Specializations: eating disorders, body image concerns, identity issues, anxiety, depression, life stage transitions, women’s issues, and grief.
Founder of the Photo Identity Process (PIP) which utilizes photographic portraits and various other therapeutic modalities in treating negative body image, identity issues, and disordered eating.
Regularly incorporates visual and non-verbal therapies, in addition to traditional talk therapy, to access implicit material and improve results for those who are visual learners.
School Therapist, California College of the Arts (CCA)
San Francisco, CA
Art and design school with a large percentage of international students.
Provided both short and long term weekly individualized counseling services
Offered crisis intervention, assessments, and outside referrals.
Organized and implemented outreach events in both the dorms and public domains.
Treated anxiety, depression, grief, homesickness, procrastination, eating disorders, identity issues, and supporting young adult transitions.
Primary Therapist and Intern, Center for Discovery Eating Disorder Treatment Center
Menlo Park & Fremont, CA
Residential Treatment Center for adolescents and adults
Treated eating disorders that included anorexia, bulimia, ARFID, BED, binge-purge, and orthorexia.
Comorbid treatment of anxiety, major depressive disorder, trauma, prevalent suicide ideation, and various personality disorders. Dual diagnosis common.
Conducted individual, group, and family psychotherapy sessions.
High level of family involvement with focus on communication skills, psychoeducation, and therapeutic interventions.
Lead a weekly group for parents of attending clients.
Developed and lead weekly groups on self identity and body image.
Participant in weekly treatment team that consisted of therapists, head nurse, psychiatrist, medical doctor, program director, and dietitian.
Adjunct Therapist and Intern, Castlewood at Monarch Cove Eating Disorder Treatment Center
Pacific Grove, CA
Trauma based treatment center with a focus on sexual and physical abuse.
Worked with clients at residential, PHP, and IOP levels.
Conducted individual and family psychotherapy sessions.
Dual diagnosis with comorbid addictions, anxiety disorders, and OCD.
Treated body dysmorphia, anorexia nervosa, BED, bulimia, exercise addiction, and orthorexia nervosa.
Member of core treatment team including psychiatrist, dietician, direct care, medical doctor, nursing, utilization reviewer, and clinical director.
Group Facilitator on topics of body image, meditation, and art therapy.
Responsible for all intake assessments at both the residential and PHP levels.
Implemented my own therapeutic photography process (PIP), which incorporates the use of self portraits, exposure and response therapy, and CBT techniques. Addresses identity and body image issues, and challenges belief systems that hinder recovery from addictions and eating disorders.
Therapeutic Photography for Cancer Patients
Through the use of portraiture, clients are able to discuss self image, stages of life, bodily changes from cancer, and the possibility of death. Portraits served as catalyst for open discussion and personal reflection of their illness.
Enneagram Group Facilitator
Led an Enneagram group in studying and applying the therapeutic benefits of the Enneagram Personality typing system using the Riso/Hudson method.
Doctoral Program, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Pacifica, CA
Earned Ph.D. in clinical psychology with an emphasis in depth psychology.
Dissertation: “Body Image, Eating Disorders, and the Implicit Processing of Photographic Portraits.”
Master’s degree, Sofia University, (ITP), Palo Alto, CA
Coursework included: Psychopathology and Diagnosis, Environmental Psychology, Dream Interpretation with Jeremy Taylor, Women and Social Change, and Archaeological Origin Stories.
Bachelor of Science, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Emphasis in design
Academy for Eating Disorders (AED)
International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp), San Francisco Chapter
Dissertation: "Body Image, Eating Disorders, and the Implicit Processing of Photographic Portraits."
Eating disorders offer the fewest successful interventions and simultaneously suffer the second highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses.
Negative body image is the most consistent predictor of an eating disorder.
The unsuccessful treatments for negative body image and eating disorders, coupled with our human bias to learn visually inspired me to develope a visual therapy to be used in addition to talk therapy.
Through the application of neuroscience, social theories, and the doctrines of human perception, my dissertation focused on the clinical implications of using photographic portraits to assist in alleviating the symptoms of negative body image and eating disorders.
The Photo Identity Process (PIP) incorporates questionnaires, journaling, a photo session, open discussion, and living with self-portraits for evaluation and reflection.
Ruth Portrait Aversion Survey
Developed and implemented a survey on body image and attitudes about having a photographic portrait taken and displayed.
Over 1,300 participants showing a wide range of ages and ethnicity.
Useful for psychotherapists, portrait photographers, social psychologists, women’s studies, and for evaluating body image issues.
Thesis: Ecofemography: "Photographing Women in Nature and the Inward Movement of Beauty"
Researched topics of ecopsychology, history of portraiture, and body image. Written with an art-based, feminist methodology to determine what impact visuals have on a woman’s body image.
Interviewed 10 women on the experience of being photographed in nature, and the impact it had physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Results: portraits taken in nature produced portraits that were more authentic, grounding, and pleasing to the participants.
NON-CLINICAL PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Robin Ruth Fine Art Portrait Photography
Own and operate a portrait business in the San Francisco bay area with customer base of over 400 clients.
Requires skills in making clients feel comfortable in front of the camera to facilitate openness and authenticity, while also
being sensitive to the client’s vulnerability in being “seen.”
Have a long-standing reputation of capturing a person's true character and creating an image of legacy.
CLINICAL CERTIFICATIONS AND TRAININGS
Creative Expression Certificate
Portfolio of original work developed that included creations of movement therapy, re-scripting of traditional texts, and the use of therapeutic photography.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Certified in the IFS model used extensively in treating trauma and eating disorders.
Eating Disorder Training Certificate
Alameda County Behavioral Health Systems training in treating eating disorders.
The Enneagram Professional Training Program™
Instructed in using the Enneagram therapeutically through the Enneagram Worldwide Program (narrative tradition).
Ancient personality typing system that facilitates self awareness and growth.
Obtained methods of utilizing photographic portraits for self awareness and development as taught by Phototherapy
expert Judy Weiser. Included training in the use of both self and family portraits in uncovering
implicit and traumatic memories.
COMMUNITY AND VOLNTEER EXPERIENCE
Sewing/English Course in Tanzania
Personally designed and implemented a tutorial program for young Tanzanian women to learn
the correct English terminology for running a sewing business and increase their chance of survival.