Eric Ruffing, MA, LMFT
Psychotherapist I Adj. Faculty Pepperdine Graduate School I Certified Meditation Teacher
949-534-2604 or email
accepting new clients (virtually) 949-534-2604
My theoretical education, orientation & methods are supported by postmodern theories: Narrative therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Constructivist, Collaborative therapy, Contemplative therapy, and meditation (if desired). What does this mean? Simply stated postmodern theories believe there is more to you than just a diagnostic label and maladaptive behaviors. That traditional Western (white European to be specific) psychology over medicalises your behaviors, tries to standardize what is "healthy", and supports debilitating comparison of you in relation to others. I believe problems are created not only by events and specific people throughout life but also by systems (family, school, financial, medical, societal, etc...), as well as cultural, social & normative discourses, language, politics and geography to name a few other reasons why it's hard to life we imagine for ourselves.
"As we become aware of ourselves as storytellers we realize we can use our stories to heal and make ourselves whole."
– Susan Wittig Albert
With Narrative therapy states that problems are the problem not you, you are viewed as having have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, cultural, spiritual, moral and ethical values, and abilities. Narrative therapy puts effort into separating you from the problem story by deconstructing power and systems as well to re-authoring your relationship to the problem. Solution Focused therapy starts with a goal or preference you have, then targets ways for that to happen without much deep history or "trauma" work. Constructivist thought will help us examine how language is constructed and used that may get in the way of your preferred life. In Collaborative therapy there is an equal relationship between you and a therapist, sharing discussions and ideas that lead to us examining what is possible. When appropriate or requested, we can incorporate Contemplative therapy that brings in the therapeutic practice of blending the meditative techniques and utilization of The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism with psychotherapy.
How can I help you experience life the way you want it?
Are there problems that have you feeling stuck or challenged?
Does perfection, self-doubt, and being on edge make it hard to find your way through life?
Would having another person on your side to holistically & collaboratively investigate what’s happening be a good idea?
Maybe, you’re tired of therapists that focus on your trauma instead what's possible
Are systems of power, normativity, and colonization at the center of the problem?
"The problem is the problem,
the person is not the problem."
- Michael White & David Epston
Would having a person on your side empathetically, collaboratively & with a focus on what is making problems so hard to move through be a good idea? We start with where you want to be in life and what’s possible, even if you’re not sure. I'm trained, grounded, and have experience helping people through problems, not blaming, shaming, or pathologizing you.
" PROBLEMs change the way you see yourself, your relationships, your future & what you believe is possible." Eric Ruffing
What's in the way of your dreams, not what's wrong with you.
Therapy: theories and influences
Our work together is a chance for you to (re)define your current storyline. Our time together will support and strengthen your sense of self-esteem, what is true about you, your dreams, abilities, skills, trust & balance in your life.
Why "The Problem" has shown up is part of your story, but I have found that change happens when we define, investigate & evaluate "The Problem" before we discuss any behaviors your doing. Problems generate stories that you may come to believe about yourself which then create anxiety, guilt, depression, stress, worry, low self-esteem, confusion, anger, unfairness, grief or others, over time these beliefs become a way to evaluate your self. I'll collaborate with you to re-discover yourself, create new skills, understanding, abilities to separate the effects "The Problem" has on how you see yourself. A new responsive and less reactive version of you can maintain a happier life story, a new narrative that supports your dreams, goals, culture, future.
By INVESTIGATING WHAT IS BEING DONE TO THE RELATIONSHIP we can STOP THE BLAME + DEBATE. Becoming Free to place efforts on collaboration, what the relationship has lost? what the relationship needs? is STILL capable of? and what dreams you have for its future?
We will focus on evaluating how "The Problem" is limiting the relationship and how it is influencing each others behaviors and communication styles. People usually come in feeling stuck, confused on how to fix the problem, or they have tried everything. Whether you wonder what has changed the happiness you once had or blame the other, I believe you each have made your best effort to solve these problems but feel stuck, frustrated, confused, or angry. Together we can deconstruct the dynamic that is happening and re-direct energy away from debate, pathologizing, and blame. Strengthening the empathy, communication, language and relationship in areas that support each other, your needs, meaningful goals, and the future you all desire..