Flatiron Books: The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

Psychotherapist and author of the Atlantic's "Dear Therapist" column, Lori Gottlieb (Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough) has spent time both in the therapist's seat and on the couch. In this memoir of crisis and healing, she illuminates the therapist-client relationship by describing her therapy experience during a personal crisis, supplemented with the stories of three special clients she counseled in the same period.

When Gottlieb's boyfriend breaks off their relationship, citing an aversion to helping raise her son, she's completely taken by surprise. After asking for referrals "for a friend," she chooses Wendell Bronson as her therapist, in part because he has children and therefore seems more likely to share her opinion that her now-ex is, in fact, a sociopath. Instead, Gottlieb's sessions with Bronson take her on a trek through the fears and worries she hasn't expressed, even to herself.

At the same time, in her own practice, Gottlieb counsels three clients who make lasting impressions. Julie, a young newlywed, needs to work through the grief of a death--her own, approaching quickly due to a rare cancer. John--who calls Gottlieb his hooker because he pays her in cash to hide her existence from his wife--conceals a tragedy under his snarky façade. Rita, a divorced senior citizen, wants to commit suicide if her life doesn't improve over the next year.

Wry and compassionate, Gottlieb offers an intimate perspective on client-therapist interaction and insight into the therapist's point of view. The juxtaposition of her experiences as client and practitioner brings a candor to the narrative that emphasizes therapists not as experts, but as feeling human beings. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads