By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Mar 03, 2020 at 11:45 AM

In 2019, psychotherapist, advice columnist and best-selling author Lori Gottlieb published a unique book, "Maybe You Should Talk To Someone."

The book documents Gottlieb as both a therapist and a patient, and ranges from brutally honest to literally out-loud laughable. I still smile just thinking about the passage where, after a boyfriend breaks up with her, she is temporarily distracted by grief and accidentally wears a pajama shirt to work that reads "Na'mastay in bed."

Gottlieb will speak at a fundraising luncheon for REDgen (Resilience through EDucation for a new generation), a national organization with the mission to advocate for youth mental health and well-being. The event – which is also sponsored by Boswell Books – takes place on Monday, March 16 at the Italian Community Center. More information is available here.

If sense of purpose and a deeper connection to the people and things in our lives is a personal interest or goal, this book and this event will certainly be meaningful.

"I'm on a mission to normalize our emotional struggles," she told me in a recent interview.

Not surprisingly, all of Gottlieb's responses are extremely thoughtful. Give 'em a read here:

1. OnMilwaukee: Do you believe everyone benefits from therapy, or are there some people who just aren't cut out for it?

Lori Gottlieb: I think we all benefit from understanding ourselves better, and therapy is one way to help people see themselves more clearly. Therapy holds up a more accurate mirror to people so that they can see their blind spots and patterns that are getting in the way of navigating through the world more smoothly. In order to benefit from it, though, you have to be ready to do the work, to be both vulnerable, meaning willing to show up authentically and accountable, meaning not just talking about what's not working, but in doing things differently out in the world to make them work better. And when that happens, the experience can be transformative.

2. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you prefer writing or speaking?

I don't know which category I fit into because I like quiet spaces in which to hear myself think or just relax and also to have one-on-one conversations – I'm a therapist, after all – but I really enjoy bringing my message to people all over the world and having the opportunity to have these larger conversations about our emotional health.

3. If a person wants to do one thing to be a better parent, what would you recommend? What about if a person wants to be a better spouse or partner?

In any relationship, the one thing would be to learn how to listen rather than fix or promote your own agenda. Learn to hear not just the content of what the person is saying but the feelings underneath it. And don't try to talk people out of their feelings. You can feel empathy for someone's distress without necessarily agreeing with their interpretation of the story.

4. Do you believe in happiness?

Happiness comes from living our lives in a meaningful way. So I believe in meaning, because meaning leads to joy and fulfillment.

5. What is your purpose here on earth?

Right now I'm on a mission to normalize our emotional struggles. If you're human, you can't get through life without having struggled at one point or another. And to get people to pay attention to their relationships to themselves and others. Our emotions affect our relationships and our relationships affect our level of connection. You asked about happiness, and connection is the number one factor in our level of contentment. So we need to pay attention and not just skate through life!

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.