Couples Counseling

Family Counseling                    

Ruzanna utilizes various different approaches to meet each family’s needs based on their unique struggles, family dynamics as well as cultural and family differences. She believes that in order to support one family member, it is essential to look at the entire family system and help each individual take part in what seems to cause distress. Ruzanna is a firm proponent of peoples’ self-lifting and advancing abilities. Through her practice, Ruzanna skillfully highlights individual strengths, thus enabling measurable growth and progress in every client. One of Ruzanna’s many passions in the field of clinical psychology is to help couples through their unique endeavors. Ruzanna’s core competency in two people’s affairs includes understanding of marital stability and conducting relationship analysis through scientific direct observations.

Ruzanna has extensive training by the renown John and Julie Gottmans where she applies the methods created by these experts in the field and uses her own professional experience of working with couples.

Domestic Violence

Ruzanna has worked as a mediator at the LA Superior Court where she helped families going through separation or divorce. In her work with many distressed individuals, going through this extremely strenuous process, she encountered battered women or men as well as perpetrators of domestic violence. Besides supporting and encouraging families to come up with a safe plan of how to share their children, she helped the victims with developing a step by step safety plan, including encouraging to obtain restraining orders against the batterers. She also supported the batterer in helping him/her focus on their child and did some reality checking with how their behavior affects and will continue to affect all those loved ones around them, especially their children.

Pregnancy and Postpartum

Ruzanna’s work also includes supporting at risk pregnant women with educating and preparing for the birth of their baby and working on prevention of Postpartum Anxiety and/or Depression. She uses an evidenced based curriculum developed by UCFS Prevention Project (Munoz et al. 2007) titled The Mothers and Babies Course and can use this approach either within a group setting or individually. Ruzanna is well equipped to screen for Postpartum Depression by using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

Substance Abuse/Addictions

Ruzanna has worked with various clients with some sort of an addiction, including Alcohol, Heroin,Crystal Meth, Cocaine, Marijuana, and Cigarettes. Some of the ways these clients would come into Ruzanna’s radar was when she was working at St. John’s Health Center, the Child and Family Development Center, where the department of children and family services had gotten involved with the family due to drug exposure to their young children. Ruzanna would see these families and would work with the parents who were using or had used substances while they would care for their children and educate them about the long term effects of substance use and how detrimental this can be for their offspring. Ruzanna is a firm believer that most people who are either addicted to or abuse substances have deep rooted traumas and substances are the only way they have learned to cope with their daily struggles. She is trained in Seeking Safety to work specifically with clients who require a more specialized approach to dealing with trauma and substance abuse and teaches grounding techniques for clients to be able to generalize to their daily life.