This book seriously has me reconsidering my career path. As someone who’s always been interested in psychology and learning about other people’s stories, being a therapist has crossed my mind a time or two. Fun fact, I originally started out in college as a psych major until I made the switch to business school and marketing. Maybe that wasn’t the right decision…
One (of many) thing this book taught me is that it’s not too late to change your future.
Anyways, as someone who’s also wondered about therapy and whether I need it/could benefit from it/should try it, this has me leaning a certain way. We’ve all got baggage and issues and struggles that could benefit from a neutral party weighing in from time to time. Even the most put together people in your life have their own demons/skeletons/whatever that you don’t always see.
Written from Lori’s perspective as both a therapist and a patient, this book explores themes we all can relate to, though we might not always want to. With love, loss, depression, illness, familial struggles and more being discussed, you might assume this book would be a huge downer. But you would be wrong. It explores all of the ways people can struggle with these aspects of life, and how, with a little honesty, courage, and determination, can come out on the other side a stronger, better version of themselves. Just like in life, I experienced a range of emotions reading this book.
We are all human. We all experience pain at some point or another. We all have stories. I love how this book shares a peak into a few of her patients lives and the pain they’re working through in therapy. It’s a humbling reminder that we are all going through something, regardless of our socioeconomic, racial, professional, or personal background.
It also brought me back to my days of psych classes in college when she shares tidbits of psychological theories from the minds of Freud, Erikson, and Frankl. Don’t worry, it didn’t get too technical, but it does get you thinking about your own perspective and approach to life, and how those theories might apply. I started thinking about some of my struggles in terms of how they’d come across to a therapist, and how a therapist might guide me to work through them.
As I reluctantly got to the last page of the book, I couldn’t agree more with Lori that sometimes you just need to say “fuck”.
Lori Gottlieb began her career working in TV production. With a few amazing shows on her resume (have you heard of Friends? Or ER?), one might be surprised she ever left that industry. Realizing the work wasn’t fulfilling for her and she enjoyed the work she did behind the scenes at local hospitals to bring ER to life, she eventually returned to medical school, only to transition into clinical psychology studies. She knew she wanted to help people in real life. She wanted to have a real connection with her patients, developing a relationship that allowed them to be open with her and move forward from their struggles.
But therapists are also human and don’t always have it together. So when Lori experiences a devastating loss that changes her future forever, she enlists the help of another therapist to recoup.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when this book was selected for a book Club I’m apart of. Honestly, I voted for the other option for our July book, but I am so glad this one was chosen. I, like Lori, am obsessed with stories (obviously why I enjoy reading), regardless of whether those stories are happy, sad, or anywhere in between. And I like stories that shed light on people’s struggles, fears, goals, and motivations. That shed light on someone else’s reality that might be different from my own. I find it makes me a more compassionate and empathetic human to know and understand how other people live and what they go through. And when people share their struggles with someone who’s actually listening, it’s a beautiful thing. Always remember that you are not alone in your struggles and finding help to get through them is a sign of bravery, not weakness.
Ps. I usually get my books through my Book of the Month subscription! Click here to try it out for yourself! If you sign up, we’ll both get a free book!