“We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.”
Oh, where to start. This book has been sitting on my shelf for about a year now, not because I didn’t want to read it, but because I wanted to save it for when I was feeling low. After the year I have had, I knew it was time. Whenever I read a book that involves therapy, it becomes completely evident to me that I could benefit from it. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb is no exception, in fact, it makes me want to talk to someone even more. If a therapist can benefit from therapy, what does that say for the rest of us?
“Will you spot the insecurities that I’m so skillful at hiding? Will you see my vulnerabilities, my lies, my shame? Will you see the human in my being?”
As I read this book (which isn’t particularly sad, Gottlieb has an amazing sense of humor) I found myself on the verge of tears. I think it speaks to her abilities that she can make you feel seen throughout this book, and she validates that even the most self-aware to have things to work through. We all hide pieces of ourselves, moments that shamed us, the secret pride in our heart. Even when we think we are being entirely open, even when we are paying someone to help us work through our issues. This book highlights how the therapists and counselors of the world SEE that. They work through your memories and help you see the truth and the lies that you hide even from them, even from yourself. I found myself wishing Gottlieb was MY own personal therapist.
“An interesting paradox of the therapy process: In order to do their job, therapists try to see patients as they really are, which means noticing their vulnerabilities and entrenched patterns and struggles. Patients, of course, want to be helped, but they also want to be liked and admired. In other words, they want to hide their vulnerabilities and entrenched patterns and struggles.”
Throughout the book, we get to see her through her work with her patients and her time with her own therapist. I found myself incredibly endeared to her patients, even the tough-to-love ones. I cried when they were grieving, laughed when they laughed, and took joy in their breakthroughs. The one that was most insufferable, John, ended up being my favorite. There’s certain people that you’re positive won’t find any clarity in therapy, and yet, they do. John was one of those, and he really found a way to reveal himself to Lori AND to himself.
Gottlieb tackles many issues; death of a loved one, terminal illness, love, guilt, addiction, the lack of societal support when it comes to men and mental health. Especially when it came to the men’s health aspect, I realized how many men are unintentionally angry because they don’t have an emotional outlet. We have conditioned men for ages to not seek help for their mental health. This creates generations of people simmering with unresolved issues, pulling others into their destructive orbit.
“Men tend to be at a disadvantage here because they aren’t typically raised to have a working knowledge of their internal worlds; it’s less socially acceptable for men to talk about their feelings. While women feel cultural pressure to keep up their physical appearance, men feel that pressure to keep up their emotional appearance. Women tend to confide in friends or family members, but when men tell me how they feel in therapy, I’m almost always the first person they’ve said it to.”
During this book, she blends her professional schooling and training with real life experiences. She approaches things from a clinical stand as well as from a tangible, personal viewpoint. She feels like a friend and a professional all at once. I highly recommend reading this! I give it a 4.5 stars out of 5.
There were so many amazing quotes and moments that I can’t pepper this article with them all, but if you’re interested, I put my kindle highlights in this link here!
“In this room, I’m going to see you, and you’ll try to hide, but I’ll still see you, and it’s going to be okay when I do.”