Lori Gottlieb: Therapist in Therapy

Lori Gottlieb has written a new book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, and it has some things in common with my book Minding Therapy. However, whereas the therapist-who’s-also-a-client story in Minding Therapy is fictionalized, her therapist-in-therapy tale is truth-based. Not only that, the therapist who went to therapy is herself.

Kirkus Reviews introduces Maybe You Should Talk to Someone as a book that’s also about Gottlieb’s work with clients “chronicles the many problems facing the ‘struggling humans’ in her stable of therapy patients. The intimate connection between patient and therapist established through the experience of psychic suffering forms the core of the memoir, as the author plumbs the multifaceted themes of belonging, emotional pain, and healing.”

Gottlieb entered her own therapy because of a relationship crisis. In the book she describes how her perceptions of the now-receiving-therapy role evolved over time. As one Goodreads reviewer states:

Gottlieb starts out thinking that she just needs a couple of sessions to get over this hump, as it were, but her conversations with Wendell make her see that she could actually use more help than she realized. It’s a jarring realization, but it’s also one that seems to make her a better therapist as it makes more clear the struggle some of her patients have in connecting the dots between their pasts and their presents, their problematic behaviors and the painful consequences, and being honest about things that don’t put themselves in the best light.

For more information, see this NPR interview, “A Psychotherapist Goes To Therapy — And Gets A Taste Of Her Own Medicine.”

Selected Reviews

Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire: “Shrinks, they’re just like us—at least in Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, the heartfelt memoir by therapist Lori Gottlieb. Warm, funny, and engaging (no poker-faced clinician here), Gottlieb not only gives us an unvarnished look at her patients’ lives, but also her own. The result is the most relatable portrait of a therapist I’ve yet encountered.

Lisa Damour, PhD: “With wisdom and humanity, Lori Gottlieb invites us into her consulting room, and her therapist’s. There, readers will share in one of the best-kept secrets of being a clinician: when we bear witness to change, we also change, and when we are present as others find meaning in their lives, we also discover more in our own.”

A.J. Jacobs, author: “Here are some people who might benefit from Lori Gottlieb’s illuminating new book: Therapists, people who have been in therapy, people who have been in relationships, people who have experienced emotions. In other words, everyone. Lori’s story is funny, enlightening, and radically honest. It merits far more than 50 minutes of your time.”

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