Regent Leaders in the World: Dr. Carletta Perry
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CBN.com Compassionate encourager. Skilled marriage and family counselor. Qualified clinician and consultant. From counseling families of the Navy SEALS to children in foster care, Carletta Perry has dedicated her life to caring about others. Being one of a small percentage of African-American females who have earned a doctorate, Perry fills a unique niche. Aware of the potential impact she may have on those she intends to serve, she says, “I have a unique calling to help others. Every day I am my own counseling tool, helping one person at a time.”
Years before, with initial aspirations in the field of law, Perry observed numerous shattered marriages while working as a paralegal. Always a natural encourager, she found people seeking her advice ... counsel ... a kind word. “I wanted to find a way to help the people more,” Perry says. “I believe in marriage. It’s just a passion.” With her employer’s suggestion to return to school, Perry soon settled on the field of psychology, believing it would prepare her to make a more lasting difference.
In choosing her university, Perry considered Regent not only because it was geographically accessible but, more importantly, it provided the specific research and clinical program she sought. As she visited the campus, Perry says she discovered friendly, accepting people, a capable faculty and the necessary curriculum to meet her goals in marriage and family counseling.
Perry has worked as a Family Resiliency Trainer for the Navy SEALS, providing counseling and consultation to services members and their families. Her role with the SEALS enhanced relationships in a setting in which there can be high levels of stress, impacting family dynamics. “The clinical psychology skills I was taught at Regent seem to me to be universal,” Perry says. She explains that no matter what the situation, first she applies the principles of clinical psychology to the unique family setting and, secondarily, considers the community perspective.
Perry most recently worked as director of social services for the Bair Foundation in Chesapeake, Va., a Christian foster care organization headquartered in Pennsylvania. She provided leadership to the staff of intake workers, case managers and interns. She orchestrated state and national regulation compliance, managed the budget and ensured the quality of care for the clients. The overriding goal was to create a team approach, networking with staff, children and parents. “I don’t see children without seeing family,” Perry says.
She reflected on some important takeaways from her studies at Regent. “What I learned most was not always in the books, but from watching my professors,” she recalls. “They were men and women of humility, able to combine teaching about Christ and teaching about clinical psychology.” Perry believes she is a different kind of doctor of psychology because she carries love, compassion and truth into each setting.
A life-changing class at Regent helped shaped Perry’s paradigm for counseling. Having developed curriculum for training on marriage and parenting, Perry and 11 other young women traveled to Tanzania, Africa, as a culmination of their Mental Health Missions course. Deeply moved by the people she had quickly grown to love, Perry returned to the United States with an even greater burden to help the African people.
Dr. Glen Moriarty, her professor and mentor, advised that Perry couldn’t save the whole world, but she could start by helping one person at a time. Perry explains, “And so, every day I am my own counseling tool, helping one person at a time, whether in my office, or in an elevator, whether with Navy SEALS who have seen the world, or children who have never seen the outside of their small town.”
Perry envisions someday establishing her own marriage center, working with couples and families. With the educational tools she has acquired, with a belief that her life and character must be intact to accomplish her goals, Dr. Carletta Perry is a woman ready to lead ... in service to others.
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