Irene S. Levine, PhD is a clinical psychologist and award-winning freelance journalist and author who spent the major portion of her career as a senior manager and policymaker at the National Institute of Mental Health in Rockville, Maryland. After that, she was privileged to serve as the first Deputy Director of the federal Center for Mental Health Services during the Clinton Administration.

Prior to her career with the federal government, Irene worked in variety of clinical settings with both children and adults. She currently works in the field of psychiatric research and holds a faculty appointment as a Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine.

Her writing---focused on health, lifestyles, travel and relationships--- has appeared in scores of newspapers (including the Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, New York Times, Newsday, and USA Today) and national magazines (such as AARP Bulletin, Better Homes and Gardens, Bottom Line Health, Health, Ladies Home Journal, Prevention, and Reader's Digest).

She writes a bimonthly mental health column called Mind Matters for AAAS Science Magazine's online publication, Next Wave and writes articles on relationships for Revolution Health. She recently began blogging for the Living Section of the widely-read Huffington Post.

Irene serves on the professional advisory boards of the National Meningitis Association and the National Resource Center for Women and Families and is an advisor to the Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorder. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the American Medical Writers Association, the Association of Healthcare Journalists, the Authors Guild, and the National Association of Science Writers.

Her rich clinical, academic and analytic background---along with her warmth and personal social skills----combine to make her uniquely qualified to understand the complex and compelling nature of female friendships and to explain and write about these important bonds.

Irene, her psychiatrist husband and their teenage son, a senior at New York University, reside in Westchester County, New York. She and her husband are currently collaborating on Schizophrenia for Dummies (Wiley, November 2008), which they hope will be an accessilble and easy-to-read go-to resource for families trying to understand this complex disorder and its treatment.

Irene’s bio and clips are posted on her Web site.