Have you ever wanted to know what a therapy session feels like but have never had a real experience to understand the process?
If yes – Laurie Gottlieb’s path-breaking book ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ is the closest and most real perspective on therapy you can ever get. Part an autobiography and part a self-help book — Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is filled with humor, empathy, life lessons, and vulnerability.
Laurie, a psychotherapist, helps you understand what goes in between a therapist and their patient. She recounts different stories from her life where she helped her patients, all from different walks of life and dealing with varied life issues, find a way through. She also tells you the perspective of a patient when she herself seeks therapy due to an unexpected personal tragedy. This is because, after all, therapists are humans too.
What makes Maybe You Should Talk to Someone a beautiful and must-read book are the witty yet wise collections of Laurie’s insights, both as a therapist and patient. She puts forward life lessons, clinical observations, and small yet important psychological concepts without ever being preachy or boring.
In this post, we will dive deeper into the book and shed light on the most essential and inspiring takeaways from Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Let’s get started.
Life Lessons From Maybe You Should Talk To Someone
1. Pain does not have a hierarchy.
One of the most important takeaways from Maybe You Should Talk To Someone is the acceptance that our pain and hurt cannot be measured on a scale. We cannot assign different hierarchies to pain by noting that something is more painful than the other. In fact, when we do so, we add to our misery and suffering.
According to Laurie, the only way to end or overcome miseries is to learn to empathize with others. It is important that we see others from their perspective rather than judging them for their actions. The only way to get through life is with compassion, and we all must learn it.
2. Learn to take responsibility for your life.
One of the biggest takeaways from Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is to learn to be accountable and responsible for your actions. The first step to changing your life is to understand the impact of your actions. If you continue to blame external circumstances, you will never be able to find peace. Therefore, at the very beginning, learn to take charge.
3. Learn to be truly there for other people.
One of our knee-jerk reactions when someone tells us about a problem, is to offer solutions. We tend to start giving solutions even before we have made sense of the whole situation. It is not our fault. This is how we are socially programmed. However, Laurie tells you to do a simple thing instead – listen.
While recalling her breakup, Laurie says all she needed was someone to sit through her pain and listen to her. But she also knew how difficult it was to sit with a hurt loved one and be able to do nothing to help them out. However, even though it is challenging, it is essential to have wise compassion that helps people but also refrains from giving hasty, unsolicited advice.
4. Rethink your inner pain threshold.
Most of us look at our mental and physical health from different viewpoints. As per the National Alliance of Mental Illness, around 1 in 5 people have a mental health issue, yet less than 20% of these people seek help. This has a lot to do with how we define pain regarding our mental health.
When it comes to physical health, we are relatively much faster to ask for help. But when it comes to mental health issues, we generally look at the social hierarchy of pain that has been set. Only after you pass a certain threshold or level are you allowed to seek help. This mentality is heartbreaking and painful because it restricts people who are genuinely suffering and hurting from asking for the right help.
Starting therapy is challenging. It is nerve-wracking, and you might feel anxious. It is entirely possible that therapy might not be the solution, but if you don’t try it, you might never find out. It is important you take the first step.
Laurie Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a must-read book for everyone – from self-help enthusiasts to those who are in two-thoughts about taking therapy to therapists themselves. Its wholesome and truthful narrative is filled with important lessons that will help you understand yourself better.
To know more about the best mental health books, apart from Maybe You Should Talk To Someone, click here.
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