Carolyn Kaufman, Psy.D., was pursuing a bachelor's degree in writing when she discovered how much an understanding of psychology could add to her fiction. By her senior year, she'd not only subjected most of Shakespeare's plays to psychodynamic analysis, she'd decided to pursue her doctorate in clinical psychology.
While she was in graduate school, she became aware of the discrepancies between what she was learning in school and seeing in her office and the psychology in popular fiction and nonfiction. Committed to finding ways to bridge that gap, she wrote her dissertation on improving the accuracy of the psychology that appeared in women's popular periodicals. Or, as she explained it to most people, "I'm teaching shrinks how to write for Cosmo."
After she completed her degree, she was offered a full-time teaching job at Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio—the perfect opportunity to teach lots of people about the differences between "real" psychology and popular misconceptions! Around that time she also began working with writers to help them “get the psych right” in their stories, and her book on the same topic, The Writer’s Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment, and Human Behavior (2010), is available from Quill Driver Books.
In addition to her job as a professor, she continues to work with writers and serves as an expert source for journalists, appearing in publications ranging from magazines like Marie Claire and Wired to newspapers like USA Today and books like Andrea Kay's Work's a Bitch and then You Make It Work. She particularly enjoys helping with news stories that explore the psychology of fictional media.
Her PT Blog is Psychology for Writers.