Here’s my main takeaway from this book, and it’s one that I think will help people (it’s certainly something I had never really considered but ought to have): therapists are not one size fits all. Most people can benefit from therapy, whether for a short period of time or long-term, but it’s important to find the right person. I tried therapy for a few weeks last year, felt I was attending a lecture for an hour once a week that had nothing to do with me, and quit. Quitting is on me, of course, but it’s good to know that if I were to try it again I might find someone who approaches things in a different way.
“In therapy we aim for self-compassion (Am I human?) versus self-esteem (a judgment: Am I good or bad?).”
Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who seeks out therapy for herself after a horrible break up (it’s pretty horrible, and she does not take it well — more things I can relate to). After getting some recommendations, she begins seeing a therapist named Wendall. Meanwhile, she continues to see her own patients at her practice. So we learn about a few of her patients, her time with Wendall, and her own personal journey to becoming a therapist (which was pretty interesting).
“You can have compassion without forgiving. There are many ways to move on, and pretending to feel a certain way isn’t one of them.”
I enjoyed hearing about Gottlieb’s past, and her insights into what therapist’s are trained to do and how they do it. It did make me uncomfortable to hear about her patients in such detail. She changed identifying characteristics, of course, but it was impossible not to try and guess who the famous guy was. Mostly, it makes me feel icky that a therapist would ever reveal details of my own life like that, even under heavy edits.