Planning Project 1

When I first read the article, “How to Land Your Kid in Therapy” by Lori Gottlieb from the Atlantic for a class in high school, I knew I wanted to become a psychologist. It was a profession I had thought about before since I like helping people and have always noticed the behaviors of people around me, however Gottlieb’s account of her psychology practice drew me in even more. The article was written so well– even though I was in my teens, did not know what being a parent was like, and did not know how psychologists did what they did, I was able to follow the article and stay engaged.

The article leads the reader through a mystery– why young adults struggle to feel happy and satisfied despite them having what seemed to be a fulfilling childhood and parents that were “…nothing to complain about” (Gottlieb, 2011). This article allowed me to see how complex and unpredictable human psychology is, and I remembered it ever since the first time I read it.

The article begins by introducing the writer, who adds a personal aspect to the reading by using the first person. She continues to include a personal account of her journey to find the hidden reason behind a problem that many of her patients had in common, which causes the reader to feel like they are embarking on the journey with her, gathering evidence and knowledge that will eventually lead to some explanation.

The author poses questions to the reader, which contributes to establishing a connection between writer and reader, something that I hope to achieve in my project. After going through the accounts her patients gave of their comfortable childhoods, Gottlieb questions, “Was it possible these parents had done too much?” (Gottlieb, 2011). She then goes on to explain why she came up with this question, keeping her readers informed and involved. Gottlieb almost involves the reader in her process of exploration, keeping them on their toes to be prepared to make hypotheses based on the gathered evidence with her.

Gottlieb intertwines work from other writers and mental health doctors who have researched the connection between what aspects of life leads to happiness. In doing this, Gottlieb creates a personal narrative that goes even farther and teaches her reader helpful background information that contributes to her story.

Even though her article includes a lot of research about the subject she investigates with psychology, the personal element is still emphasized to her readers. She connects the research back to her own life. This is especially evident in the last paragraph of her article when she says recounts a therapy session with a patient and how she “…nodded like a therapist, and then…answered like a parent” (Gottlieb). This causes the reader to see her as not only a professional in the psychology field, but also a human who has vulnerability just like her patients.

This article represents a piece of writing that I think is both excellently written, and one that I wish to emulate in some ways for Project 1. I wish to emulate its sense of exploration, personal connection with the reader, and honesty that comes through in Gottlieb’s account of her psychology practice and experience as a parent. I want my readers to learn about my story not in an upfront, immediate way. I would like to explore my own story throughout my writing piece just as my readers do. I would like to connect the underlying message of my piece my life as a whole so that my readers can do the same.


2 thoughts to “Planning Project 1”

  1. I think that the ways in which you want to apply Gottlieb’s stylistic choices to your own writing are really creative. I doubt that you are going to be completing your project from the point of view of a psychologist, which is why I was initially curious as to where you were going to go with this, but you managed to take away a couple great ideas from her article– the idea of explaining yourself/your situation in a natural, easy to connect with way, similar to how Gottlieb treats both her patients and her readers.

  2. This is so interesting! I’m also very interested in human behavior (which you probably already know after discussing our project ideas together). First of all your description of Gottlieb’s article is very intriguing and made me feel as if I had read the essay myself. So good job! I like the key aspects you pulled from the article that you wish to emulate yourself. Exploration, connection with the reader, and honesty are three things that make for a good piece of writing. I like how you were able to use this article (even though it’s an investigative psychological piece) and draw from it things which you can use for our repurposing project. One of the pieces of writing I wrote about was my favorite novel, Outlander, and even though I certainly don’t plan on writing a book for this project, I like how she writes. As long as we keep in mind what it is we are trying to emulate during our own writing process, we will hopefully start to sound like those we admire most (with a twist of our own voice of course).

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