Ruth L. Formosa Ventura
Couple & Family Therapist
Who am I ?
I am a family therapist and systemic practitioner with over fifteen years of clinical experience working with couples, families and individuals.
My specialization is systemic practice. I am trained in working with relationships. Different to those professionals who work one to one I bring the members together. This way of working has many advantages as it brings together, simultaneously, the different experiences and reflecting processes of all members involved in understanding what is happening at one point in time in the couple and/ or family journey. It therefore maximizes the strengths and resources of the couple and/or family system.
In 2011, I started my private practice in Switzerland and I am offering couple and family therapy in Canton Zurich.
I work with international couples. I offer a very sensitive culture- and gender- based practice. I work with stories around migration and cultural differences, inter-racial marriages, marital dissatisfaction, sexual/ intimacy problems, marital conflicts in relation to power imbalances, infidelity, re-constituted families as well as with separation/divorce issues.
Throughout my clinical experience I worked with issues of loss, unemployment, mental health (such as schizophrenia and depression), personality difficulties (such as borderline and narcissism), migration, cross cultural marriages, marital separation, extra-marital infidelity, sexual intimacy difficulties, extreme marital conflicts, power imbalance, abuse (physical, sexual and emotional), family of origin intrusion as well as with sexual and intimacy issues. Every therapist has his/her passion. Mine is couple work.
I work with families coming from different countries. I offer culture based practice to families with youngsters who are experiencing some challenges whilst settling in Switzerland. I work with families who are going through difficult episodes associated with loss, separation/divorce as well as unemployment. I work with parenting issues such as dealing with adolescence, oppositional behaviour and adoption. I also provide therapy to families whose youngsters go through phases of depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
Throughout my clinical journey I worked with families who learnt how to manage parental authority versus providing affection, how to deal with sibling rivalry, how to let go during adolescence at the same time providing guidance, how to understand challenging/oppositional behaviour as something the family can work with and not against and how to accept issues of attention deficit in children. Other therapeutic experience include working with anxiety symptoms, absenteeism, bed wetting, run-away from schools, fostering and adoption and last but not least abuse (physical, sexual and neglect).
- Registered Psychotherapist with the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP).
- Registered ‘Psychologen FSP’ with Föderation der Schweizer Psychologinnen und Psychologen (FSP).
- Registered Family Psychotherapist with the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapy (UKCP).
- Warrented Psychotherapist with the Council of Psychotherapy Malta.
- Accredited Family Therapist / Systemic Practitioner with the Association of Family Therapy (AFT) London, UK.
- Recognized Family Psychotherapist/Systemic Practitioner with the European Association of Family Therapy (EFTA).
- Warranted Family Mediator with the Courts of Malta.
COMMITTEES & ACTIVITIES
2019 – todate: Executive Board Member with the Women’s Brain Project (WBP).
2009- 2010: President of The Maltese Association of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (MAFT-SP).
2006- 2009: Secretary, the Maltese Association of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice (MAFT-SP).
2006 – 2009: Organizing team member for the continued professional development events of family therapy and systemic practice.
2007: Maltese representative at the NFTO chamber – EFTA (National Family Therapy Organisation Chamber- European Family Therapy Association) in Dublin .
2004: Maltese representative at the NFTO chamber – EFTA (National Family Therapy Organisation Chamber- European Family Therapy Association) in Athens .
2000: Member on the Steering Committee for Malta, National Family Therapy Organization (NFTO) Chamber of European Family Therapy Association (EFTA).
2003 – 2005: Secretary, Family Mediation – Malta Dispute Management.
Since 2011, I established my private practice offering couple, family and individual systemic therapy to English & Italian speaking families and couples.
I also provide services to the ‘Foundations for Learning’ in Zurich. This is a non-profit organization that seeks to offer a holistic approach to student’s learning.
I am on the list of recommended professionals at Zurich International School.
I conduct workshops with ‘Women’s Brain Project’ and ‘Fitness in Motion’ about the effects of mental health on the family system.
2006 – 2009: Established my private practice.
1995 – 2009: Family Therapy Service (FTS), Appogg, Foundation for Social Welfare Services
During the period of 2003 to 2007, I was a Senior Practitioner and Co-ordinator of the Family Therapy Service.
During this engagement, I supported staff professional and personal development, supervised university undergraduate students on clinical placements and other colleagues within the agency as well as managed caseload and clinical practice.
2004 – 2009: Clinical Supervisor to university students reading a degree in psychology; social workers at the Foundation for Social Welfare Services; counsellors and trainee counsellors at Cana Movement (a voluntary Catholic organization offering counselling to families and couples) and school counsellors as part of my private practice.
RELEVANT TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Part-time Teaching at the University of Malta
2012 – ongoing: Visting Lecturer on the Masters Programme in Family Therapy/Systemic Practice
2007- 2008: Taught Systemic Family Therapy to students reading a degree in Nursing at the Institute of Health Care.
2008: Taught Systemic Couple Therapy to students reading a Masters Programme in Counselling.
1999- 2007: Taught Inter-personal and Intra-personal skills, Sexuality and Group skills to undergraduate students. Facilitated tutorials for undergraduate students’ voluntary clinical placements.
2006 -2008: Taught Family Mediation in Malta to undergraduate students.
Family Therapy Teaching Experience
2007- 2009: Co-ordinating Tutor, tutor and assessor Postgraduate Diploma Course in Systemic Thinking, accredited Tavistock, London course.
2000- 2009: Assessor on Postgraduate Certificate Course in Systemic Thinking, accredited Tavistock , London course.
1997- 1999: Organizing tutor, tutor and assessor on the Introductory Course in Family Therapy and Systemic Thinking, Malta in collaboration with Tavistock, London.
1996: Trainer on Applying Systemic Principles when Working when Families in a non-Family Therapy Context, Malta.
2010 : Co-authored a chapter in a book on the influence of the work of the late Dr David Campbell in the Maltese Context, entitled: The ultimate ethical position is to keep talking: Dealing with difference in teams, in organisations and in therapy.
2007: Co-authored a paper on the Family Therapy Community Work: Interweaving therapeutic and social work practices in generating a collaborative approach to therapy work in the community. Paper presented at EFTA conference in Glasgow, 2007.
2004 : Co-authored a chapter in a book (Aspects of Maltese Life) about the families in the context of marital separation: parents’ dilemma and children’s voices.
Clients’ Experience In Therapy
“If I knew the good that comes out of therapy, I would have come two years earlier. It is not easy being here but definitely worth it.” (Man in couple therapy)
” This is our precious time together as we can talk in a safe environment” (Woman in couple therapy)
“We definitely needed to come here to recognise how things have changed in our family and to acquire new parenting skills” (Parents in Family Therapy)