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

May 6, 2012
This week, The New York Times is running a series on the benefits and pitfalls of attachment parenting in its Room for Debate section, inspired by Elisabeth Badinter's "The Conflict."   For the most part, the essays are thoughtful and measured, and some of them (Erica Jong's and Annie Urban's in particular, I think) discuss important factors in child-rearing.
April 29, 2012
Elizabeth's April 25 post about Nick's uncertain academic future moved me strongly, in part because of the excellent writing and in part because we have had many of those nail-biting moments in Ben's history. He is one of those students who seems destined to give teachers TMJ; a gifted underachiever, as his mother was before him.
April 22, 2012
Over the past eighteen months, Ben has considered, at various times, attending a university in another country; a marvelous but outrageously expensive arts college in North Carolina; and an equally pricy Florida school where he could play baseball year-round.
April 15, 2012
I hail from a long line of disowners. My maternal grandfather's Irish Catholic family shunned my grandparents after their marriage, because my grandmother was a Southern Baptist heathen. My father's family, also Irish Catholic, demanded that my mother convert so that my parents could be married in a "proper" ceremony, with my father's brother, Father Kevin, officiating.
April 8, 2012
In years past, I used to worry about what to "do" with Ben during his school breaks. This year, he had to remind me not to wake him up on Friday morning, because the start date of his spring break kept slipping my mind.
April 1, 2012
I have been following with interest the comments section of the recent New York Times article on the "cupcake wars," which explores the tensions among PTA parents in neighborhoods that are gentrifying.  
March 25, 2012
Like many parents, I have been following the Trayvon Martin story with  outrage and with deep grief for his family. And also like, I am sure, many parents of teenage boys, I am guiltily aware of feelings of relief and fear in the mix — relief that it wasn't my kid, and fear that next time it might be.  
March 18, 2012
I was deeply disturbed by Jonathan Zimmerman's recent Christian Science Monitor article on the reaction of Columbia students to President Obama's decision to deliver the commencement address at Barnard:
March 11, 2012
Ideally, those who have suffered unfairly develop a strong sense of compassion and justice. I like to think that happened in my case — but not right away. I arrived at my college determined never to be an underdog again, no matter what it took, and with the underlying conviction that most people would hurt you if they could. I planned to be as tough as necessary. I quickly developed a reputation as a sharp wit.
March 4, 2012
As noted here previously, my French is what is known as "serviceable" — I can read the newspaper, order theater tickets and carry on a superficial social conversation, but generally speaking, when I address French people who understand English, they will immediately switch, and if they don't, they start speaking slowly and carefully. Even at my peak, I have never been quite fluent, with two notable exceptions.


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