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Girl on the Couch: Life, Love, and Confessions of a Normal Neurotic

3.15 of 5 stars 3.15  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Journalist Lorna Martin had always thought that therapy was an outrageous con, a fraud designed for people to “whine about their weight/ self-esteem/ alcohol/ commitment problem while blaming their emotionally absent father and/or overly critical mother.” If you have a problem, Martin believed, you just deal with it–pray, get drunk, pop some pills, or listen to ABBA. But a ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Villard (first published February 10th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 333)
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Teresa
Though I didn't spend a year on the couch, I did spend a few months. And this book was a refreshing reminder of the things we can learn if we spend some time working on ourselves.
Kelly Houser
This book was abysmal. Thank the gods that I only paid $1.79 for it. Lorna Martin chronicles her year spent in therapy in this memoirs. However, she should have just titled this book Bridget Jones Goes to See a Shrink because that is precisely how Martin tried to come across and “sell” her story from within the pages of the memoir. The exception being that I adore Bridget Jones but Lorna Martin can take a flying leap.

Martin was so completely unlikeable. She was whiny, angsty, flaky, wallowing in
...more
Christina
This book was the selection for my monthly book club. I sincerely gave this book a try but this book was a series of ramblings that left me annoyed, uninterested, and bored.

Lorna Martin is a thirty something journalist from Glasgow, Scotland, who after several attempts at therapy is recommended by her general practioner to seek psychoanalytic treatment. Martin premises the book with reasons that she is normal and why she didn't feel she needed therapy in the first place. (But obviously she felt
...more
Maria (Ri)
Psychoanalysis can be tremendously helpful to individuals, yet is viewed by some as a self-luxuriating whining session by many. Lorna Martin considered herself an average young woman not in need of any counseling. Just deal with it was her motto. However, when reaching a point of no longer being able to deal successfully on her own, she jumps full force into a year of psychotherapy, chronicling the process in her weekly column-turned-memoir. (Her therapist Dr. J may consider this an example of h ...more
andrea
Probably the most interesting part of this book was the fact that the author underwent Freudian psychoanalysis and not the cognitive behavior therapy that seems to prevail in the U.S. I'm vacillating between a 3 star rating and a 2.5 star rating. The book wasn't poorly written per se, but the author's neurosis is... a little grating at times and I found her hard to identify with. Martin's problems seem so *normal*, in fact, that her story just didn't make for compelling reading. Much of the stor ...more
Carolyn Crocker
Published in England as _Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: Life, love and talking it through_ and before that, as a year of monthly columns in _Grazia_ magazine, "Conversations with my therapist." The US title infantalizes a 35-year-old Scots journalist who assigns herself psychodynamic therapy (is 30 *really* the new 17??)

By turns cringe-making, hilarious, and touching, her account of her thrice-weekly sessions with Dr. J and the resulting changes in her life illuminates as it enterta
...more
Leigh
This book was actually okay, but Martin fell into a trap that really, really irritates me: casually, constantly reminding us that All Women Feel Basically The Same Way. This kind of lazy "empathy"--not to mention gender essentialism--is an instant turnoff for me in writing (as in life). Sorry! Please stop telling me how I feel!
Karen
I'm just starting this book, and so far, it's very funny--in the Bridget Jones vein. It's a non-fiction book by a Scottish journalist who decides to take talk therapy very seriously to straighten out her life. Lots of humor so far; of course, she hasn't starting with the shrink yet!
Kat
I just learned of this book today, but I'm already greatly interested! Its the story of a neurotic journalist and her enlists in psychotherapy; its also supposed to be funny! Who wouldn't want to read an amusing book about depression?!
Christina
I enjoyed this book. I liked Lorna Martin's fast paced writing style. Although there were a few times in the book that I shook my head in horror at some of her actions the book hit eerily close to home with the therapy experience.
Andie
Her therapist made me both angry and inspired to get my life in order. I still question if a little nurturing would have been okay or if that would have kept the author/analysand from growing and learning to care for herself.
Adrienne
"There is no such thing as a human being who is perfect, amazing, superhuman, and better than anyone else. With such high expectations, everyone will disappoint you, including yourself."
Vickie
I feel Lorna Martin did a good job exploring the ongoing maturation process that we must all go through. Whatever means we use to get there we must all realize it's not all about me.
Maaike
The book gives a good insight into (psychoanalytical) psychotherapy. At times I found it a bit too 'stereotypical'. I could not always sympathise with the main character.
Tina
This book was not compelling in the least bit. It was painful to get through. I dont understand why she thought others would be interested in her story.
Lindsay
This was great. Martin writes with a breezy, British chicklit sensibility, but she covers pretty serious topics.
Enjoyable, non-preachy, and interesting.
Honeycarmel
this book is pretty narcissistic; I had a hard time wanting to pick it up. I'm just not going to finish reading this book!
Sasha
You had to feel for the narrator every time she made a mistake. The book was pretty honest and an interesting read.
Angel
Unable to finish this book because the main character was so irritating would die if I'd been the therapist.
Mary Liebetrau
So far, not too compelling. Not sure if I will finish the book
Jeannine
This is an amazing book, everyone should read it!
Hannah
Easy read, humorous and honest.
Sarah
Apr 09, 2009 Sarah added it
Me want therapy.
Sharon
Sharon is currently reading it
Oct 20, 2014
Stine
Stine marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2014
Justgwen
Justgwen marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
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Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Das Leben, Die Liebe Und Ein Jahr Auf Der Couch: Der Roman Meines Lebens Girl on the Couch: Life, Love, and the Confessions of a Normal Neurotic Single op de sofa Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown / Zhenshchina Na Grani Nervnogo Sryva

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