Breathe. Pause. Reflect. Three things I learned during the quarantine – amongst other things. I spent countless hours ruminating and embracing the uncomfortable, reminiscing on my rough and curvy path, which from the outside appeared to be smooth and linear—pondering my future and goals. What were my goals? I was no longer sure. This realization scared me. Before the pandemic, I was a person who knew precisely what I wanted with a full calendar, continually moving. The unexpected lockdown was the first occasion when I had ample time, and it forced me to sit in stillness and reassess. I would be lying if I said all these contemplations were pleasant; in fact, many were distressing. Having to accept one’s authentic truth, in actuality, facing one’s full self is terrifying, but places one on another level and demonstrates an abundance of growth. Based on my musings, I would say it was the perfect time to read the book Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb.
This book is a fascinating memoir about Lori, a psychotherapist living in Los Angeles, and her practice. She shares her experiences and patient stories. At the beginning of the book, the reader learns that Lori is the mother of a young son and madly in love with her boyfriend. After a crisis, she falls apart and seeks help. While seeking therapy and observing her patterns, Lori is still seeing patients and delving into their inner demons as their story unfolds. At times, the book was amusing, somber, serious, candid – and I found it enjoyable.
My favorite passage was: ” He knows what all therapists know: That the presenting problem, the issue somebody comes in with, is often just one aspect of a larger problem, if not a red herring entirely. He knows that most people are brilliant at finding ways to filter out the things they don’t want to look at, at using distractions or defenses to keep threatening feelings at bay. He knows that pushing aside emotions only makes them stronger, but that before he goes in and destroys somebody’s defense – whether that defense is obsessing about another person or pretending not to see what’s in plain sight – he needs to help the patient replace the defense with something else so that he doesn’t leave the person raw and exposed with no protection whatsoever”.
I love this passage because it demonstrated why people are apprehensive about exploring therapy. Therapy causes you to be open, vulnerable, and expose your demons. Everyone has something they would like to improve, but the thought of vulnerability to some people represents weakness and the possibility of judgment and rejection. No one likes rejection, but the real truth is that seeking therapy shows strength and a willingness to grow. As a society, we need to remove the stigma of treatment and mental health.
I highly recommend this book for people who are flirting with the idea of treatment. I believe that everyone would benefit from therapy!
Interested in this book? Click here to buy it on Amazon or find it at book store near you!