RUBY JO WALKER, LCSW, SEP, CHT
Founder of Post-traumatic Growth Somatic Therapy • Somatic Experiencing Practitioner • Certified Hakomi Therapist
Ruby Jo Walker Biography
By the age of 16, I was determined to turn my passion for helping people into becoming a social worker. Since then, I’ve conducted more than 31,000 therapy sessions and created dozens of trauma-informed trainings shaped by my expertise as a Certified Somatic Experiencing™ Therapist, Hakomi™ Certified Therapist, and Organic Intelligence™ Somatic Therapist, Expert level.
As a trauma-informed therapy trainer, I like to think of myself as the holder of holders; I’ll hold your strengths and your growing edges at the same time with love and compassion. My goal is to help you move more into yourself so you can help your clients move more into themselves.
In my work as a therapist and therapy trainer, I make it okay to be an imperfect human. Whether you’re a practitioner seeking a safe learning space or a client searching for healing, I strive to honor your unique journey and hold your essential goodness in mind, no matter what’s going on. This effort is more than empathy; it’s deep presence and profound acceptance of whatever is unfolding for you in a moment. Together, we must trust that unfolding.
At the heart of my work rumbles cutting-edge principles of polyvagal theory, neurobiology, an attachment-based perspective, resilience support, and a somatic lens. The beauty of neurobiology is that your brain and body send you signals of either safety or threat, and your biology picks that up moment to moment. Together, we can work on changing these and other deep patterns.
I’ve combined all I’ve learned from these separate studies to launch Post-Traumatic Growth Somatic Therapy™. I believe that neuroscience provides us with great maps of the human experience and that these maps help people navigate and even thrive through the challenges presented in their lives.
In short, my whole life has been about looking at growth and not letting things hold me back. My work as a therapist gives back to me in meaningful ways as I continue to teach and learn how neurobiology creates compassion for profound growth. This work is satisfying. It’s nourishing. I hope the same for you as I invite you to bring your humanness. Because, like you, I’m imperfect. Together, let’s find a way toward a brighter, healthier tomorrow with the support of more self-compassion, skills, and ways of being.
“I believe polyvagal theory and neuroscience provides us with great maps of the human experience; these maps help people navigate and even thrive through the challenges presented in their lives with non-judgement and compassion.”
Chrishana Woody Biography
An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, Chrishana “CJ” Woody graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a degree in clinical social work. Deeply committed to her personal recovery from substance abuse, she pursued a career in substance abuse counseling with court-mandated clients.
Uninspired by the top-down approach of her therapy training in the earlier days of her career, Chrishana connected with Ruby Jo at a trauma-informed training in Farmington, New Mexico, in 2016. Chrishana found Ruby Jo’s insights on polyvagal theory to be more aligned with her personal therapy philosophies and enrolled in Ruby Jo’s trauma-informed trainings in Durango, Colorado. Chrishana received her Post-traumatic Growth Somatic Therapy certification in 2017 and her Master of Social Work in 2020.
For the past six years, Chrishana has integrated her skills and knowledge in Post-traumatic Growth Somatic Therapy into her work with clients and their unique clinical issues. She approaches each therapeutic relationship by observing and changing her personal state of being to support the client and their process better.
Chrishana currently works as an Associate Trainer for Southwest Trauma Training and has supported several of Ruby Jo’s Post-Traumatic Growth Somatic Therapy trainings as a Lead Teaching Assistant. Through Southwest Trauma training, she’s also assisted with Ruby Jo’s well-being and resilience trainings for displaced public service employees of New Mexico and supported the staff of the Native American Disability Law Center in Farmington, as well as provided teaching at the Iina’ Counseling, at the Northern Navajo Medical Center Center in Shiprock.
She’s currently providing therapy for sexual trauma survivors. She also is an adjunct instructor for San Juan College in Farmington, NM. She lives on the Navajo Reservation with her family.
“My learning in PTG Somatic Training has shifted my work with clients as it provides what has been missing from other treatment modalities. This work depathologizes behaviors and emotions and removes shame, making therapy more effective and compassionate.”
Emily Newcomer Biography
CURRICULUM DESIGN SPECIALIST & ASSOCIATE TRAINER
A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Emily Newcomer received a degree in Commerce: Management from the University of Virginia. After working as an instructor and course director for Outward Bound on rivers in Utah and Colorado, she pursued her Master’s in Education: Educational Psychology from the University of Utah.
Emily moved to Durango to work with Sexual Assault Services Organization as the community education coordinator. In 2006, she co-facilitated a SASO support group for sexual trauma survivors with Ruby Jo. Their complementary skills led to many more collaborations over the past two decades for various trainings. Emily’s organizational expertise laid the foundation for her current work with Ruby Jo as an Associate Trainer and Curriculum Designer for Southwest Trauma Training. She’s currently conducting a Southwest Trauma Training course at Manna Soup Kitchen.
In 2008, Emily launched Southwest Psychotherapy in Durango. As a licensed psychotherapist, Emily has worked thousands of hours with hundreds of clients from the Four Corners region and the greater state of Colorado. Trained in Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy and Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing, she now practices exclusively as a Certified Post-Traumatic Growth Somatic Therapist.
Emily lives in an aspen grove in Durango with her husband, Aaron, and is a proud lacrosse and soccer mom of her children, Kyana and Sage. She enjoys biking, rafting, camping, and snowboarding with friends across the Southwest and also teaches women how to mountain bike.
“Learn much so you can teach much,” said a wise raft guide to Emily many years ago. Little did she know that she would spend her time doing just that. Emily believes that her purpose in life is to support others in being their fullest selves through therapy and education.
“ ‘Learn much,
so you can teach much.’
And so I have
and so I will.”
Trainings Presented* by Ruby Jo Walker
Alternative Horizons Durango
Applying Polyvagal Theory in Treatment of Trauma
Applying the Neurobiology of Self-Compassion
Building Psychobiological Resilience Post-Pandemic
Cultivating Resilience Using the Lens of Neurobiology
Developing the Skills of the Neurobiology of Self-Regulation
Neurobiology of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Parenting Using the Lens of Neurobiology
Personality Development through the Lens of the Nervous System
Regional Statewide Emergency Room Trauma Conference
San Juan College Re-Envisioning Success Job Training Program Farmington
Somatic Psychotherapy Skills Training
Strengthening the Neurobiology of Attachment and Connection
The Effect of the Pandemic on Interpersonal Neurobiology
The Neurobiology of Anxiety and Depression
The Neurobiology of Attachment
The Neurobiology of Boundaries and Needs
The Neurobiology of Grief and Loss
The Neurobiology of Post-Traumatic Growth
The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violcence
The Neurobiology of Stress and Recovery
The Neurobiology of Trauma
Using Neurobiology to Understand “Appease and Please”/Fawn Response
Working with Physiology of Trauma
(*All trainings use applied Polyvagal Theory)
Groups Trained by Ruby Jo Walker
Alternative Horizons – Staff Resilience
Axis Health Care Mental Health Professionals, Durango
Ball State University Social Work Department, Indiana
Body workers—Chiropractors, Rolfers, Craniosacral Therapists, and Massage Therapists, Durango
CALA (Colorado Assisted Living Association), Denver
Child Advocacy Center, Cortez
CME for Medical Professionals--Understanding Trauma
Colorado Cross-Disability Division Denver
Colorado Emergency Room Nurses, statewide
Colorado Genontogical Society
Counseling and Education Center, Grand Junction
Founding member of the Statewide moral distress website for Colorado Health Care Workers, developed during Covid
Denver University MSW Program
Four Corners Training Consortium, New Mexico
Heartlight Grief Center, Denver
Intimate Partner Violence Conference
LaPlata Youth Services, Durango
Lead Teaching Assistant for Hakomi Mindfulness Somatic Training 2006-2008 & 2011-2013
Mercy Regional Medical Center medical staff, Durango
Montezuma Creek Navajo Reservation, Utah
Native American Law Center, New Mexico
Pastoral Care Group, Durango
Physical Therapy Group, Durango
Pinion Navajo Reservation, Arizona
Rocky Mountain HMO, Grand Junction
Shiprock Navajo Reservation Behavioral Health, New Mexico
Somatic Experiencing International
Southern Ute Reservation, Ignacio
Southwest Health System, Cortez
Statewide Trauma Conference for Medical Professionals
TA for Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapy 2012-2015, Phoenix, Kansas City, Tucson
Violence Prevention Coalition, Durango
Wings Foundation, Denver
Yoga Durango, Durango
"I have learned many things from Ruby Jo -- therapeutic tools in relationship to trauma, how to trust the body and listen deeply. All of this has been beneficial with my clients and my own growth as well. I would recommend Ruby Jo because she is an amazing therapist and a buried treasure of wisdom in our rural part of the West. Ruby Jo is an honorable woman with a huge heart."
– Nikki Gillespie, Hakomi Trained Rolfer, Dolores CO