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Pitch Letter


915 broadway ++ suite 1009 ++ new york, new york 10010 ++ 212-260-7576

November 2009

Dear Journalist/Producer:

Clinical Psychologist to DC’s Most Powerful and Influential

Reveals the Long-Term Effects of

Growing Up as “The Favorite Child”


First Book Written on the Subject That Deals with This Special Relationship


For the past three decades, Dr. Ellen Weber Libby has devoted the lion’s share of her work as a clinical psychologist to helping successful, often prominent clients in Washington, DC, sort out and deal with the impact of childhood favoritism—a trait, which Dr. Libby says, is a prominent character assessment in order to help many of them get where they are today. “Whether parents realize it or not, every family has favorites . . . even when you are part of a big family unit or an only child.” Dr. Libby attests. “All family members live with the profound effects, good and bad, of favoritism.”

In her groundbreaking book The Favorite Child (Prometheus Books; January 2010; ISBN 978-1-59102-762-1; $18.00; Hardcover), Dr. Libby reveals the great advantages and terrible toll of what she calls “the favorite child complex.” Based on both professional and personal experiences, she can let your audience in on how growing up singled out for being special—in the eyes of at least one parent—shapes a person’s traits and behaviors throughout adulthood. Dr. Libby can discuss:

The fallout of favoritism in her own family...Her brother-in-law, Scooter Libby, former chief-of-staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, paid a high price for being his mother’s favorite son. After a lifetime of leveraging his charm and evading accountability for his actions, Scooter was implicated in a CIA cover-up and convicted of perjury.

The idiosyncratic dynamics and variations of favoritism in different families—including families with one child and many children; families with divorced, same-sex, and single parents as well as traditional two-parent families.

The positive characteristic of grown-up favored children—particularly social astuteness, determination, effectiveness, and optimism—which drive so many of them into politics. (Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were both their mother’s favorite sons.)

The risks of favoritism, from growing up feeling entitled to lacking a firm sense of self-identity to behaving in a way that resembles a sociopath.

Why feeling favoritism is normal; how expressing favoritism can be inappropriate, emotionally unhealthy, and destructive to the entire family; and how to practice “fluid” favoritism for raising strong, confident, capable, and accountable children.

Author Ellen Weber Libby, Ph.D. received her doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1977. Since completing her doctorate, she has devoted her professional life to fostering the psychological well being of individuals, couples, and families. Prior to beginning her private practice, Dr. Libby was the clinical director of a mental health center and on the faculty at the University of Maryland. Ellen maintains a private practice in Washington, DC, where she has spent over 60,000 hours with clients, working with them individually and in groups. Applying her expertise in family dynamics to ongoing individual and group therapy, Dr. Libby supervises therapists and leads professional workshops. The Favorite Child is her first book. Ellen has two children, and lives in Annapolis, MD with her husband.

Dr. Libby will be available for national and local interviews in New York City, Washington, DC, and Chicago. Regardless of their status growing up, everyone can relate to The Favorite Child. I look forward to discuss media possibilities at your earliest convenience.


Justin Loeber


Mouth Public Relations


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