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Tanya Ruckstuhl LICSW

How I work

We have both the capacity and the necessity to change and grow over time. The primary task of therapy is to bear witness while fostering optimism and awareness.  I use a variety of therapeutic approaches, drawing from what I feel are the best of many superb therapy models.


Originally trained in Narrative, Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Family Systems therapy, I have also broadened my therapeutic influences to include Cognitive Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Repatterning (EMDR). I chose therapy models because the mechanisms behind their functioning--the theories and beliefs that underlie them--are optimistic and affirming, and they are all empirically researched.

Each client I work with is unique. Presenting problems, current level of functioning, life experiences, culture, gender, race and religion will all influence your level of comfort seeking and making use of therapy. I believe in discussing openly and directly any concerns either of us may have in understanding one another. I want to have as clear a picture as possible of how you see and experience the world, and then to introduce other ways of perception and reaction that can foster a more joyful life for you.

I would not bring my car  to an auto mechanic that did not know how to drive and therefore I would not consider myself an effective therapist without the experience of being a client. My time in personal therapy provides me with the opportunity to challenge some of my own underlying belief systems, a deep appreciation and respect for the courage it takes to seek out professional support, as well as the usefulness of the therapy process itself.

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& Qualifications

I earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Kansas in 1997, and a Bachelors of Social Work from the same university in 1994. 

I opened my private practice in 2007 after working for ten years in non-profit organizations which included Safe Babies, Safe Moms, a program for chemically dependent low income mothers, and Community Psychiatric Clinic, a community mental health organization serving low income families. 

As a bachelor's level social worker, I worked for the state of Kansas providing Family Preservation services to parents at-risk of losing custody of their children due to abuse or neglect. 

I run two peer consultation groups for therapists to provide support and information about best practices. 

I regularly train therapists on topics ranging from anxiety to Attention Deficit Disorder, parenting, and PTSD. 

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