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

March 13, 2011
Both of Ben’s bands are taking off. His school jazz band is literally taking off in a little over a week; they have been accepted as performers at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival.
March 6, 2011
I was intrigued by Lisa Belkin's article on "mommy bloggers" -- particularly Heather Armstrong of Dooce -- in last week's New York Times Magazine. I found the question of how much it is wise, or fair, to reveal about one's family particularly compelling.Belkin writes:
February 27, 2011
Our family recently returned from a trip to Paris and London. At home, we have our share of stresses and strains, many of which I've documented here, but on vacation we mesh extraordinarily well. This is partly, of course, because we are removed from many potential sources of conflict, as we are all together 24/7, and so Bill and I don't have to worry about Ben's whereabouts, and we're not angsting over professional deadlines, overdue schoolwork, messy rooms and the like.
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 longSue, 9:15 PM: Soon pls & let me know.Ben, 9:16 PM: OK
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.


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