Susan O'Doherty

Susan O'Doherty, Ph.D. (http://www.susanodohertyauthor.com/) is a writer and clinical psychologist who specializes in the creative process. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Mama, Ph.D. She is the author of Getting Unstuck without Coming Unglued: A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity (Seal, 2007). Her popular advice column for writers, "The Doctor is In," appears each Friday on Buzz, Balls & Hype.

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Most Recent Articles

February 20, 2011
I am writing from Paris, where we are spending the first part of Ben's winter break ( We'll go on to London in a few days). Today we looked at Greek and Egyptian antiquities at the Louvre and had lunch in the Tuileries. Then we met Frederic, a friend from voice class who moved home to Paris in September, at the Musee d'Orsay. Afterward, his friend Colette joined us for drinks, then we went to a baroque music concert at Eglise Saint-Germain.
February 13, 2011
As I described here a few weeks ago, I am recovering from a cracked rib thanks to an overenthusiastic hug from my suddenly gigantic son. Generally, I'm a pretty enthusiastic hugger myself, so I've found I now have to warn friends not to embrace me when I meet them on the street.
February 6, 2011
Frank Plantan objected to last week’s post, stating,
January 30, 2011
On Wednesday, my sixteen-year-old son went to his girlfriend’s house after school. Usually we expect him home for dinner on school nights, but it was clear that Thursday was going to be a snow day, so we allowed him to stay and watch a movie after dinner at her house, with the proviso that he stay in touch and let us know when he was leaving. He did. The last several entries in our text message trail were as follows: Sue, 8:56 PM: When will u b home? Ben, 9:14 PM: Not sure im leaving before too long Sue, 9:15 PM: Soon pls & let me know.
January 23, 2011
I have been thinking, and talking with other parents, a great deal about parenting styles in the wake of the Amy Chua flapdoodle. Everyone, it seems, has regrets about past decisions. But everyone's regrets are different. Some wish they had been stricter with their children, others that they had relaxed the discipline and allowed their kids more wiggle room.
January 16, 2011
When a reader sent me this link I thought at first that I had accessed the Onion. It’s not that I haven’t come across this type of parenting before—as a therapist, I regularly see both current and adult children of authoritarian parents, of all races and cultural backgrounds. It’s just that I have never seen a parent boast about this treatment before.
January 9, 2011
When my son was around ten, we discovered that we could access Jay Leno’s headlines on the computer. Since we both have a taste for low humor that my husband doesn’t share (for example, at one time we could reconstruct the “Asshole” routine from “Spaceballs” verbatim), and because I work late on Wednesday evenings and miss dinner, we developed a private Wednesday night ritual: I come home and fix a light meal for myself, and then we pull up the headlines and laugh hysterically as I eat.
January 2, 2011
Post-early childhood, I was never that big on Christmas. My mother was kind of a fanatic about the holiday — shopping intensely starting December 26; sending out reams of carefully chosen and personalized cards; baking tons of cookies; decorating the house to the point where the walls were nearly invisible; and entertaining nonstop throughout the season.
December 19, 2010
My son, Ben, as I have mentioned here, is an amazing guitarist and an all-around great person. He plays guitar and/or drums in several bands, and he and I enjoy singing and playing together. I’ve been taking a singing class for almost two years now. At the end of every semester, we have a “cabaret night,” in which students perform the songs we’ve been working on for family and friends.
December 12, 2010
I am enrolled in two singing classes. One I attend religiously; the other sporadically — it’s held at an awkward time, but it’s inexpensive and helpful, so my deal with the teacher (and myself) is that I pay the full tuition at the beginning of the semester and come when I can. A number of people in the class have similar arrangements. As a result, there are often people I don’t know in the class. Last week, I attended this class for the first time in nearly a month. There were two unfamiliar students among the regulars.

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