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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Updated: May 15

“It’s impossible to get to know people deeply and not come to like them.”

I have had several people recommend this book to me, and while it took me some time to finally sit down and say, “ok, let’s get started!” it pulled me in from the start. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone offers a deeply personal and yet universal look at life’s struggles. Lori makes you laugh and cry through it all. Even though you aren’t sitting in her office, the book touches you with startling humor and wisdom. ABC supposedly has a TV series in the works as well. Would love to see who they cast as John! Book discussion guide below for Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.

bright blue book jacket with a large box of kleenex on the cover

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.

As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients' lives -- a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can't stop hooking up with the wrong guys -- she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.

Discussion Questions

  1. In the book, Lori quotes her father saying, “Just because she sends you guilt doesn’t mean you have to accept delivery.” What other emotions do your friends or family try to place on you? How can this concept influence our reception of those emotions?

  2. Which patient (including Lori herself) do you resonate with the most?

  3. The ultimate concerns the psychiatrist Irvin Yalom identifies—death, isolation, freedom, and meaninglessness—are theological and philosophical concerns as well. Would you turn to therapy, religion, or another wisdom source to explore them? How might the guidance you receive from each source differ?

  4. Is it reassuring or uncomfortable to get inside a therapist’s head?

  5. Is this a memoir or a self-help book?

If you liked this book, check out Incognito!

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