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All booksNarrative nonfictionMaybe You Should Talk to Someone
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Narrative nonfiction

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

by Lori Gottlieb

Quick take

A sneak peek into the life of a therapist, as told by another therapist.

Why I love it

Brianna Goodman
BOTM Editorial Team

Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who went to therapy—by which I mean, I didn’t know anyone who talked about going to therapy. Like sharing your weight or how many days it’d been since you’d last washed your jeans, admitting that you visited a therapist was pretty much taboo. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC—where, to quote Sex and the City’s Stanford Blatch, “even the shrinks have shrinks”—that I learned just how common and not-scary going to therapy can be. If I could hit my younger self over the head with a copy of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, I would have learned this lesson a lot sooner.

In short chapters that are as funny as they are compassionate, Lori Gottlieb gives readers an inside look at a phenomenon that’s often kept hidden: what goes on behind a therapist’s closed doors. We watch as she counsels a man who blames all his problems on the “idiots” who surround him. We learn of the newlywed who’s just been diagnosed with cancer. And we sit beside Lori herself who, after a less than spectacular breakup, takes her turn on the couch across from her therapist, Wendell.

Like all good therapists, Lori is probing and empathetic, and it is both a comfort and revelation to spend time with her words. Part-memoir, part-psychology, and with a sprinkling of self-help, this book is an entertaining portrait of humanity at its best—and most ludicrous. Whether therapy is on your list of topics to avoid, or you’re someone who uses the phrase “my therapist says...” with regularity, I think you’ll find Maybe You Should Talk to Someone to be rife with insight, packaged up in delightful and relatable vignettes.

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One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. 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—she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell: about desire and need, guilt and redemption, meaning and mortality, loneliness and love.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.

Member thoughts

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All (2462)
Love (1767)
Like (610)
Dislike (85)
2508 ratings
  • 70% Love
  • 24% Like
  • 3% Dislike
  • Nashville, TN

    The book drew me in right away. In writing about her patients’ struggles and her own, Gottlieb is able to provide insightful advice about a range of subjects — mortality, meaning, love, and loss. 5⭐️s

  • Saint Paul, MN

    Gottlieb’s honesty, humanity, and humor makes for a memoir that’s as real as they come. She doesn’t hide from the parts of her life that aren’t pretty, and tells her story and others with compassion.

  • Winston Salem, NC

    From the beginning of I knew Lori Gottlieb would take me on a roller coaster of emotions. From laughing to crying, hitting me in the feels and reminding me that we are human while sharing nuggets of wisdom

  • Birmingham, AL

    I’ve been going through a difficult time in my life, and this book has been so helpful. It’s interesting seeing things from the therapist side, but also seeing her human side trying figure things out.

  • Fort Worth, TX

    “I choose neither”. This book shows you that you can break through your barriers and choose the life that you want to live. Truly a great book that causes you to self reflect in the best way possible!

  • Phila, PA

    LOVE this book! It’s by far my favorite BOTM book. There are a lot of lessons to be learned within these pages as the author shares her story, her clients’ stories, and, inevitably, our own stories.

  • Liverpool, NY

    I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, memoirs, or self-help but I couldn’t put this book down! Reading about Lori and her patients reminded me to look for the core humanity in every challenging person.

  • Flint, MI

    This book is all of the things I needed! I connected on such an emotional level to Lori through her patients’ stories and her own story. I laughed, I cried, I felt all of the feels! Love, love, love!

  • Gobles, MI

    I feel like Lori and I are good friends after reading this. I loved the look into her therapy sessions; we started off disliking certain patients but by the end of it I didn’t want their story to end

  • Mandeville, LA

    Gottlieb’s accounts of her own patients will make you laugh, cry, and love them despite their inner most flaws. Her own therapy sessions will have you examining yourself because she is so relateable.

  • Irvine, CA

    Psychology is fascinating but I tend to get bored when explanations become too clinical. This author is truly brilliant. She weaved in theory, her patients, and her challenges artfully. A masterpiece.

  • New York, NY

    As the daughter of two therapists, and the sister of another, I am no stranger to the benefits of psychotherapy. I loved both the patient stories and personal narrative the author shared. Very moving!

  • Arizona City, AZ

    Easily one of my favorite things I have ever read. This book is applicable to everyone in every walk of life. I laughed, I cried, and it facilitated major introspective moments. I will reread this for

  • Norcross, GA

    Interesting look at the human condition from a therapist. Interesting patients and confessions from her own time as a patient. Really liked all the patients even the one who she didn't really like. :)

  • Durham, NC

    This book was wonderful. As a therapist I recommend it, but think anyone interested in the intricacies of the therapeutic process would enjoy the read. The humanity of a therapist is beautiful to see.

  • bloomington, CA

    I really enjoyed getting to know some of Lori's patients and I was really hooked to their stories and wanting to know how each ended up. Also the funny thought that a therapist would see a therapist!

  • Glendale, AZ

    This is not just another memoir, it is so much more. Deeply personal, inspiring, and life-affirming. It makes me feel like maybe I should talk to someone. Layered and complex, raw and honest. Read it.

  • Brooklyn, NY

    Stories that will always stick with me.. I became so emersed in these lives and I found myself cheering on for Lori, for Julie, for John, for Rita, for Charlotte and for Wendell. Beautifully written!!

  • Springfield , MO

    Fascinating from start to finish! I totally nerded out getting an inside look at the life of a therapists...all the vignettes of her patients lives were sympathetic and insightful. Read like a novel!

  • Corpus Christi, TX

    As a budding counselor this book had me laughing and crying. An excellent look at the life of someone who is supposed to be the rock for other people. Great read and helpful as I continue my journey!

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