Ruth Wittersgreen received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida, graduating Magna Cum Laude, at the age of 20. Not only was she the first in her large extended family to go to college, she was the first to graduate high school. Growing up with a young, single mother, often under quite difficult circumstances, Ruth learned early to appreciate the beauty of the simple things. Life has been her most important instruction for helping others. She has learned to value relationships above all else and that joy can be found even in our darkest hours.
Following undergraduate work and a variety of jobs including substitute teaching, waitressing, volunteering for the Red Cross in an emergency room, working in a lumber yard, and as a patient representative in a hospital, Ruth joined the United States Air Force in the Air Transportation field. She then used the GI Bill to go on to graduate school, while still serving in the Air Force Reserves, where she earned awards including Airman of the Year and a nomination for the Twelve Outstanding Airmen in the US Air Force, regular and reserve, for her work in creating a comprehensive health promotions program for her Wing. Her work as a health promotions director in the Air Force evolved over the years, continuing in her research and practice as a psychologist.
In 1996, during her doctoral training at the University of South Carolina, in the Clinical-Community Psychology program, Ruth started seeing patients/clients in the university's free clinic. Throughout her doctoral coursework and research, she was serving in the Air Force Reserves, teaching undergraduate courses, working as a teaching assistant in graduate courses, doing program evaluation at a community mental health center, and providing services in school-based mental health. Ruth did many different clinical rotations including with college students struggling with issues like sexual assault and eating disorders, working with oncology patients who were terminally ill, doing assessments in prisons, and seeing patients in a rehabilitation hospital where she focused on the psychological impact of amputation. Giving birth to her first child during graduate school taught Ruth the necessity of balance between work and the rest of life. She completed all requirements for the Doctorate in Philosophy in 2003.
Ruth has now been seeing clients for 20 years and practicing psychotherapy full time for over a dozen years. An avid trail runner and traveler, she recharges by being with her family & friends and by spending time in nature near home and abroad. Gratitude, mindfulness, and compassion are foundational principles for life satisfaction. She frequently engages in volunteer work, gives presentations at regional and national conferences, and has published several articles, as well as poetry, in professional, peer-reviewed journals. Her most important source of professional support and continuing education is the American Academy of Psychotherapists: www.aapweb.com.
A favorite quote:
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt