Welcome, readers, to an exclusive interview series where we bring you face-to-face with some of the most influential voices in today’s world. Today, we have the honor of interviewing the renowned psychotherapist and bestselling author, Lori Gottlieb. With her unique blend of compassion, wisdom, and vulnerability, Gottlieb has touched the lives of countless individuals through her exceptional work.
Lori Gottlieb’s journey into the realm of therapy began as a patient herself, seeking guidance during a difficult time in her life. Inspired by her own transformative experience, she embarked on a path that would not only shape her career but also redefine the way people view therapy.
Gottlieb’s groundbreaking book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” became an instant sensation, resonating deeply with readers from all walks of life. By delving into her own struggles and those of her clients, she offers a raw and authentic glimpse into the human condition. Through her insightful storytelling, Gottlieb invites us to explore the power of therapy, the complexities of emotions, and the universal quest for meaning and connection.
As we sit down with Lori Gottlieb, we anticipate an enlightening conversation that will delve into the depths of human psychology, self-discovery, and the art of compassionate listening. We hope to unravel the secrets behind her ability to bridge the gap between professional expertise and relatability, ultimately providing us with valuable insights into our own lives.
Join us as we embark on this captivating journey with Lori Gottlieb, exploring the intricate tapestry of the human mind, emotions, and personal growth. Get ready to be inspired, challenged, and enlightened by her remarkable perspective and profound understanding of the human psyche.
Who is Lori Gottlieb?
Lori Gottlieb is a renowned psychotherapist, author, and speaker who has made significant contributions to the field of mental health and self-improvement. With her compassionate approach and deep understanding of human psychology, she has helped numerous individuals navigate complex emotional challenges.
Gottlieb’s career began in journalism, where she worked as a writer and editor for prominent publications such as The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Time. Her insightful articles explored various aspects of mental health, relationships, and personal growth, resonating with readers worldwide.
Driven by a desire to deepen her understanding of human behavior, Lori Gottlieb pursued a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Drawing upon her diverse background, she seamlessly blended her journalistic skills with therapeutic expertise, enabling her to communicate complex psychological concepts effectively.
Gottlieb’s best-selling book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” became a global sensation, offering readers an intimate glimpse into her experience as both a therapist and a patient. Through poignant storytelling, she shines a light on the universal desire for connection, healing, and personal transformation.
Beyond her written work, Lori Gottlieb is an engaging public speaker known for her captivating presentations that blend humor, vulnerability, and profound insights. She regularly appears on podcasts and television shows, sharing her wisdom and shedding light on the importance of mental well-being.
As a therapist, Lori Gottlieb brings empathy, authenticity, and a non-judgmental approach to her clients’ journeys. Her unique ability to connect with others on a deep emotional level has helped countless individuals overcome obstacles and make positive changes in their lives.
Here you can get more information about her by clicking Lori Gottlieb’s official website.
20 Thought-Provoking Questions With Lori Gottlieb
1.Can you share ten Maybe You Should Talk to Someone quotes to our readers?
1.We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.
2. There’s no hierarchy of pain. Suffering shouldn’t be ranked, because pain is not a contest.
3. Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
4. Follow your envy – it shows you what you want.
5. You can have compassion without forgiving. There are many ways to move on, and pretending to feel a certain way isn’t one of them.
6. It’s impossible to get to know people deeply and not come to like them.
7. Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth.
8. People often mistake numbness for nothingness, but numbness isn’t the absence of feelings; it’s a response to being overwhelmed by too many feelings.
9. Avoidance is a simple way of coping by not having to cope.
10. The opposite of depression isn’t happiness, but vitality.
2. Can you briefly summarize the central message or theme of the book?
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a memoir. The central message revolves around the transformative power of therapy and the importance of seeking emotional support.
Through the stories of four of her patients, I explore universal human experiences such as heartbreak, loss, and self-discovery.I intertwine these narratives with my own journey in therapy, offering insights into the therapist-client relationship and the therapeutic process itself.
The book emphasize the idea that everyone can benefit from therapy, regardless of their background or mental health status. It highlights the notion that seeking professional help does not indicate weakness, but rather courage and a desire for growth and self-awareness.
My personal story and clients’ struggles demonstrate that therapy provides a safe space for individuals to confront their fears, gain perspective, and ultimately make positive changes in their lives. The central theme of the book encourages readers to consider the value of therapy and the transformative potential it holds for our emotional well-being.
3. In the book, you share both personal stories and those of your clients. How did you navigate the balance between maintaining confidentiality and sharing these stories?
Maintaining confidentiality and navigating the balance between sharing personal stories and protecting client privacy was of utmost importance to me while writing this book. As a therapist, I am bound by strict ethical guidelines that require me to maintain confidentiality and protect the identities of my clients. Therefore, in order to respect their privacy, I took several measures.
First, to protect confidentiality, I changed identifying details such as names, ages, occupations, locations, and any other information that could potentially reveal the identity of my clients. These alterations were made to ensure anonymity and uphold the therapeutic relationship I have with each individual.
Moreover, I also obtained informed consent from my clients to use their stories in the book. This involved explaining the purpose and potential reach of the book, and obtaining explicit permission to share their experiences. Whenever possible, I sought additional input and feedback from them to ensure accuracy and fairness in the way their stories were portrayed.
Additionally, when discussing clients’ stories, I focused on broader themes and universal experiences rather than specific details. By emphasizing the emotional struggle or growth that individuals went through, I aimed to convey relatable insights without compromising confidentiality.
4. Throughout the book, you discuss the importance of seeking therapy. What would you say to those who may be hesitant or skeptical about therapy?
Therapy can indeed be a significant step towards personal growth, emotional well-being, and overall life satisfaction. However, it’s not uncommon for people to feel hesitant or skeptical about starting therapy. It’s important to approach this hesitation with compassion and acknowledge that seeking therapy is a deeply personal decision.
For those who are hesitant, I would highlight a few key points:
Normalizing the experience: Many people have reservations about therapy because they mistakenly believe it is only for individuals with severe mental health issues. In reality, therapy can benefit anyone who wants support, guidance, or simply a safe space to explore their thoughts and emotions. Seeking therapy doesn’t mean something is wrong with you; it means you’re taking proactive steps to better understand yourself and improve your well-being.
Building trust in the process: Therapy is built on a foundation of trust and confidentiality. For those who are skeptical, it can be comforting to know that therapists are trained professionals who adhere to ethical guidelines and prioritize client well-being. Establishing a good therapeutic relationship takes time, but when trust is developed, it can serve as a powerful catalyst for personal growth.
Flexibility in therapeutic approaches: Therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are various therapeutic modalities and approaches available, and finding the right fit might require trying different therapists or methods. Exploring different approaches can help address specific concerns, preferences, or personality traits, ensuring the therapy experience aligns with individual needs.
5. What do you hope readers will take away from reading your book?
Understanding the importance of therapy: I aim to destigmatize therapy and make it more accessible to everyone. I want readers to recognize that seeking therapy is not a sign of weakness but rather an act of strength and self-care.
Human connection and empathy: Through the stories of my clients and my own experiences as a therapist in therapy, I emphasize the significance of human connection and the power of empathy. I hope readers will be inspired to cultivate meaningful connections with others and develop greater empathy towards themselves and those around them.
The universality of human struggles: By sharing personal and relatable stories, I demonstrate that everyone faces challenges, even therapists themselves. I want readers to realize that they are not alone in their struggles and that there is no shame in seeking support during difficult times.
Self-reflection and growth: Through my book, I encourage readers to engage in self-reflection and introspection. I hope they will gain insights into their own lives and perhaps consider making positive changes or seeking therapy if necessary.
6. Were there any particular clients or sessions that were especially challenging or memorable for you? Could you share a specific experience?
One particular session that stands out in my mind involved a client who was struggling with intense feelings of guilt and regret.
During our sessions, this client shared about a past event where they felt responsible for a harmful outcome. They carried immense guilt, believing they could have prevented the situation from occurring. Through our conversations, it became apparent that their guilt was impacting their self-esteem, relationships, and overall well-being.
I remember this session being particularly challenging because the client’s guilt was deeply ingrained, and it required delicate navigation to explore their feelings without overwhelming them. I employed empathetic listening, validating their emotions, and encouraging them to challenge their negative beliefs.
Over time, we worked together to reframe their perspective on the event, exploring alternative interpretations and focusing on personal growth instead of blame. It was through this process that the client began to experience a shift in their thinking, gradually freeing themselves from the burdensome guilt they had been carrying.
This experience was memorable because it highlighted the transformative power of therapy and the resilience of individuals. Witnessing my client’s progress from feeling trapped by guilt to gaining a sense of liberation was incredibly rewarding. It reinforced my belief in the importance of providing a safe space for clients to explore their emotions and work towards healing and growth.
7. In your book, you mention the concept of “the story.” Can you explain what it means and why it is significant in therapy?
The idea of “the story” refers to the narrative or personal interpretation of our experiences that we construct and carry with us throughout our lives.
In therapy, exploring and understanding one’s story is significant because it helps individuals make sense of their emotions, behaviors, and patterns in a more comprehensive way. By examining the story they tell themselves, people can gain insights into how their past experiences, beliefs, and cultural narratives may shape their current perceptions and actions.
“The story” often involves exploring themes such as childhood experiences, relationships, trauma, self-worth, and significant life events. Therapists help clients explore their stories to identify recurring patterns, challenge unhelpful narratives, and develop new perspectives. This process can lead to increased self-awareness, self-compassion, and personal growth.
By examining “the story,” therapy creates an opportunity for individuals to rewrite or reframe their narrative and make meaning out of their experiences. Through this exploration, therapists and clients work together to understand the impact of their past, address unresolved issues, and empower clients to create a healthier and more fulfilling future.
8. How do you approach the process of choosing a therapist, and what advice would you give to someone who is searching for the right fit?
Research: Start by researching therapists in your local area. You can use online directories, search engines, or seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, or healthcare professionals.
Credentials and specialties: Look for therapists who are licensed and have specific experience or expertise in the areas you wish to address. Consider whether you’d prefer a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, counselor, or another type of mental health professional.
Therapeutic approach: Different therapists employ various therapeutic approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, or mindfulness-based therapy. Research and understand which approaches resonate with you, and find therapists who practice those methods.
I might give to someone searching for the right therapist would likely include:
Don’t be afraid to try different therapists until you find the one who feels like the right fit for you.
Prioritize a therapist who makes you feel comfortable, understood, and respected.
Look for a therapist who demonstrates empathy, active listening, and a willingness to collaborate with you.
Consider the importance of cultural competence and finding a therapist who can understand and respect your background, values, and experiences.
Keep in mind that therapy is a collaborative process, and it’s essential to find a therapist with whom you feel safe and able to build a trusting relationship.
9. The book touches on the idea of self-discovery and personal growth through therapy. What role does therapy play in helping people find themselves?
Therapy can play a crucial role in helping individuals find themselves through self-discovery and personal growth. In Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, I explore this idea by sharing my experiences both as a therapist and as someone who sought therapy myself.
Therapy provides a safe and nonjudgmental space where individuals can explore their thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior. It offers an opportunity to delve into one’s past experiences, relationships, and belief systems, gaining insights and understanding that may have been previously elusive. Through this process, people can gain a deeper understanding of themselves, develop self-awareness, and identify the underlying causes of their struggles.
Therapy also helps individuals develop coping mechanisms and healthier ways of relating to themselves and others. By developing a strong therapeutic alliance with a trained professional, clients can work through challenges, process unresolved emotions, and learn new skills to navigate their lives more effectively.
Moreover, therapy allows individuals to challenge existing narratives and beliefs, providing an opportunity for personal growth and transformation. It can help individuals recognize and modify unhelpful thought patterns or behaviors that may be hindering their progress.
10. Were there any unexpected or surprising insights you gained through writing this book?
One of the unexpected insights I gained is the universality of human struggles. I realized that regardless of background, profession, or social status, people tend to face similar challenges in life. This understanding helped me connect with my patients on a deeper level and fostered empathy and compassion in her work as a therapist.
Another surprising insight I want to share is the importance of vulnerability. Through my own therapy sessions, I learned that being vulnerable and open with a therapist allows for more authentic and meaningful conversations. This realization led me to encourage my patients to embrace vulnerability, helping them make progress in their own therapeutic journeys.
Additionally, I discovered that therapists also have their own vulnerabilities and struggles. By exploring her own emotions and experiences as a patient, I gained a greater appreciation for the delicate balance between professional detachment and personal engagement required of therapists.
11. The therapeutic relationship is a crucial aspect of therapy. How do you define a good therapeutic relationship, and what qualities should one look for in a therapist?
According to my perspective, a good therapeutic relationship is marked by several key qualities:
Trust and Confidentiality: Clients should feel safe and trust that their therapist will maintain confidentiality, creating a space where they can openly share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Empathy and Understanding: A good therapist demonstrates empathy and strives to understand the client’s perspective without judgment. They create an environment where clients feel heard, validated, and understood.
Authenticity and Honesty: Therapists who are genuine, real, and transparent in their approach facilitate a strong therapeutic bond. Being open about their own therapeutic process when appropriate can help build trust and rapport.
When considering the qualities to look for in a therapist, it’s important to consider personal preferences and individual needs. Some additional factors to consider may include:
Specialization or expertise in the area you seek help with.
Compatibility in terms of personality and communication style.
Respect for diversity, cultural sensitivity, and inclusivity.
Good listening skills and the ability to provide constructive feedback.
12. Your book highlights the importance of vulnerability and authenticity in therapy. Could you elaborate on why these qualities are essential for progress?
In Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, I emphasize the importance of vulnerability and authenticity in therapy. These qualities create a safe and trusting environment that allows individuals to explore their emotions, thoughts, and experiences more deeply. Here’s why they are considered essential for progress:
Establishing trust: Vulnerability and authenticity build a strong foundation of trust between the therapist and the client. When clients feel safe to express their innermost feelings and concerns without judgment, they are more likely to engage fully in the therapeutic process.
Providing insight: By allowing themselves to be vulnerable and authentic, clients gain deeper insights into their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sharing one’s true self helps uncover underlying issues, root causes, and patterns that contribute to their challenges.
Encouraging exploration: Authenticity in therapy encourages clients to examine their thoughts and emotions honestly. They can confront difficult truths about themselves, address painful memories, or face fears. This exploration enables personal growth, leading to self-awareness and a better understanding of one’s values and desires.
Fostering connection: Vulnerability and authenticity help establish a genuine connection between the therapist and the client. Clients who feel understood and accepted are more likely to open up, which facilitates effective therapeutic interventions and interventions.
Promoting emotional processing: Sharing vulnerable experiences and expressing authentic emotions helps individuals process and make meaning of their experiences. This emotional processing contributes to healing, growth, and the development of healthier coping mechanisms.
13. Therapy can often bring up difficult emotions. How do you help clients navigate and manage these emotions effectively?
Therapy indeed has the potential to bring up difficult emotions, which is an essential part of the healing process. When clients experience these intense emotions during therapy, it is crucial to help them navigate and manage them effectively. Here are some strategies I employ in my work:
Building a strong therapeutic alliance: Creating a safe and trusting environment is vital. By developing a solid relationship with my clients, they feel more comfortable sharing their emotions openly, knowing they will be understood and supported.
Normalizing emotional experiences: Helping clients understand that experiencing difficult emotions is a normal part of the therapeutic journey can be reassuring. Normalizing their feelings reduces self-judgment and encourages them to explore and accept their emotions without shame.
Developing emotional awareness: Encouraging clients to identify, name, and describe their emotions facilitates an understanding of what they are feeling. This process helps them gain insight into their emotions and recognize any patterns or triggers that contribute to their emotional experiences.
Enhancing emotional regulation skills: Teaching clients practical techniques for managing their emotions is crucial. This may include deep breathing exercises, mindfulness practices, grounding techniques, or journaling. These tools enable clients to regulate their emotions effectively both inside and outside the therapy room.
14. Are there any common misconceptions about therapy that you’ve come across throughout your career, and if so, how do you address them?
Here are a few common misconceptions and how I would address them:
Therapy is only for people with severe mental health issues: One misconception is that therapy is only for individuals with serious mental health conditions. In reality, therapy can be beneficial for anyone seeking personal growth, self-reflection, or support during challenging times. Therapy provides a safe and non-judgmental space to explore thoughts, emotions, and concerns.
Therapy is a sign of weakness: Another misconception is that seeking therapy is a sign of weakness or implies an inability to handle one’s problems independently. In fact, reaching out for help is an act of courage and self-awareness. Therapy offers an opportunity for individuals to gain insight, develop coping strategies, and improve overall well-being.
Therapists just listen and offer advice: Some people believe that therapists simply listen and give advice. However, therapy is more than just receiving guidance. A therapist’s role is to provide empathy, active listening, and objective feedback. Rather than giving direct advice, therapists empower clients to explore their own insights, make informed decisions, and find solutions that resonate with them.
Therapy takes years to see any progress: It is a common misconception that therapy is a long-term commitment that requires years to see any progress. While some therapeutic processes may take longer, many clients experience positive changes within a shorter time frame. The duration of therapy depends on the individual’s needs, goals, and the complexity of the issues being addressed.
15. Can you discuss the impact of cultural factors on therapy and how therapists can work with clients from diverse backgrounds?
Cultural factors play a significant role in therapy as they influence individuals’ beliefs, values, communication styles, and expectations. Understanding and acknowledging these cultural factors is crucial for therapists when working with clients from diverse backgrounds. Here are some points to consider:
Cultural competence: Therapists should strive to develop cultural competence, which involves becoming aware of their own biases, assumptions, and stereotypes about different cultures. It is important to approach each client with an open mind and without making assumptions based on cultural generalizations.
Active listening and empathy: Therapists need to actively listen and empathize with their clients’ experiences, considering the impact of cultural norms, traditions, and values on their mental health. Demonstrating genuine curiosity and respect can help foster a strong therapeutic alliance.
Culturally sensitive assessment: Therapists should use culturally sensitive assessments that take into account the client’s background and cultural context. This includes being mindful of language barriers, cultural expressions of distress, and the influence of cultural identities on symptom presentation.
16. In your book, you touch on the concept of change and the fear of the unknown. How can individuals embrace change and navigate uncertainty in their lives?
Embracing change and navigating uncertainty in our lives can be challenging but also incredibly rewarding. Here are a few suggestions on how individuals can approach these situations:
Recognize the inevitability of change: Change is a natural part of life. Acknowledging that it is necessary for personal growth and progress can help us embrace it with a more open mindset.
Reflect on past experiences: Think about times when you faced uncertainty in the past and successfully navigated through it. Remind yourself of your resilience and adaptability, as this can boost your confidence in dealing with future uncertainties.
Develop self-awareness: Understand your fears and anxieties surrounding change. Identifying the root causes of your resistance can enable you to address and overcome them more effectively.
Seek support from others: Reach out to friends, family, or trusted professionals who can provide guidance, encouragement, or a listening ear during times of change. Sharing your thoughts and concerns can help alleviate anxiety and gain valuable insights.
Focus on what you can control: While there may be many unknowns during periods of change, focus on aspects of your life that you have control over. Take small steps towards creating positive changes within your sphere of influence.
17. Throughout your career, have there been any significant changes or shifts in the field of psychotherapy? How have these changes influenced your approach as a therapist?
Throughout my career as a therapist, I have witnessed significant changes and shifts in the field of psychotherapy. One of the most notable changes is the increased acknowledgment and integration of evidence-based practices. As research continues to evolve, therapists are now encouraged to incorporate scientifically supported interventions into their work.
The advent of technology has also had a profound impact on psychotherapy. Teletherapy and online counseling have become more prevalent, providing greater access to mental health services for individuals who may not have otherwise sought help. This shift has expanded the reach of therapy beyond traditional in-person sessions.
Another significant change is the emphasis on cultural sensitivity and inclusivity. Therapists are now encouraged to recognize the importance of cultural factors in understanding clients’ experiences and tailoring treatment accordingly. This recognition helps ensure that therapy is more inclusive and effective for diverse populations.
Personally, these changes have influenced my approach as a therapist by encouraging me to stay informed about the latest research findings and evidence-based interventions. I continuously seek professional development opportunities to enhance my knowledge and skills. Additionally, I strive to be culturally sensitive and aware, recognizing and valuing the impact of diversity on individual experiences and incorporating this understanding into my practice.
18. The book often blends humor with more serious topics. How do you strike a balance between both in your writing, and why is humor important in discussing mental health?
Humor serves several important purposes when discussing mental health. Firstly, it helps to break down barriers and reduce stigma surrounding these topics. By using humor, I can create a more approachable atmosphere, making it easier for readers to open up and connect with the material. Mental health can be a sensitive and challenging subject, and humor serves as a coping mechanism that allows people to navigate difficult conversations with greater ease.
Moreover, humor provides moments of levity amidst heavier subject matter. It can offer relief and serve as a way to process emotions. By incorporating humor into her writing, I help readers find moments of lightness, even when discussing deep and painful experiences. This balance helps readers remain engaged and prevents them from becoming overwhelmed by the seriousness of the topics being discussed.
Overall, humor plays a vital role in discussions about mental health as it fosters connection, reduces stigma, and offers a means of navigating challenging emotions. I use humor in Maybe You Should Talk to Someone to strike a balance between serious and lighter moments, creating an engaging and relatable reading experience.
19. What are your future aspirations as an author and therapist, and how has writing this book impacted your professional journey?
My future aspirations as an author and therapist include continuing to explore the human experience through my writing and helping individuals navigate their emotional lives in therapy. Writing has always been a powerful medium for me to understand and connect with others, and I hope to continue using it as a tool to shed light on important psychological topics and promote mental health awareness.
The process of writing my book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” has profoundly impacted my professional journey. Through the stories shared within its pages, I have had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of the therapeutic process, develop empathy for both therapists and clients, and reflect on my own growth as a person and practitioner. It has allowed me to delve into the complexities of the human condition, explore vulnerability, and challenge preconceived notions about therapy.
Furthermore, the feedback and responses I have received from readers have been incredibly rewarding. Knowing that my words have resonated with so many people and have helped them gain insights into their own lives has been immensely fulfilling. It has reinforced my belief in the power of storytelling and its ability to foster compassion, connection, and personal growth.
Moving forward, I hope to continue writing books that provoke thought, inspire introspection, and encourage conversations around mental health. I also aim to further integrate my experience as a therapist and writer, leveraging my unique perspective to contribute to the field of psychology and help reduce the stigma often associated with seeking therapy.
20. Finally, can you recommend more books like Maybe You Should Talk To Someone?
Here are a few books that explore themes of therapy, self-discovery, and personal growth:
The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk: This book delves into the effects of trauma on the mind and body, offering insights from neuroscience, psychology, and personal narratives.
Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl: In this classic memoir, Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, explores the importance of finding meaning and purpose in life.
The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz: This spiritual guide shares ancient Toltec wisdom, offering four principles to practice for personal transformation and creating more authentic relationships.