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You are your own jailer.

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What makes therapy challenging is that it requires people to see themselves in ways they normally choose not to. A therapist will hold up the mirror in the most compassionate way possible, but it’s up to the patient to take a good look at that reflection, to stare back at it and say, “Oh, isn’t that interesting! Now what?” instead of turning away.

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a witty and thought-provoking memoir by Lori Gottlieb, where she takes the reader on a journey of being a therapist, her patients, and her therapy session with another therapist. The book reads like a frequently asked question on psychotherapy, the therapy process, vulnerabilities, suffering, pain, childhood trauma, shame and all the things we deal with as humans.

Lori Gottlieb is an American writer and psychotherapist, who writes the weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column for The Atlantic. ABC Studios is developing a television series based on the book with Eva Longoria.

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.” – Carl Jung

Lori shares some great insights through her therapy sessions with her clients and her therapy session with her own therapist. She delivers the lessons, anecdotes, rants, jokes, and insights through the following characters:

  • Lori Gottlieb: therapist and a patient
  • John is a self-absorbed Hollywood producer
  • Julie is a newlywed around the age of thirty, diagnosed with a terminal illness
  • Rita is a senior citizen who wants to end her life on her birthday
  • Charlotte is a twenty-year-old woman struggling with damaging relationships and alcoholism
  • Wendell is Lori Gottlieb’s psychotherapist

“The nature of life is change and the nature of people is to resist change.”

Therapy is about understanding the self that you are. But part of getting to know yourself is to unknow yourself—to let go of the limiting stories you’ve told yourself about who you are so that you aren’t trapped by them, so you can live your life and not the story you’ve been telling yourself about your life.

Here are my favorite takeaways from reading, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: by Lori Gottlieb:

“Somewhere in the tangle of the subject’s burden and the subject’s desire is your story.”—Alex Tizon