While studying psychology at Baldwin Wallace in Berea, Bridget Richard worked for Berea Children’s Home and Family Services located on BW’s campus. Although she always saw herself obtaining her Ph.D. to pursue a career in as a psychotherapist in the forensics field after graduation, she decided to be realistic with her future, knowing there was already a mound of bills to pay. Instead of continuing on to post-graduate work, Bridget decided to seek out opportunities to further herself within the Berea Children’s home instead, becoming a case manager shortly thereafter. It wasn’t long before her supervisors began to urge Bridget to get her social work license and pursue her passion for psychotherapy. With the encouragement of her supervisors and the support of her husband, Bridget earned her Masters in Social Work from Cleveland State University in 2006.

Although many of Bridget’s peers decided to branch off and open their own private practices over time, it wasn’t until one phone call on a blustery January day that the wheels really started turning in her head. While working for another practice, a client called to cancel their appointment because they couldn’t make it in the snow. The client’s mother mentioned that driving to the office took them at least 45 minutes in good weather, and another 45 back home. Bridget thought- “Why would they drive 45 minutes one way, each week, for therapy? It all snowballed from there”, she said. She came to the realization that they only endured this drive because there was not enough child and family counseling in their area, leading Bridget to identify the need and have the courage to open Lamplight Counseling Services, LLC later that same year.

As a therapist, Bridget’s specialties include addictions, trauma, grief/loss, anxiety, parenting issues, and depression. Although she and the other therapists at Lamplight Counseling see adults and children of all ages, Bridget expresses the gratification she feels when working with teenagers and young adults. “It is especially rewarding for me to see my clients grow up, develop as individuals, and achieve goals they couldn’t previously imagine,” she says.

As the perspective of a business owner, Bridget expresses the gratitude for her Lamplight team who has grown with her steadily since the beginning. “It has been rewarding to watch our staff grow into a team.  I value each of our therapists for their knowledge and for their willingness to support each other”, she says. “Our clinicians take time to consult with each other and share their expertise. Outside of clinical work, they take the time both in the office and out to celebrate each other’s milestones and success. They are a wonderful group of people.”

Bridget believes in a holistic approach to mental health and encourages individuals to not only work with a therapist, but also to work with a medical provider, a nutritionist, and participate in meditative exercises like yoga and tai chi. “Your mind is your body at work”, Bridget stresses. She explains that the holistic approach allows individuals to help “the whole person” become healthier and happier in their everyday lives.

When Bridget isn’t changing lives at Lamplight, she loves exploring everything Northeast Ohio has to offer. “I love our proximity to so many different activities. I can spend a night downtown exploring the warehouse district and taking in a comedy show on one day, and go to the local farmers market to get grass-fed beef the next”, she explains. “No matter where you are the people are friendly, and the network of support systems available is amazing.”

To learn more about Bridget Richard or Lamplight Counseling, visit www.lamlightcounseling.net.

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