Our Team

Andrew J. Sodergren, Psy.D.

Director of Psychological Services

Dr. Sodergren holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Divine Mercy University’s Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS), the only graduate school in existence devoted to integrating the best of psychological science with a Catholic view of the human person. His doctoral dissertation, completed in 2009, was entitled “Attachment and Morality: A Catholic Perspective.” Dr. Sodergren established Ruah Woods Psychological Services in 2011. His previous clinical work was with the Alpha Omega Clinic in Bethesda, MD and with Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska. Dr. Sodergren is trained in child, adult, marital/family, and group therapies as well as psychological testing, including vocational assessment for candidates to the priesthood or religious life. He is certified in Relationship Enhancement® couples therapy and has received advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. He is an active member of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association and is a frequent speaker for professional and lay audiences on topics involving the integration of psychology and the Catholic faith. For 13 years, he co-taught a course on psychology and neuroscience as an Adjunct Professor at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, DC.  In 2022, Dr. Sodergren contributed a chapter on the “Psychology of the Sexual Difference” to the book Sexual Identity: The Harmony of Philosophy, Science, and Revelation published by the St. Paul Center.  He previously contributed a chapter on forgiveness in marriage to the book Torn Asunder: Children, the Myth of the Good Divorce, and the Recovery of Origins. In 2023, Dr. Sodergren received the Mother of Good Counsel Clinical Excellence Award from the Catholic Psychotherapy Association.

Michael Murphy, Psy.D., CSAT


Dr. Michael Murphy completed his Masters and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology at Divine Mercy University. His doctoral dissertation, completed in 2017, was entitled “Flow in the Context of Vocation.” He is trained in child, adult, marital/family, and group therapies as well as psychological testing. In 2023, Dr. Murphy completed an intense, multi-year training program to become a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). He is well-prepared to work with those struggling with sexual behavior, providing them with thorough evaluations and walking with them through the treatment process on the way to recovery.  His CSAT training also has prepared him to provide a full and sensitive response to those impacted by another’s sexual addiction or sexual betrayal (e.g., spouses). Dr. Murphy is prepared to work with any part of this difficult circumstance, including addressing a couple’s unique needs (e.g., assessment/triage, disclosure, marital therapy). He also enjoys working with those struggling with depression, childhood trauma, vocational/existential issues, and other difficulties in functioning in which the origin is complex or unclear. Dr. Murphy knows that individuals come to Ruah Woods looking for a faith-filled therapist they can trust, and he is honored to take up that calling.

Emily Dowdell, Psy.D.


Dr. Emily Dowdell earned her Masters and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) at Divine Mercy University . Her doctoral dissertation, completed in 2018, was entitled “Evaluating an Experienced Psychiatrist’s Assessment of Possession from a Catholic Perspective.” She previously studied theology and philosophy while obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Communications from Franciscan University of Steubenville.  Dr. Dowdell has had a diverse training experience, working in a variety of settings including the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, DC and Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, Maine.  Her most recent clinical work was with the CatholicPsych Institute, where she served as a therapist, mentor, and Director of Psychological Assessment.  Dr. Dowdell is trained in adolescent, adult, marital, family, and group therapies as well as psychological testing, including evaluations for discerners of the priesthood or religious life.  Dr. Dowdell uses a combination of interpersonal process and emotion-focused techniques with a foundation in identity development and psychodynamic theory. She is an active member of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association and its Special Interest Group for Seminary Assessment and Therapy and a member of the Gender Exploratory Therapy Association.



Alex graduated from Ball State University in 2017 with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and an M.A. in Physical Education, with a concentration in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Alex holds credentials as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with training supervision designation (LPCC-S) in Ohio and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Indiana. Alex is a husband and father of four, with twelve years of clinical experience, working to serve the needs of individuals in various settings, including private practice, community outpatient services, intensive youth rehabilitation, hospital chaplaincy, and collegiate sport performance. He is particularly passionate about supporting and collaborating with individuals, couples, and families who are navigating challenges, grieving a loss, facing a significant decision, or yearning to grow, heal and strengthen. Alex utilizes a combination of evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT/EFIT), Positive Psychology, and Motivational Interviewing to promote and help patients sustain valuable change. He has also received specialized training in providing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), completed an Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy and completed Level 1 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. In addition, Alex finds great value in respectfully integrating religious and spiritual elements of one’s life when applicable. Paralleling his work as a clinician, Alex has a strong appreciation for supporting both new and experienced clinicians by providing Indiana and Ohio, board-approved supervision and consultation.

Derek Seifert, B.A.

Counselor Trainee

Derek Seifert is a Master’s student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Xavier University (XU) and a registered Counselor Trainee with the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board.  He has completed studies in group counseling, family relations, addictions, theories and techniques of counseling, and is currently completing a course on interprofessional collaborationDerek previously earned a Bachelors degree (Honors) in Classics and Philosophy from XU in 2020He went on to complete a Certificate in Catholic Bioethics from the Institute of Catholic Culture in the Summer of 2023.  What Derek may lack in clinical experience, he has learned through valuable life lessons and the experiences of others, past and present.  He is eager to walk with those who are learning to cope with anxiety, grief, depression, new life-changing events, chronic or physical disabilities.  Derek’s first priority in therapy is to treat each patient with dignity and respectRecognizing that our psychological functioning is deeply shaped by our relationships, Derek strives to establish a therapeutic connection with his patients marked by safety and trustHe strives to see the whole person, considering the biological, psychological, social, spiritual, and any other relevant factorsFrom this foundation, Derek crafts his therapeutic approach by incorporating aspects of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Reality Therapy, and Solution-Focused TherapyWhen possible, he also enjoys incorporating creative elements (such as music, art, and the imagination) into the therapeutic process to help patients express the full richness of their experiences. 

Regina Franchini

Administrative Services Manager

Regina Franchini is from the Greater Cincinnati area.  She attended Miami University of Ohio and has an extensive professional background in banking, management, and administration.  She is married, and she and her husband enjoy traveling, attending sporting events, and spending time with friends and family.  They both share a love for animals and currently have three “fur babies,” Petey, Gemma, & Keegan.

Donna Sprengard

Front Office Support & Intake Specialist

Donna Sprengard is a native Cincinnatian, married to Joe Sprengard. They have 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Donna has a degree in Business Administration with 23+ years at Wagner Repro & Supply.  Along with raising her children and employment, she has been a volunteer to the church and community through Cincinnati Cursillo, Stephen Ministry, Emmaus Ministry, and Rite of Initiation for Children, Children’s Church, PC West client advocate, Rachael’s Vineyard facilitator, Teen Life Coalition board member and Disciples of Jesus and Mary Servant Leader.  She is a certified Spiritual Mentorship received from Apostles of the Interior Life and School of Faith, Kansas City, KS 

For more information or to make an appointment with any of our providers, please call 513-407-8878.