The Breakup Doctor

By: Phoebe Fox


I’m not usually much on book dedications, but I offer this one wholeheartedly to Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt, the wise, loving, protective older siblings every woman should have. I also dedicate it to my husband, who was so, so worth waiting—and wading—through every other relationship to find. To my mom, who is not Viv. And I dedicate it to women. Because you are beautiful, and strong, and smart, and worthy. And if you’re not quite ready to believe that yet, then until you are, along with Brook, I will believe it for you.


Writing can be such a solitary pursuit, but the process of creating a novel—at least for me—is a cumulative effort of people without whom this story would not exist. I offer each of them my heartfelt, grateful thanks:

First, the knowledgeable, accommodating, indispensable team at Henery Press: my keen-eyed and constructive editor, Kendel Flaum; the savvy and always-available Art Molinares; Chloe Harper, and all the in-house chickens. Without fail, the Hen House team has gone beyond my every expectation of what a publisher does, and I consider it a privilege to be among their authors. Their unflagging enthusiasm for The Breakup Doctor has been immensely gratifying.

I would never have reached this point without the unswerving support and encouragement of my agent, Courtney Miller-Callihan at Sanford J. Greenberger. Not only did she love this story from the beginning, but she stuck by it with endless patience, diligence, and conviction until we found the perfect home for it. I am a lucky writer to have someone like her in my corner.

Laura Wright, PhD, a counseling psychologist at Florida Gulf Coast University who specializes in college student mental health and training and supervision of new psychologists, was generous with her time and professional expertise, so that I wasn’t entirely shooting my mouth off in ignorance. Any instances of bad advice on Brook’s part are my own fault; Laura was a wealth of information and excellent input, and I would never hesitate to entrust her with my mental well-being.

Dear friends had the fortitude and tolerance to read early drafts of this story and offer me their feedback, which was invaluable if I was successful in “leaving out the parts that people skip,” as Elmore Leonard says. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Kathryn Haydn Hays, for her lightning-fast emergency read and brilliant comments that focused as always on what was best for the book, not my delicate ego; to Stephanie Davis, for helping me laugh at our dating sagas that helped form the idea; Marcie and Doug Walter, Jenny Smith, Richard LeMay, Merritt Graham, and Jan Davis, for being early readers and well-loved friends. A shout-out to English teacher extraordinaire Connie Corley, for nurturing the seed.

Thanks to Leah Loftin of LL Kent and Paige Throckmorton, as well as Lori Virdure and Amy Ewing of Langford Market, for their enthusiasm for this book. These generous women went well above and beyond the call of duty and helped me feel part of a team in bringing The Breakup Doctor to life.

Author, producer, and dating savant Liz Tuccillo has long influenced my writing and my life through her work. How lucky I was to discover she’s as gracious and generous as her work suggests. My bottomless thanks to her for her kindness and support.

Authors Sarah Bird and Sherry Thomas have influenced me in ways they may not even be aware of. Their writing has nourished my imagination; their generosity and support have nourished my heart. Donna Barnes, relationship expert and founder of the terrific online dating site Date Better, is as kind and generous as she is wise in the ways of dating.

Kelly Harrell, Amber Novak, and John J. Asher, gifted writers in their own right, are the reason this book is in your hands right now. My Pennies, you allow me to learn and grow by working with all of you. Even as a writer, I can’t find enough words to thank you: For your insightful, generous, and enlightening critiques of my manuscript in drafts ad nauseam. For delicious dinners and brain-sparking, wine-fueled discussions on writing. For limitless friendship, support, and commiseration. You three are almost entirely to credit for anything good in my writing. Your friendship is every bit as intrinsic. The multitalented Amber Novak also made me look better in photographs than I had any natural right to.