On the one hand, it’s filled with fascinating stories and views — things that make the reader close the book in order to stop and think a while, things that make the reader want to pass them along to someone else. On the other hand, it’s also filled with far too much pop psychology for a work written by a professional therapist who even went to medical school! And thereby hinges part of the paradox: Lori Gottlieb, author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, had been a television screenwriter, and then a med student, and then a med school dropout, and then a therapist, and she has to tell us all about breaking up with her long-time boyfriend, who of course has to be a jerk, and….
OK, it’s not my usual sort of book.
Some amateur reviewers — on Amazon, Goodreads, and the like — claim that Gottlieb violates professional ethics because she tells stories about what her patients said to her. Telling stories, of course, is what makes the book effective (see my previous two posts). And she thoroughly anonymizes the stories so we can’t identify anyone. Or so she says. How, after all, could we really tell whether any of the patients are identifiable despite the obvious alterations in names, places, jobs, etc.? As the son of a psychiatrist, I grew up hearing stories about patients, and as far as I could tell they were always sufficiently disguised — but again, how could I know?
Anyway, read the book and decide for yourself. As I indicated above, it’s certainly filled with food for thought, and you’ll enjoy reading it. It would probably make a good book club selection.