Susan O'Doherty

Susan O'Doherty, Ph.D. ( 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

April 28, 2013
Considering options for new career directions....
April 21, 2013
Several weeks ago, after a successful class show, I was invited to try out for the national touring wing of a wonderful improv company.
April 14, 2013
For obvious reasons, it is not possible to rehearse an improv show. However, my class had the equivalent of the dress rehearsal for our 4-show musical improv run last night, racing through three back-to-back 25-minute improvised musical comedies.
April 7, 2013
As recorded here last week, my extended family recently traveled to Ireland. The trip, especially the Belfast portion, was deeply moving, disturbing and important to us all, given our family's history of disowning and abandoning members because of religious differences. And being in Ireland over Easter weekend — a pivotal time in the history of Irish Republicanism — reinforced our feeling that our family's history was a valid part of a much larger story.
March 31, 2013
I am writing this on a bus from Dublin to Belfast. Bill and Ben, my brother and sister-in-law, one of my nephews, and my cousin and her husband are all taking the trip.
March 24, 2013
Last week I took part in a musical improv scene in which my friends A and L were the protagonists. The premise of the scene was that they had murdered A's husband (played by J) to clear the way so they could get married. J's body was sprawled on the floor, and it was creeping A out, so L  called offstage for the butler (played by me) to "get rid of this mess, will you?" I answered, "My pleasure, sir," and went to drag J offstage.
March 17, 2013
Jill Filipovic's recent Guardian column on the politics of changing one's name on marrying drew a strong response, both in the comments to the article and in other blog posts. Many commenters seemed to feel accused of being bad feminists if they chose to change their names, and some of the anti-change writers did sound the teensiest bit judgmental of their more traditional (in US terms) sisters.
March 10, 2013
Yesterday Ben told me a funny story about one of his professors. "He sounds like a lot of fun," I commented.
March 3, 2013
I have been following, with sometimes horrified fascination, the initial trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning. At the same time, I have been reading Pat Barker's Regeneration, which is, among other things, a meditation on the conflict between conscience and patriotic duty among officers serving in World War I.  
February 24, 2013
One element of musical improv that I (and many others) find challenging is rhyming. It is hard enough to express a strong emotion melodically, in regular rhythm, often switching off verses or even lines with a partner, without worrying about how to end the line with a rhyme that actually makes sense and is emotionally consonant with what has gone on before.


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