Ethan Watters is a journalist who has spent the last two decades writing about psychiatry and social psychology. Most recently, he is the author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. The book suggests that America is homogenizing not just the categorization and treatment of the mentally ill but the subjective experience of being mentally ill as well. Prior to that, he wrote Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family, an examination of the growing population of the “never marrieds.” He began his career writing about day care abuse scares and other urban hysterias of the early 1990s. He was the first national magazine writer to expose the excesses and mistakes of therapists who lead their patients to uncover "recovered memories" of early childhood abuse. That work culminated in a co-authorship (with UC Berkeley social psychologist Richard Ofshe) of Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy and Sexual Hysteria, a groundbreaking indictment of the recovered memory movement. Also with Ofshe, Watters coauthored Therapy's Delusions: The Myth of the Unconscious and the Exploitation of Today's Walking Worried. Watters is a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Discover, Men’s Journal, Details, Wired, and This American Life. His writing on the new research surrounding epigenetics was been featured in the 2003’s Best American Science and Nature Writing series. Watters is co-founder (along with Ethan Canin and Po Bronson) of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, a workspace for journalists, novelists, poets and filmmakers. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.
- Watters, Ethan. Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American. New York. Free Press 2011.
- Watters, Ethan. Urban Tribes: Are Friends the New Family? New York. Bloomsbury USA. 2003
- Watters, Ethan and Ofshe, Richard. Therapy’s Delusions: The Exploitation of Today’s Walking Worried. New York. Scribner 1999.
- Ofshe, Richard and Watters, Ethan. Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy, and Sexual Hysteria. New York. Scribner 1994.