Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

You’ve either already got Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb on your shelf or you know you will never read a ‘therapy’ book. Never ever.

Therapy books (is ‘therapy-porn’ a genre?) sit right alongside misery-memoirs for me – I love them both. And if you favour these kinds of books, I’m certain you’ll enjoy Gottlieb’s insightful case studies and her own experience in therapy. Her compassion and honesty, combined with solid writing makes this book a page-turner. Truly.

For those readers who give therapy books and the self-help shelf a wide berth, humour me and skim through the following gems from Gottlieb (you never know, one or two might resonate).

  1. Change and loss travel together. We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want to change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.
  2. We all have our deal-breakers… (but) If you go through life picking and choosing, if you don’t recognise that “the perfect is the enemy of the good,” you may deprive yourself of joy.
  3. There’s a difference between pain and suffering …everyone feels pain at times – but you don’t have to suffer so much. You’re not choosing pain, but you’re choosing the suffering.
  4. Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth.
  5. Follow your envy – it shows you what you want.
  6. Avoidance is almost always about fear.
  7. We may want others’ forgiveness, but that comes from a place of self-gratification; we are asking forgiveness of others to avoid the harder work of forgiving ourselves.

5/5 Riveting.

One of Lori’s clients eats Chinese chicken salad during his therapy session every week.

17 responses

  1. Number 6 rings true for me. I’m somone who tends to avoid self-help books but there is one that literally changed my life. I lost my mother when I was 19 and didn’t read Hope Edelman’s Motherless Daughters until I was in my 30s. It was incredibly helpful.

    • I think self-help bookshave a way of coming at the right time. Equally, two people read the same self-help book and take different messages from it.
      I don’t read much self-help (mostly skim through for work purposes!) but every so often I come across one that is really engrossing, like this one (and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed).

  2. At 40 I was certain therapy was just mumbo jumbo. By 45 I had done some, starting with family therapy, and surprise, surprise had found it helpful. I’ve since done more, and people around me have done more. But would I read a self-help book. Probably not.

    • I think therapy has to come at the right time for people – i.e. are they willing to ‘work’? And I say work because it is hard stuff, the honesty and change business!
      As fa as self-help books go, I don’t actually read many (but memoirs, as you know I rad loads of those) – instead, I’ll often skim through whatever is the latest (good to know what my clients are reading!).

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