"Thank you for your interest in my services. I look forward to seeing how I can help you."   --- Dr. Richards


What to Expect?

You don't have to do this alone. Allow your therapist to come along side you in your journey to healing. Get the help you need.


Connect with your therapist who will listen deeply, withhold judgment, demonstrate warmth, and exhibit empathy. Your secrets are safe with your therapist. Your disclosures will be treated with the utmost confidentiality (with only the exceptions provided by law).


You will receive a thorough assessment. Goals will be set so you will see a clear path to your desired outcome. Your therapist will develop an effective treatment plan. 

Cutting-edge, evidence-based, and trauma-informed interventions will be provide by your therapist. You will learn coping strategies, how to navigate challenging relationships, unravel the past's impact on your present, and evaluate long-held ideas that may no longer serve you. You will practice your new-found skills, perspectives, interactions, and behaviors until your issues are resolved. 

Schedule an appointment and begin the journey to discover your joy for life!

Who are our Clients?


  • Depression/Grief
  • Mood swings
  • Anger/Overreaction
  • Anxiety 
  • Pessimism/Negativity
  • Overwhelm
  • Sleeplessness
  • Excessive sleep
  • Emotional eating
  • Social Isolation
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling worthless
  • Trauma symptoms 
  • Lack of purpose

Life Events

  • Transition to 
    • marriage
    • parenthood
    • empty nest
  • Intrusive in-laws
  • Extended family conflict
  • Job stress
  • Roles strain
  • Unfair division of labor
  • Financial Strain
  • Isolation
  • Relocation/Move
  • Illness
  • Dying and death

Relationship Issues

  • Single life
  • Couple Conflicts
  • Communication 
  • Sexual 
  • Infidelity
  • Addiction
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics 
  • Absent/toxic parents
  • Challenging teens
  • Extended family
  • Trauma survivors
  • Unforgiveness
  • Cut off
  • Spirituality/Faith


  • Addiction
  • Affair
  • Divorce
  • Fall from grace
  • Toxic workplace
  • Domestic Violence
  • First responders with secondary trauma
  • Stressful jobs
  • Military life
  • Military family reunification
  • PTSD
  • Illness
  • Death

Ask us if your issue is not listed.


Dr. Michelle J. Richards is a Ph.D.-level marriage and family therapist. She's been practicing as a therapist since 1989 and licensed to practice in Texas since 1999. 

While Dr. Richards works with all different types of clients and client problems, she has developed an expertise in working with couples and those who experienced trauma.

Since 2004, Dr. Richards has been a senior clinician in her own private practice, Joyful Life Institute, Inc. There, she provides: 

  • individual therapy
  • couples therapy
  • family therapy (adults only), 
  • group therapy, and 
  • intensive therapy.

She also provides critical incident debriefing services for crises in the workplace. Dr. Richards worked as an academician at a university and clinician in non-profit agencies. In addition, she has trained and supervised masters and Ph.D.-level students to become marriage and family therapists. 

Her expertise has been sought by print, radio, and tv media; most notably, she was a guest expert on the internationally syndicated television program, The Oprah Winfery Show.

As an extension of her faith, she sought and acquired additional years of training, experience, and supervision in pastoral counseling. Dr. Richards incorporates a variety of faith-based interventions (upon request) along side the evidence-based therapeutic techniques she uses in the treatment 

More about 

Joyful Life Institute, Inc.


  • Insurance user? Pay your copay, coinsurance, or deductible (call your insurance for details). 
  • Standard fee is $150 for a 45-minute session and $200 for a 60-minute session.
  • I offer a prepay discount if you pay for the entire 4 or 5 week month upfront. 
    •  $135 each 45-minute session  
    • $182 each 60-minute session

Office Hours

  • Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 5 PM. 
  • The last appointment starts at 4 PM. 
  • Administrative issues are attended to on Mondays and Fridays.

FREE  Consultation

  • CLICK button, COMPLETE , and SUBMIT the 'Preliminary Information Questionnaire.
  • Check your email for a message. 
  • If everything lines up, use the link to schedule a 15-minute phone call.


What Clients Are Saying About Dr. Richards

”…Yesterday we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary!!! Both of us discussed how without God’s amazing grace and our counselors helping us [to] do the hard work it took, there would not be a celebration. You have given us tools that we use daily, that have helped our marriage just not exist but flourish and become one of living & loving intentionally. Thank you for walking the journey with us!” ---- K.S.

"I am not sure if you remember me, my husband and I were patients of yours 2 years ago. Although our time did not end well, I often credit you and your work for our continued relationship success. I am grateful for our short time spent working with you and am truly amazed by what was accomplished during that time. Our church is always looking for Christian [therapists] like yourself and I would like to add you to our listing of counselors as I think it would be helpful to others. Also, I have a friend who I would like to pass your information along to. --- S.C."

Thank you Dr. Richards. I’m glad I chose to come to you for the sessions. The future about my marriage is uncertain. However, I’ve learned some of the components that’s needed and should be displayed in order to have a functional and heathy marriage. I appreciated all the support and words of encouragement.” 

--- K

“Dr. Richards, I am so glad I decided to come see you. I have learned a lot and have grown from my counseling sessions with you... I will definitely come see you. Thank you for everything.” --- VT

“Thank you for your service and wise counsel these past several months...You have truly been an answer to prayer. “ 

--- MW

“I want you to know that [I'm] on the path to my joyful life. Thank you for helping me realize that my decision is ok.” --- K.D.

Stop struggling! Respond to the Questionnaire Now! Grow!

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