Right book, right time.
I sat down with Maybe You Should Talk to Someone first thing Saturday morning, and late Sunday morning I finished it. I really didn’t mean to finish it so fast, but I would put it down for a break and then my fingers would reach for it on their own, and I just kept reading.
This book is half memoir, recalling Gottlieb’s time in therapy following a painful and unexpected breakup, and half non-fiction, recounting several of Gottlieb’s own therapy patients and their struggles (she uses pseudonyms, and most likely identifying details are changed, although she doesn’t mention that).
I found this book incredibly satisfying to read. Gottlieb manages to give you an overview of what successful therapy looks like, picks clients whose stories illustrate something she’s trying to say while making you really feel for them and see their humanity, and also show how even a therapist can be blind to her own issues. She also recounts the salient parts of her career, which was varied until she found her calling as a therapist. (She notes that she used to be a production assistant, and was in the room when Jennifer Aniston was cast on Friends, and was part of the team that made the decision not to kill off Julianna Margulies’ character on ER at the end of the pilot. She also went to medical school, and was a journalist.) And all of it is relevant to the central story she’s telling.
It feels weird not to want to spoil a non-fiction book about people being therapized, but I really don’t want to spoil you. If the idea of people coming to terms with their issues sounds as satisfying to you as it does to me, pick up this book.