Ruth Kleast, LCSW

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Phonetic pronunciation of name: “ROOTH”

Role at Evergreen: Clinician

Hello, I’m Ruth!  I’m here to help you by utilizing either traditional talk therapy and/or EMDR therapy to heal your suffering. I grew up in the heart of the Midwest where the values of genuineness, honesty and being down-to-earth were instilled in me. I sincerely care for each person with whom I work, and I feel a shared investment in your quality of life. I am perseverant and passionate, and I apply this to tackling the problems and challenges that we’ll address together. My goal is for you to feel comfortable in your own skin and empowered in your life.

Ruth | Evergreen Counseling

Clinical modalities used with clients

Therapy services location

Hybrid. Offering both in-person sessions in our Berkeley offices and remote telehealth sessions for clients all over California.

Clinical Style

Conscientious, deep thinking, but with a casual style of interaction.


Licensed Clinical Social Worker #28504


Kalamazoo College | B.A. | 2001

University of Michigan | M.A. Social Work | 2006

Advanced Trainings

EMDR Level 1 and Level 2 EMDR Institute

Why I do this work

I became a mental health clinician because I have an insatiable curiosity about life and a determination to reduce suffering in the world. I began my career 16 years ago, working with people who were survivors of torture and war-time atrocities. From the start, it has always been important for me to see the person for who they are, and as more than just the trauma or bad experiences that happened to them. I’ve since worked with people from all walks of life and I’m willing to face anything you bring into therapy. There is nothing too big or too small. Later in my career, I learned about EMDR therapy and found it to be the most comprehensive and safe approach addressing all parts of the problem, including your nervous system, your thoughts, memories, emotions, and day to day experiences. It’s very flexible, so that if you want a gentle approach versus a more direct approach to your problems, it can be tailored either way. Also, while EMDR addresses the most serious of life’s issues and traumas, it also can be fun at times! Since doing EMDR therapy, I have found that both myself and my clients come away feeling fascinated with how deep the changes are that take place. What I love most about EMDR, is that it’s based on our own inherent ability to heal and isn’t a magic wand that I, as the therapist, waves over you. This leaves you feeling both courageous and at ease in yourself, feeling like you can overcome and face what life may bring.

The best part of my job

The best part of being a therapist is sharing in a good laugh and a mutual acknowledgement that life sure can be tough! I love that we get to share in your triumphs and setbacks, together, and create that feeling of knowing that you’re not in it alone.

How I spend my free time

I enjoy playing competitive sports, gardening, being charmed by my hilarious cat Wild Bill, and eating chocolate every day, without fail.

Favorite quote

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Maya Angelou

Top personal growth resources

  • The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Vander Kolk, MD
  • Letters to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
  • The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
  • Tara Brach for advice about self-compassion (recorded talks, articles, and guided meditations)

Schedule Your No-Cost Consultation to Explore Therapy

Schedule Now

What kind of therapy would you benefit from?

Take our 20-question, five-minute quiz to find out what kind of specialized therapy support you might need right now.