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.