Carolyn Ruschak, LPC
Fully trained in EMDR, a therapy specific to reprocessing traumatic memory, Carolyn is in private practice, Courage & Grace Counseling LLC, to walk alongside those who struggle with adjustments, anxiety & depression, addictions, and trauma.
Carolyn’s passion for helping people started as a teenager, when she began to struggle with her own anxiety and depression. Finding support and comfort with a school counselor, she began to look for answers to her questions by researching mental illness and trauma. After experiencing anxiety, depression, and even a postpartum depression following the birth of her second child, she felt compelled to use her own experiences, along with education and training, to make a difference in the lives of others, and obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Counseling from Malone University. Having fought her own battles, she was well equipped to empathize with and support those who have endured similar struggles.
In 2016, at 16 years old, her youngest son (and his friends) lost one of their own to suicide. Watching these young men struggle, Carolyn saw a clear need for support for survivors of suicide loss– especially within the schools – and an even clearer purpose for her own life experiences and education. November 2018 marked a turning point in her own life spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally, when she launched her recovery onto an entirely new path, understanding the absolute necessity for a supportive environment when dealing with intense and chronic suffering. Carolyn whole-heartedly believes – both personally and professionally – in a comprehensive, holistic approach to treatment and support for mental health, addiction, and trauma. As she sees it, ”surrounding ourselves with compassion, moving our bodies out of the pain with movement, yoga, and expressive arts… nourishing our bodies and minds with healthy food and thought, healing our spirit with prayer, meditation, journaling, and therapy are all parts of the same solution. Most important is peer support.” As an advocate, Carolyn champions the idea of survivors supporting survivors who understand each other’s pain. “In 12-step programs that focus on peer support, this is where the true healing begins, where we in recovery can give to others what has been so freely given to us,” Carolyn asserts. “Like survivors of a shipwreck, we have a bond that others simply cannot replicate, much like survivors of suicide.”
In her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and anything outdoors! She and her dog Bonita, and cat Hope, live and work in North Canton.