January 3, 2020
Genre/Categories: Nonfiction, Memoir, Psychology, Therapy, Mental Health
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Exploring mental health, finding meaning in life, and repairing broken relationships…
Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and national advice columnist, shares a behind-the-scenes look into her work as a therapist. She also shares what it was like when she sought out therapy for herself.
“Most of what we say to ourselves we’d never say to people we love or care about, like our friends or children. In therapy, we learn to pay close attention to those voices in our heads so that we can learn a better way to communicate with ourselves.
Humorous, thought-provoking, and candid…
My initial reaction to Maybe You Should Talk to Someone was skepticism that a smart and successful professional therapist would have such a difficult time navigating the break up of a two-year relationship that it would drive her to seek therapy. Instead of feeling compassion for her, I began to doubt her credibility. However, in this way, she does endear herself to readers as “one of us.” As she builds the story, introducing us to four patients (clients) and transparently sharing her own experience as a therapist seeking therapy, I became invested in the book.
I grew to care about her four clients: a 70-year-old woman who wanted to end her life, an abrasive and arrogant midlife Hollywood producer, a young newlywed facing a terminal illness, and a twenty-something who doesn’t make the best choices in men. When the author’s issues are added into the mix, there is enough variety for all readers to make a few connections. I love how the author integrates the five therapeutic experiences and how authentic it feels. She makes connections between her four clients and her own issues. I appreciate that she presents herself as a client and not the all-knowing professional.
The author and her therapist exemplify the caring and competent therapists that we each hope we would have. They are not afraid to make a connection, take risks and think outside the box. I wish that everyone could have therapists like Lori and Wendell.
Themes: Many thought-provoking themes are presented in Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. The ones that I thought the most about were pursuing a meaningful life, the hope of repairing broken relationships, and learning to appreciate the positive when our lives veer off our ideally envisioned future (“Welcome to Holland”). It left me with the feeling that therapy with the right professional could be a very good experience for most of us! I hope this candid and friendly exploration of therapy will help encourage more people to talk to someone.
Recommended: I consider this a worthwhile and beneficial read with this note: it has some profanity (if that bothers you) and it’s filled with triggers including terminal illness and death of a child. I found it emotional at points. I highly recommend this for readers who are in the field of mental health (or considering the field), for those who are curious about therapy and/or some of the terminology and process, for fans of poignant memoir, and for everyone who wants to live a more meaningful life. If you’ve never been to therapy, this might ease your curiosity or apprehension. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone started out as a 4-star read and ended up as a solid 5 stars. I encourage you to give it time to come together.
My Rating: 5 Stars
This is my Review of the Month for the book review link-up on LovelyAudiobooks.info.
Meet the Author, Lori Gottlieb
Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, which is being adapted as a television series with Eva Longoria. In addition to her clinical practice, she writes The Atlantic‘s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column and contributes regularly to The New York Times. She is also a TED speaker and serves on the Advisory Council for Bring Change to Mind. She appears in media such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, CNN, and NPR’s “Fresh Air.” Learn more at LoriGottlieb.com.
Is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone on your TBR?
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