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What is The Clinical Christian?

The place where the clinical world of mental health and Christianity converge. Melissa Richards, licensed mental health counselor and show host, introduces a range of fascinating guests who bring varied interactions and expertise within the world of mental health and the Christian faith. Guests include mental health providers, recipients, related professionals, clergy, and just plain smart people! No topic is off-limits!
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  • Who Can I Trust?

    Who Can I Trust?

    To say that I do not have issues with trust is like saying that the ocean does not have waves or the sun never rises and sets.

    Many years in therapy have brought me from a place of being unable to speak to a therapist except from under the cover of a blanket to a place where I can now look a therapist in the eye. Walking into a therapist’s office, in and of itself, is a victory. You see, the first “therapist” I trusted crossed so many boundaries, including sexual assault, so that every skilled and honorable therapist I have had since is enraged at the manipulation I endured. My complete ignorance as to what a boundary was blinded me from seeing the harm that was being done to my heart and my very soul.

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  • Beauty From Ashes

    Beauty From Ashes

    If there is anything that I have learned from working in the environmental field for all these years, it is that south Florida is unique. There are many habitats and animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The ecological significance of these areas is not difficult to justify, but because they are so rare, they must be “managed” so that they can be preserved.

    Pine rockland habitats are maintained with fire (either wild or controlled) so that they are not overtaken by hardwood trees. However, immediately after a fire, there is very little left – all seems lost and everything looks completely desolate and destroyed. The landscape is no longer covered with green underbrush, but rather charred plants and scorched pine trees pierce the rock and ash.

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  • Life Lessons From A Fern

    Life Lessons From A Fern

    I recently spent a long weekend with a friend in her new home. When I arrived I was thrilled to see all the beautiful trees and birds in her yard. Majestic live oaks and tall pine trees; cardinals and blue jays – I was in my element. I quickly spotted one of my favorite plants covering the sturdy branches of a very old live oak tree – the resurrection fern.  Recent rains had brought many of these little ferns back to life after a dry winter.

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  • Mental Illness and Stigma

    Mental Illness and Stigma

    I have bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness) and am very open and transparent about it. It is not a character defect it is a brain illness. Yet, still society looks upon mental illness with condescension and judgment. This is wrong.

    While I realize that I may not be able to change the world by writing one blog, I can try to change some of that stigma by sharing some of my own thoughts – from the perspective of someone who has a mental illness.

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  • Riding the Tides of Bipolar Disorder

    Riding the Tides of Bipolar Disorder

    I have been fascinated with the sea for as long as I can remember. So much so, that at the age of 4, I proclaimed to my dad that I would be a marine biologist when I grew up. I am not sure that he remembered that moment, but my proclamation became a reality by the time I was 21.

    The ocean is rich in every way imaginable, but lately; it has been the cyclical tides that have me the most captivated. What a better way to describe the shifting moods of bipolar disorder; the mental illness that I live with daily?

    Listen to Molly on The Clinical Christian Podcast

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  • Big Little Things

    Big Little Things

    Losing someone you love is hard. Maybe that’s not a profound statement but it is no less true. If you have not lived through the loss of a loved one, it’s difficult to wrap your mind around just how hard it can be.

    Over the past 5 years, I have experienced loss – a lot of it. It started with the death of my dog, Hattie, then my dog, Davis, and then my cat, Riah. Some may say, rightly so, that the death of a pet is different than the death of a person. Nevertheless, it is where my journey with grief began.

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  • Christianity and Depression: An Insider’s View

    Christianity and Depression: An Insider’s View

    I thought I knew depression, because I had experienced it most of my life.  In retrospect, I can say that I had “head” knowledge but I did not truly understand what it meant to be in the grip of deep depression.

    Ironically, only a few months prior, a woman in my church requested that I come visit her in her home; she was suffering from clinical depression. In retrospect, I realize that what I thought were encouraging words were likely the same empty words that have been spoken to me during my own struggles with depression. “Keep praying.” “Trust the Lord.” “He will bring you through this.” The implication was that if she just had enough faith, God would fix it. I was wrong.

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  • Christianity and Mental Health: Truth and Transparency

    Christianity and Mental Health: Truth and Transparency

    It seems fitting to start this blog on the premise of honesty and transparency. Those things are, after all, what God desires from each of us. We often forget that even though God DESIRES these things from us, the reality is that He does not NEED them. He is the one that already knows us better than we know ourselves. He does not require honesty and transparency to help Him understand us, but He will do powerful things when they are at the forefront of our lives – every part.

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