Ruth Morehouse is a person who shares her talents with two different worlds outside her home life, and those who know her in one world likely know little to nothing about who she is in the other world. She has disparate passions.
Social service is how she makes a living. She’s a licensed clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist who’s been awarded Diplomat status in recognition of her extensive professional experience. She and her husband are co-directors of the Marriage and Family Health Center (MFHC) based in Evergreen, specializing in working with couples and families to help them develop stronger relationships. They have each attained celebrity status amongst their peers and in the field of sex therapy.
But around Evergreen, she’s just a regular person.
People travel from all over the globe to meet with Ruth, who conducts Crucible® Intensive Therapy sessions in her Evergreen office – intensive therapy for those experiencing sexual difficulties – three hours a day for four successive days. Some of her clients are from the metropolitan area, but many have come from as far away as Australia, Hong Kong, Africa and Russia because of her skills in getting people to openly discuss their most personal issues and try new approaches. A number come from Hollywood.
She also works with those recovering from affairs, experiencing depression and anxiety, coping with step-parenting issues, overcoming psychological trauma and dealing with the impact of acute and chronic illness. She travels extensively to hold workshops and train other mental health professionals. She’s held offices in national professional organizations and conducted training workshops around the world.
Ruth is a leader in her field and in the community as well.
In 1995 Ruth and her husband, David Schnarch, relocated to Evergreen from New Orleans where they each had established very successful careers. But their concern about raising a young daughter in a healthier environment trumped everything else.
In preparing for the move, she joined the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce and applied to be a member of the inaugural class of Leadership Evergreen (LE) – knowing she needed to meet people and fit in, desiring to find a way to contribute.
Through Leadership Evergreen she was exposed to the diverse nonprofit community and opportunities to get involved. And she wasted no time getting involved and becoming a vital part of the mountain community. One of her first involvements was serving on the executive board for Leadership Evergreen.
Her love for music and the arts would see her gravitate toward involvement with Center for the Arts Evergreen (CAE) where she’s served on the board and several committees over the years as well as taking on the presidency. But she’s much more than just a board member.
Ruth is a patron of the arts. Not only does she make a habit of supporting artists and crafters by collecting their works, she is often a sponsor of events and undertakings of visual and performing arts groups. In 2012 her business was the sole underwriter of the Salvador Dali exhibit that brought in dozens of original pieces of the Spanish surrealist painter for a month-long display. According to CAE Executive Director Steve Sumner, “It was a blockbuster! It broke all attendance records,” drawing visitors from Loveland, Brighton and the entire metropolitan area.
“Ruth is a person who believes in CAE and what it is trying to accomplish,” Steve continues. “She’s been very committed to the Arts Center for a long time. She doesn’t sit back – she’s always out front taking a leadership role. She’s a great spokesperson for CAE.”
Serving on the nominating committee has given her an opportunity to help assemble a top-notch board. Ruth’s sense of evaluating people has given her a keen eye for sizing up opportunities for the arts center, knowing when the right people are in place to accomplish exceptional undertakings. Without a lot of fanfare, Ruth’s leadership qualities and sense of humor help create an enjoyable volunteer experience for others. She was part of the hiring committee when Steve Sumner was brought on board in 2007, a decision that has proven beneficial to the entire arts community in Evergreen.
Kathy Beekman, current president of CAE, describes her as being “a shining light … and someone who has a way with words.” She appreciates Ruth’s humor, cleverness and insight. “When we’re beating our heads against the wall, Ruth is able to present a clear picture.”
Barb Scripps sums her up as “a combination of brilliant and passionate.” Barb is responsible for recruiting Ruth to serve on the CAE board close to 10 years ago. “She’s a dedicated scholar with a PhD on the cutting edge in her field, yet she embraces the arts and is very passionate about it.
With a busy work and travel schedule, Ruth dedicates significant chunks of time to community. It’s part of her discipline.
As a member of the Conifer Rotary Club she’s found time to serve as president for a year. For three years she was active in three-day out-of-town retreats with Young RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) working with young people to develop leadership fundamentals and ethics, as well as communication skills. The program also develops problem solving and conflict management skills and inspires community and global citizenship.
This year she’s volunteer coordinator for Rotary’s backpack project, a program now in its second year working with the schools to discreetly help children from families below the poverty line, providing them with nutritious food to take home for the weekends.
She’s a big promoter of tickets for Rotary events and doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty slopping food or doing whatever’s needed at an event. She’s quick to recognize the good qualities in others and stimulates the enthusiasm of her fellow Rotarians with her readiness to not only take part but also follow through.
As a board member of the Conifer Rotary Foundation, she helps make the decisions about distributing funds raised by the Rotarians along the 285 Corridor. This governing board is involved in evaluating the various grants and proposals as well as monitoring that the money is used appropriately.
In addition to her many talents described above, she writes well, having penned numerous articles in national magazines as well as people profiles in JustAroundHere.com. Writing a book is on her bucket list.
Starting a new business at age 46 and not knowing anyone in Evergreen challenged her in ways she’d not experienced before. Showing the initiative to practice what she preached to her clients about making the right decisions for the right reasons was one thing. Having the courage to leave a good situation was another. She considers achieving much greater success and personal fulfillment after having made those changes to be her most distinguished accomplishment.
And our mountain area is a better place for it.