“A pitch-perfect, deliciously wicked, and funny novel."  — Bonnie Zindel,  psychoanalyst and Creative Literary Editor of Psychoanalytic Perspectives.

"Ronald Ruskin seamlessly marries humor to tragedy."  — Joseph Kertes, Dean Emeritus of the Creative Writing and Comedy Program at Humber College Toronto

Written as a tragic-comic case-history, this novel, like Freud's Wolf-Man, addresses the complexity of trauma, memory, and childhood love of a powerful woman. Set in present-day Toronto, Dr. Reuben Moses represents a vanishing breed, a medical psychoanalyst exploring the meaning of patients' suffering set against the current landscape of brief psychotherapy and overuse of drugs.

The Analyst Who Laughed to Death recounts Dr. Reuben Moses' last days as a therapist for suicidal, psychopathic, and depressed patients. Despite his geniality, Moses is tortured. Moses enters a final analysis with Oskar Pinsky, who sleuths through Moses' troubled post-Holocaust past, sexual misadventures, and impossible cases. Despite Pinsky's efforts, Moses jokes away his suffering, and as Pinsky's analysis proceeds, the reader sees Moses wrestling with past demons and an unseen enemy threatening to destroy him.

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More Books by Ron Ruskin

Ron Ruskin is a staff psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and training analyst at the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis. Ron directs a hospital day treatment program where he works with a mental health team treating psychiatric patients. He has co-edited texts on psychotherapy supervision, humanities and medicine, written a medical thriller, published over forty-five stories in literary and medical journals and is a founding member of Ars Medica, a medical-humanities journal. His new book, The Analyst Who Laughed to Death, a tragic-comic account of an analyst who sees the most intractable patients will be released the end of November 2016. 

Ron has written and presented papers on the impact of suicide on residents and psychiatrists, boundary violations in psychotherapy, the psychoanalysis of violent sports, such as hockey, and the key importance of arts and humanities to heighten sensitivity to the pain and suffering of others.


Body and Soul: Narratives of Healing from Ars Medica

Illness affects us all; we are called on to support and care for loved ones who face health challenges, and in turn, we encounter our own physical and emotional frailties when our health declines. Body & Soul features inspiring and award-winning fiction, essays, memoirs, poetry, photography, and visual art on the universal themes of wellness, treatment, and healing.

Together with the online discussion guide (providing questions relating to selected pieces in the anthology), Body & Soul is an ideal text for courses and support groups as well as individual reflection. Students and practitioners from all clinical disciplines and scholars in the humanities and social sciences will find this text invaluable.


Clinical Perspectives on Psychotherapy Supervision

Clinical Perspectives on Psychotherapy Supervision is the first book to examine the role of the supervisor -- one of the most important teaching tools in psychotherapy -- from multiple perspectives. Written by experts from virtually every major aspect of supervision, this book gives a clear picture of the many challenges involved in supervising, and how these challenges are best met.

Richly illustrated with clinical vignettes, Clinical Perspectives on Psychotherapy Supervision explores theories of supervision, reviews the recent literature, and offers guidelines for practice.


The Last Panic

(out of print)

“The sick travelled in great hordes and would kill whatever was in their path…[T]he sick did not die from the plague—the sick killed because of the plague.”

Savage terrorism and uncontrollable chaos mount to staggering proportions while medical science stands powerless to understand the epidemics of violence which sweep through America and threaten the western world. Yet three scientists join to defy this contagion of violent madness as hospital emergency rooms across America see increasing numbers of the violent syndrome. Research facilities attached to psychiatric departments across North America and Europe study the disorder as the Sachs-Wilson syndrome proliferates. New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, the major urban centres of America are in chaos. The syndrome has taken over the government—researchers are murdered.

But the ancient key to a deadly puzzle eludes them—as history’s most devastating epidemic spreads outward to engulf them.