November Highly Recommended Read
This month’s recommended book is Maybe you should talk to someone by Lori Gottlieb. I’m not totally sue how I came across this book but I’m so glad I did, as a person, coach-therapist and a writer.
Lori Gottlieb is a profesional writer, clinical psychologist and therapist who gives us a frank, humerous and deeply compassionate insight into the human condition and how we deal and face change. She does this by writing about some of the people she saw, herself in therapy and the underpinnings of practice based on her training.
This is a wise, funny and deeply touching book for those who wonder if they may need some help and those who provide it.
3 Reasons for liking this book
Reason #1: It’s wise and down-to-earth honest style expertly illuminates the human condition
Lori writes the way people talk when they’re really honest and uncencored. The way people talk when their minds and hearts are showing up. A rare thing indeed!
The book is her account of the training and career journey that got her to being a practitioner, the life of a therapist, as well as stories she reveals about a handful of her clients. She also talks about her experience in therapy. As such this is a well-rounded, funny and deeply touching account of being 100% human and working in a profession designed to help others accept their humanity using talk-therapy.
I admired her guts for writing with this much candor, telling how it is. With shows like Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag, this refreshing approach to confronting us with the raw, hilarious funny yet not so funny reality. If you have not discovered Feabag yet, I highly recommend that also.
Reason #2: Practitioner insights
As a practitioner, I really enjoyed getting an insight into the way Lori learned to practice her craft and felt inspired by it. It made me reflect on my practice which is vastly different as I’m not a psychotherapist. And yet I also saw many similarities between our approaches, what it is we’re trying to achieve with the people we partner with and how we go about this. For the record I have had a coach for years and I go to supervision too.
Many of the quotes and references she has peppered the book with around the underpinning theories and ways of working in therapy will be very stimulating for practitioners within the psychotherapy and coaching arenas. I’d even go as far as saying that if you’re thinking about working with people using talk based approaches or are studying in a coaching or psychotherapy programme, this is a must read!
It will easily show you:
- The sorts of problems people bring into the space,
- Help you consider how you practice or want to practice,
- Trigger you into deeper reflection about how what you do and who you are mesh up.
Reason #3: Beautifully accessible insight into the change process that will boost compassion
This is not a short book, but the work is broken down into short, snappy chapters.
Being a very good writer – Lori’s second professional craft she honed well for years before her second key training – these short easily digestible nuggets contain an inevitable and highly skillful hook that makes it hard to stop reading. I found myself constantly wanting to get to the end of the story. What will happen to John? What will Lori reveal to her therapist? Will the cancer lady get to have her baby?
The desire to know how things will end was as irresistible as with a good box set. I would not be surprised if Lori is will soon be selling sitcom rights to a short series based on the book. It is clear from what she writes and her TED talk below that she is riding a mega popularity curve I am openly envious of.
But there is something more that this book manages to convey. Each of the story vignettes is really an intimate look at the process of change: how we react to it, cope with it and get transformed by it. Together we’re faced with a rich mix of real people with different lives, jobs, and circumstances coping with life.
Anyone reading this book is thus bound to grow from it in terms of self-understanding, self-compassion as well as developing more compassion for others.
By the time I finished the book, I could not help but think back to the Four Nobel Truths of Buddhism.
- Suffering does exists.
- We suffer because we’re attached to our delusions of reality.
- Suffering can be eliminated when we loosen our attachment.
- There is a path out of suffering which helps us become wiser.
Reading this book you will reconnect with the absurdity of the many ways we try to escape reality when in the end, it is the acceptance of what is that sets us free and helps us be well.
I got an alert from Lori about her recent TED talk below. In it she talks about the power of stories and how they can change what’s possible in our lives. I highly recommend you watch it.