Therapists are in the business of helping others work through their problems, which makes it easy to assume that they’ve got their own issues all sorted out. But psychologist and best-selling author Lori Gottlieb says that’s not true. Therapists aren’t superhuman, and they struggle just like the rest of us.
In her new book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” she details the lives and therapy sessions of five patients over the course of a year. There’s the young newlywed with terminal cancer, the older woman who feels she has nothing to live for, the narcissistic Hollywood producer, the woman struggling with alcoholism and destructive relationships, and then there’s Gottlieb herself — in the throes of a breakup from a man she thought she would marry.
Gottlieb hopes that by revealing her own difficulties — like succumbing to the temptation to google her ex — she can help patients and readers see that she’s not always able to perfectly follow her own advice. For her, it’s vital that people coming to her for help understand they’re not alone and that she’s not judging them — even when they fail to follow through on an insight that seemed crystal clear in their most recent session.
Over the course of a year, all the patients in the book make progress, including the author herself. Drawing on her past life as a writer for television shows including “ER,” Gottlieb weaves each character’s ups and downs into an engaging story set in Los Angeles. Appropriately enough, the book is now being developed into a television series on ABC with Eva Longoria.