Mark L. Ruffalo, LCSW
Psychoanalyst & Adjunct Professor
Mark L. Ruffalo, L.C.S.W., is a psychotherapist in private practice in Tampa. He serves as an affiliate assistant professor of psychiatry and an adjunct instructor of social work at the University of South Florida. Trained at the University of Pittsburgh and its affiliated hospital system, he completed additional postgraduate training at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He is an associate member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and has served as membership chair of the Academy for the Psychoanalytic Arts. He is a voluntary associate professor in the psychiatry residency program at Centerstone Hospital.

Mark has authored peer-reviewed articles in publications such as Social Work, Psychology Today, Mad in America, and an affiliate journal of the American Psychiatric Association. He specializes in the treatment of a range of psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety, and stress, and has particular interest in the psychotherapy of schizophrenia and psychosis. He has previously served on staff at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and CarolinaEast Medical Center. He is actively involved in the teaching and supervision of psychiatry and social work trainees.

Mark's approach to psychotherapy is founded on the idea that mental distress can be ameliorated through the development of a cooperative relationship aimed at expanding the individual's personal autonomy and self-determination. This approach to therapy, known as contractual psychoanalysis or autonomous psychotherapy, seeks to help the patient understand his or her internal conflicts, motivations, and strategies of conduct, and places emphasis on the patient's freedom within the therapy arrangement. The goal of contractual psychoanalysis is not to label or categorize the patient but rather to understand the unique nature of the person's problems in living. Above all else, Mark believes that analysis requires a voluntary and non-coercive exchange held in strict confidence and guided by the principles of freedom, autonomy, and self-responsibility.

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"What people really need and demand from life is not wealth, comfort, or esteem, but games worth playing." - Thomas S. Szasz, M.D.
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." - Rudyard Kipling

verified by Psychology Today
University of Pittsburgh- and Chicago Institute-trained
Affiliate Assistant Professor, University of South Florida Department of Psychiatry
Member, American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work
© Copyright Mark L. Ruffalo, L.C.S.W., 2017-2018 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.