Nonfiction November – Be the Expert

Put your ‘expert’ hat on, it’s Week 3 of Nonfiction November.

This week, Doing Dewey asks us to share a bunch of books on a particular topic (be the expert). So, if you’re not into therapy-porn look away now, because I’ve selected books about the therapy experience.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottleib – the more I think about this book, the more I love Lori – she presents her own experience of therapy, alongside some stories from her practice as a therapist. Her words are wise and honest, and the story so compelling it almost reads like fiction.

The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz – Grosz uses a variety of case studies from his decades as a psychoanalyst to explore the beginnings and endings of relationships. He finds a beautiful balance between telling the stories and providing insights that are useful for every reader.

Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy by Irvin Yalom – if you haven’t read Yalom, hop to it. His writing is instructive, accessible and always fascinating.

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed – okay, so Strayed isn’t a therapist. But… but… but…. this book. Brought me to tears. Made me laugh. Made me wish that I knew Strayed in real life.

The Novel Cure by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin – the one therapy book that I’m absolutely positive all book bloggers will adore! Essentially an A-Z of ‘literary remedies’ for everything from heartbreak and depression to substance abuse and fear of dinner parties.

The Talking Cure by Professor Gillian Straker and Dr Jacqui Winship – stay tuned, this one is on my reading list Nonfiction November.


25 responses

      • Haha, what a hoot Kate! I enjoyed this book too, though am inclined to agree with Lisa that a walk in the sunshine, or a talk over a cuppa with a friend, is probably better. However, books can help you feel you are not alone.

      • Books certainly make you feel less alone – it’s a common theme in the misery memoirs I read (eg. Winterson, Corey White) – they all rely on books as an escape.

        I walk with a friend regularly (we call them our therapy walks because we do a lot of talking) but not everyone has a friend to walk with… I’m not being glib when I say that. It worries me that in this age of ‘social connection’, people are more lonely than ever before. The majority of people I see at counselling are experiencing isolation and loneliness. I guess the important thing is that we should all cherish and nurture the friendships we have.

      • Agree, but, you know, I’m not convinced that people are more lonely now than, say, the 50s? Or the 60s? Or the 70s? Later? I’ve read so many works of contemporary fiction over the years that deal with alienation and loneliness. Anita Brookner, Elizabeth Jolley, are two that spring immediately to mind. TS Eliot’s poetry from earlier in the 20th century deals with alienation too. I could keep on going, I’m sure. It’s possible that we are capturing data about it more now, but it would take some convincing for me to believe it’s worse now. Which is not to say we should not worry. Any level of loneliness needs to be worried about and addressed. And you’re right, we need to cherish and nurture the friends we have.

  1. I love these. I know I have read a number of wonderful books about therapy, including Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. One was
    Schopenhauer’s Porcupines: Intimacy And Its Dilemmas: Five Stories Of Psychotherapy. It was wonderful.

    Thanks for this list. I added several to my TBR.

  2. I had a really hard time with Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. I just never could get invested in in and ended up quitting on it at about 150 pages. Since then, I heard there was some sort of big surprise and I sort of wish I’d stuck it out. Nice list!

  3. Pingback: Nonfiction Nov – Week 5 – New to TBR – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

  4. I also loved Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Getting to hear about both sides of the patient/therapist relationship from someone so knowledgeable was fascinating! And The Novel Cure sounds delightful 🙂

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