RUTH SETLAK, MSW, LCSW
Change and challenge affect not just the individual, but often entire families and multiple relationships. In my work with adults, I strive to be a place of safety and curiosity, where we explore desired areas for change together. In my work with children and families, I help them to navigate developmental and/or emotional challenges by providing support, coaching, and real-life strategies that make daily life more fulfilling. As a parent of three children, I have a realistic understanding of parenting and family life. I hope to bring authenticity and compassion to my work with all clients.
Education and Professional Experience
I have a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky, with a specialty in mental health. My education and training have focused around experiential therapies (AEDP, EMDR), trauma (PTSD and developmental trauma), adult and child/parent attachment, neuro-developmental disorders (Autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorders), adoption, medical disorders (PANDAS/PANS, chronic illness), interpersonal neurobiology, social-emotional development, parenting strategies, development of the self, and building healthy relational dynamics.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Colorado, License # 9925261. I am certified in the DIR/Floortime (Professional Certificate, June 2015). I am also certified in EMDR and have done Level 1 and 2 trainings, as well as various advanced EMDR trainings focused on attachment and complex trauma, and EMDR with children and adolescents. I am level 3 trained in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP). AEDP works experientially (mind/body) by to heal attachment wounds, trauma. enhance relational capacities and heal unhealthy relational patterns. I have extensive training in parent/child relationships and in various parent coaching models. I also have received training in sensory processing, speech development, and Neurological Reorganization.
I work relationally, experientially, cognitively, and developmentally as needed. I prefer evidence-based approaches that support the growth of important neural pathways needed for strong cognition and social-emotional development, and for transformational healing. I choose relational over behavioral approaches as I think we all grow in the context of a relationship, and often, we need support to gain the best outcomes. I find that people are more responsive when we meet them where they are and engage them in emotionally meaningful interactions, even if there are significant challenges. Once trust develops, people are more capable of engaging, relating, overcoming fears and challenges, and moving forward to higher levels of thinking, feeling, and relating.
For children, my approach is unique in that, while supporting children to express emotionally, I am also working to facilitate healthy and robust developmental capacities. I help parents shape behavior by understanding the underlying communication or emotion around it, and intervening in ways that will help the child grow developmentally and enhance/protect the parent-child relationship.