instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads


Dr. Patricia Weenolsen is a psychologist specializing in life-span development and death and dying.

Born in Paris, France, to British historical novelist Hebe Otway-Ward Weenolsen and producer-director Robert Weenolsen, she grew up in New York City among floor-to-ceiling shelves of books that made no distinction between Rabelais and Livy, Emily Dickinson and Ogden Nash or her favorite, Carolyn Keene. She read them all. A family book plate depicts her father with a quill in his hand, her mother with baby Robert in her arms, and a little girl who was to become Dr. Trish hauling around a book as big as she was.

Educated in this country, she received her B.A. in English Composition from Barnard College, then married and gave birth to five daughters. Meanwhile, she returned to school to pick up Psychology courses all over Southern California. She obtained a Psychology M.A. from Long Beach State, another in Human Development from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She taught at several universities including UCSC and published Transcendence of Loss over the Life Span.

After an inspiring year-long journey by car around the country, visiting caves, museums, and historical sites and staying in campgrounds, hostels and motels with collapsing beds, she wrote The Art of Dying, a pioneering how-to book for those facing their own deaths. She has counseled thousands of bereaved and terminally ill persons and has led seminars and workshops on dying, loss, and related topics. Dr. Trish has appeared on the Today Show, the Joan Rivers Show, and National Public Radio.

Now living in Seattle near daughters and granddaughters, she has published short stories under the name Patricia Otway-Ward in such literary magazines as Tri-Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, and Confrontation. She has also fallen in love with American history, especially the stories of women long neglected by the history texts. She writes and publishes American historical fiction and is beginning a new free-spirited venture -- an independent literary press to be called Rubythroat.