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The Cop Doc: Ellen Kirschman


Ellen and Kristin discuss her work with first responders and her popular mystery series about Police psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff.

About Ellen Kirschman:

People call me the cop doc. I’ve been a clinical psychologist far longer than I’ve been a mystery writer. My specialty is treating first responders, cops and fire fighters who are suffering with work-related traumatic stress. My protagonist, police psychologist Dr. Dot Meyerhoff is a spunky, 50 plus year old who takes orders from no one, including her chief. I named her after my mother and grandmother. Dot and I share some traits, but we’re definitely not the same. She’s younger, thinner, investigates crimes when she should be counseling cops and has some skills I don’t need: breaking and entering, impersonating a public official, and assault with a deadly weapon. Too dedicated for her own good, not to mention stubborn, impulsive, and full of self-doubt, Dot never gives up on anyone which is important because cops are difficult clients. They hate reaching out for help because it makes them feel weak and they don’t trust outsiders, especially “shrinks.”

I started my writing career with non-fiction and I’m still at it. Along the way I’ve earned awards from The California Psychological Association for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology and the American Psychological Association for Outstanding Contribution to Police and Public Safety Psychology.

After my third book, I began to wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to make things up. It isn’t. In fact it’s harder although it’s more fun because it gives me the opportunity to take pot shots at nasty cops, unethical psychologists and a few of my ex-husbands.

I’m a transplanted New Yorker. I’ve been living in Northern California since the summer of love. When I’m not writing, teaching, or volunteering as a clinician at the First Responders Support Network, I’m at the gym, in the kitchen, or traveling. I blog at Psychology Today, serve on the Northern California board of Mystery Writers of America, and belong to Sisters-in-Crime, Public Safety Writers Association, The American Psychological Association, and psychological services section of The Association of Chiefs of Police.


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