Steve Ruff, M.A., LMFT LLC
6607 18th Ave. S.
Richfield, MN 55423
serving Minneapolis, St. Paul, Edina, Bloomington, Eagan, Apple Valley and surrounding areas
Is your child struggling with behaviors and emotions that feel like too much to manage, for them and for you? Are you at a loss for how to help? As parents, we want to make things better for our kids. But sometimes we get stuck, and aren't sure what to do. I work with a range of ages, and one of my specialties is working with children ages 3-11 through Experiential Play Therapy, as well as traditional talk therapy, to help them face and work through life's challenges. I work with challenges such as peer relationships, divorce, grief and loss, school difficulty, fears, anxiety, sadness, and adoption related issues, to name a few. I've been working in the field of counseling pschology for about 20 years. I am also married and the parent of 4 kids, so have some real life experience in this realm!
Experiential Play Therapy was developed by Drs. Byron and Carol Norton in Colorado, and is based on the understanding that play is a child’s language and the toys are their words. I am able to help children, through a safe and nurturing relationship, face their fears, traumas, and difficulties. Through this process, children are able to find solutions that leave them feeling empowered and more able to manage life's ups and downs, as well as their own emotions and behaviors.
For children that are more verbal, I include a combination of talk and play that fits their personality and style, or just talk. I tend to connect easily with children, and together we find the best way to work together.
Included in the process is time spent at the end of each session with you (the parent(s)), so we can discuss best ways to respond to your child's behaviors and emotions that will leave you feeling confident in your ability to meet your child's needs. As a child therapist I truly enjoy being invited into a child’s world and helping them find their way through the challenges with which they are presented. I also find great satisfaction in easing a parent’s burden, and seeing them get back to having an enjoyable and positive relationship with their child.
Although I specialize in working with children, I also reserve a portion of my practice for work with adolescents, adults, couples and families around a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, school difficulties, relationship challenges, autism spectrum disorder, and ADHD, to name a few. I also include a Christian Counseling perspective for those wanting to integrate their faith beliefs into therapy.
I am in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Preferred One, Ucare, America's PPO, and Medical Assistance. I also submit to all other insurances as an out of network provider.
I look forward to meeting you!
Here is a link to my blog, "Ruff Ideas from a Child Therapist and Parent"
This video discusses the benefits of child play therapy:
Here is a podcast of a radio interview I did with WCCO related to kids and divorce:
Click Here to Listen To My PodCast
I am now offering Parenting Consultation by phone or Skype!
Often as parents we get just a bit stuck. We end up repeating patterns with our children that end up in yelling, arguing, power struggles and confrontation. Parent consultation can help to identify these patterns, and lead to solutions that can help diffuse situations, lower tensions, and get you back to having an enjoyable relationship with your child. Parent consultation is based on the understanding that often what is needed is a simple adjustment in our approach, attitude or outlook, and is intended for situations where more intensive therapy may not be necessary.
Parent consultation is not a one size fits all. I actively listen to your situation, and use my experience, both as a child and family therapist and as a parent, to help you identify what is really causing you to feel stuck as a parent. A good but elusive question that we will try to answer is “what is your child needing?” Not wanting, needing. Once we feel we have some answers to that question, the solutions become more apparent, and will leave you feeling more confident in your ability to be the parent you want to be.
Parenting consultation is educational and is not therapy. If I feel your situation will be best resolved through therapy I will make that recommendation. Parent consultation is convenient and can save on therapy costs, as well as a trip into the office and child care. Acceptable forms of payment include Visa and Mastercard, or payment in advance by check or money order. Sessions are one hour and cost is $100 per session, or get a block of 5 sessions for $400, or a block of 10 for $700.
Just call and leave a message, or email, and I will get back to you, typically within 24 hours.