Hilary Orbach is a writer and psychotherapist who has maintained a deep engagement in both roles throughout her life. She grew up in Chicago, IL and attended the University of Chicago, where she earned her AB degree and took graduate work in Human Development and in English. She was awarded a Fiction Fellowship at Stanford University, and continued to write and study fiction and poetry in early years of marriage and as a parent.
She earned an MSW degree from Fordham University at Lincoln Center in 1977, and for more than 35 years has been involved in both agency and private practice of psychotherapy. During that time she has written and taught extensively in the field of community mental health, and continues to use her professional name, Hilary Ryglewicz, in her psychotherapy practice in New York and in Nyack, NY. She is on faculty and a supervisor at the Couple Therapy Training Program of the Training Institute for Mental Health, and lives in New York City with her husband Jack Orbach.
Hilary Orbach has brought to her writing an awareness of people and their situations that is both emotional and conceptual, springing from both her own life experience and her work as a psychotherapist. She seeks to present our human quandaries with empathy and compassion, linked with keen perception and understanding. In the art of fiction as in the art of therapy, she strives to embrace people and their life issues in meaningful narratives. In therapy, these narratives are co-constructed and have as their purpose the power of healing. In works of fiction, imaginary people and situations speak to the reader's own perceptions and emotional experience, and the power is that of recognition.