Introducing Dr. Nancy Garcia-Ruffin
Dr. Garcia-Ruffin is a psychologist and board-certified sex therapist. She works with all couples with a special interest in conflict-avoidance clients, adoption, infertility and multi-ethnic/BIPOC couples.
Hablo en español.
Welcoming couples to book in-person marriage retreat in
Brooklyn, New York.
Also offering an intensive marriage retreat online.
Want to attend a couples therapy retreat in NYC?
Ph.D., Fordham University, Bronx, New York, Clinical Psychology. May, 2003.
Doctoral dissertation. The measurement of fear of success and its relationship to personality, perceived parenting, study habits and academic performance. Fordham University.
M.A., Fordham University, Bronx, New York, Clinical Psychology, 1995.
B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, New York, Psychology, 1993.
State of New York #016625,
Additional Certifications & Trainings
- Certified Sex Therapist, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, May 2009
- Family and Divorce Mediation, The Ackerman Institute for the Family, New York City, March 2018.
- The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, The Couples Institute, August 2015
I feel so fortunate to find my work incredibly fulfilling. I began college knowing that I wanted to be a therapist and stayed the course. Few high school students know what they want to do professionally and get it right!
My interest and expertise in sex and couples therapy happened organically, and I have a passion for the discipline and for learning all I can. I’ve been trained in the Developmental Model, Gottman Models for Couples Therapy, Premarital Counseling, Divorce Mediation, and Discernment Counseling.
I see myself as a co-pilot on a couple’s journey. I want couples to become experts on themselves. My job is to connect dots, identify blind spots, and teach the requisite insight and skills to help them shape and articulate the relationship they want to have.
I’d describe my approach to couple’s work as both compassionate and direct, sweetened with humor. You may hear things you don’t want to hear, but you’ll recognize that it comes from a place of care, kindness, and respect.
I welcome all couples, including LGBTQ couples, and BIPOC/mixed-race couples. I specialize in working with those dealing with infertility and/or adoption. I am also fluent in Spanish.
I’ve been practicing psychotherapy full-time since 1998 and completed my doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2003. Earlier in my career, I worked in community mental health clinics in underserved areas of New York City. There, I supervised a team of nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, and case managers.
Many of my clients lived in poverty and had experienced trauma associated with poverty, crime, immigration, and systemic racism. Some also lived with severe and chronic mental illness. Anyone who has worked in these settings knows the challenges of trying to practice psychotherapy when there are so many social service needs. Despite having so many disadvantages, I learned that many of these clients had incredible resilience and grit.
I developed an interest in sex therapy after finding myself getting information about my clients’ sexual lives and not knowing what to do with it. I became a board-certified Sex Therapist in 2009. This has enabled me to work effectively with couples in all phases of relationships. I also recently joined the Supervision Faculty at the Sex Therapy Program at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy in NYC.
I’m a child of an immigrant single mother and needed to navigate my own course through my academic, professional, and romantic relationship worlds. There were plenty of mistakes and lots of growth along the way, allow me to reassure you.
My husband and I have been married for over 20 years and can say that my second marriage (to the same person) began nine years after the first. That’s how long it took us to mature into our current marriage. Through our own work in individual and couples therapy, we identified our own Four Horseman (Gottman) and learned how to correct them.
Couples must identify dysfunctional dynamics that are getting in the way of growth. And it’s not easy but I can assure you that my “second marriage” has been a marvelous change from the “first.” My couple’s therapy training has helped, too. I bring this life experience to my couple’s work, as well. I’m hopeful for my couples, even when they are not.
It takes both resilience and grit to overcome tremendous obstacles. And being willing to “grow yourself up” as an individual, a partner, and a parent is an admirable goal.
My husband and I have two young boys. As a family, we enjoy playing games together, vacationing, and socializing with friends. My “chosen family” is as important in my life as my family of origin. We have a strong social network that brings me so much joy.
While I have no formal training, I have a passion for interior design. My husband and I have renovated and designed several apartments and our current house. Our first project was the very first apartment we purchased almost 20 years ago, and we did all the work ourselves (installing flooring, kitchen cabinets, sink/fixtures, backsplash). That took so long and was so incredibly challenging because we had to turn to the internet for every step, but it turned out beautifully and was so satisfying! We no longer have the time to take on hands-on projects, but I’m still very involved in designing our spaces.
Before the pandemic, I trained in kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I hope to return to it soon. It helped me feel more connected to my body and in touch with my inner strength. Furthermore, my years of training, marriage, parenting, therapy, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have helped me learn that there is also power in yielding, humility, and vulnerability.
I invite you to join me in NYC to conduct your private couples therapy retreat.