Practice, Practice, Practice: This Psychiatrist’s Life, by Dr. Daniela V. Gitlin is a biographical story of a psychological practice. If you’ve ever wondered what the shrink is thinking while you lie on the couch talking about your problems, you can find the answers here.
Dr. Gitlin starts with her remarkable (and sometimes sad and lonely) childhood, and talks about what inspired her to choose psychiatry. She talks about what made her go to medical school instead of getting a PhD and her struggles while there. The book covers the arc of her decades of practice. We watch her mature in her career. Along the way, there are a lot of ah-hah moments, both for Dr. Gitlin and for us. I don’t know if this was her intent, but I found myself making mental notes a number of times of techniques I could use in my own life. The book had a lot of DIY therapy moments.
Despite the subject matter, it was not dense at all. There are a number of interludes that are quite funny, including some vignettes allegedly written by “Dr. I. M. Trapt” who tries out some techniques on her own family and which I will definitely try out on my own.
Practice, Practice, Practice will likely be compared to Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone since the ‘cover flap’ description of their books is similar, and Gottlieb’s book seems to have given her some measure of celebrity. To me, Gitlin wins the comparison hands down. Gottlieb only has a few years of experience, shows little to no insight into the ‘big picture,’ and her personal life is a mess. She seems bored and offended by her clients, and is completely unaware of her privilege. Gitlin, on the other hand, learns as she goes, we can see her mature, and seems to be able to apply her psychological knowledge to her personal life. I wouldn’t want Gottlieb to be my therapist: I’d be lucky to have Gitlin as mine.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.