session with clients. Sometimes, that may include telling someone something they don't want to hear or challenge them by offering a different perspective. That’s where the commitment to considering different views or explanations comes in. I can promise this: Feedback of any kind will never be coming from a place of judgement or delivered in a non-empathetic way.
Clients I See
When starting therapy with me, I do not ask my clients to have it all figured out or take everything I say as the complete answer to all their problems. I ask my clients to be open to considering other causes or ways of looking at the world. I want us to explore “the big picture” and all the pieces of the puzzle to figure out what is not working.