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Book Review: 'Maybe You Should Talk to Someone'

Good Monday Morning! Today, I thought we should kick off with a book review. Some of you may know that I co-lead a therapist book club, and I LOVE reading. Anything really. For fluff, I read suspense, mystery, or romance novels. For work, I read books written by therapists. In the therapy room, I assign books sometimes as 'homework' for my clients. Bibliotherapy is highly effective and highly under-utilized by therapists and clients alike. Here's a link to a study about bibliotherapy if you're interested in its efficacy in improving mental health symptoms, specifically anxiety or depression. Since I want my blog to be a useful place for clients and people who otherwise may not be able to afford therapy, I thought I would give you a few book reviews to help jumpstart your 'To Be Read' list.

'Maybe You Should Talk to Someone' by Lori Gottlieb holds a special place in my heart. It's a memoir of Lori's experience with an existential crisis in her thirties and forties, and how she navigates attending therapy for herself while holding space for her clients. It is, hands down, the best book I have read about psychotherapy in a long time. It's funny, it's real, it's warm. Her stories and her clients' stories shine through each page as a beacon of hope for all of us.

To give you some context, I would like to set the stage of where my life was when I read this book. In the year prior to me picking up this book, my first daughter had died of a congenital birth defect and was stillborn. I was navigating fertility issues, recurrent miscarriages, and the heaviness of grief in my marriage, which was still very young and untested. I'm not certain how I came across Lori's book, but from the moment I opened it up, I felt like she was speaking to me.

Lori tackles everything in this book: grief, trauma, broken relationships, love, sex, cancer, death. You name it, and somehow she has managed to share a client's story that resonates with that particular theme. She shows all of us her vulnerability in going to therapy for the *first time* as a therapist herself. Wendell, her therapist, is witty, warm and unpredictable. He helps her find herself again, and wrestle with her fears of dying.

My favorite quote in the whole book is this: "People tend to dream without doing, death remaining theoretical. We think we make bucket lists to ward off regret, but really they help us to ward off death. After all, the longer our bucket lists are, the more time we imagine we have left to accomplish everything on them. Cutting the list down, however, makes a tiny dent in our denial systems, forcing us to acknowledge a sobering truth: Life has a 100 percent mortality rate. Every single one of us will die, and most of us have no idea how or when it will happen. In fact, as each second passes, we're all in the process of coming closer to our eventual deaths. As the saying goes, none of us will get out of here alive."

When people ask me to recommend books about therapy, this is often my first pick. You will laugh, you will cry, and at the end, you will be grateful for the time you spent with this book open on your lap. You can purchase it here. Let me know what you think about the book in the comments below or send me an email. I'd love to discuss it further with you!

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