Writers Beware! Diagnosing Characters on TV and Film

In many Hollywood films and TV shows, therapists are portrayed as quick to assign diagnostic labels to characters in the story with emotional distress. Here's why it's a bad idea.

Breaking News: Writing is Hard!

Some claim that there is a link between creativity and mental health problems, but is this really true?

Should You Write With a Partner?

Learn the pros and cons of writing with a partner.

Perfect Timing, and How to Get It

Perfect timing is out of our control, but there are things you can do to even the odds.

Enough: How Not to Over-Write

How NOT to overwrite your script or novel

Getting Notes on Your Script: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

For a screenwriter, addressing script notes can be an agonizing experience.

How to Get Your Film Made in Eight Short Years!

An interview with a man whose Hollywood dream finally came true—after eight years of blood, sweat, and tears.

Memo to a Successful Writer

Now that you've made it, how to keep on keeping on.

How to Write from the Inside Out

A podcast interview with psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo about writers' issues

Words of Wisdom (Hollywood Edition)

A collection of notable, inspiring quotes about the creative life

Getting Out of Your Own Way

For a creative person, "being yourself" is simple, but not easy.

Create Now, Critique Later

How to keep in mind the final product while creating in the here-and-now.

Therapist By Day, Crime Writer By Night

How I combine doing therapy with writing mystery novels.

Giving to Your Career When It's Not Giving Back

Dealing with the low points in a creative career

Turning Anxiety Into Creativity

How to turn anxiety into creativity

Dealing with Your "Inner Critic"

Among the majority of my creative patients — TV and film writers, directors, actors, etc., a primary concern is the struggle against their “inner critic.” By that I mean the persistent, sometimes harsh and almost always shaming “voice” that belittles or invalidates their work.

The War Between Faith and Doubt

A misspent childhood watching Saturday morning cartoons has left an image indelibly imprinted on my memory: a character is in conflict between doing right or wrong, prodded to do good by a tiny angel whispering in one ear, while an equally tiny devil argues the opposite position in the other.

Taking the Mystery Out of Writing Mysteries

Yes, viewers of mysteries and thrillers like tightly-plotted narratives, clever red herrings, and a certain element of surprise. And you should always strive to weave as many of these aspects into your whodunnit or crime script as possible. But these factors are not what makes an onscreen mystery memorable.

Deadline Dread

Someone once said, "The problem with being a writer is that it's like always having homework due." Whether a screenwriter on assignment, a member of a TV series' writing staff, or a struggling writer who's promised his or her agent a terrific new spec pilot, everyone's faced a deadline at some point.

Oscars and Emmys and Globes, Oh My!

As a psychotherapist who works with people in the Hollywood community, I'm aware of the external pressures that affect my patients. Things happen, like a writers or actors strike, from which some creative careers never recover.

The Girl with the Evil Psychiatrist

Why are male therapists now portrayed as villains in movies and on TV?