Sherry Richmond - Founder, Director & Core Club Room Volunteer

Growing up in a large extended family in West Virginia gave me the joy of being intimately involved in the developmental stages of many lives.  These intimate relationships with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins gave me a passion for kindness, family life, friendship, individual growth, and interpersonal connection.  Moving away from these loved ones taught me to nurture and sustain valued relationships.  My Christian heritage instilled the joy of adoption into God’s family network.

My roles include counselor, life coach, wife, and parent of a successful adult with a disability. Since entering the disability community years ago, when our daughter was born with spina bifida, I have devoured information from reading, workshops, and seminars designed to assist parents of children with disabilities or chronic illness.  Throughout the years I have repeatedly heard that developing meaningful friendships and avoiding loneliness can be challenging for people with spina bifida. I would like to ease this challenge by working with your children to discover and nurture their God given gifts personally and in relationship with peers and larger social systems.   

 

Our child was born with a physical anomaly in a world that doesn’t always understand and welcome individuals with differences.  I encourage children with disabilities to embrace the fullness of God’s plan for each of his beloved children.  I coach churches and communities to wrap the love of Christ around people and families who are living with disabilities, mainstreaming them into the family of God.

 

In 2005, I attended eight monthly sessions of Partners in Policymaking, a national leadership training program for people with developmental disorders and family members of young children with disabilities, designed to achieve productive partnerships between people needing and using services and those who make public policy and laws.

 

My wish is that counselors and physicians will use their skills to enrich the lives of children with disabilities through informal conversations, speaking at Grand Rounds, presentations, an article for the Louisiana Association of Marriage and Family Therapy called “Staring at the Invisible Minority”, and numerous questions and comments over the years at professional meetings. In 2011 I moderated a panel of individuals with disabilities and parents of youth with disabilities at the Louisiana Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference entitled, “Living Outside the Box: Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families Invite You In”.  During this session the panel members candidly described their lives, joys, challenges, family systems, family life cycles, and the societal context of growing up with a disability. The panelists and therapists brainstormed possible helpful interventions for difficulties that were identified.

In March of 2015 I authored the article “Because ‘Mama’ Said So: A Counselor–Parent Commentary on Counseling Children With Disabilities”, which was published in The Professional Counselor, a peer-reviewed electronic journal of the National Board for Certified Counselors (Volume 5, Issue 2, Pages 304–317). It described experiences highlighting some current problems with the stigma this population experiences. It described the varying disability identities and orientations that have evolved within the disability culture and wider society. Counselors were encouraged to use unbiased terminology in both research and clinical work with people with disabilities. Solutions were offered for counselors to implement in practice and research to begin to overcome stereotypes, develop disability awareness and provide helpful counseling. Practical interventions were offered for a variety of challenges where counselors may be useful to children with disabilities and their families.

 

My interests include the Bible, spiritual development, dance, diet and nutrition, cooking, the arts, physical fitness, museums, and nature.  I strive to have a healthy balanced lifestyle and progress through life with peaceful grace, perseverance, hope, and vigor.  Knowing the blessing of well-functioning body, I’ll strive to influence your children to stay as healthy as possible.

 

I am a:

  • Conduit that God used to form the Tricord Club Nonprofit

  • Founder and president of Creative Growth Counseling and Coaching, Inc.

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

  • National Board Certified Counselor

  • Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselor

  • Member of the American Association for Christian Counselors

  • Board Certified Coach

  • Parent of an independent, resilient, talented, spiritual, employed adult, who has spina bifida

  • Wife, mother, sibling, aunt

  • Daughter of the most high God

 

Employment and practicum experience:

 

  • Personal and team counseling with:

    • individuals, couples, families, and groups in psychiatric, pastoral, and outpatient settings

    • kindergarten through college age students, including pregnant teenagers and

               foster grandparents

  • Presenter of Workshops and Seminars

    • Christian School Counselor for prekindergarten through eighth grade students

    • Supervisor for Master’s level counseling students

    • West Virginia University Cooperative Extension Service, Home Economics Agent

  • Home Economics Educator

  • Developed a private counseling practice, satellite counseling offices, cultivated referrals for pastoral counseling organizations

  • Life Coaching

 

Education:

  • M.S., Virginia Tech, Management, Housing, and Family Development, 1980

  • B.S., Home Economics Education, Concord College, 1975 

  • Graduate of the Coaching Foundations Course at the Institute for Life Coach Training

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