HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Dr. Charles Sophy

Celebrity Psychiatrist and Child Mental Health Expert


  • Side By Side: The Revolutionary Mother-Daughter Program for Conflict-Free Communication
  • Family Building
  • Treating Mental Health in the Child Welfare System
  • Acting Out: Childhood Mental Health and Behavior Issues



Dr. Charles Sophy is board certified in three clinical specialties: Adult Psychiatry, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and Family Practice and author of Side By Side: The Revolutionary Mother-Daughter Program for Conflict-Free Communication (HarperOne). He currently serves as the Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the nation's largest Child Welfare System. As Medical Director, Sophy is responsible for directing the physical and mental health, as well as assisting in ensuring the safety, of over 40,000 foster care children.

Sophy serves as the on-call psychiatrist for Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and Sober House. He has appeared on several national television shows as a family expert, including on Larry King Live, The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, and PBS' A Place Of Our Own. His radio work includes guest spots on Dr. Drew LIVE, Yo on E!, Conway & Whitman, and Let's Talk Adoption. He has been quoted in the LA Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune, and he has been both interviewed and published in major magazines, including Parents, Men's Health, Family Circle, and Redbook. He maintains a blog on Psychology Today and his own website.

Sophy was the recipient of the 2002 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, given by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). He was also presented with both the Discovery Award from the Zimmer Children's Museum and the Children's Voices Award from the Village Family Services for his tireless commitment to the well-being of his community's families. In addition to his county position, Sophy maintains a private practice in Los Angeles and is a clinical instructor at the University of California, Los Angeles Neuro-Psychiatric Institute. The remainder of his time is spent lecturing across the country to various healthcare professionals, medical students, social workers, and parents.

Sophy has dedicated his life to the physical and mental well-being of children and families from all walks of life. Through hundreds of consultations, he found the most promising and most problematic family dynamic is that between mother and daughter. They can go from best friends to mortal enemies with breakneck speed. From boyfriends to curfews and from outfits to eating habits, mothers and daughters often end up in conflict. In Side By Side, Sophy introduces the Four Truths of every mother-daughter relationship, and a revolutionary communication approach called the Chair Strategy. This mom-driven strategy is designed to harness her power to resolve even the most volatile situations between a mother and daughter with love, understanding, and respect. In Side By Side, Sophy reveals how to develop the essential skill for identifying a mother's current position and moving her and her daughter toward the best position for achieving a productive outcome.

Over the last several years at DCFS, Sophy has created a system that has collaboratively implemented and sustained the standardization of child welfare's health and mental health programs. Specifically, Sophy's vision allows all children entering the child welfare system to have a standardized entry exam (forensic and/or routine) conducted by a forensic pediatric expert. Additionally, upon their entry, these children receive an age appropriate mental health screening to assess their level of need, both from a medical and mental health perspective. Both of these crucial services assist a child in following a well-defined path to permanence and safety while under county care, as well as aid in decreasing recidivism rates.

Sophy has also restructured portions of the child welfare system of Los Angeles County to ensure greater care for children with severe mental health disorders. As such, children diagnosed with and/or medicated for a mental health disorder receive a periodic reassessment that allows them to be unencumbered from labels, inappropriate medications and other hindrances to their ultimate well being.

Praise for Side by Side:

"Dr. Sophy helps mothers understand how the relationship with the light of their life goes from blessing to battlefield. The road back is possible and readers will come away with a rich perspective and a renewed ability to connect head and heart so that every mother/daughter will have a richer, more satisfying relationship."
- Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew

"I applaud Dr. Sophy's efforts to take the heat and pain out of the mother-daughter relationship. His principles are sound and his advice is practical. Side By Side is an innovative and useful book."
- Jane Isay, author of Walking on Eggshells: Navigating the Delicate Relationships Between Adult Children and Parents

"This book directs you on a path to connect mother to daughter or vice versa. It is a marvelous gift."
- Sharon Stone

"Side by Side is a must-have for girls, especially if you're spending a long weekend with your mom!"
- Paris Hilton

"Dr. Sophy has an amazing understanding of the mother/daughter relationship. He has helped bring me clarity on how I can be the best possible parent to my daughters."
- Nathalie Marciano, former Creative Director for Charles David Shoes, producer of My Life in Ruins

"In Side by Side, Dr. Sophy has helped me better understand my own behavior as a woman and allowed me to strengthen my connection with my daughter through practical exercises and compelling stories. Truly a brilliant read!"
- Mel B, actress and singer

"Accessibly written and abundantly illustrated with stories taken from Sophy's extensive professional repertoire, this book would be useful for mothers of any age interested in improving their relationships with their daughters."
- Library Journal