Ruah Woods Annual Banquet

We are elated to announce that our Annual Banquet is back and in person this fall.

When:
Thursday, September 16, 2021
6:00 pm Social / 7:00 pm Dinner and Program

Where:
Xavier University
Schiff Conference and Banquet Center
1624 Herald Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45207

This year, our theme is, “REVEALED: God’s Plan for the Human Person.”

We chose this theme because God became flesh in order to reveal his plan of love for the human person. Now, more than ever, we need to invite God into our friendships, marriages, and families, so that we can experience his love and bring it to the world. The Holy Spirit-inspired keynote address for the evening will be given by Father John Riccardo.

The current culture urgently needs the message of Theology of the Body. This theological time bomb should not sit on a shelf, but is meant to be shared with every Catholic school in the United States and beyond. That is the goal of Ruah Woods.

Our keynote speaker this year is none other than dynamic catechist for the new evangelization, and Theology of the Body (TOB) expert, Fr. John Riccardo.

Fr. Riccardo was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1996. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Acts XXIX, a non-profit apostolate that supports and equips Catholic clergy to evangelize and minister in a secular culture that often rejects traditional Catholic values and lifestyle.

He has also ministered to nearly 600 priests across the nation while leading clergy convocations, workshops, and clerical retreats. He is host of the podcast, “You Were Born for This with Fr. John Riccardo,” and the national Catholic radio program, “Christ is the Answer.”

We truly look forward to hearing his inspirational perspective of hope to heal our wounded world by courageously spreading the beauty, truth, and goodness of the Theology of the Body throughout a confused culture. Fr. Riccardo emphatically declares, “God wants his world back!”

Come and support us through this evening of fun and fellowship and learn more about what we do and our mission to change the world to a culture of authentic love and abundant life through this important and prophetic re-articulation of Holy Scripture by Pope St. John Paul II. The time is now to reclaim the inherent dignity and authentic identity of the human person. Do not miss this important event!

If you are unable to attend, but would still like to support our mission, please consider donating below. Donor contributions make up a great deal of our operating budget. Your generous gift makes our work in propagating the Theology of the Body possible – especially as we develop programs and education materials for schools. Ruah Woods is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax exempt organization so all gifts are tax deductible.

RWPS Expands Northward

You spoke, and we listened.  For 10 years, Ruah Woods Psychological Services has served the greater Cincinnati-area, providing high quality psychological services deeply informed by our Catholic faith.  Almost from the start, calls have come in from individuals and families residing in the northern parts of our archdiocese such as Sidney, Dayton, Springfield, and so on, seeking our services or a referral to similar providers in those areas.  After listening to their needs and experiencing firsthand the difficulty of finding Catholic faith-informed mental healthcare, RWPS discerned a call to expand its practice to two locations so as to serve not only the Cincinnati-area but also the greater Dayton-area and the northern parts of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Beginning in July 2021, RWPS is partnering with the Transfiguration Center for Spiritual Renewal to open a satellite office on their campus located just northwest of Dayton.  According to director Ron Mills, “The mission of the Transfiguration Center is to help people encounter the living God through the beauty of nature, the peace of prayer and the richness of the Catholic spiritual tradition.” 

As Mills explained, “Our staff and board recognize a need in the local community and society in general for sound mental health services with an appreciation for an individual’s sense of faith. We believe this can serve the development of the whole person from not only a spiritual aspect but also from a mental health perspective, which is necessary, complementary and extremely important.”

The initiative to partner with RWPS was especially spurred by Fr. Eric Bowman, pastor of the Church of the Transfiguration in West Milton, who regularly encounters the need for faithfully Catholic mental health providers in his priestly ministry.  “We were inspired to partner with Ruah Woods because of the great need in our surrounding area for a strong Catholic counseling service and the successful program at Ruah Woods,” he affirmed.

RWPS is excited to collaborate with the Transfiguration Center to meet these needs.  Our newest provider, Alex Wallace, will be championing this project.  He is a licensed clinical counselor and ardent Catholic.  When asked what inspired him to join the RWPS team, Wallace shared, “I have long desired to be a resource for the Church and I greatly value what has been accomplished by Ruah Woods in that regard. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, I discerned that it would be more effective to bring my talents, education, training, and passion alongside those who are already doing the work I feel called to do.”   

Based at the Transfiguration Center, Wallace will serve the mental health needs of the greater Dayton area full-time.  “I am extremely excited about this opportunity to bring counseling services to the area so that I can help people on their journey while upholding what is true, good, and beautiful,”  Wallace said. 

According to Fr. Bowman, “The Transfiguration Center is a wonderful place for Catholic faith informed mental health services for several reasons.  The first is location.  The Transfiguration center is located just 35 minutes from downtown Dayton, 40 minutes from Springfield, 30 minutes from Sidney.  The second reason is the grounds of our facility.”  As Mills explained, the Center is situated “on 173 acres of beautiful Ohio countryside” replete with “beautiful gardens, a goldfish pond, a reflection pond, and miles of walking trails near the scenic Stillwater River.”  “There is an immediate sense of peace…  That has always been one of the things people frequently comment about, so it is a wonderful refuge for anyone seeking a calm and quiet atmosphere to unplug and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life,” he added.

Everyone at RWPS is overjoyed to announce this collaboration and the opening of the Dayton-area satellite office led by Mr. Wallace. Now with two locations, RWPS is poised to serve the needs of the entire Archdiocese, from Cincinnati to Dayton and beyond. Please join with the staff and board of RWPS and of the Transfiguration Center in welcoming Mr. Wallace, spreading the word, and praying for all involved as we endeavor to empower men and women to more fully embrace and live out their vocation to love according to God’s plan.

For more information or to make an appointment at either of location, call 513-407-8878.

Meet Our Newest Provider, Alex Wallace

Meet Alex Wallace

Starting in July 2021, Alex Wallace becomes the newest addition to Ruah Woods Psychological Services team of Catholic mental health providers.  He will serve the northern half of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by establishing a satellite office at the Transfiguration Center for Spiritual Renewal outside of Dayton.  Alex recently took some time to introduce himself to our community through a little Q & A.

Q:  Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I was born in Muncie, Indiana, have lived in Indiana for nearly my whole life and only recently relocated to Ohio.  I became Catholic at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Muncie, being baptized, confirmed, and received into the Church at the Easter Vigil in 2015. My confirmation saint is St. Francis Xavier, with whom I felt a connection for multiple reasons, including my desire to evangelize, having a shared and profound young adult conversion, and due to my appreciation for Xavier University and Musketeers basketball.

I am a licensed Counselor in both Indiana and Ohio, as well as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. I attended Butler University in Indianapolis and received a Bachelors degree in Psychology in 2011. I later attended Ball State University in Muncie and received a Masters Degree in Counseling and a Masters Degree in Physical Education with a focus in sport and exercise psychology.

I have been married to my wife, Sarah, for four years this June. Our anniversary is the 24th of June, which is the feast day of the birth of St. John the Baptist. My wife and I have been blessed with two children, Cecilia and Leo. Although saddened by his death and our loss, we are also greatly honored and proud that our son Leo is now rejoicing in his heavenly home after his brief 6-month journey on this side of Heaven.

Q:  What inspired you to become a counselor?

As a designated leader and supportive friend, I was often called upon or looked towards to help others when I was younger. I had a great appreciation for these opportunities and decided to hone that appreciation into a skillset that would allow me to help and or lead more effectively. I have also gone through my own share of painful experiences and have experienced the healing and benefits associated with receiving support from others. I desire to and find great value in sharing this hope of healing with others as we walk together towards peace and freedom.

Q:  What role does your Catholic faith play in your work?

I rely on my faith in two ways. First, being Catholic helps me to remain centered, balanced and rooted in what is true, good and beautiful. I find that this foundation helps me to continue to be the best beacon of hope and encouragement I can be for others, day in and day out. Additionally, my past patients have found it extremely helpful to integrate their spiritual and religious beliefs into therapy.  Our Catholic faith has much to offer regarding ways to navigate challenging times and how we should conduct ourselves in order to live a rich, healthy, hope-filled, and fulfilling life.

Q:  How would you describe your clinical style and approach to therapy?

I use a blend of four effective, evidence-based approaches:  Person-Centered Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Positive Psychology, and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.  I begin by working to establish a strong and trusting working relationship with my patients by helping them to feel accepted, supported, heard, and encouraged.  I then work with them to identify goals they want to pursue and help them to systematically build the motivation to pursue these identified goals.  At the same time I also strive to help others find value in the life they already lead to help create a stronger, more stable foundation.  Next, I support my patients as they work to achieve their desired outcomes through improving one’s mood, adjusting and establishing a more helpful, realistic mindset and engaging in effective, purposeful action. I use assessment tools to help identify when growth occurs and progress is made. Once the desired goals are achieved, I then work with my patients to help them either establish new goals or to transition out of therapy when appropriate.  In addition, when working with couples I use the Gottman Method approach to strengthening relationships, which has distinct elements to it, but mostly follows the approach previously outlined.  In all my work, I find great value in respectfully integrating religious and spiritual elements of one’s life when applicable.

Q:  What types of patients and difficulties do you treat?

I am particularly passionate about supporting and collaborating with individuals, couples, and families who are journeying through a challenging situation, grieving a loss, facing a significant decision and or yearning to grow and strengthen. This passion often facilitates opportunities to work with and support children, adolescents and or their caregivers/parents, as well as adults of all ages. I have found that my approach to therapy is effective in helping people who are struggling with addiction, who have been victims of abuse or have experienced some other traumatic loss or life event, those suffering from depression, grief and loss, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD/Scrupulosity. I have also found that my approach is very effective in helping individuals live a more satisfying, fulfilling and elevated life.

Q:  What do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy spending most of my free time with my family, usually outside, either at a beach, on a playground or in a park or forest. I also enjoy reading out loud with my family. I find great value in exercise as well.  Fun fact:  I have deadlifted 600+ pounds six times in my life, with 635 pounds being my personal best.

To learn more or to make an appointment with Alex at our new Dayton-area office, please call 513-407-8878.