After a successful twenty-year career teaching college-level history (University of Michigan, Union College, and Sarah Lawrence College) Phyllis resigned her tenure at Sarah Lawrence College and undertook journalism training (at Columbia University's J School). Informed by a masters degree in Public Health (from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health), she became a full time writer and editor of a website hosting opinions and reader contributions about behavioral health, while aggregating news and information about mental illnesses. MIWatch.org (now defunct) enabled some of the earliest conversations introducing recovery-oriented initiatives into the larger community. Partly due to her family's experience of mental illness in every generation, and partly because she taught the history of health care to graduate students studying health advocacy, writing about mental health is a natural byproduct of her life's journey.
In addition to three previous books, her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals as diverse as the History of Education Quarterly, American Journal of Orthpsychiatry, to chapters in specialized volumes such as Research in Community and Mental Health. Later, her investigative reporting appeared in City Limits, The Nation and Extra!
She lives in West Stockbridge, Mass., where she and her husband, a retired physician, moved just before the pandemic from Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where they raised their children and lived for nearly forty years.
Partial list of older works: