“Dr. Ruan helped me navigate life from ‘what do I want to do when (and if) I ever grow up’ to facing life as a single mom on the heels of that big executive promotion. She is warm, smart and insightful, never judgmental. I’m so grateful for her investment in my growth.”
— Lin W., Former Client, & Sr. Vice President at Fortune 500 Company
Thrive Psychology-Dr. Charlynn Ruan

Contact Information:


2510 Main Street, Suite 201, Santa Monica, CA 90405

(Main & Ocean Park Blvd)




📞 (310)-893-1978 Ext. 2


Dr. Ruan is the Founder and Director of Thrive Psychology. Her passion is helping others live life to the fullest.

She specializes in women's mental health including motherhood, pregnancy, trauma & crisis recovery, relationships, divorce, personal growth and development.

Dr. Ruan empowers her clients with the knowledge, tools and courage to overcome life's toughest challenges. Her clients appreciate her blend of knowledge, empathy, and humor and her down-to-earth approach to therapy.

She has advanced training in meditation and mindfulness-based treatments, EMDRneuropsychology, postpartum depression, trauma and anxiety.

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Ruan researches, publishes and presents on topics related to mindfulness, self-care, religion &  spirituality, prevention of vicarious trauma, minority safe spaces, empowerment for women, women entrepreneurship, and the impact of maternal trauma on children. 


Media Header- Facebook 5.7.18.png

Dr. Ruan holds multiple advanced degrees:

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from DePaul University

M.A. in Clinical Psychology from DePaul University

M.A. in Counseling Psychology from New York University

DePaul Logo.png

Dr. Ruan has held positions at some of the leading institutions in the field of psychology including the American Institute for Psychoanalysis in New York City and The Adult Neuropsychology Program in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at The University of Chicago

She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the State of California (PSY29504) and an active member of the American Psychological Association (APA) & Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA)

+ What can I expect in therapy with Dr. Ruan?

A place where you feel safe, valued, and heard. Healing can be hard work, but my clients say they look forward to their session all week. Each person comes into the room with their own gifts, culture, strengths, and goals, so every session looks different. One person may express themselves through traditional talk therapy, but others are more able to access their feelings and thoughts through art or journaling.

Sometimes we practice meditation skills. Do EMDR. Or biofeedback. And I explain (in understandable terms) why your brain is doing what it does, so you can understand those seemingly inexplicable reactions. Sometimes there are tears, sometimes laughter, and sometimes both at the same time. I ask a lot of questions, use a lot of word pictures, and give you a safe, nonjudgemental place to share and vent.

My goal is to educate, equip and empower you to be fully and bravely authentically you. At the end of every session, my hope is that you feel lighter, more yourself, and more confident in your ability to handle whatever comes your way as you walk out the door.

+ Some of the benefits of therapy with Dr. Ruan...

Feeling more peaceful and centered...able to let go, sleep better, and not feel overwhelmed.

Improved confidence, body image, and developing a healthy loving relationship with yourself that translates into healthier relationships with others.

Gaining a sense of mastery over your life, habits, and goals.

Building healthy boundaries, finding your voice, and getting your needs met in fulfilling, healthy ways.

Freedom from those dysfunctional family patterns you just want to be done with already.

Building a full tool box of coping skills to handle anything life throws your way with confidence.

Getting unstuck in life, career, and relationships.

Living with joy and peace, not resentment and exhaustion.

A safe place to be yourself, face those inner demons, those dark closets of the soul, and reclaim your life. Because this world needs what only you can offer...you.

+ A sampling of Dr. Ruan's research publications and presentations

Odahl-Ruan, C. A., Todd, N. R., & Wilson, M. (in press). “Because the Bible tells me so”: Religious conservatism and gender role attitudes in Christian campus-ministry groups at public universities. The Australian Community Psychologist.

Houston-Kolnik, J. D., Odahl-Ruan, C. A., Greeson, M. R. (in press). Who helps the helper?: Self-Care and Social Support for Rape Crisis Advocates. The Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

McConnell, E., Odahl-Ruan, C., Kozlowski, C., Shattell, M. & Todd, N. (2016). Transinclusion and Michfest: An enthnophenomenology of attendees’ experiences. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 20(1), 8-28.

McConnell, E.A., Todd, N.R., Odahl-Ruan, C.A., & Shattell, M. (2016). Complicating counterspaces: Intersectionality and Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. American Journal of Community Psychology, 57, 473-488.

Odahl-Ruan, C.A., McConnell, E.A., & Shattell, M. (2015). Empowering women through alternative settings: Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 6, 1-12.

Todd, N. R., Suffrin, R. L., McConnell, E. A., & Odahl-Ruan, C. A. (2015). Understanding associations between religious beliefs and White privilege attitudes. Sociological Perspectives, 58(4), 649-665.

Houston, J. D., Odahl-Ruan, C. A., & Shattell, M. (2015). Exploring community-based advocacy work against human trafficking. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 6(2), 1-17.

Kozlowski, C., Ferrari, J.R., & Odahl, C.A. (2014). Social justice and faith maturity: Exploring whether religious beliefs impact civic engagement, Education 134(4), 427-432.

Todd, N. R., Houston, J. D., & Odahl-Ruan, C. A. (2014). Preliminary validation of the Sanctification of Social Justice Scale. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 6, 245-256.

Odahl, C.A. (2012). The impact of maternal reflective functioning on children's reaction to 9/11: A comparison of two cases. The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 72(2), 185-191.

Grant, K. E., Tandon, D., Lambert, S., Farahmand, F., Ross, K., Odahl-Ruan, C., Tolan, P. (2015). Community psychology approaches to intervention with children and adolescents. In M. Bond & C. Keys (Eds.) Handbook of Community Psychology. American Psychological Association. Manuscript under preparation.

Todd, N. R., Houston, J. D., & Odahl, C. A. (2013). Religious congregations and social justice. In A. C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research. Springer.

Odahl-Ruan, C.A. (2014, July). Safe Spaces for Women: Michfest as Exemplar. Lavender Health.

Odahl-Ruan, C.A., Mihelicova, & M., Brown, M. (May, 2015) Trauma-informed Care: Implementation and Barriers. Roundtable to be presented at the Society for Community Research and Action program at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Odahl, C.A., Houston, J.D., & Soibatian, C. (2014, May). Beating Burnout: Self-Care Strategies for Professionals Working with Trauma. Roundtable presented at the Society for Community Research and Action program at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Odahl, C.A. Houston, J.D., Belyaev-Glantsman, O., & Long, S.M. (2013, June). Women in Research: Giving Voice to the Female Experience. Roundtable presented at the Society for Community Research and Action Biennial, Coral Gables, FL.

Odahl, C.A., Houston, J.D., & Droege, J. (2013, May). The Feminine Voice in Research: The Ups, Downs, and In-Betweens. Roundtable presented at the Society for Community Research and Action program at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Odahl, C.A., McConnell, E., Suffrin, R.L., & Liao, L. (2013, May). Qualitative Methods in Graduate Studies: A Discussion of the Challenges and Opportunities. Roundtable presented at the Society for Community Research and Action program at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.