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Kathy Ruiz
Kathy Ruiz, LCSW, RYT

LCSW, RYT

Primary Therapist

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Kathy has extensive experience in experiential learning and therapy, starting her career over a decade ago working as a wilderness therapy field instructor and subsequently as a backpacking instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School. Kathy additionally has experience in criminal justice, long-term residential treatment, and hospital social work before coming to WinGate. Kathy has a deep love and respect for the desert, and the way that extended time in the wilderness can create unparalleled space for someone to tune into their inner voice and discover their authentic self.

Kathy specializes in experiential therapy, cognitive theories, strengths-based approaches, and interpersonal therapy. Kathy is a certified yoga teacher (RYT-200) and is trained specifically in Trauma Recovery Yoga that assists with healing the mind-body disconnect that is often a result of the brain and body's way of compartmentalizing traumatic experiences. Kathy works particularly well with adolescents who have experienced childhood trauma or attachment disruptions. Kathy is queer-identified herself and loves working with LGBTQ+ youth.

Kathy believes that behaviors are symptoms, and that treatment is only successful when it addresses the underlying dissatisfaction and hurt that leads adolescents to use behavior to express their pain and unmet needs. Kathy is adept at building trusting relationships with adolescents quickly, and uses the genuine trust and bond she builds with clients to lovingly challenge and push teenagers deeper into their process. Kathy spends her personal time mountain biking, canyoneering, backcountry skiing, and overlanding with her partner and two dogs.