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Ruth Avalos

Staff Therapist
Coordinator of Training and Fidelity, Adult & Child DBT Programs
DBT Linehan Board of Certification, Certified DBT Clinician

Ruth is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who uses a compassionate, open, and strengths-based approach to therapy with her clients. Ruth specializes in Dialectical Behavior Therapy with adolescents and adults experiencing depression, anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders, and complex trauma. Ruth also utilizes evidence-based treatments including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Ruth received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis.

While in her graduate program, Ruth completed extensive training in DBT, CBT, PE and Motivational Interviewing through the clinical team at Sparlin Mental Health, under the supervision of Ryan Lindsay, LCSW. Ruth also completed DBT skills training through DBT Missouri, through the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Lastly, she also participated in ACT training through Washington University in St. Louis. After moving back to her hometown, Los Angeles, Ruth worked as a primary DBT therapist at The Women’s Center at Clearview Treatment Programs. She received monthly consultations with Charlie Swenson, MD to ensure that she was providing treatment adherent to the model.

 Ruth is certified through the DBT Linehan Board of Certification as a DBT Provider. Certification through the Linehan Board of Certification is an involved assessment to demonstrate the application of knowledge to the performance and delivery of DBT treatment. It is a valuable reassurance to referring clinicians and to the public that other knowledgeable experts in the field of DBT have successfully assessed Ruth. This is the gold standard for DBT providers and certifies that Ruth has achieved the highest standards of clinical excellence in the practice of DBT.

Ruth has extensive experience in providing individual therapy, co-leading groups, and phone coaching with adolescents and adults in community-based, outpatient, and residential settings. She is also fully trained in Prolonged Exposure, a modality of trauma treatment to specifically treat PTSD among high-risk and multi-problem clients who are receiving DBT and CBT. The DBT PE protocol is based on Prolonged Exposure therapy and was adapted to fit the needs of this complex client population. DBT with the DBT PE protocol is a comprehensive treatment designed to help these tremendously suffering individuals recover from trauma and build lives they experience as worth living.  Ruth is fully trained in this protocol, which enables her to treat complex, treatment-refractory cases that many therapists would turn away.

Ruth is passionate about providing evidence-based treatment that is empathic and adherent to help each client build a life worth living. Ruth is currently a member of Dr. Wallach’s comprehensive DBT Team as a primary DBT therapist, and DBT skills leader, as well as a trainer and supervisor for other therapists and pre-licensed therapists on the team.  She serves as SoCal DBT’s Coordinator of Training and Fidelity, a role in which she thrives at keeping the team at SoCal DBT and its DBT program as adherent as possible to Linehan’s model, ensuring the best outcomes for all our patients.  Ruth provides continued training and feedback to all of SoCal DBT’s associates and licensed therapists and helps move each therapist toward the goal of Linehan Board Certification.   Ruth is also a therapist in her private practice within Dr. Wallach’s group practice, treating adolescents, adults, families, and couples dealing with a variety of issues that benefit from evidence-based treatment.

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For Adults

Adult Program (ages 18+):
Offering DBT-C, a comprehensive DBT program for adults.

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For Teens

Adolescent Program (ages 13-17):
We help adolescents feeling overwhelmed by their emotions and struggling to cope with the world around them.

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For Children

Pre Adolescent Program (ages 6-12):
Offering DBT-C, a comprehensive DBT program for children ages 6 through 12.

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