Ruth Tessema, M.Ed., NCC, LPC

Animal Lover & Cat Mom

Nature Enthusiast

Portland Local

First Generation American


Sci-fi & Mystery fan

Ruth Tessema is a Black, Ethiopian American, cis-gender, holistic psychotherapist based in the State of Oregon. As a licensed professional counselor, she holds certifications from The School of Counselor Education and is also a Certified Breathwork and Vibrational Sound Healing Facilitator.

Ruth and her family immigrated to the United States when she was four years old. While she has traveled extensively, Oregon has always felt like home. Growing up in North East Portland, Ruth acknowledges that the Port of Portland is situated on lands traditionally occupied and stewarded by the Cascade, Clackamas, and Multnomah Bands of the Chinook Tribes since time immemorial. Ruth earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Portland State University. After spending several years working in community health, she pursued a Master’s in Counselor Education from Penn West University. Before starting her private practice, Ruth returned to Portland and worked as a school counselor in Portland Public Schools, supporting students with their social, emotional, and academic needs. Now, she follows her calling by operating a wellness practice, integrating her diverse skill set to help individuals on their journey towards self-actualization.

Compassion, trust, and growth are fundamental to Ruth’s work with clients. She finds it incredibly rewarding to help individuals feel independent and worthy of taking charge of their lives. Ruth recognizes the multiple, if not infinite, layers and intersectionalities in a person’s life. Her role is to guide individuals in examining, reflecting, and exploring these layers, which is an essential part of the healing journey. Counseling, to Ruth, is a profound therapeutic relationship where the healer and the supporter work together. With the right support, clients are empowered to make realizations and choices that are uniquely their own.

As a holistic wellness practitioner, Ruth cultivates and facilitates experiences for individuals to find alignment within their physical, energetic, mental, and spiritual selves. Her teaching style is rooted in her extensive experience as a licensed mental health therapist and educator, combined with a holistic background in somatic trauma healing. Ruth founded Rising Self Wellness to address the disparities and inequities within mental health and holistic wellness for marginalized communities. She offers holistic psychotherapy, facilitates breathwork and sound healing, and provides wellness classes and workshops to support her clients' diverse needs.

Restorative & Holistic Approach

Have you ever seen old architecture in gentle ruins? It looks like it’s been through a collection of stress. But you see its potential for even more beauty. You notice the complexities and can feel the story within each detail. Trauma often feels like it’s ruining us, destroying us, making us feel broken. Applying traditional western medicine coping mechanisms with trauma is similar to repair and maintenance work with cleaning and cosmetic fixes– making it seamless on the exterior.

The restorative healing process differs tremendously; it is similar to patiently repairing historical buildings as they enter ruins. Restoration includes getting to the root of the harm and developing a treatment plan that preserves the past and maintains the original character, and ultimately healing the whole person. Ruins are sacred for many reasons. And we humans hold sacred experiences and inner energy. Just like ruins, trauma survivorship is about treating ourselves with gentle patience and core principles for ultimate restoration and healing. Post-traumatic growth and restoration is our birthright.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare” 

-Audre Lorde

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”


What is Holistic Therapy?

At Rising Self Wellness, we use specific styles and techniques to help you create a path of wellness. The foundation of our practice is holistic with a restorative approach and person centered focus. Emerging research continues to produce evidence for the mind-body connection & the benefits of an integrative model of mental health care. 

A holistic approach to mental health brings in the physical body, social elements (community, environment, cultural identity, relationships, etc) and spirituality (relationship to self, religious beliefs, values and beliefs, etc.) Treatment is grounded in identifying which pieces need attention and care, exploring what might be helpful, and collaboratively creating a plan that treats all of you. 

Integrating the physical body is a big part of our holistic approach to mental health at Rising Self Wellness. This might look like incorporating somatic exercises, nervous system education, breathwork regulation practices, use of chair yoga, meditation, imagery, sound healing, expressive arts, and parts work/ IFS. Coordination of care is also part of the holistic approach. This can look like partnering with a naturopathic doctor, holistic nutritionist, acupuncturist, etc. We encourage clients to feel into their body to create an experience of reconnection and embodiment. This is where the restorative trauma recovery happens.

Advanced Trainings

  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Fully Trained Clinician issued by EMDRIA

  • IFS workshop 'Internal Family Systems for Mental Health Professionals' issued by Life Architect

  • Spiritual, Ethical, & Religious Counseling Certificate issued by Penn West University

  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 3 Practicum issued by The Gottman Institute

  • Clinical Trauma Professional Certification issued by Evergreen Certifications

  • Integrative Somatic Therapy Certification issued by The Embody Lab

  • Sound Healing Level 2 Certification issued by Life Changing Energy

  • The Resilient Heart™: Trauma-Sensitive HeartMath Course and Certification issued by HeartMath

  • Breathwork Teacher Certification issued by Jon Paul Crimi, BREATHE

  • Expressive Arts Therapy: Creative Solutions for Trauma Recovery

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Tapping: Evidence-Based, Mind-Body Treatment Approach to the Anxiety Spectrum Disorders

  • Somatic Experiencing Professional Training Intermediate II issued by Somatic Experiencing International

  • Internal Family Systems Level 1 issued by IFS Institute

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