Ep. 71: Self Help or Therapy?


Show notes

This week, we answer a letter from a reader about the difference between self-help and therapy, how we first landed with therapy, and what our experiences were like.

Spiritualish will be on a short summer break for the next couple weeks. We'll be back in your ears on July 11!

We talked about

  • the book and email that inspired this week’s topic

  • self-help and therapy as two separate entities

  • the vast majority of self-help not actually helping much

  • the very first time Laura went to therapy and the catalyst for her to choose to go for herself

  • lying to therapists and why Laura still finds it uncomfortable to go to one

  • what we need in a therapist and Meadow making hers work hard with mental gymnastics

  • misconceptions some people have about going to therapists and giving off clues for them to pick up

  • how resistance to seeking therapy recently showed up for Laura

  • to need or not need therapy and removing the stigma of seeking it out

  • recognizing when you’re in trouble and knowing when you have a blind spot

  • the first self-help book that really changed Meadow’s life

  • how benefiting from therapy works just like exercising, final words of wisdom, and much more.


“To be absolutely blunt, I would say I have read probably well over 1,000 self-help books during my career, and maybe five of them were helpful.”

“I had never had any conversations about feelings. I was, like, very allergic to those types of conversations. No one in my family did that.”

“There are certain fields of work where mental health and this type of work...it’s seen as being almost a weakness...it’s a liability.”

“Most great self-help books will go over your head if you haven’t gotten some help first.”

Ask yourself

  • How do you know when you have a blind spot?


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser

Loving What Is and other books by Byron Katie

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Spiritualish, Meadow, and Laura

Music by Izzy DeVor.