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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

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From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she). One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she). One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives—a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys—she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell: about desire and need, guilt and redemption, meaning and mortality, loneliness and love. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, pulling back the curtain on the therapeutic process, life-changing account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.


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From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she). One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she). One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives—a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys—she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell: about desire and need, guilt and redemption, meaning and mortality, loneliness and love. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, pulling back the curtain on the therapeutic process, life-changing account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

30 review for Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Jeffers

    If you've followed me here on Goodreads for any length of time, you probably know that I am incredibly passionate about mental health advocacy. It's something that we need to talk about more, so we can break down the stigma surrounding it and more people can pursue help. So it should not be a surprise that I was excited to read a memoir about a therapist pursuing therapy to help her deal with her own issues—or that I absolutely loved the book. These days, I'm pretty open about the fact that I see If you've followed me here on Goodreads for any length of time, you probably know that I am incredibly passionate about mental health advocacy. It's something that we need to talk about more, so we can break down the stigma surrounding it and more people can pursue help. So it should not be a surprise that I was excited to read a memoir about a therapist pursuing therapy to help her deal with her own issues—or that I absolutely loved the book. These days, I'm pretty open about the fact that I see a therapist and I love it. I have (only semi) jokingly said many times that I think everyone should give it a try at least twice—go to the initial intake appointment then go at least once more to get a feel for it. Even if you don't think you have a diagnosable condition such as anxiety or depression, just talking out your challenges and breaking down your less-than-great behavioral patterns with an unbiased third party can be an eye-opening experience. It's taken me a long while to get to the point where I feel comfortable talking about it with others, and I appreciate anything, like this book, that will help more people talk about the process. Lori Gottlieb pursued a career as a therapist relatively late in life. She started out as a TV writer, but her time on ER spurred her to more seriously think about a medical career. She worked as a freelance writer while attending medical school and gradually began to feel pulled in too many different directions. It was the "helping people" part of medicine that most strongly interested her, so an advisor suggested that she switch from and MD to a PhD in psychotherapy. And yet, she hadn't really been in therapy herself, outside of the practice sessions she was required to do as part of her training. So when her fiancee ends their relationship out of the blue and she finds that she has trouble processing her emotions about the situation, Gottlieb decides to seek out some professional help. Using some clandestine methods, she asks a friend for a recommendation and begins seeing Wendell, a therapist to whom she has no professional or personal connections (a surprising challenge!) Gottlieb starts out thinking that she just needs a couple of sessions to get over this hump, as it were, but her conversations with Wendell make her see that she could actually use more help than she realized. It's a jarring realization, but it's also one that seems to make her a better therapist as it makes more clear the struggle some of her patients have in connecting the dots between their pasts and their presents, their problematic behaviors and the painful consequences, and being honest about things that don't put themselves in the best light. The memoir is divided between recounting Gottlieb's sessions with Wendell, her sessions with her own patients (specific details of which I have to believe have been heavily obscured), and a little bit about her path toward becoming a therapist and single mother. The result is an incredibly open and honest look at the therapy process that lays it out better than any other depiction of therapy I've ever read—Gottlieb makes it clear that your therapist is not there to tell you what to do but to help you recognize how your own patterns might be causing you unnecessary pain, but she's also honest in showing how hard it is to recognize not-so-flattering sides of ourselves and how deeply ingrained our those patterns can be. She's deeply empathetic, even when her patients frustrate her. She seems deeply committed to learning how to be better as a therapist and a patient. I even spent a good chunk of a session talking about this book with my own therapist, partly because I knew it was something she'd enjoy reading and I can never not recommend a book to anyone when I think they'd enjoy it, but also because reflecting on Gottlieb's experiences genuinely helped me have a breakthrough about some of the work that I've been doing for the last couple of years. This is a great memoir and I highly recommend it to all readers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook…narrated by Brittany Pressley... ( Brittany was excellent). I can see reasons for owing a hard copy as well as the Audiobook. Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who writes a “Dear Therapist” advice column. She lives in Los Angeles. She attended Yale and Stanford University. She has an impressive life/ career resume. We are taken into her therapy sessions with her clients. We also walk through the door with Lori for sessions with her therapist. This book is the real deal.... not cheesy- Audiobook…narrated by Brittany Pressley... ( Brittany was excellent). I can see reasons for owing a hard copy as well as the Audiobook. Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist who writes a “Dear Therapist” advice column. She lives in Los Angeles. She attended Yale and Stanford University. She has an impressive life/ career resume. We are taken into her therapy sessions with her clients. We also walk through the door with Lori for sessions with her therapist. This book is the real deal.... not cheesy- cheap advice. From both sides of the couch - Lori is easy to relate to. She has it terrific sense of humor. She brings out thoughts & feelings in us - that melt naturally into our skin as easy as smoothing coconut oil on. She’s not obnoxious- or too over the top. She’s honest - reminding us how human we all are. It’s fascinating watching the way a therapist cracks open the slippery little salamanders -that people ( all of us), don’t want exposed - especially when feeling too vulnerable or threatened. Loss, grief, betrayal, failure, depression, change, ... it’s all covered and more. We become clear the way good therapy works - therapist can’t change situations but they can help clients have a deeper understanding of themselves. Lori shares about her life experience and daily conversations being as important to bring into a session when working with a client as much as her of academic training. This book is seriously personal and primal! Absolutely outstanding- excellent - compassionate - and informative. Two thumbs UP!!!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    What is therapy like? The author breaks down the walls and gives us a peek behind closed doors into her sessions with clients as well as sessions with her own therapist, who she consults after a devastating break-up. We also get glimpses into the author's education, career, and her personal life. I felt as if I got to know her and her patients and I became invested in their lives. Details were changed for confidentiality, but the spirit of the stories remained true and the problems were real. I c What is therapy like? The author breaks down the walls and gives us a peek behind closed doors into her sessions with clients as well as sessions with her own therapist, who she consults after a devastating break-up. We also get glimpses into the author's education, career, and her personal life. I felt as if I got to know her and her patients and I became invested in their lives. Details were changed for confidentiality, but the spirit of the stories remained true and the problems were real. I cried with Julie and cheered when John and Rita made breakthroughs. The author divulges some tricks of the trade and along the way imparts bits of wisdom that we can take away to use in our own lives. I listened to this on audio and could have listened to more. The style is easy-going and totally engaging. I plan on getting a hard copy and putting a tin of book darts to good use. Highly recommended to anyone who loves ‘behind the scene’ looks, character studies, and insight into all things psychological.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I'm really not sure what to say about this book. The positives: I like that it is open and honest about mental health, therapy, self-love, and facing our fears (even if we're unaware what those fears are!) More books with a focus on these themes need to be written! I felt close to each character as I got to know them and truly cared about the outcome of each of their stories. The not-so-positives: I'm not really sure what the "point" of this book is. It seemed like a journal that the author late I'm really not sure what to say about this book. The positives: I like that it is open and honest about mental health, therapy, self-love, and facing our fears (even if we're unaware what those fears are!) More books with a focus on these themes need to be written! I felt close to each character as I got to know them and truly cared about the outcome of each of their stories. The not-so-positives: I'm not really sure what the "point" of this book is. It seemed like a journal that the author later decided to publish (which she kind of admits to at the end). It was clearly therapeutic to her to write it and make sense of what she had been through, but I'm not sure how helpful her breakup experience is to the rest of us. The structure was a bit disorganized (chronologically) and hard to follow at times; there did not seem to be a clear plot with problem and resolution. I kept finding myself thinking, "Wow, that's [emotion or reactionary adjective here], but...so what? Is this relevant to the rest of the 'story' somehow?" I would have liked there to be a bit more focus, and irrelevant details could have been left out to move the book along and help readers understand what the author wanted the message or theme to be. Overall, I'm glad I read this book; I connected with the characters in many ways and cared for their wellbeing. I just wish it had been more strategically written and organized so that I would be left understanding what the author was really trying to communicate. It could have been a lot more powerful.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Olive (abookolive)

    Check out my review on Booktube: https://youtu.be/tIlGCRTgmg8

  6. 5 out of 5

    Renee (itsbooktalk.com)

    Ever have a book that just completely blows you away? This was THAT book for me!.... I listened to the audio which was perfection. The narrator was one of the best I’ve ever listened to but I had to have a print copy for highlighting & putting on my 5⭐ bookshelf. ⠀⠀ The set up: LA therapist Lori Gottlieb finds herself in need of her own therapist, so we get alternating chapters with her and her wise therapist Wendell interspersed with chapters of Lori’s sessions with her clients. I was SO inve Ever have a book that just completely blows you away? This was THAT book for me!.... I listened to the audio which was perfection. The narrator was one of the best I’ve ever listened to but I had to have a print copy for highlighting & putting on my 5⭐️ bookshelf. ⠀⠀ The set up: LA therapist Lori Gottlieb finds herself in need of her own therapist, so we get alternating chapters with her and her wise therapist Wendell interspersed with chapters of Lori’s sessions with her clients. I was SO invested in every single client. I felt like I was on a journey with them and by the end I wanted more. This book is somewhat long (14 hour audio) but I flew through it and would’ve gladly read 100 more pages. PSA for you....Do not listen to the last 1/3 while driving...all the tears will most definitely cloud your vision like it did mine!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I rarely give a book one-star because I don't want to be mean, but this book was a complete waste of my time and it had such great reviews from so many people. I feel like I was cheated out of however long it took me to read (well, actually listen). If you want to read about psychotherapy, go to the real sources. If you want to read a memoir, go read a good one. I just don't even know what the point of this was.

  8. 4 out of 5

    christina

    Absolutely wonderful. In terms of a therapeutic experience, it fell smack in the middle between Eat, Pray, Love and Quiet for me. When you close the book, you can't go back to who you were before. A check mark on every page.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brandie

    This is a must read. It will stay with me for a long time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Holly Brown

    As a therapist and a writer myself, I have immense respect for what's involved in this type of book: how to reveal herself but not too much; how to reveal her patients but not too much; how to reveal the profession but not too much. Really, it's an incredible high-wire act and Lori Gottlieb performs it beautifully. Insightful and moving without pandering or being gratuitous...I loved it. Thank you, Lori, for not just an incredible reading experience but an incredible life experience.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Trono

    I was blown away by this book. Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who shares her insights not only about her professional experience but her own journey through therapy. This book helps normalize therapy for everyone, and her ability to share the profound growth both she and her patients experienced was so honest and refreshing. While Gottlieb includes many important psychological concepts, her writing is clear and conversational and easy for anyone to engage with. I found that there was a perfect bal I was blown away by this book. Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who shares her insights not only about her professional experience but her own journey through therapy. This book helps normalize therapy for everyone, and her ability to share the profound growth both she and her patients experienced was so honest and refreshing. While Gottlieb includes many important psychological concepts, her writing is clear and conversational and easy for anyone to engage with. I found that there was a perfect balance with the personal stories that will also help her readers become more aware of their own obstacles and moments of growth as they move through this book. As someone who has had therapy as part of my life since I was a child, it was amazing to see the progress and relatability of Gottlieb and her clients. Sometimes it is hard to see small changes in your own life, but as I read this, I connected with so many of the stories and struggles that were shared in such an approachable and real way. I found I connected the most with Julie and John's stories and their stories of loss resonated with me so so deeply even if I couldn't relate to their exact situations. I rooted for them and I felt for them I didn't connect as much with the other patient's stories, but everyone has a different reaction and that was just my personal experience. I especially enjoyed the chapter about her own therapy with Wendell and their journey together was so heartwarming and also so very real. Being able to see so many of these stories through two different lenses(therapist & patient) just made this such a masterpiece and I know I will continue to think about it for a long time to come. As soon as I finished this ebook I order a hard copy edition to add to my personal library and I know this is one I will come back to again and again. Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    I have been in therapy a few times, but mostly I'm fascinated by the concept of therapy. That this book gave me the opportunity to see a little more of how therapists think, what they do, and how they see their patients was a huge incentive. And I did learn a lot of that! The combination of Gottlieb's work as a therapist and her work as a patient is not fully successful, but more than that, by the end of it instead of feeling more interested and inspired about therapy I felt a little turned off I have been in therapy a few times, but mostly I'm fascinated by the concept of therapy. That this book gave me the opportunity to see a little more of how therapists think, what they do, and how they see their patients was a huge incentive. And I did learn a lot of that! The combination of Gottlieb's work as a therapist and her work as a patient is not fully successful, but more than that, by the end of it instead of feeling more interested and inspired about therapy I felt a little turned off by it, definitely not the reaction I was expecting. Some of this is the inevitable outcome of seeing behind the curtain. Seeing therapists as human can destroy your trust in therapy (Gottlieb deals with this herself, at some length, after she makes the mistake of googling her new therapist). It is not that they can't be real people, but therapy often requires very compartmentalized relationships between therapist and patient. Getting to know your therapist socially could destroy your relationship. So if you're actively in therapy, I'm not sure this book would be a great choice for you. The longer the book went on, the more I started to feel bad about how much I saw about Gottlieb's patients. I understand that she's created personas for these patients and that I'm not just being given carte blanche to real people's deepest secrets, but I still felt like I was intruding and seeing things I shouldn't see. It turns out I have a lot of respect for the confidentiality that goes with therapy and it felt like it was being violated, even though it's likely Gottlieb took pains not to do that. Gottlieb is committed to not holding back on her own flaws and failings, something that can totally derail a memoir like this one. (I've seen it plenty of times.) This is a plus, and I think it really helps the story. I think the failings are mostly built inside of her narrative arcs. Some of these are very satisfying (the terminally ill newlywed and the Hollywood writer patients are both captivating and full), some of them don't quite feel fully fleshed out (the young alcoholic and the despairing older woman), and Gottlieb's own arc is less of an arc and more of a constant zig-zagging. The arcs that work well show us the steps along the way, where the person started, where they ended, and all kinds of small movements forwards and backwards towards progress. Gottlieb doesn't do this with her own story, unfortunately. She spends an awfully long time on her life before getting into psychotherapy (it's her 3rd or even 4th career) laying groundwork that's not really necessary or relevant to the story she is there to tell. Gottlieb has just been dumped, suddenly and unceremoniously, by the man she was planning to marry and she is almost unable to function. It is, of course, not entirely about the boyfriend, though it will be a long time (and a lot of therapy) before Gottlieb is willing to admit this to herself. Eventually Gottlieb lets herself get to the meat of this story, and sometimes the way she hides information from us only to spring on us when she realizes through her therapy that it's relevant can work quite well. But sometimes Gottlieb gets a little lost in her own story, sometimes she works too hard to tie it into her work as a therapist, sometimes she wants things tied up in nice little bows when it's not the destination but the journey that is most satisfying. Gottlieb's own progress seems to come kind of out of nowhere. We see her grapple with one thing in particular (her stalled writing career) but otherwise the work she's doing on herself to listen to her therapist and incorporate what she's learned into her life gets little to no attention and the book suffers for it. Gottlieb is a little too interested in her new therapist, clearly, but the book is a little too interested in him, too. I would have trimmed a good 100 pages off of this and asked for 20 or so more on the real heart of Gottlieb's story. I still enjoyed what I learned about therapy and I'm impressed by Gottlieb's vulnerability. This could be a good pick for a book club where people are willing to be open about their own experiences, but I worry that it could devolve into people nitpicking the actions of the patients and Gottlieb herself, so proceed with caution.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie/Doing Dewey

    Summary: This memoir was a fascinating look at being a therapist and included many engaging, emotional stories. Author Lori Gottlieb is an experienced therapist, but that doesn't mean she never needs a therapist herself! After a surprising break-up leaves her sneaking in a good cry between patients, she realizes it's time to talk to someone. This is the story of how she builds a helpful rapport with her therapist and of the patients she's helping at the same time. From her perspective, we get to Summary: This memoir was a fascinating look at being a therapist and included many engaging, emotional stories. Author Lori Gottlieb is an experienced therapist, but that doesn't mean she never needs a therapist herself! After a surprising break-up leaves her sneaking in a good cry between patients, she realizes it's time to talk to someone. This is the story of how she builds a helpful rapport with her therapist and of the patients she's helping at the same time. From her perspective, we get to learn about both sides of the therapist-patient relationships, as well as some of the experiences and training that led her to become a therapist in the first place. I enjoyed the writing in this book immensely. The author did a wonderful job describing the little details of each scene. I felt like I got to know her patients and her therapist through her stories. There was, perhaps not surprisingly, a lot of analysis of the author's own feelings and motivations. She made insightful connections between her personal life and different theories therapists use to treat patients. She did the same when discussing her patients. The thoughtful, analytical approach didn't take away from the emotional impact of the stories she was sharing. Rather, it helped highlight the universal aspects of her and her patients' experiences. We also got several great character arcs. Like true crime, it seems therapy lends itself well to story telling. There is a clear beginning, when the patient starts therapy, and satisfying endings are possible when the patient completes therapy or has an important break through. These patient stories were perfectly balanced with those about the author's professional training and those about her personal life/experience as a patient. I think my desire to see all of these different topics in a memoir is partially shaped by the rise of memoirs that are also about a specific subject. They've turned out to be one of my favorite sub-genres. I'm also not really into celebrity culture. There are very few people I'm excited enough about that I desperately want to read their life story. That means a memoir is likely to work much better for me if it covers something other than just the author's personal experiences. The insight into the process of becoming and then working as a therapist, plus the details of the author's daily work, really made this memoir shine for me.This review was originally posted on Doing Dewey

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Everyone should take the time to read this. Gottlieb brilliantly describes how therapy works, why we all could use some, and what therapy DOESN'T do using her own therapy as a major example. I was fascinated with the personal stories, hers and those of her patients, but even better was how she tied these stories to general theories used in therapy and the importance of good mental health. It's a difficult topic, and I'm thrilled with a book that talks about how beneficial therapy can be for most Everyone should take the time to read this. Gottlieb brilliantly describes how therapy works, why we all could use some, and what therapy DOESN'T do using her own therapy as a major example. I was fascinated with the personal stories, hers and those of her patients, but even better was how she tied these stories to general theories used in therapy and the importance of good mental health. It's a difficult topic, and I'm thrilled with a book that talks about how beneficial therapy can be for most of us at some point in our lives. Thanks for putting this into the world.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kat Leache

    Reading it was like the therapy I can't afford. She's so smart, so humanistic, so insightful. Bursting with compelling stories and brilliant observations about the relationship between trauma and dysfunction. Loved it so much.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Lumos

    What does my therapist think of me? What is their life like outside of work? Does my therapist go to a therapist? It is hard for me to put into words how much I liked this book. Although I am still an undergraduate student, my long-term goal is to attend graduate school and become a Registered Social Worker. Similar to Gottlieb, I want to provide individual therapy to clients. To me, there is something beautiful about being able to sit with others during their most vulnerable moments. I thought What does my therapist think of me? What is their life like outside of work? Does my therapist go to a therapist? It is hard for me to put into words how much I liked this book. Although I am still an undergraduate student, my long-term goal is to attend graduate school and become a Registered Social Worker. Similar to Gottlieb, I want to provide individual therapy to clients. To me, there is something beautiful about being able to sit with others during their most vulnerable moments. I thought this book would provide me with a good insight on what being a therapist is like. And it did. I realized being a therapist is hard. You are required to support your clients, walk with them through their struggles and growths, understand their struggles, broaden their perspectives, get them to tolerate discomfort, help them contemplate new ideas, and empower them to make their own realizations. However, despite the benefits of therapy, it is not a cure-all. Therapy cannot offer you a personality or life transplant. But it can help you gain skills to better understand yourself, others, and cope with difficulties. In this book, Gottlieb recounts her long, aberrant journey to becoming a therapist. As someone who was always interested in people's stories, Gottlieb began her career as a writer. She worked on the set of a medical drama, which inspired her to attend medical school. However, after a few years, Gottlieb realized that medicine was not for her. She disliked the modern model of medicine - heavy caseloads and limited patient contact. So she ended up leaving medical school to become a therapist. Gottlieb is raw and honest in this book. She is not afraid of letting her guard down. We assume therapists are blank slates and objective observers; however, they too are only human. Of course, therapists have to separate their personal lives from their professional lives. When you are engaging with a client, the focus is on them, not you. But outside of that, therapists also have their own challenges, insecurities, histories, and fears. In Gottlieb's case, she ends up seeing a therapist after a difficult breakup. I loved the passages where Gottlieb unpacks her emotions surrounding the breakup. She is experiencing grief, sadness, and betrayal. As a woman in her 40s, she wonders if this is the last intimate relationship she will be in? If you have ever gone through the grief that follows a breakup, then I think you will enjoy reading these passages. She also features her patients' stories in this book. The one that touched me the most was Julie's. She had everything going for her. She just got married to a man she loved. And also graduated from her PhD program and became a tenured professor. However, during her honeymoon, she found out she had breast cancer despite having no family history of it. Sometimes illness is uncontrollable. We can do everything right and still get sick. Julie wanted Gottlieb to come to terms with her death. I just lost it whenever Gottlieb described Julie. I think it was because I saw a lot of myself in her. In the book, there was this profound analogy that compared getting sick with experiencing a detoured plane ride. Imagine you are planning on traveling to France so you spend your time learning about French language and culture. However, as you board the plane, you are told the plane is not going to France. It is going to Holland. So what do you do? You can either close yourself off in a hotel room or admire how beautiful, unique, and special Holland is despite it not being France. And finally, this book touches on other important topics such as attending a client's funeral, therapy for older adults, spousal jealousy, high-functioning vs. low-functioning patients, self-disclosure, and therapy termination. Just like everything else, therapy is changing. There are apps that can connect you with a therapist in minutes. And although these changes are positive, Gottlieb argues they take away from the fundamentals of therapy. You cannot rush emotional healing because most things worth doing are often difficult. However, this is the part of the book that I did not like. For me, it is important for a book - especially one about mental health - to be introspective. I feel like most of the clients featured in this book are financially stable. And I am not saying this to undermine their pain, but to highlight a sad reality. Being able to access therapy is a luxury. I think it is important to acknowledge that sometimes clients want rushed therapy because they do not have the insurance or money to cover extended mental health care. Despite this, I loved reading this book so much from start to finish. It has everything I look for in a non-fiction book. Alongside the personal narrative, Gottlieb includes and describes different psychological theories. I loved how informative, insightful, yet entertaining this book was. It was such a gratifying and eye-opening read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    I'm writing this review to see if I can make sense of my experience with this book. Even though I found myself immersed in it for days, and making as much time as possible to read it, the experience ended up not being completely satisfying for a few reasons. My main complaint is: the stories are real but are supposedly disguised enough to protect her clients' privacy... so they aren't real. I was reading about those compelling characters and wondering what percentage of what she tells is the trut I'm writing this review to see if I can make sense of my experience with this book. Even though I found myself immersed in it for days, and making as much time as possible to read it, the experience ended up not being completely satisfying for a few reasons. My main complaint is: the stories are real but are supposedly disguised enough to protect her clients' privacy... so they aren't real. I was reading about those compelling characters and wondering what percentage of what she tells is the truth. Fifty percent truth is not the same as ten percent truth, and what's the point of detailing a therapeutic process if you've invented and mixed up the stories for literary/privacy purposes? I'm a therapist myself and I know how unique each case is, how the effect of a sentence or an intervention depends on that person's particular context, so I don't see the value on basing it in real stories unless they're a hundred percent real. Also, the dialogues can't be real either, unless she records the sessions, which she doesn't clarify. It makes me wonder if it's all a bit polished up to fit the narrative, which feels a tiny bit scammy. That's why think this would have worked better as a novel. Lori is a very good writer and she builds great characters (I loved John and the dialogues between the two of them). This semi-disguised format makes me feel as she's faking the honesty and the sharing, so I'd have rather read something that's completely made up and taking it for what it is: fiction. I also feel like Lori holds back a lot of her personal struggles, maybe for lack of physical space, since the book is already veeery long. I've read her prior book about finding a partner, Marry Him, and knowing how hard her struggle to find a partner was before Boyfriend, I'd have guessed that's what made her break up with him that painful. But she says nothing about that (maybe because she doesn't want this book and Marry Him to overlap?) and talks about everything else in her life instead. She tries so hard to make a point of her meltdown not being about her love life that she forgets to talk about her love life entirely, and it comes across as insincere if you know where she comes from. The Wendell character falls flat for me. I don't see the quirkiness in his way of doing therapy, maybe because I've known my share of quirky therapist and believe me: he doesn't cut it. Check out Milton Erickson or Giorgio Nardone's interventions: THAT'S quirky. Gottlieb tells but doesn't show that Wendell is a 'different' kind of therapist, but I can't tell the difference between his and her way of doing therapy, at least from the interactions she writes about. My last problem with the book is about her misleading explanation of what therapy is. There are a lot of ways to do therapy and some of her assertions work just for a few of them. You can do brief therapy successfully. You can do Skype therapy successfully. I am a licensed therapist too and some of her beliefs about the nature of human suffering and the right way to alleviate it are completely wrong to me, but I wouldn't write a book about my particular therapeutic orientation without disclaiming that other professionals might think and practice just the opposite. It's a disservice to the profession that can misguide people in search of help into thinking that the only way they can get it is if they spend months and months doing weekly face to face therapy with tons of silences. The book does have its merits. It's compelling and I didn't get bored even though it's long. The dialogues are, as I said, funny and well-constructed. It makes you reflect on yourself and what you want to do with your life. The stories are engaging, even though you can't help but wonder whether everything really ended up with such a round, Hollywood-esque ending. And I personally like Lori very much. If she didn't quite hit the spot for me with this book it's because she takes risks with her writing, and I admire that.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Arik Hardin

    This was such a fulfilling, heartwarming (and breaking), devastating read. Not only did I get to see into the lives of Lori and her patients, but I got to look into myself—this book felt like I was seeing my own therapist (I really should get one). It was so therapeutic, and I would gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a charming, honest, and poignant read. (Just don't read/listen to it at work or in public—I learned that the hard way).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marika

    Author Lori Gottlieb puts a face on talk therapy and humanizes therapists. From where you sit in the therapist's office to awkward silence...what can can they possibly mean? Writing about therapy crosses so many sacred boundaries, yet Lori is very careful to disguise her patients and protects their anonymity. Lori also writes about her personal struggles and how she seeks a therapist to speak to. In addition to being a psychotherapist, Lori is also New York Times bestselling author, and writes th Author Lori Gottlieb puts a face on talk therapy and humanizes therapists. From where you sit in the therapist's office to awkward silence...what can can they possibly mean? Writing about therapy crosses so many sacred boundaries, yet Lori is very careful to disguise her patients and protects their anonymity. Lori also writes about her personal struggles and how she seeks a therapist to speak to. In addition to being a psychotherapist, Lori is also New York Times bestselling author, and writes the wildly popular “Dear Therapist” columnist for The Atlantic. She'll have a built-in audience for this book! Disclaimer: I read an an advance copy and was not compensated.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    I read this book in less than 24hrs. I probably should've read it slower to savor the stories and hydrate but it'll be there if after a pause I decide to read it again. I found it to be a really lovely mix of memoir, case studies and psychology theory (including my personal favorites of Bion and Carl Rogers). It's definitely a book to read with a box of tissues, which I wasn't expecting. She described poignant sessions of one composite patient with terminal cancer and another who tragically lost I read this book in less than 24hrs. I probably should've read it slower to savor the stories and hydrate but it'll be there if after a pause I decide to read it again. I found it to be a really lovely mix of memoir, case studies and psychology theory (including my personal favorites of Bion and Carl Rogers). It's definitely a book to read with a box of tissues, which I wasn't expecting. She described poignant sessions of one composite patient with terminal cancer and another who tragically lost a young child to a car accident.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Heneghan

    I couldn’t put this down. Such a great insight into the world of therapy. Hilarious at times but so thought provoking on what it to be a human. I think the author is so brave to share her deepest secrets. So many of the patients I feel like I know their journey and want to cheer for them along the way.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    Are you in therapy? If not, why not?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jess Johnson

    Read after I listened to Gottlieb talk about this. Loved this book and how vulnerable Gottlieb is in it. Have already recommended it to several people.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tara - Running 'n' Reading

    This title came highly recommended by Renee at It's Book Talk, one of my best audiobook recommendation sources; thanks to the work I do, this is probably especially interesting to me but I also think it makes for great reading/listening for the general population. Gottlieb is a credentialed psychotherapist, but also a very talented writer; while she shares her experiences with a select group of patients, she also shares her own experiences as a patient of psychotherapy and the ways in which we a This title came highly recommended by Renee at It's Book Talk, one of my best audiobook recommendation sources; thanks to the work I do, this is probably especially interesting to me but I also think it makes for great reading/listening for the general population. Gottlieb is a credentialed psychotherapist, but also a very talented writer; while she shares her experiences with a select group of patients, she also shares her own experiences as a patient of psychotherapy and the ways in which we are all shaped by the circumstances we encounter throughout our lives. I have loved this book so much, I definitely plan to purchase a hard copy for my home library.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Deb Jones

    This book is a memoir only in the fact that the author relates many of her own experiences both as a therapist and as a therapy client. The main purpose of the book, from my perspective, is to provide the reader with a window into the world of counseling and therapy and to see the process from both sides of the couch. Along the way, the humanity and the vulnerability of both the client and the therapist become evident as does the opportunity for growth on both sides. I found myself fairly introsp This book is a memoir only in the fact that the author relates many of her own experiences both as a therapist and as a therapy client. The main purpose of the book, from my perspective, is to provide the reader with a window into the world of counseling and therapy and to see the process from both sides of the couch. Along the way, the humanity and the vulnerability of both the client and the therapist become evident as does the opportunity for growth on both sides. I found myself fairly introspective as I read these intimate emotional and mental experiences of others, with some of my own thoughts, feelings, and fears being touched upon. There is much wisdom to be garnered along the way as the author shares theories from experts in the field of psychology as explanation for some of her thinking. Easy to read and emotional at times; a good reading experience and insights into psychological therapy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Patti's Book Nook

    I laughed, I learned, I cried. This was one of those few transformative reads I've had so far in my bookish life. It's hard to adequately summarize a reading experience that feels this monumental. Whenever I see reviews of this in my feed, I immediately read or watch (if on Youtube) the review. Gottlieb takes the reader through the therapy progressions of four patients, as well as her own journey into therapy. She touches on emotions and defense mechanisms that all humans experience, and does so I laughed, I learned, I cried. This was one of those few transformative reads I've had so far in my bookish life. It's hard to adequately summarize a reading experience that feels this monumental. Whenever I see reviews of this in my feed, I immediately read or watch (if on Youtube) the review. Gottlieb takes the reader through the therapy progressions of four patients, as well as her own journey into therapy. She touches on emotions and defense mechanisms that all humans experience, and does so in the most kindhearted, non-judgmental, humble way. She talks about lying to ourselves even when we don't mean to, and how often we are the most unreliable narrators to tell our own story. We are too close to the situations and triggers. The reader gets the joy of nerding out to Gottlieb's non-dry explanations for behavior, the stages of treatment, the "Ah Ha" moments, and the realization that we are constant works in progress. Her experiences with Wendell are particularly engaging. A good therapist is often the silent witness, allowing a safe place to share pain and uncertainty, and, as I learned, is more meant to shine a mirror on any underlying problems instead of simply "solving" the initial issue. I think this book can also be beneficial to those considering therapy, eradicating the stigma of potential shame some might feel. Thank goodness Gottlieb married her passions of storytelling and clinical psychology. Please go read this, and share with a friend...or acquaintance, or anyone, as Gottlieb professes herself to be "who is a card carrying member of the human race."

  27. 5 out of 5

    Telaina

    I felt a little lost at certain points in time in this book--was I reading a memoir? A case study? A reflection on therapy and its purpose in our society? Or was I reading the story of a woman who was struggling to find her way in her career, romantic life, and parenting? That however is my only criticism--that the book is ambitious, and at times, unfocused. But like her predecessors--Irvin Yalom and Alan Wheelis, Gottlieb has a deep understanding of humanity, our egos, our frailty, our triumphs I felt a little lost at certain points in time in this book--was I reading a memoir? A case study? A reflection on therapy and its purpose in our society? Or was I reading the story of a woman who was struggling to find her way in her career, romantic life, and parenting? That however is my only criticism--that the book is ambitious, and at times, unfocused. But like her predecessors--Irvin Yalom and Alan Wheelis, Gottlieb has a deep understanding of humanity, our egos, our frailty, our triumphs, and our failures. And that makes this book very easy to connect to, and enjoy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chavala

    Unexpectedly interesting! I thought this was going to be more of a anecdotal book, and it was, but only to an extent. It touched on so many issues and mental/emotional health issues, that so many of us have, yet refuse to acknowledge or deny. It was entertaining, yet educating. I appreciated the realness, rawness, and honesty presented in the book. It will be insightful to everyone, that's for sure! No matter if you read it with thoughts of your current day or your past, it will resonate. Thank Unexpectedly interesting! I thought this was going to be more of a anecdotal book, and it was, but only to an extent. It touched on so many issues and mental/emotional health issues, that so many of us have, yet refuse to acknowledge or deny. It was entertaining, yet educating. I appreciated the realness, rawness, and honesty presented in the book. It will be insightful to everyone, that's for sure! No matter if you read it with thoughts of your current day or your past, it will resonate. Thank you to GoodReads and the publishers for the opportunity of the advanced readers copy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marathon County Public Library

    For most people, a breakup can be a difficult life event to process. Sometimes, it can even cause folks to seek out help in the form of talk therapy. But what if you’re a therapist and you’re the one who’s being broken up with? As a therapist, Lori Gottlieb has helped clients with a myriad of problems, from cheating spouses to adults who were abused or neglected as children. But her world is rocked when her boyfriend of over two years suddenly tells her he wants to break up. It’s a revelation Lor For most people, a breakup can be a difficult life event to process. Sometimes, it can even cause folks to seek out help in the form of talk therapy. But what if you’re a therapist and you’re the one who’s being broken up with? As a therapist, Lori Gottlieb has helped clients with a myriad of problems, from cheating spouses to adults who were abused or neglected as children. But her world is rocked when her boyfriend of over two years suddenly tells her he wants to break up. It’s a revelation Lori didn’t see coming, and she surprises herself by just how devastated she is by the news. To help cope, Lori starts to see a therapist of her own named Wendell, who identifies the underlying cause of Lori’s emotional unrest and helps her begin to heal. "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" alternates between Lori’s therapy sessions with Wendell and the sessions she conducts with her own clients, which include a narcissistic screenwriter, a terminally ill woman in her early 30s, and a woman who develops a deep depression as she approaches turning 70. Lori uses her patient cases (as well as her own) to illustrate different aspects of human behavior and to explore different psychological approaches and theories. I loved this book so much that I don’t even know where to begin to gush. I’ve always been greatly intrigued by the world of psychology and how people's behaviors – good or bad – develop. This book touches on that in a fascinating way, as Lori compares what it’s like to be a therapist vs. being a patient. I was also incredibly engrossed in the lives and stories of Lori’s patients, whom you really come to know in an intimate way. I also feel like the book makes you, in a small way, take a look at your own life and do some self-reflection. I can’t recommend this book enough, and I think virtually anyone who reads will get some valuable insight about themselves or others. Dan R. / Marathon County Public Library

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meghan Burke

    I loved this book so, so much. <3

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