Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (Amazon) was one of the most impactful books I read in 2019. It was extremely readable and super insightful. Reading this book fundamentally changed my approach to therapy, helped me accelerate my progress, and ultimately finish* (*at least for now) therapy.
Therapy is such a personal thing and it’s hard to know what happens behind the scenes, what is a normal struggle, what the process looks like. This book was the only thing I’ve read that gave me any insight into that. It’s also easy to unintentionally get in your own way, and the author is so open and honest about how she gets in her own way, that it helped me see how I was getting in my own way and stop – or at least get in my own way less. I’ve bought this book for multiple people, and recommend it whole heartedly.
This Too Shall Pass (Amazon) is not as well written, honestly I would not describe it as well written at all. It was recommended to me by a friend who is a trainee therapist. It’s a series of case studies, each of them highlighting particular points of struggle and phases of life. The case studies are arranged into themes, and each theme concludes with some general insight.
I still found it worth reading, there is this genuine empathy, care, and understanding of every person depicted and I really appreciated their stories and the insight into their struggles. I read it at a point where I was struggling with the enforced life changes of the pandemic, and wondering whether I should reach out to my therapist, but feeling unenthused about therapy via Zoom. The book helped me step back a bit, normalized some of the things that I was struggling with, and encouraged me to have a bit more empathy for myself and ultimately feel better without needing to return to therapy. Something I really appreciated about it was that it’s by a British therapist who practices in London, which is more culturally akin than one based in LA/USA.
Bonus book, not strictly about therapy, but Burnout (Amazon) was hugely influential on me and fundamentally changed the way I think about success and wellbeing. I have bought well in excess of twenty copies for other women, and think every professional woman should read it. It was so well written, so readable, and such a great articulation of forms and effects of stress resulting from unrealistic and unreasonable expectations on women. I tweeted snippets and insights as I read it, which you can find in this thread.