Teasers from How Does That Make You Feel?

“’Do you think of me when you masturbate?’” the man asked. ‘Yuck no. That’s gross,’ sixteen-year-old me replied. His name was Ron. He was my married, forty-five-year old child psychologist.”

Estelle Erasmus, Therapy Undercover: Satin Shirts and Sex Talk

“My clinical training prepared me to welcome my patients’ tears but taught me very little about how to acknowledge my own…Crying has become an emotional cord between my patients and me, communicating an understanding that words cannot.”

Juli Fraga, When the Therapist Cries

“A few months later Marcelle terminates therapy. Her depression has lifted and she is ‘cured!’ I put up no resistance, rather feeling a sense of joy that I won’t have to see this terminally narcissistic patient ever again.”

Beth Sloan, I Really, Really Hate You

“The entire six years I saw my therapist, Lynn, I lied to her. Not little lies, the kinds I knew my friends told their therapists about exactly how many men they’d slept with…I told big lies.”

Anna March, Lies I Told My Therapist

“I grew up believing blacks buried our emotions and held secrets close. Secrets helped African Americans survive enslavement… ‘Therapy is for white people,’ the rule went. ‘Take your burden to God’ was the message delivered from pulpits.”

Jenine Holmes, Therapy Is for White People

“It turned out that by getting engaged to Eleanor I was also marrying her shrink…Sento wanted a crack at me, being predictably desolate that his star patient, Eleanor, studying to be a psychologist, was engaged to a playwright who refused to go into therapy.”

Charlie Rubin, Why I Didn’t Enter Therapy Sooner

“Dear man on my couch, not only am I not able to help you, I don’t want to help…I’m out of my depth, even five years into this private practice thing… I’m not an impostor; I’m just not the right one for this job.”

Megan Devine, I’m Not the Right One For This Job

“My therapist sounded an awful lot like my boyfriend at times: critical, patronizing, condescending. He would call my responses immature, say things like, ‘Someone with more experience would see it differently.’”

Patti Davis, The Therapist Who Shouldn’t Be One

“When I told a few people I wanted to leave screenwriting and become a therapist, most said I’d lost my mind. Which only made things harder for me, since I pretty much thought the same thing.”

Dennis Palumbo, A Long, Strange Trip

“It was never an absolutely ‘classical’ analysis. ..more like exploring  a vast chambered nautilus shell, say, the size of a small planet – for thirty-eight years…Then just before our, what was it, thirteen-hundredth(?) appointment…I received a call saying my psychotherapist had suffered a debilitating stroke.”

Mary Peacock, Not Even a Smidgen

“I’ve chosen a profession that doubles back to my childhood mode of being invisible while serving as the ‘chosen one’ to listen to Mom’s stories of unendurable suffering. Bearing witness to her pain as a holocaust survivor made me shrink into myself.”

Sherry Amatenstein, Therapist Without a Clue

“The following is a story about real estate and therapy. Not my real estate, God knows. Not my therapy, either. It’s a story of the time my girlfriend and I lived in her shrink’s apartment.”

Adam Sexton, Triplex

“If your therapist keeps harping on you to confront your parents about your lousy childhood, do it, even if by then they’re practically geriatric.”

Beverly Donofrio, My Serial Therapists

About the Book

book cover

Readers of HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL? will never again have to wonder, “What does my therapist really think of me?”

This anthology is the first ever to feature essays about this profound connection from the perspective of both the ‘shrink’ and the ‘shrunk’. Of course your therapist has thoughts about you that on occasion practically leap off his or her tongue into your ears. But at the last minute the impulse is reigned in and the therapist mask prevails.

Read more…

Meet the Contributors


Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a NYC-based therapist and author of The Q&A Dating Book, Love Lessons From Bad Breakups and The Complete Marriage Counselor (www.marriedfaq.com). She edited the anthology, How Does That Make You Feel: True Confessions From Both Sides of the Therapy Couch. Before becoming a therapist she spent two years volunteering at a suicide hotline. She was also an interviewer for Steven Spielberg’s USC Shoah, a foundation dedicated to taking audio-visual testimony from Holocaust survivors.

She is a former editor at Hearst and ivillage.com, and longtime journalist who has written for, among other publications Hemispheres, Brides, Marie Claire, vox.com, qz.com and DAME.com. She runs relationship seminars nationwide and has offered relationship advice on Today, Early Show, and NPR. When pressed, she admits to having conducted a pre-marriage counseling session on an episode of My Big Redneck Wedding.

Here are links to a few of her favorite articles

Follow Sherry on Twitter and on Facebook, and visit this book’s Facebook page.


Laura Bogart’s work has appeared in various journals, and she is a regular contributor to DAME. She has completed a novel titled Don’t You Know That I Love You?


Martha Crawford, LCSW, is a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and clinical supervisor with a generalist private practice in NYC for more than 20 years. She is a graduate of NYU School of Social Work and Advanced Certificate Program in Clinical Social Work, and engages in an ongoing study of depth psychology, mythology, and theology.

Martha also provides writers support and coaching for writers constructing psychologically complex characters, and for artists who are experiencing creative blocks. She was an adoptive parent columnist at Gazillion Voices magazine, a publication by and for adopted adults. You may also find her essays at Psychology Tomorrow magazine as well as Psyched Magazine.

Martha is the author of the blog: What a Shrink Thinks, A Psychotherapist’s Journal.


Patti Davis is the author of eleven books, both fiction and non-fiction, including The Long Goodbye and Till Human Voices Wake Us. Her latest novel is The Earth Breaks in Colors, which is currently being adapted as a screenplay by Susan McMartin.


Megan Devine, LPC. Teacher, speaker, and psychotherapist, Megan Devine has been stirring up our culture’s ideas around grief and loss since 2009.

Her website, refugeingrief.com, is a love letter to people in pain, offering support and acknowledgement, rather than the dismissive cheerleading so often available. Megan is known for her practical, no-nonsense approach to grief, and for her ability to guide people inside some of the most devastating experiences of life and love.

She is licensed as a clinical counselor in Oregon, and is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the Northwest Death Education and Bereavement Support Association.


Beverly Donofrio, named a master memoirist by the Daily Beast, has published three memoirs: The New York Times bestseller Riding in Cars with Boys, which was made into a popular movie; Looking for Mary; and Astonished, called “astonishing” by more than one reviewer.

Her three children’s books are much praised: Where’s Mommy? (the latest) was chosen by The New York Times as a Best Children’s Book of 2014. Her NPR documentaries are perennially re-broadcast, and her personal essays have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire, More, Allure, Spirituality and Health, Village Voice, Huffington Post, and Slate, as well as many anthologies.

She is an instructor at Wilkes University’s Low Residency MFA program and currently lives in Woodstock, New York, where she is working on a collection of essays.


Janice Eidus is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer. She has twice won the O. Henry Prize for her short stories. Her novels include The War of the Rosens, The Last Jewish Virgin, and Urban Bliss. Her short story collections are Vito Loves Geraldine and The Celibacy Club. Her work appears in such magazines as The New York Times, Arts & Letters, Lilith, Jewish Currents, and Purple Clover.

Her work is widely anthologized in such collections as The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories, Desire: Women Write About Wanting, and, Dirt: The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Janice’s website is janiceeidus.com.


Estelle Erasmus is an award-winning journalist, writing coach, and former magazine editor-in-chief. Her writing has been published in Redbook, Brain, Child, Yahoo!, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, and more.

She is a contributor to eight anthologies, including Mothering Through the Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum Experience and Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox (both by She Writes Press).

Her Twitter handle is @EstelleSErasmus and she blogs at musingsonmotherhoodmidlife.com.


Juli Fraga, PsyD, is a psychologist and writer in San Francisco where she specializes in women’s health concerns, including prenatal and postpartum depression. She co-developed, “The Afterglow” a postpartum support group for UCSF Women’s Health and Resource Center.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. Her Twitter handle is @dr_fraga, and her website is DrJuliFraga.com.


Nina Gaby is an advanced practice nurse in psychiatry, a writer, and a visual artist. Her work has been shown widely, and her sculptural porcelain is in the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian.

She has been a psychotherapist for twenty-five years and on the faculty at a number of universities, has contributed to numerous anthologies, and published her own collection, Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women (She Writes Press, 2015).  Nina is a member of several Vermont-based professional organizations, including the Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Interest Group, the Burlington Writer’s Workshop, and the Vermont Book Arts Guild, as well as the national Association of Writers and Writing Programs. She blogs at ninagaby.com.


Mindy Greenstein, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and psycho-oncologist who serves as a consultant to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

In addition to her academic papers and personal essays, she has written two books: The House on Crash Corner (Greenpoint Press, 2011), an O: The Oprah Magazine’s “Riveting Read,” and Lighter as We Go: Virtues, Character Strengths, and Aging (Oxford University Press, 2014), hailed by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of the year on life after 50.

Mindy lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. Her website is mindygreenstein.com.


Jenine Holmes, an essayist and creative non-fiction writer, is a graduate of the Spalding University MFA program. Her work has appeared in The Detroit News, Forbes.com, Learnvest.com, PoemMemoirStory, Ducts, a digital webzine of personal stories, and The New York Times. She lives in New York City with her daughter and is working on a memoir.


Diane Josefowicz’s fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Conjunctions, DAME, and Fence.

A regular contributor to the Saint Ann’s Review and Necessary Fiction, she holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where she served as a writing instructor in the English department, and a PhD in the history of science from MIT. With Jed Z. Buchwald, she is co-author of The Zodiac of Paris (Princeton University Press, 2010), about an ancient temple ceiling that, in 1821, was looted from Egypt and brought to Paris where it caused a crisis of religious authority.

Diane is at work on a novel and a second nonfiction book about the history of Egyptology.


Jean Kim, MD, is a psychiatrist and writer working in Washington, D.C. She is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at George Washington University and received her MA in writing from Johns Hopkins, where she won an Outstanding Graduate Award in 2015. She is a blogger for Psychology Today and has written for The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, In These Times, The Rumpus, Salon, The New York Post, and other publications.

Jean was formerly on the psychiatry faculty at Mount Sinai and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and received her BA in English from Yale and MD from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical College of Virginia.  Her website is jeankimmd.blogspot.com.


Amy Klein has been a journalist for the last two decades. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Antioch University and teaches writing at a university level.

Amy’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, Slate, Salon, New York Magazine, Marie Claire, BBC.com and other publications. Her New York Times Fertility Diary” ran in the Motherlode blog for three years. She is currently working on a fertility memoir, “No Sleep Till Baby.”

Amy’s website is KleinsLines.com.


Binnie Klein, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice in New Haven, Connecticut. She hosts a music and interview show, “A Miniature World,” on WPKN-FM and www.wpkn.org.

She is the author of Blows to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind (SUNY Press, 2010). Her website is binnieklein.com.


Anna March’s writing has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times’s “Modern Love” column, New York Magazine, Tin House, VQR, Hip Mama, and Bustle, and she writes regularly for The Rumpus and Salon.

Anna frequently writes on topics at the intersection of political and popular culture related to inclusive feminism, sexuality, and gender. She is co-founder of The Lulu Fund: Supporting Racial, Gender & Class Justice in Literature. She is founder of LITFOLKS, a literary hosting organization in L.A. and D.C.; and on the Advisory Board for Angels Flight Literary West and Literary Orphans. Her novel, The Diary of Suzanne Frank, and essay collection, We Can Do It: Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, are forthcoming. She is finishing a memoir, Happy People Live Here, and is at work on a new novel.

Learn more on Anna’s website or follow her on Twitter.


Allison McCarthy is a writer with a focus on personal essays, intersectional feminism and social justice.

Her work has been featured in print and online publications such as The Washington Post, The Guardian (U.K.), AlterNet, Vox, Time.comxoJane, DAME, Autostraddle, Ravishly, The Frisky, Medium.com (“Human Parts” series), Bitch, make/shiftMs. (blog), GirlisticYourTango, Hip Mama, Bustle, Global CommentRole/Reboot, Shameless, The Feminist WireColorsNWThe Baltimore Review and Hoax, as well as in several anthologies.

A graduate of Goucher College and the Master of Professional Writing program at Chatham University, she currently lives in Maryland.


Kurt Nemes lives and writes in Washington, DC.  He has written articles on food, travel, parenting, and coping for The Washington Post.  He teaches Tai Chi at a fitness center and blogs about music at musicalalmanac.wordpress.com.


Dennis Palumbo, MA, MFT, formerly a Hollywood screenwriter (My Favorite Year; Welcome Back, Kotter, etc.) is now a licensed psychotherapist and author of Writing From the Inside Out (John Wiley).

His work helping writers has been profiled in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, GQ and other publications, as well as on CNN, NPR and PBS. He also blogs regularly for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. His mystery fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Strand and elsewhere, and is collected in From Crime to Crime (Tallfellow Press).

Dennis’s acclaimed series of crime novels (Mirror Image, Fever Dream, Night Terrors and the latest, Phantom Limb) feature psychologist Daniel Rinaldi, a trauma expert who consults with the Pittsburgh Police.  All are from Poisoned Pen Press.

For more info, please visit DennisPalumbo.com.


Molly Peacock is a widely anthologized poet and biographer, the author of The Analyst, forthcoming from W.W. Norton and Biblioasis, poems about her therapist’s stroke and recovery through painting.

She is also the author of The Paper Garden: Mrs. Delany Begins Her Life’s Work at 72, a biography and meditation on late-life creativity named a Book of the Year by The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Booklist, The London Evening Standard, The Irish Times, and The Sunday Telegraph, as well as Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions with illustrations by Kara Kosaka.

Molly is based in Toronto and New York City.


Pamela Rafalow Grossman’s journalism has been published in outlets such as the Village Voice, Ms., and Real Simple magazine; her essays in Time.com, Essence.com, and elsewhere; and her poems in journals across the country. She is currently working on a documentary. All this came to pass with no help at all from the therapist she writes about here.


Charlie Rubin has been a comedy writer for three decades. He wrote for Seinfeld, In Living Color, and The Jon Stewart Show and then moved from comedy to drama on Law & Order: Criminal Intent from 2004 to 2009, where he wrote ten episodes.

Charlie has worked with and for Norman Lear, Larry David, the Wayans Brothers, Lorne Michaels, Carol Burnett, and Dave Attell, as well as with William Finn in musical theater, and wrote for Spy and National Lampoon. He’s currently writing a feature about urban surfing for Robert Chartoff Productions (of Rocky fame) based on his New York Times Magazine article.  He’s a tenured professor who created, developed, and runs the TV writing concentration at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has taught in Singapore and Chiang Mai, Thailand, and at Columbia University.

Charlie occasionally reviews thrillers and espionage for The New York Times Book Review. He hopes to write about therapy for the rest of his life.


Jonathan Schiff, LCSW, has a PhD in English and a master’s degree in social work. He is a psychotherapist in private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Barbara Schoichet has a PhD in creative writing from Lancaster University in England, an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and a BA in journalism from Stephens College. An avid biker, she’s owned four motorcycles, wrecked two, and logged more than ten thousand miles, including the 3988-mile journey chronicled in her memoir, Don’t Think Twice (Putnam, 2016).

Barbara is also the author of a non-fiction book on being a single woman, several children’s books, and prize-winning short stories. In addition, she has taught creative writing at Stephens College, Santa Fe Community College, and at Denver University, where she also taught 19th-Century Russian literature.

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, she currently lives in New York City, where she is working on her next book.


Adam Sexton is the author of Master Class in Fiction Writing: Techniques from Austen, Hemingway, and Other Greats.  His essays and short stories have appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, the Mississippi Review, and Post Road and on Babble.com, SmithMag.net, and other websites.  He teaches creative writing at Yale.


Susan Shapiro, an award-winning writing professor at the New School and New York University, freelances for The New York Times, New York MagazineThe Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Psychology Today and Salon. She’s the best-selling author of ten books, including the novels What’s Never Said, Overexposed, and Speed Shrinking; the co-authored nonfiction books Unhooked and The Bosnia List; and the acclaimed memoirs Lighting Up, Five Men Who Broke My Heart, and Only as Good as Your Word.

You can find out more about her popular “Instant Gratification Takes Too Long” classes and seminars on her website SusanShapiro.net or follow her on Twitter.

This is the first project she’s ever done with her husband Charlie Rubin, whose last shrink she stole to get him to propose.


Beth Sloan is a pseudonym for a psychologist with a PhD who lives and practices in northern New Jersey.


Eve Tate is a pseudonym for a writer who lives in New York City, where she studies at NYU.


Kate Walter has been living in downtown Manhattan since 1975 when she escaped across the river from New Jersey. Looking for a Kiss: A Chronicle of Downtown Heartbreak and Healing (Heliotrope Books, 2015) is her debut memoir.

Her personal essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, New York  Daily News, AM-NY, The Advocate and many other outlets She teaches writing at New York University and lives in the West Village.

Kate’s website is KateWalter.com


Priscilla Warner co-authored the New York Times bestseller The Faith Club, a memoir about her interfaith relationship with two other New York mothers in the aftermath of 9/11.

After traveling across the country for three years, speaking to audiences in churches, synagogues, and mosques, she vowed to heal from the panic attacks that had plagued her for decades. The author learned how to meditate and wrote about her adventures with Buddhist teachers, therapists and healers in another bestselling memoir, Learning to Breathe.

Priscilla lives outside of New York City where she teaches writing and is working on her next book, as well as art inspired by her childhood drawings.

Her author website is PriscillaWarnerBooks.com.


Linda Yellin’s novel Such a Lovely Couple is about her first husband. Her memoir The Last Blind Date is about her second husband.

After running out of husbands, she wrote What Nora Knew, a novel about Nora Ephron, and romantic movies. All of the books are published by Simon & Schuster.

Her website is LindaYellin.com.


Royal Young is the author of Fame Shark. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York Observer, New York Post and Interview Magazine among others. His solo show of pop art paintings LUSH DOOM debuted at Figureworks Gallery in Williamsburg in September 2015 to critical acclaim. Learn more here.


Jessica Zucker, PhD, is a Los Angeles based psychologist. She is the creator of a line of pregnancy loss cards and the #IHadAMiscarriage campaign.

Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, anthologies, and elsewhere.

Jessica has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, and NPR. Her website is drjessicazucker.com.

About the Editor

Sherry-Headshot-finalSherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a NYC-based therapist and author of The Q&A Dating Book, Love Lessons From Bad Breakups and The Complete Marriage Counselor (www.marriedfaq.com).

She edited the anthology, How Does That Make You Feel: True Confessions From Both Sides of the Therapy Couch. Before becoming a therapist she spent two years volunteering at a suicide hotline. She was also an interviewer for Steven Spielberg’s USC Shoah, a foundation dedicated to taking audio-visual testimony from Holocaust survivors.

Read more