20 Minutes About Emotions, Anxiety & More With Lori Gottlieb

20 Minute Fitness


Laurie run to introduce yourself. And Your Work Sarah so Lori Gottlieb. I'm a psychotherapist in Los Angeles. I'm the author of the book. Maybe you should talk to someone. And I write the weekly your therapist column for the Atlantic riots. You had an interesting career progression from first starting out in the TV and soon industry and then transitioning to Med School. And then eventually becoming a psychotherapist. How how did that come about? So I've always been interested in story and the human condition and so I started off after college working in film and Television and one of the shows that I was assigned to when I was over at NBC was Er and we had a consultant on the show who was an emergency room physician and I spent a lot of time in the emergency room with him to do research for the show and he kept saying to me. I think you like it better here. They maybe she go to medical school and say. I was a French major in college. I was very math and science. You but I was always insisted literature language but I did go to medical school and when I was up at medical school I was up at Stanford and it was This time when the healthcare system was changing it was a lot of talk about managed care and I had this idea of really guiding patients through their lives and it didn't seem like that was going to be the kind of clinical environment that would be easy to manage and so because I was still interested in story in the human condition. I left to become a journalist. Writing Roth and I. I still have a journalist but after I had a baby I've been a journalist for about ten years had a baby and I really needed to talk to adults during the day and so the ups guy would come in he'd like I would detain him with conversations if he would back away to his big brown truck and at a certain point he just tip toe to the door gently placed package out so I could not you know engage him in conversation so I called up the dean at Stanford and I said maybe I should come back and do psychiatry. And she said you're welcome to come back. But you might be doing a lot of medication management and. I know that you really want those those longer deeper relationships with your patients. Why don't you get a graduate degree in clinical psychology and becomes psychotherapist? And that was exactly what I did. I feel like I simply went from being a journalist where I help people to tell their stories to being therapist where I help people to change their stories and how you think your your initial background in the TV industry has been influencing your current work then is it really the storytelling telling or what is it. Exactly it is. I feel like when I sit in the therapist's chair that I am really editor and People come in with a faulty narrative generally because every single one of us is an unreliable narrator meaning that we're not trying to mislead but we tell our stories in a particular way and from a particular perspective and usually that version of the story is what's holding people back. A lot of people think that they're coming to therapy to know themselves by really. I feel like what we therapy is helping. People unknow themselves to let go of the limiting stories that they've been telling themselves so they can live their lives in some faulty narrative that they've been telling themselves about their lives. And how does it look in practice? What we now are like the radio said tell about themselves and how how is that changing after. Actually those with you. A lot of people come to therapy because they want something to change. Something's not working in their lives and usually what they want in the beginning. Is they want someone else or something else to take and what they come to realize is that they have so much agency to make changes themselves. That it's not about changing someone else or something else it's about. How do you respond to that? What kinds of changes can you make in your own life? And so we shift the story. So they become the protagonist in their lives and they're not just reactive to something that's going on around them right in you've seen riding that those individuals stories form to the call our own lives and you've been deeper meaning. Can you elaborate on that? Yeah I think that we're natural storytellers. Even starting with cave drags always wanted to communicate through story. And I think it's so much easier to see ourselves through somebody else's story so in. Maybe you should talk to someone. I followed the lives of four very seemingly different patients on the surface and then there's a fifth patients in the fifth patients is of course me as I go through my therapist. I go for something in my own life and I think that really the book is about the human condition. It's about the reader so so many people who read the buck say oh. I learned so much about myself. I saw so much myself in those stories. Because if you say to someone you know you do this or you're like this. Our instinct is to say no not notes but when you see somebody else do something. It's almost like having a mirror held up you where all of a sudden you see yourself much more clearly. And that gives you so much more agency and power in your life when you understand why something isn't working and what you can do about it and does require us to have you know these compensations to have basically that bureau held against us to really understand our own story better or something in play of how our own stories are forming in the first place like something that we can do actually to be more conscious about unknowing ourselves. I think it's hard to do by yourself because it's kind of like if you're zoomed into a picture you just see a little portion of it but if you zoom out you see this wider perspective and. I think that's what other people do for us. Were so close to ourselves that we lose perspective. We don't see the big picture and talking to somebody else can help me to see something that you haven't been either willing or able to see it's almost like. I think going to therapy is like getting a really good second opinion on your life and for those of us that don't have access to a therapist is like another way of actually realizing how the people in our own environment perceive US actually. Oh yeah absolutely. I mean the title of the Book May Be talked to someone. Doesn't just mean maybe you should talk to a therapist. Maybe we should all be talking more to one another and this was written before the pandemic so no this this applies all the time even more so now course but I think that a lot of times. We don't really take off the mask and talk to people about what's really going on with us because we have shame because we're afraid of how they might react because you know we're embarrassed whatever it might be and. I think what people come to realize when they do make contact with another person in that way is how much the same we all are that that underneath all we all want the same things we all want to love and be loved. We all have regret. We all have anxiety about certain things were also similar and so I think that we feel isolated so much time partly because everyone's going through something similar might look different but underneath the courts very similar and yet nobody wants to open up and share that so we feel like we're the only

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