Maybe You Should Talk to Someone Book Cover

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
Book by: Lori Gottlieb
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Written by the writer and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a thought-provoking memoir of the author’s life as a therapist, her connection with her patients, as well as that with her own therapist. Lori breaks down the thorough process of therapy in the book, providing insights from her journey as both a therapist and a patient undergoing therapy. Her dual perspective derived from both sides of the couch is a real eye-opener which points out the healing power of therapy. She further clarifies that being a therapist does not necessarily mean one has to be always mentally and emotionally sorted. A therapist, like any other human being, can also seek therapy as and when required.

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Lesson 1. A Presenting Problem Conceals The Real Problem.

The initial complication that drives a person to the therapist’s door, seeking for help, is called the “presenting problem”. It could be a number of things - prolonged depressive episodes, panic attacks, loss of loved ones, job loss, death or even sometimes a suffocating feeling of being stuck. A presenting problem could be anything which motivates a person to begin therapy. However, a patient’s presenting problem is usually one aspect of a larger, more complex problem. It is just the tip of the iceberg rather than the iceberg itself. For instance, when Lori herself had started seeing a therapist, Wendell, she made it clear that she was there for some crisis management. She had been through a sudden, shocking break-up and needed help to get over it. But that's just her “presenting problem” and a temporary solution that she was aiming at. The real problem was buried far deeper and it took a lot of time for Wendell to help her unearth it. And when the real problem surfaced, she realized that it was a lot larger than the presenting problem at hand. Her fear of the metaphorical death of her relation as well as the literal death, her mortality, had been tormenting her.

 

Also there are times, when the presenting problem has nothing to do with the real, underlying problem at all. For example, John, a middle aged TV scriptwriter, came to Lori to seek help because he was annoyed with everyone around him. He felt that everyone around him were “idiots”. He also had issues with his wife and couldn’t sleep. It took an enormous amount of time for him to recognize the actual problem which was far removed from the presenting problem. It was the grief of losing his loved ones and a deep sense of isolation that affected him deeply . 

 

Despite being just a camouflage, it is the presenting problem that does the job of getting a person through the door to therapy. However, it might take a longer and more circuitous route to get to the real problem, let alone the solution. Infact, the therapist is the one who dives into the depth of a patient’s problems and helps them discover the cause of their real  problem.

Lesson 2. Patients Tend To Deny Responsibility Of Their Own Predicaments.

At the beginning of a therapy session, a patient usually comes with the presenting problem and a self-constructed narrative wound around it. This narrative is a rather unhelpful one. It is something a patient builds to simplify the real cause that drives them to therapy. 

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About the author

Lori Gottlieb Image

Lori Gottlieb, a psychotherapist and author, delves into the complexities of human emotions and relationships. Her work intricately weaves therapeutic insights with personal narratives, offering a compassionate exploration of life’s struggles. Through...

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Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. A Presenting Problem Conceals The Real Problem.
  • Lesson 2. Patients Tend To Deny Responsibility Of Their Own Predicaments.
  • Lesson 3. Overcoming Loneliness and Social Isolation.
  • Lesson 4. Overcoming The Sense Of Meaninglessness.
  • Lesson 5. Breaking Out Of Self-Confinements.
  • Lesson 6. Overcoming Our Resistance To Change. 
  • Lesson 7. Identifying Your Blind Spots.
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FAQs

In the summary of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone book, there are 7 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. A Presenting Problem Conceals The Real Problem.
  2. Lesson 2. Patients Tend To Deny Responsibility Of Their Own Predicaments.
  3. Lesson 3. Overcoming Loneliness and Social Isolation.
  4. Lesson 4. Overcoming The Sense Of Meaninglessness.
  5. Lesson 5. Breaking Out Of Self-Confinements.
  6. Lesson 6. Overcoming Our Resistance To Change. 
  7. Lesson 7. Identifying Your Blind Spots.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb was published in .

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In the printed version of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone book have over 300 pages and usually takes 8-10 days to finish. However, with the Wizdom app, including its summary and audiobook, it can be completed in just 15 minutes.

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