Augustus Y. Napier was born in Decatur, Georgia and graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A in English. After deciding to become a therapist through a personal therapy experience, he earned a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina.
During an internship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he began to work with Dr. Whitaker as a student co-therapist, an experience which formed the basis of this book. Dr. Napier later served on the faculties of the Psychiatry Department and the Child and Family Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin.
He now directs The Family Workshop, a family therapy training institute in Atlanta, Georgia, where he works frequently with his wife, Margaret, who is also a family therapist. A frequent consultant, he is the author of numerous papers and of The Fragile Bond, published by Harper & Row in 1988. The Napiers have three children.