For anyone who is in therapy, has contemplated therapy, knows someone in therapy, or should be in therapy – and yes, that’s everyone! — this is a great book!
Lori Gottlieb, a therapist who has come to being so by way of having been a screenwriter, a medical student and a journalist, gives a thoughtful account of her experience of going through a sudden, devastating breakup which rocks her world. Feeling like she’s been blindsided, she seeks out the comfort of a therapist, Wendell (not his real name) whom she expects will join her in her rage against “Boyfriend” who has deserted her after seeming to be committed to their relationship for the past 2 years. What she receives instead surprises her and gives her space to peer inside and in fact, find genuine growth and much deeper comfort and understanding than she’d imagined.
A number of people recommended this book to me and I began it reluctantly. Because of what I do everyday, I thought it might not be the escape that I love books to be. To my surprise, though, it was exactly that. Gottlieb is a gifted storyteller and weaves her own story with those of some of her clients. As she begins to unveil her own journey, she also draws parallels with those of a few of her clients and we come to know and appreciate each of them as they too peel off the layers of their own defenses. We learn some of the terms of the trade, and how therapy works, in a sense — how she gives and takes, as a therapist who is in therapy, and how even if she is a therapist, it is hard to see your own defenses at play. And she does all of this with kindness and humor.
This is an extremely engaging read – a true story that reads like a novel. Be ready to laugh and to cry and to seriously think about going into therapy if you aren’t in therapy already!