When Lori Gottlieb says, Maybe You Should Talk To Someone
When Lori Gottlieb says, Maybe You Should Talk To Someone, I cringe.
That is, at first.
For certain, in my mind, the idea that a therapist would write anything about her clients’ private lives — with her inside voice’s derogatory opinion included — plops us into an unethical scenario, if not just insensitive and exploitive.
Here’s the thing: Using others’ most intimate lives as an expose’ for one’s own career, even if one did get permission from the clients, is, sigh. . .
Let’s just put it this way, maybe a tiny part of us thinks we might like to be written about, and so we are susceptible to the scenario, but mostly it’s no different than, say, a hopeful schoolboy who thinks he wants to jump from a roof top for the airy feeling of flight. You want to save him from that leap of faith, not invite him to do it.
Yet, despite my continued reservations, so many of my own clients have been chatting in their sessions about it, as well as my friends who ask if I have read it, would I read it, and could we do a book group on it? Oy!
I downloaded the Audible version to see what all the titillation is about.
Turns out, Lori Gottlieb is delightfully well-trained and well-versed in psychoanalytic training. Her writing was an easy refresher to me as a professional on theories and approaches that, used for so long, I’d almost forgotten they’re even a formal thing and not just the positive momentum of sessions.
If you’ve ever been in therapy or are curious about it, these same academic explanations sprinkled into her humorous storyline yank back the veil hiding what’s really going on in the room between a therapist and a client. This I like very much about Lori Gottlieb’s book: it’s empowering to include a client in how or why I’m asking them what I am asking, and when, for that matter. And if your therapist seldom lets you in on the process, you’ll definitely enjoy this read.
But there’s more, Lori Gottlieb also tosses away the veil that therapists usually like to hide behind. The myth that our lives are always pulled together, that we are saintly not human. What a relief for clients to learn they’re not the only ones trying to navigate life.
And, if you haven’t already learned elsewhere, guess how Gottlieb reveals the truth behind the myth of the powerful, perfect therapist? She invites you into her own personal therapy sessions.
Wink. Or at least the ones she’s least #embarrassed about.
And who cares? Her honesty and humility soften my initial disagreement about her writerly use of clients’ permissiveness. The courage alone makes it a warm, funny and most of all worthy read. Hope you do!