Meet Conscious Girlfriend Director

Ruth L. Schwartz, Ph.D.

First, the formal stuff:


Ruth is the author of eight books, including the Amazon bestseller Conscious Lesbian Dating & Love: A Roadmap To Finding the Right Partner & Creating the Relationship of Your Dreams (all of her books are listed below.) She has taught at six colleges, including Ashland University, Mills College, and California State University Fresno. Ruth's degrees and certificates include a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology, certifications as a Somatica Method Sex & Intimacy Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Applied Shamanism practitioner, and coaching training with Gay & Katie Hendricks, authors of Conscious Loving.  


Ruth co-founded Conscious Girlfriend with Michelle Murrain in 2013, after ten years of coaching individuals and couples in her private practice, and she has run CG on her own since 2017. She founded the Conscious Girlfriend Academy in April 2020, and these days, that's where most of her time goes. Ruth has traveled widely, and is fluent in Spanish. She lives in Oakland, California with a handsome orange cat, Mr. Yellow, who often jumps on her lap during Zoom calls. 


Now, the more personal stuff:


Ruth says, "I've been part of the LGBTQ community since 1982, when I came out while living in an 11-woman collective called Feminist House. I met my first girlfriend while working on a women's newspaper, and we drove several hours to a Ferron concert in Boston. Those were the days! I moved to San Francisco in 1985, then worked as an AIDS educator for years before publishing my first book and becoming a professor. I was a year away from getting tenure when I left academia to work as a transformational healer, and never looked back.


"Michelle and I worked closely together in Conscious Girlfriend until 2017, when Michelle transitioned gender and became a man named Max. As Max emerged, his relationship needs changed. Over a number of months, we navigated huge shifts together with love, consciously transitioned our marriage to a friendship, and dissolved our business partnership. It wasn't always neat and clean and easy. There were plenty of tears. Yet we are proud to say that our Conscious Girlfriend skills served us well, and we were able to deeply honor our care for each other, even as our path changed. I've directed CG on my own since 2017, while Max offers Conscious-Girlfriend-style tools to the trans community through his new organization,


"In March 2020, as lockdown began, I had the idea of starting a Conscious Girlfriend Academy to combat isolation. I thought it would just be for the month of April; in fact, I originally called it the April Academy. I imagined that maybe 15 or 20 women would attend. Instead, 67 women signed up in just a few weeks, and almost all of them wanted to continue past April. I quickly realized that the Academy was the future of Conscious Girlfriend, and a way to bring the work more deeply into women's lives.


"I'm passionate about making conscious lesbian dating, relationship and sexuality skills available to our community because although I have a lot of professional training, I've also attended the 'school of hard knocks.' In my bad old Unconscious Girlfriend days, I had several relationships that started out great, yet devolved into pain, confusion and shattering breakups. I also had some very bad relationship habits (one of my exes now affectionately calls me 'a reformed processing queen.' Yes, I used to process her to death!) It took me a long time and a lot of pain to learn how to date and communicate in healthy ways. I'm also passionate about expanding lesbian and queer women's sense of sexual possibilities. I want you to get to have the dating, relationship and S-E-X life you really want, and I know it's possible for you. That's why I teach." 

Books by Ruth L. Schwartz

If you're a single lesbian who wants deeply fulfilling lasting love - or feels doubtful about ever being able to find that kind of love - this book was written for you. You'll learn exactly why and how the conscious approach to dating and love will make all the difference for you, and also get a detailed roadmap to help you find and create the relationship you most want. Great relationships don’t happen by accident, luck or magic. Instead, they’re a direct result of the choices you make, and the actions you take. Drawing from neuroscience, psychology and spirituality, this book will help you take charge of your relationship destiny, no matter how many heartbreaks or disappointments you’ve had in the past. 

Reviewers say, "The best book written in the last 20 years!" "This book has been a real friend to me lately." This unique and comprehensive guide book will help you connect with wise, compassionate inner guidance, understand the deeper purpose of your life’s challenges, transform destructive patterns and old wounds, embody your soul’s unique blueprint, and create a joyful, evolutionary life. Drawing on shamanism, psychology, neuroscience, energetic and somatic healing, Buddhism, 12-step recovery and other sources, this book contains the tools and understandings you need in order to change, heal and love your human life.

“One chilly blue morning in May, a surgeon angled a six-inch cut along my side, then reached in and removed my healthy right kidney. Four hours later, he spliced that kidney into my partner Ana’s thigh, and her ‘death in reverse’ began.” 
    A medical drama, a memoir, and a love story all in one, Death in Reverse chronicles Ruth Schwartz’s life with her partner, Ana, during the tumultuous twelve months following transplant surgery. 
     Anyone who has ever dealt with a major health problem—or cared for a sick partner—will identify with this portrait of a couple struggling to maintain emotional and sexual intimacy while confronting the myriad challenges of chronic illness and disability.  

As in her previous collections, Miraculum shows Schwartz's true ability as a poet. These poems are passionate, tender, tough, and brimming with life.


"Ruth L. Schwartz will settle for nothing less than the essential. Her passionate poems are alive to the vulnerability of the body, the daily possibility of joy, and the deep struggle not only to make sense of, but to affirm a world where the terrorists 'opened fire: / as if it were a box, now cracked, / consuming its own lid and hinges, / sparking out, unstoppable, / into the tender, / flammable world. . . "'

- Mark Doty

Winner of the 2004 Autumn House Poetry Prize selected by Alicia Ostriker. Schwartz's Dear Good Naked Morning explores what it is to be a woman in love with the world.

"In Edgewater, her powerfully moving and redemptive third collection, Ruth L. Schwartz writes with consummate passion, precision, and honesty of the raw hungers that give rise to the world, human and natural. In poems both lyrical and grit-laced, she grapples with her twofold, central question: How can we love fully, open-eyed and openhearted amid all the flaws and beauty, each other and the world? How could we not? "

- Jane Hirshfield

Poetry. In SINGULAR BODIES, Ruth L. Schwartz, winner of the 2000 Anhinga Prize for Poetry, explores the theme of the body and its transformations-through eros, illness, disability and death. Informed and inspired by ten years of AIDS and cancer education, Schwartz offers a "numinous, deep-hearted collection [that] explores the redemptive quality of love-and it's ability to hold even the hardest facts of physical its enormous arms"-Alison Luterman.

Accordion Breathing and Dancing (Poetry)