About Lauren Hall Ruddell, Ph.D.
I am certified in Life Coaching through the internationally recognized Achology program. I hold a Ph.D. in social science disciplines and cognitive psychology from the University of Utah. My academic interests include examination of the benefits of time spent interacting with the natural world, and the neurological mechanisms involved in these relationships which lead to improved human wellness. The physiological processes of mood disfunction, attention depletion, and chronic stress are specific areas of expertise, as is the means of remedying those complaints. The brain is simply incredible, as is the human spirit. I find blending my scientific background with my lived expertise both rewarding and fulfilling.
When I returned to college after many years away, I was prepared for hurdles in being 15 to 20 years older than the rest of my classmates. Sometimes I was pleasantly surprised, but many of the hurdles I had anticipated were indeed present and very daunting, along with some that were totally unexpected. More than once I questioned my decision to get that Ph.D. I had so longed for. Was it too late? Would I be competitive? The answers turned out to be no and yes, but not without some grief.
The real problems came when trying to find meaningful work in my field at the age of 55. The government jobs, the corporate jobs, and the non-profit were all going to people much younger with fewer qualifications. After three years of disheartening search, I realized I was beating my head against the brick wall of western society’s prejudices against older workers. So, duh, I went into business for myself and never looked back. I think a life coach would have shortened my struggle considerably.
For that reason, I give preferential clientele selection in my practice to folks over the age of 40. Younger folks are welcome as well, but it ther is a waiting list, the older get the first openings. It is my goal to help others with life transitions of any kind, especially folks who may wonder what a 30 something life coach has to offer in the way of life wisdom. Older folks often resonate with the insights that come from more than just 3 decades of the experience in the school of hard knocks. And I am living proof that with a little time, patience, and resilience, you absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks!
I have always enjoyed international travel. In addition to many wonderful places in the United States, Europe and Central America, a spiritual home I visit as often as possible is Ireland. Another passion is goats. I hike daily with my own herd who keep me centered, grounded, and highly entertained with their antics. Walking with them while gazing out over mountain valleys with a view to the San Juans (Colorado Rocky Mountains for those readers not familiar with this part of Colorado) gets me away from the computer and gives me a dose of my own medicine. The perfect cure!
Serving on the board of the Old Irish Goat Society is another way that I combine two loves. Irish and international music and dance are past loves that I still connect with now and then. I have worked as a park ranger, wilderness guide, endangered species biologist, environmental analyst, zoo keeper, cartographer, professor, and freelance writer. Currently, when not working with life coaching clients, I sneak in some time writing cozy mysteries and non-fiction works related to my academic field.