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'Maybe You Should Talk To Someone' With Lori Gottlieb

Sep 11, 2019

  

With startling wisdom and humor, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone  takes readers into both Lori Gottlieb’s therapy office where she sees patients and into her own therapist’s office where she lands after a crisis. But really, the book is about the universal human condition. Lori writes about topics that make people think differently about themselves and the world around them: love and loss, meaning and mortality, gender and culture, parents and children, female appearance, regret and redemption, hope and change.

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

The following highlights are from a conversation with Lori Gottlieb about her nonfiction book, "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed." To hear the full conversation, click the link above or subscribe to our podcast.

Sarah Aronson: In addition to the richness of experience in therapy, what do you imagine for ways that we can continue to be more present and connecting with others?

Lori Gottlieb: I think one of the reasons that people feel so disconnected is that they have a hard time tolerating their feelings. You know, they think that if they feel momentary sadness or anxiety or grief, a lot of people will say, this happened five years ago, why am I still grieving? Well, because grief is like that.

So, I don't say that glibly. I mean, of course you're going to have pain around a significant loss and it's not just going to disappear. It will live with you throughout your life and in different ways at different times. You know, if you didn't love somebody that deeply, you wouldn't be feeling that. So the good news is that you were able to love that deeply and you hopefully will be able to love that deeply again.

But I think people have trouble sitting with those feelings. I always say to people, feelings are like the weather. They're like weather systems. They blow in, they blow out. Don't be so afraid of a storm. Don't be so afraid of some cloudy weather because it will blow in. Just like the sunny weather will blow in and that will blow out too.

So be able to sit with your feelings and know that that's part of the entirety of your experience. It's what makes you human.

 What do you tell friends or family members or acquaintances who are wanting to get into therapy but don't know how or where to begin?

I think it's such a sign of strength to make that call and come in. Whenever people come in, I'm interested in not just why are they here, but why now? Why this week did you make that call when this might've been going on for a while? I want to know about their readiness and the strength that made them make that call.

And so I think that you can find therapists through your insurance plan. You can find them through psychology today. You can do the dreaded Google search, but I do think you get a sense of someone maybe from what you find, what they write on their website. You can ask a friend for a referral. A great way to find a therapist is to, if your friend likes his or her therapist, ask that person to ask their therapist for a referral for you. You'll probably get a really good referral.

I refer for my patients if they have friends who want to go to therapy but don't necessarily want to see the same therapist, I will absolutely give them a good referral. And then go in for consultation and just see how you feel in that consultation. Make sure that you feel good. If you leave and you ask yourself, did I feel understood and was this person easy to talk to? I'd go back for a second session. If you didn't, maybe go for another consultation with somebody else.

About the Book:

With startling wisdom and humor, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone  takes readers into both Lori Gottlieb’s therapy office where she sees patients and into her own therapist’s office where she lands after a crisis. But really, the book is about the universal human condition. Lori writes about topics that make people think differently about themselves and the world around them: love and loss, meaning and mortality, gender and culture, parents and children, female appearance, regret and redemption, hope and change.

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, her own world comes crashing down. Enter Wendell, Lori’s own brand new quirky-but-seasoned therapist. 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 Lori 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.

Lori Gottlieb tells us that her most significant credential is not her license or rigorous training, but the fact that she’s “a card-carrying member of the human race.” In Maybe You Should Talk to Someone readers join Lori on her intimate journey, and into her practice, for a deeply personal and revelatory tour of hearts and minds from both sides of the couch—to quite possibly life-changing effect.

Lori Gottlieb
Credit Sholmit Levy Bard

About the Author:

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author who writes The Atlantic’s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column. A contributing editor for The Atlantic, she also writes for The New York Times, and appears as a frequent expert on relationships, parenting, and hot-button mental health topics in media such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN, and NPR. MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE is in development for a television series at ABC. Learn more at LoriGottlieb.com or by following her @LoriGottlieb1 on Twitter.