Maybe You Should Talk To Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 2nd, 2019
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Psychology, Self-Help
“But part of getting to know yourself is to unknow yourself—to let go of the limiting stories you’ve told yourself about who you are so that you aren’t trapped by them, so you can live your life and not the story you’ve been telling yourself about your life.”
My friend has been begging me to read this for months. I kept saying, “I will, I will! It’s not my fault that it’s taking so long. It’s the library — I’m still, like, #845 on the waitlist!”
In Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. Then a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he’s anything but.
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’re struggling with are the very ones she’s now bringing to Wendell.
You’re about to witness me wax poetic about this book.
I absolutely loved it and it’s staunchly in my favourites list. It’s a book that I’ll be recommending to as many people as possible.
Gottlieb is a fantastic writer. She’s a great storyteller that immediately pulls you into her story. And not only that, you instantly become invested in her patients’ stories too.
It’s disarmingly funny and it’s a very englightning account of how we all lead such mysterious lives. We get to choose what we want to share about our lives, who we want to share it with, and how we want to transform them.
As someone who goes to therapy every week, I was absolutely fascinated by the terms that Gottlieb was using. In fact, I kind of wish she wrote more about her time in school as she was getting her degree. I learned so many things that I kind of want to ask my therapist to read this book so we can discuss it together!
I think what resonated the most with me was how we so often stay in our negative mindset. It’s something I’m working on to really stop myself from going down a negative thought spiral. But it’s always easier than trying to break free out of that jail and into the unknown.
What Gottlieb has done with this powerhouse is normalize going to therapy. And I hope to continue spreading that by recommending this book to people. And now me, as someone who benefits from therapy, can understand the other side.
It also humanizes the person who you sit across in sessions.
It’s kind of like when I grew up and I just thought teachers lived at school. It’s hard to imagine therapists outside of sessions. But they have lives, too! I think it took this book for me to realize that therapists can go to therapy as well.
My favourite part was seeing the journey Gottlieb went on with her patients. She’s working with them for their own sake, but she’s also growing as a person and as a therapist with them.
There were so many times when I broke down crying as she talked about Julie, the newlywed who was diagnosed with cancer. And I felt triumphant when Gottlieb made such strides with her patient, John.
What Gottlieb does with such laser focus is expose and examine the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we go through life. She’s incredible thoughtful, genuine, and insightful in her writing. I want to read more of it!
If you’ve been to therapy and/or are currently going, you will love this book. And if you’ve always been curious as to what sessions are like, you’ll learn a lot. And be very touched by Gottlieb’s heartfelt tribute to her patients and her love for her profession.