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

by: Lori Gottlieb (0)


Now being developed as a television series with Eva Longoria and ABC!

“Rarely have I read a book that challenged me to see myself in an entirely new light, and was at the same time laugh-out-loud funny and utterly absorbing.”—Katie Couric
“This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book.”—Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post and Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
“Wise, warm, smart, and funny. You must read this book.”—Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author of Quiet

From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising 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. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be 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 are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.
  With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is rev­olutionary in its candor, offering a deeply per­sonal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly reveal­ing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

The Reviews

I've just finished the last pages of this book, and I knew I had to go write this review. As my headline states, this book was an absolute delight.I started therapy a year ago, and it was my therapist who recommended this book...and I am so glad she did. This book is such a poignant study of humanity. I laughed, I cried, I is a true masterpiece of the human psyche. Gottlieb's writing style is witty and hilarious - she'll make you laugh right out of the gate - yet at times, so vulnerable and raw. Her descriptions and stories of each of her clients is vividly breathtaking. In addition, she weaves actual knowledge and research backing up her claims, and I not only enjoyed this book throughly (I had to slow down reading it because I didn't want it to end), I also feel like I learned something, too.This book is for everyone, and I will say this..While you don't HAVE to be in therapy to read this book, I feel like you will appreciate it more. In fact, it may inspire you to go to therapy. Therapy is like the secret that everyone is in on. This book helped me appreciate my therapist more - even though Gottlieb and my therapist don't always align with their own practices . It also helped me appreciate my own progress, too. This book was a perfect read for where I am in life...everything happens for a reason, and I feel like I read this book at just the right moment. (There is also a workbook that goes along with it, too, which I have and will start ASAP. I wanted to read the book first.)I bought this for my friend for her birthday, and will be buying this as a gift for a friend who is currently studying to be a counselor.Also, if you're considering therapy, let this be your sign! Everyone can benefit from the saying, "Maybe you should talk to someone." It truly can be life changing.

Do you know how difficult it is to whisper an ugly cry? I do. There I was at 3:30am, relaxed and enjoying the insight and surprising humour of this book, caught up in a ‘just one more chapter’ loop. Then, out of nowhere, I was ugly crying as quietly as possible so I didn’t wake up the sensible people in my home, those who actually sleep when it’s considered an acceptable time to do so. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly ‘out of nowhere’; I knew it was coming at some stage with that particular patient but I wasn’t expecting it right then.That wasn’t the only time I cried during this book (there may have been another four tissue grabs and some very dignified sniffling involved) and it wasn’t the only time my tears caught me off guard (who knew I’d cry about the patient I initially loved to sneer at!) but it did remind me of some of the reasons why I never formally used my psychology degree.Reason #1: Although I don’t cry a lot about my own stuff, I am a champion crier when it comes to pretty much anything else. Movies. TV shows. Songs. Books. When you cry about your stuff. When I think about your stuff and consider how brave, resilient, [insert any number of adjectives here] you were, are or are going to be. Who wants to come to therapy and feel like they need to console their therapist about their reaction to their patient’s problems?!Reason #2: There would be certain types of people and life experiences where I just know I couldn’t remain impartial.Reason #3: The goodbyes. See Reason #1.Full disclosure: I started reading this book while my own therapist was on leave. Besides confirming my decision to not actually be a therapist (you’re so welcome, all of the people whose lives would have crossed my path in this way. I hope you found a Wendell instead!) I also got a glimpse of what it’s like behind the scenes for therapists, something I’ve always been interested in, something that’s difficult to obtain because of that pesky ‘confidentiality’ thing.I’m not ashamed to say that I have my very own Wendell, who is awesome, by the way. None of us get out of life unscathed and I think pretty much everyone could benefit from therapy at some point in their lives. One of the perks this book offers is a therapeutic ‘try before you buy’; if you’ve been considering therapy but are hesitant to schedule that initial appointment, then reading this book will give you some idea of what to expect - from the therapist, from the experience, and how it looks when it’s done right.“Sitting-with-you-in-your-pain is one of the rare experiences that people get in the protected space of a therapy room, but it’s very hard to give or get outside of it”I enjoyed Lori’s down to earth approach, her compassion and ability to bring truth to a situation, while still making me smile along the way. She humanises our experience of pain and even when she’s talking about her own therapy, her insight and openness had me smiling in recognition much more frequently than the narrative made me cry.Of her own therapy: “Yes, I’m seeking objectivity, but only because I’m convinced that objectivity will rule in my favor.”Of her therapist: “He looks at me meaningfully, like he just said something incredibly important and profound, but I kind of want to punch him.”A quote I love: “defenses serve a useful purpose. They shield people from injury … until they no longer need them.It’s in this ellipsis that therapists work.”And another: “People often mistake numbness for nothingness, but numbness isn’t the absence of feelings; it’s a response to being overwhelmed by too many feelings.”Oh, and I have to share this one too: “When the present falls apart, so does the future we had associated with it. And having the future taken away is the mother of all plot twists. But if we spend the present trying to fix the past or control the future, we remain stuck in place, in perpetual regret.”I highlighted so many passages in this book that each time I started another binge read it felt like I was experiencing my very own mini therapy session. I saw myself in Lori and in her patients, even the initial ‘love to sneer at’ one, probably because I saw something of myself in them as well. I saw my own therapist in Wendell and felt probably too much pride in having found myself such an amazing ‘Wendell’ to help me navigate my presenting problem as well as the real issues behind the facade.From the presenting problem to the “doorknob disclosures”, “what-aboutery” and self-sabotage, all the way to the “termination” (seriously, can therapists collectively find a less aggressive way to label someone’s graduation from therapy?), I ‘just one more chaptered’ my way through this book.Although at times I felt voyeuristic, have some outstanding questions about Lori’s patients I’m not entitled to know but still want to (Would you please tell me John’s real name or at least the name of the TV show you kept referencing so I can binge watch it?) and had at least one ugly cry headache as a result of reading this book, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to pretty much anyone.Much like the way Lori talks about who therapy can’t help, I think the only people who wouldn’t benefit in some way by reading this book are those “who aren’t curious about themselves.”I’ll leave you with what’s currently my favourite quote: “There’s no hierarchy of pain. Suffering shouldn’t be ranked, because pain is not a contest.”Content warnings are included in my Goodreads review.

I have never read a book that I kept going back to previous pages to highlight abs re-read. Lori, you are a genius! You teach the readers life skills while making us chuckle and reminding us that even therapists are humans. I absolutely enjoyed every page of this book. I don’t think I’ve ever taken this long to read a book either! My library loan had to be renewed 3 times (one time I had to wait for 2 months to get it back again)! I am definitely going to recommend this to all my friends!

I laughed, I cried, I learned, it made me think, I reflected on my own life and the struggles I’ve faced. I plan to buy this book as a present for all the people I care about who I think would appreciate the love, laughter, and pain shared in these pages.

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, and I was skeptical of it throughout Part 1. The author seemed too self-involved and lacking in self-awareness to be someone I’d want to hear from for an entire book, but something kept me reading and I’m so glad I did! The author’s initial flaws are an important part of her character’s arc and the stories she weaves about others’ arcs are powerful and engrossing. I loved the layers of deep reflection on meaning in life, and the many nuggets of novel insight tucked throughout (and I read many books in the meaningful living vein). Well worth the time. I plan to re-read it again!

Normally books like this are boring. One that goes over one person's life dilemmas and some other. But she rights it in a way that I can't put it down and the only real time I get to read is while I pump at work. I'm almost done with this read and I can said I'd read it again, a little comedy with some science and real life issues makes it super interesting!

I laughed, I cried, I came to a greater understanding of myself and those around me! That’s a lot for a book to provide. It may have been that my mind was ready for the message, but this book gave me so much more than a few hours of entertainment.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
⭐ 4.6 💛 21084
kindle: $3.59
paperback: $17.09
hardcover: $7.24
Buy the Book