A brief BIO on Ruth and Joe Kohley

Ruth Kohley LMSW, ACSW

Joseph Kohley LMSW, CADAC, CCS


Ruth and Joe both have a Masters degree in Social Work. Joe is also certified as a substance abuse counselor and supervisor, and for over two decades has worked with people with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. Ruth has extensive experience working with traumatized people. She has worked in private practice for over two decades and previously at mental health agencies. Both were successful clinical social workers. Then an altering life event changed them professionally and personally.

Ruth and Joe fostered, and then adopted three special needs children with attachment issues who were abandoned by their birth mother, an extended family member. Fortunately they were referred to an attachment/trauma focused therapist (Bettye Jo Bell) who helped guide their family. She provided a parent support group that was instrumental in helping with the isolation families feel with acting out children who are not responsive to traditional parenting methods. The children, now young adults, are currently stable, attached, and healing from their early relational traumas and neurological challenges.

Joe left agency work to join Ruth in her private practice as they developed a passion to provide attachment-focused therapy. Both received extensive basic and intensive training through Daniel Hughes, an international leader in attachment therapy and training. They were part of the Lakeshore Attachment Alliance since its inception.

Believing in no single recipe for attachment issues/disorders, Ruth and Joe use a multi-modality approach, building on their years of clinical experience. Therapies and approaches include Dan Hughe’s Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Theraplay, and Neurofeedback. Ruth and Joe have seen how a combination of these approaches can lessen the intense stress cycle these children endure and project onto the parents. As arousal states are calmed, children tend to be more accessible for nurturing and attachment.

Ruth and Joe are seasoned and experienced in treating serious mental health challenges and helping general wellness issues through their multi-modality approach for a vast array of challenges: anxiety, depression, stress management, relationship stress, family issues, alcohol and substance issues (Joe), and of course post-adoption relationship challenges!