Meet Shirley P. Glass, Ph.D., ABPP

Although NOT “Just Friends” is the first book by Dr. Shirley Glass, she is considered one of the world’s leading experts on infidelity. The New York Times has referred to her as “the godmother of infidelity research.” She has written clinical chapters about treating infidelity and empirical research articles in professional journals about sex differences in marital and extramarital relationships. She has also presented countless seminars on preventing and treating the trauma of infidelity at national conferences for therapists, counselors, and marriage educators. NOT “Just Friends” draws on more than two decades of original research and hundreds of clinical cases to chronicle the human story of what occurs, before, during, and after the trauma of betrayal. Dr. Glass is also preparing an academic book, The Trauma of Infidelity: Research and Treatment.

Shirley Politzer Glass was married at age 19 shortly before completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, and she had her first child 13 months later. Her husband, Barry, started out as a radio announcer but then became a CPA who founded a regional accounting and consulting firm, Glass Jacobson. Shirley and Barry have three adult children and two teenage grandsons. Their older daughter, Randi Glass Murray, is a literary agent based in San Francisco, specializing in literary fiction and narrative non-fiction; their son, Ira Glass, is host/producer of This American Life on public radio, and their younger daughter, Karen Glass Barry, is a senior vice president in film development at Disney Studios.

Dr. Glass began her doctoral studies at Catholic University of America the same year that her oldest child, Randi, entered college. Prior to that, she was a school psychologist in the Baltimore City Public School system. She received her doctorate in clinical-counseling psychology the same year that her youngest child, Karen, entered college. She is a licensed psychologist with a Diplomate in Family Psychology and she is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

She is an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) based on unusual and outstanding contributions in media psychology and in the individual practice of psychotherapy. She founded and chaired the Media Watch Committee for APA’s Division of Media Psychology to monitor how mental health professionals are portrayed in television, movies, and literature. This committee arose from her concern about the erroneous image that media portrayals of inappropriate therapist conduct could have on an uninformed public. Her sensitivity to this problem developed from her experience as Chair of the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists and as a member of a Statewide Taskforce on Sexual Exploitation by Health Providers. She consults and lectures on ethical behaviors by psychotherapists. She frequently reviews and analyzes relationship issues and media portrayals of therapists for USA Today.

Dr. Shirley Glass–a media favorite for her relationship expertise, profound insights, and practical advice–is regularly cited in Newsweek, Redbook, Glamour, USA Today, Reader’s Digest, LA Times, Psychology Today, and Men’s Health. She has appeared on national TV programs including A & E Love Chronicles, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and Oprah. She has also been heard on Public Radio’s Fresh Air, Morning Edition, The Diane Rehm Show and has been featured as a guest and “sexpert” on This American Life (hosted by her son, Ira).

She was a relationship columnist for Electra/Oxygen where she answered e-mail letters for an advice column, wrote editorial articles, and hosted a chat room on relationship issues. She was a contributing author for and is cited on websites such as Third Age, Salon, and ABCNews.

Both Dr. Glass and her husband, Barry, are survivors of breast cancer. She has presented workshops on coping with breast cancer at professional conferences and at community seminars for survivors and their loved ones. She is in private practice in the Baltimore area where she does individual and couples therapy. Her areas of specialization are sexual and relationship problems, anxiety and phobias, and trauma recovery.

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