“One of the most important steps in therapy is helping people take responsibility for their current predicaments, because once they realize that they can (and must) construct their own lives, they’re free to generate change. Often, though, people carry around the belief that the majority of their problems are circumstantial or situational—which is to say, external. And if the problems are caused by everyone and everything else, by stuff out there, why should they bother to change themselves? Even if they decide to do things differently, won’t the rest of the world still be the same?” -Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
Lori Gottlieb’s new book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” is a book about a therapist being in therapy. It takes getting blindsided by a crushing breakup, for Ms. Gottlieb to seek out her own therapy when she finds that she is in a ton of pain and all of her plans for the future just fell apart.
I feel her pain. I’ve been there. I also have been in therapy all of this year and some of last.
This book was so insightful as you look into the psyche of a therapist, who goes to a therapist, all while seeing patients and helping them through some of the hardest things they have ever been through. Gottlieb does a good job of “humanizing” the therapist, who to a patient would like to believe always have their “stuff” together and never struggle with some of the pitfalls that they too might be stuck in.
I love the way she weaves the story of her patients with her own journey. I enjoyed the multi-faceted personality of those patients and how like an onion, she peels different defense mechanisms, ways of relating to the world around them, until they begin the process of self-realization and awareness to begin to change and transform their lives. It was a very fascinating book that mixed the common, every day, mundane parts of life with the archaeology of digging up someone’s past through discussions and cues that she picks up on, to which the patient is completely oblivious.
The story she shares brings out her own vulnerability in her therapy work and the work that she does with patients from crying together to attending a funeral of a recently deceased patient, who became more, a friend.
Not only was the book filled with insightful anecdotes, but she also brings in the psychology terms, which brief descriptions explaining the concepts, who developed them and what that researcher might have discovered.
The book was pretty lengthy, but I found myself not wanting it to end. I definitely recommend this book to anyone with an interest in learning about their feelings, getting some therapy for sorting things out in life, or any general interest in psychology. You will not be disappointed.