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.
Summary from Goodreads
I picked this up on a whim, although I had placed it on my to-read list a while ago. Gottlieb’s writing was instantly engaging, and I found myself at first fascinated by the portraits of her various patients, and then equally fascinated by the glimpse into the other side of therapy and Lori Gottlieb’s own life.
I know it’s a cliché to say I “laughed and cried” with the author, but it’s a cliché for a reason. In this case, it was true. I mourned people I had never met (and whose true names I didn’t even know), and I rooted for people I would have otherwise dismissed if not for the glimpse of them through Lori Gottlieb’s writing.
The glimpse into therapy from a therapist’s perspective was also, in a way, almost therapeutic. When you realize (or remember) that therapists are people too, who also go to therapy, not only is it comforting, in a way, but it’s also a great reminder that everyone deserves to be able to be heard by an objective party – who also desires your well-being.
I highly recommend this thoughtful book, and I can say that I enjoyed reading it immensely.