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 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.
February 26, 2012
As noted previously, my son has not "applied himself" as thoroughly as he might have in high school. He has instead focused on music, and we have fought to keep him in music electives and after-school band projects against the efforts of teachers and administrators who felt strongly that his music was a destructive distraction from more serious academic studies.
February 19, 2012
The controversy about Hugo Schwyzer has raised a more general question: Is there a place for men (not just Schwyzer himself, but any men, no matter how enlightened and sympathetic) in women's studies courses?
February 12, 2012
Ann Hassenpflug has an interesting article on the difficulty of teaching a graduate-level education class when parents whose childcare arrangements have fallen through bring their children to class. A lively and sometimes heated discussion follows in the comments.


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