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Deborah Richardson

Online only

Accepting new clients
Provides online counseling through BetterHelp. This is a sponsored listing.

About me

I'm pleased to introduce myself to you. I'm Deborah Richardson, LCSW, but most people call me "Deb". All of my life I've had people tell me things in confidence. When you're a minor, that can be a little scary at times; but that's the beginning of a therapist. Now I know it's scarier for the person who has a secret that needs to be told.

I didn't set out to be a therapist. I thought I'd be an administrator in a social services agency until I realized I can't balance a Profit and Loss Statement because I have numbers dyslexia. You see, my mind isn't perfect. Like everyone, there are many things I can't do well. Then I found myself covering for a full-time therapist and suddenly I found my joy, and I've continued to find it everyday for forty-plus years.

Along the way I picked up two husbands, two daughters, a dozen pets, and thousands of clients. I divorced one husband, buried another, watched two little girls fly away, and now I wait for grandchildren. I also completed a teaching degree followed by a master's degree in social work from The University of Tennessee.

Then there's my fur-baby, the ten pound Shih Tzu Amanda-Grace, who was the office pet therapist when I saw clients face-to-face. She became very depressed when we stopped having clients in the office: laying around, not eating or playing. She came to life again when she discovered YouTube videos of cats, dogs, and talking birds. She's happiest, though, when hearing your voices on my speakers. Don't worry, she's the most ethical therapist there is. Everything is totally confidential with Gracie.

Over the course of four decades I've worked with all ages from many walks of life. I've worked in-patient, out-patient, a nursing home, a group-home, and a prison. I did forensic psychiatry for fifteen years and private practice for twenty-four. I've used whatever therapeutic techniques worked for an individual. We've walked in the sunshine, listened to music, painted emotions, and written about heartache. We've read "The Giving Tree", watched "Attack on Titan", and sang "It's Not Easy Being Green".

Through my professional work experience, I've learned that using a lot of professional jargon isn't as important as remembering someone's birthday, and keeping it real is synonymous with empathy. I found that "normal" is very broad and "average" is very small. Acceptance of one's self is harder to do than acceptance of others, but judgments comes quickly and punishments even swifter.

I find that many people believe life is a yellow brick road with a pot of gold at the end, or perhaps Elton John playing piano. Either way, it's a journey they hope for but never think they can take. I believe life can be a yellow brick road, if that's what you want, but all roads have pot holes no matter where they lead or what color they are. My job is to teach each client how to fill their pot holes, or build a bridge, or knock-down a wall, or mend a broken heart for themselves. What I do isn't as important as who you are at the end of this journey together.

I hope you will join me at Better Help to travel your road, where ever it goes, safely and in peace.


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  • English