Dr. Tracy Ryaru

Tracy Ryaru, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist

Psychotherapy is a process in which a therapist and a client work together to find solutions to a range of emotional and social problems. Common problems addressed in psychotherapy may include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Trauma
  • Anger
  • Relationship challenges
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Grief and loss
  • My Approach to Psychotherapy

My approach to psychotherapy is collaborative and individualized to the client’s needs. I believe that it is important to understand problems in the context of the client’s life experiences. I also value the client’s unique perspectives about his or her situation.

The life experiences and perspectives of the client assist by clarifying challenges and strengths, which help to guide treatment. I work together with clients in a creative way to identify solutions.

What I Offer

I am a psychotherapist for children, adolescents and adults. Psychotherapy may be brief or in-depth, based on the client’s needs and wishes.

The Process

The psychotherapy I offer begins with an initial assessment. I carefully collect information about the client’s personal history, including his or her background, current problems and strengths. In some cases, targeted psychological testing and assessment is chosen to be part of the initial assessment. Psychological testing and assessment provide more information about the problems experienced by the client and help to more quickly move the therapy forward.

The client and I work together as a team. We use information gained from the initial assessment to develop a plan for psychotherapy. The client’s personal goals are included in the plan.

I primarily use approaches from psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, I draw on a number of approaches to meet the needs of each client.

Psychodynamic therapy is used to develop an understanding of how early life experiences are impacting and shaping the client’s current circumstances. Through the use of this type of therapy, we work to repair difficult parts of early life experiences.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy provides specific techniques to help the client feel and function better. These techniques are practiced during the therapy hour. The goal is to help the client become comfortable using these techniques so he or she can more easily apply them to everyday life.

As part of the psychotherapy process, we access, build and use inner strengths to find solutions to problems. Together we monitor progress and make adjustments to the plan as needed.

Psychotherapy with Children and Teenagers

My approach with children/teenagers and adults is similar. However, there are two main differences:

  1. Unlike the one-to-one process with adults, psychotherapy with children and teenagers includes the active participation of parents.
    Parent participation involves occasional meetings with me, and sometimes includes joint meetings with the child or teenager.
  2. Children and teenagers often need to express problems in different ways than adults. They frequently communicate through play, music, art and poetry.
    I often use these unique ways of “talking” with youth in psychotherapy to uncover and work with thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Psychotherapy with children and teenagers commonly addresses challenges with:

  • Behavior
  • Peer relationships
  • School
  • Communicating with parent(s)
  • Coping with separation or divorce of parents

Please contact me for further information.


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