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  • Kelsey

Book Review: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Welcome to my very first "book review"!

I am not planning on giving any book a rating (i.e. 1 out of 5, 3 golden stars, etc.). I simply want to share what I got out of each book, and will let you know if I would recommend reading it. Obviously not everyone shares the same taste in books, so ultimately it's up for you to decide whether or not you are interested. :)

Now without further ado: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Now without further ado: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone


Every year, nearly 30 million Americans sit on a therapist’s couch—and some of these patients are therapists. In her remarkable new book, Lori Gottlieb tells us that despite her license and rigorous training, her most significant credential is that she’s a card-carrying member of the human race. “I know what it’s like to be a person,” she writes, as a crisis causes her world to come crashing down.

Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.

As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives—a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys (even one from the waiting room)—she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.

With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb reveals our blind spots, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, offering a deeply personal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly revealing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.

Memorable Quotes:

We can't have change without loss.
If you don't realize sometimes that the perfect is the enemy of the good, you may deprive yourself of joy.
Don't judge your feelings, just know them.
Changing our relationship to the past is a staple of therapy. But we talk far less about how our relationship to the future informs the present too. Our notion of the future can be just as much a roadblock to change as the past. We tend to think the future happens later. But we are creating it in our minds every day. When the present falls apart, so does the future we had associated with it. And having the future taken away is the mother of all plot twists. If we spend the present trying to fix the past or control the future, we remain stuck in place in perpetual regret.
Honesty is stronger medicine than sympathy, which may console but also conceals.
Freedom involves responsibility.
Failure is part of being human.

Personal Thoughts:

It was interesting to get to see the world and inner thoughts of someone who comes from a wildly different background and worldview than me. While I did not agree 100% on her thoughts and opinions, she made a lot of good points about how we as people operate. At one point she is talking with an elderly woman who has nothing to live for: she is thrice divorced, alienated her kids, and has no friends. The elderly lady is lamenting over how horrible she was and what trauma she caused her children, and Lori asks "when are you going to stop punishing yourself for it?" I feel like a lot of us continue to punish ourselves for our mistakes and failures for weeks, months, and years afterwards. Jesus calls us to forgiveness and freedom - which includes freedom from the guilt and punishment we drown ourselves in. Yes, damage is done when we fail and sin. Sometimes relationships are damaged and some are irreversible. But if we repent, ask for forgiveness of God and the ones we hurt, and seek restitution; we do not need to continually punish ourselves for it.

Another of Lori's patients is a self-absorbed Hollywood producer who is, well, just a jerk. He is inconsiderate, rude, and thinks that everyone around him is an idiot. It seems like there is no hope for him. However, as the book goes on, you discover his pain - the reason he is so awful. Not to excuse people's awful behavior and treatment of others, but more often than not, it is all to mask the pain they are feeling. I think we often just dismiss horrible people as just horrible people. But horrible people are usually just hurt people acting horribly. Reading about "John" really changed my mindset on how I should treat 'horrible people' in my own life.

Ending Remarks:*

I enjoyed this read (well, technically it was a listen - Audible for the win!) and finished it within a day. Honestly, after I finished, I had two desires:

  1. Start going to therapy myself to see what kind of hidden issues I've got that I'm not even aware of.

  2. Become a therapist myself to help others figure out why they are the way they are.

I don't think I will do either (for now) - though I am planning on figuring out how to ask deeper questions and be of better help when my friends ask for help or advice.

Thanks for reading my first ever book review. Please let me know if you decide to give this book a try!

Have Fun. Be Safe. Make Good Choices.



*This book contains some language and adult content