Nicole is the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). She joined CAPS in 2012 after working at Cal Poly Pomona University as a clinical psychologist and research coordinator for six and a half years. Nicole received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in 2004 and completed a postdoctoral residency at San Jose State University. Nicole has extensive experience working with students from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and particularly enjoys helping individuals with romantic relationships, spiritual questions, trauma, mood and anxiety concerns. She works from a developmental-integrative perspective, incorporating psychodynamic, humanistic, somatic, and cognitive approaches to treat the whole person. Nicole also enjoys running psychotherapy groups and teaching mindfulness practices to students in individual and group settings.
Ruzek received her PhD from Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) in 2004. Through this program she was exposed to the ways in which multiple contemplative practices (e.g., Hinduism, Christian mysticism, Buddhism, and Kabbalah) can be integrated into modern scientific understandings of psychology. Dr. Ruzek incorporates principles from various traditions into her clinical practice with individuals and groups. She enjoys teaching mindfulness as a tool for her patients to more skillfully relate to their minds and bodies as well as to shift from more egocentric perspectives to identities based on self-in-relation-to-others. She also uses lovingkindness practice to improve students’ interpersonal functioning and foster responsible stewardship of one’s community and environment.
Ruzek has provided workshops and trainings to other health professionals in how to best use mindfulness with the college population. She also received post-graduate training in mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT).