"My position as psychotherapist is rooted in maintaining collaboration, empathy, curiosity, kindness, respect + compassion. Supporting everyones preferences, goals, dreams, lifestyle choices, cultural history, spiritual practice, sex positivity and sense of self."
- Eric Ruffing
My reason for becoming a therapist is to provide a space where people are never judged for the problems that have shown up in their life or make people feel their goals and dreams are not worthy. My position with you is that of walking side by side to (re)discover your skills, talents, values, goals, dreams and way of life you imagine for yourself. I truly believe you are not the problem, but that problems influence everyone one of us and get in the way of our expectations for our selves, our desires and what we are living for.
Prior to this career as a psychotherapist, I led what you might call a creative and sports driven Southern California life. Lots of BMX, soccer (in the '70's and '80's-not cool), worked at my fathers architectural firm at age 13, took lots of art and photography classes. I thought about being an art history teacher, went to college to study architecture and switched over to product design from Art Center College of design in Pasadena.
I spent a few years designing custom furniture before I became obsessed with surfing. While taking a year off to surf I became a self taught graphic designer, eventually working for O'Neill wetsuits in Santa Cruz. Then was co-creative director/ co-founder of 13THFLOOR graphic design studio (and short lived surf wear brand) that lasted for over 25 years. I was fortunate to supply creative direction, graphic design and marketing consultation to lifestyle brands, action sports companies, toy, movie + entertainment studios, bands, music videos, commercials, agencies, start-ups, Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs.
My passion for learning, collaboration, fairness for all living beings (including animals) and a desire to be of service (yes cliché) led me to psychology. Attending Pepperdine's graduate school in clinical psychology allowed me to align more deeply with my values, core beliefs and to live a more service driven compassionate career and life. Allowing me to be of service to and an ally to anyone struggling against unfairness, lack of respect, isolation, self-esteem, confusion or trauma in their life.
I have also spent over 15 years meditating (Vipassana and Vedic), circling around Buddhism and Vedic wisdom. Completing a year long monthly dharma course, short silent retreats, many trainings, consistent daily practice, participant in an MBSR 8 Week course and culminating my process so far with a 200 hour/100 consecutive day teacher certification by The Veda Center, taught by Charlie Knoles in June of 2019.
I live as a father, son, husband, pet owner, plant based consumer (formerly known as a vegan - since '88), mountain biker, hiker, meditator and influenced by Buddhist dharma and Vedic wisdom...*(occasional surfer).
Pepperdine University, Irvine, CA. M.A. Clinical Psychology,
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. B.S. Industrial Design
Psy-Chi International Honor Society of Psychology
11/18 - Current:
AMFT Therapist, Shanti OC, Laguna Niguel, CA.
06/17 - 03/20
Private Practice, Irvine, CA
08/016 - 08/2018
AMFT Therapist, California Family Institute, Costa Mesa, CA.
03/2017 - 03/2018
Group and Individual Counselor, Road to Recovery Treatment, Huntington Beach, CA
08/15 - 07/16
MFT Intern, Living Success Center, Costa Mesa, CA.