Today we’d like to introduce you to Patricia Timerman Barbosa da Silva.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My name is Patricia Timerman Barbosa da Silva and I am a Jewish Brazilian American female and the founder of Advocate2Create.
I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil and moved to Miami, US at age 14, in 2001. Moving to Miami was not my choice and it was a bumpy road to say the least; however, it was also a blessing in disguise, as it led me to find myself in my personal life, meeting my Brazilian husband here who also happened to move at the same time I did, and my professional life.
In Brazil, I was raised in a Jewish community where I shared common culture and language with those around me. When I moved to Miami, things changed. I was a Freshman in High School in a foreign environment with people whom I could not communicate due to the initial language barrier, and therefore, I could not relate to them; as a result I lost my voice. In school, I felt like people saw me as different, as if I were a fish out of water, which served to further silence me for the first six months to a year of my life in Miami.
After my Freshman year, I changed schools from Alyson Academy to Michael Krop Senior High School. Different from my former high school, Michael Krop had a more diverse population, making it easier for me to make friends, as I was no longer a fish out of water. I also started to get more comfortable with my English, becoming not only better able to communicate with others, but also seeing part of my old me resurfacing. Nevertheless, I noticed that due to my accent, people used to dumb down their English when speaking with me, and I really disliked that because it made me feel less than. This feeling served as an impetus for me to study hard and make sure that my English was as superb as could be and show myself that I could succeed. Through my studies, I was able to go from regular to honors classes, get a full scholarship to Miami-Dade Honors College, go to New York University for my Bachelor’s degree, and then attend Barry University for my Masters and currently my PhD.
My college journey began with pre-med. I wanted to become a doctor, mostly because my grandfather wanted me to become one; but the truth is that I always wanted to teach and have a voice. Although I was pre-med, my major was political science, as I thought such major would give me the platform to have a voice.
When I graduated from NYU and returned to Miami, prior to applying for Medical Schools, I decided to pursue my masters. I started looking at education majors when I stumbled upon the description for the Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy program at Barry University; I don’t know how else to say it, but it spoke to me.
I enrolled in 2010 and graduated in 2012. During my masters, I learned that through psychotherapy, I had a platform to help others find their voices, as I did mine. I did my internship at the 1800-SUICIDE where I assisted countless people through their crises, helping find light in the darkest of rooms. Through my studies and my work, I fell in love with the mind. Upon graduating, I went back to pursuing medical school and began studying for the MCAT. One of the teachers for the MCAT course was a psychiatrist, so I started to pick her brain about her work. During our conversation, I realized that although the mind and the brain are intertwined, I prefer working with the mind. Consequently, I decided to stop pursuing a dream that was not mine, and instead, work towards the profession I fell in love with: psychotherapy.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I would say I am blessed to have the support system and opportunities I’ve had, but that I have had to work hard to achieve what I have achieved, and continue working towards it. My grandfather often said that what comes easy goes easy, and I live by these words. I have definitely had many hardships, from moving to a different country, to enduring hurricane Wilma hitting my home. However, in the context of hardship, I have to admit that I am very lucky to have the life and opportunities I’ve had and hope to continue having. Another expression from my grandfather is that when we have fortune, we share fortune, which is why I believe it is so important to have a platform to help people have/find their voices and help my community as much as I can.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Advocate2Create – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Advocate2Create, A2C for short, emerged from my desire to have a platform for advocacy through psychoeducation, as I truly believe the best way to advocate is to educate and share our knowledge and resources. As A2C started to grow, so did its focus, implementing psychotherapy – being individual, family, couples, and group – and clinical evaluations for Immigrants purposes.
I have two specializations, one is composing clinical evaluations and doing psychoeducational training in matters of immigration. While attending my masters at Barry University, I worked at an immigration law firm, Jacob L. Ratzan, P.A. There, I was exposed to several different immigration matters, such as VAWA, U-Visa, Asylum, T-Visa, Hardship Waivers and more. I learned the legal aspects of these visas and worked with families in the pursuit of their visas. This experience made me realize the importance of therapy in the world of immigration, as I worked with victims of domestic violence in their VAWA cases and victims of hate crimes who sought asylum among others. A2C actually started as a psychoeducational and consultation services platform where I taught mental health clinicians and first responders about the different immigration visas, breaking myths and barriers so we can empower our community.
My other specialization is grief therapy, specially suicide grief. I did my internship and then worked at the 1800-SUICIDE post-graduation. After starting A2C and leaving the 1800-SUICIDE, I started to volunteer at the Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention – FISP – as a facilitator for their Miami Survivor of Suicide Loss group, where I have been volunteering for the past seven years. Around the same time, I began my PhD, and I decided to focus my studies on suicide grief. Although I have been professionally immersed in the world of suicide (prevention, intervention, and mainly postvention), it was not until August of 2014 that I became a survivor of suicide myself, losing my dear fried Scott Spradley to suicide. Scott was the person who was with me at the Starbucks on West Avenue when I create the domain Advocate2Create and together we create my logo. Going back to the question about my specializations, I have been working with immigration from a psychotherapist perspective and with suicide grief for almost eight years now and have become known for these two specializations within my community.
As for my company, I am proud of what it has become. A2C is a multicultural space, honoring differences rather than silencing or ignoring them. We serve as a platform to help empower people, using our W.A.C.A. model – With Awareness Comes Action – to guide and facilitate change. A2C’s growth is greatly attributed to the collaborative and supportive work of A2C’s Clinical Director, Jeanevra Pearson, LMFT. Jeanevra is a wonderful clinician and amazing friend who is constantly looking at ways to have A2C better serve our clients, our network or professionals, and our community at large.
I believe that what sets A2C apart is that we as a group and as individual therapists hone in on our expertise and specialties, all the while respecting our limitations and always making sure we are working within the bounds of our competencies to do what is best for our clients. At A2C, we allow therapists to identify their specialty and work within their framework. We are not, nor do we expect our therapists to be, a one size fits all organization. Much to the contrary, we are not shy to refer out and provide clients with alternative resources in our community when we believe that is in their best interest. Another item that sets us apart is the fact that I do therapy and workshops in Portuguese and Spanish. Lastly, another item that sets us apart is our discounted rate for those who are eligible, which was a conscious decision we made to ensure we are able to serve more people within our community.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans are to continue growing A2C’s pschoeducational services, as I have been very focused on the direct psychotherapy. Through psychoeducation, we are able to reach more people, as mental health clinicians and first responders can use the information learned with their clients and in their community.
Personally, I also want to go into teaching and research. Upon finishing my PhD, I want to potentially do a longitudinal study on suicide grief. I have also been asked to co-write a chapter on suicide grief, which I am excited about.
Furthermore, I have been working on a communication intervention I call the IAP – Intention, Action, Perception – that has been working well with clients. I plan on writing a short book about it for clients and hopefully continue developing this intervention.
- Initial Intake (first session): Regular individual therapy initial intake $200; Regular family/couple’s therapy initial intake $255
- Initial Intake (first session): Discounted individual therapy initial intake $115; Discounted family/couple’s therapy initial intake $130
- Regular individual therapy sessions $150; Regular family/couple’s therapy session $175
- Discounted individual therapy session $90; Discounted family/couple’s therapy session $105
- 4 therapy sessions package (does not include initial intake): Regular individual therapy $500, Regular family/couple’s therapy $600
- 4 therapy sessions package (does not include initial intake): Discounted individual therapy $300, Discounted family/couple’s therapy $360
- Address: A2C has two office locations, one in Miami-Dade (A2C South) and one in Broward (A2C North): A2C South 5201 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 951, Miami, FL 33126; A2C North 2500 Hollywood Blvd, suite 309 Room 3, Hollywood, FL 33020
- Website: www.Advocate2Create.com
- Phone: 305-482-3366 (A2C South, Portuguese/Spanish)/305-791-6046 (A2C North)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com to reach me directly
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/advocate2create/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Advocate2Create/
- Other: https://a2ctalk.blogspot.com/
League of Women Voter of Broward for Community Forum for Suicide Prevention Awareness photo, Photographer Andres Trujillo for Professional Photo of Myself and Jeanevra, and Scott Spradley for A2C Logo.