Cover Image: Group

Group

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Member Reviews

What a fascinating peek into group therapy and the benefits of having a support system! I was surprised by the candidness and transparency of Tate’s struggles and journey. I appreciate that the dynamics of group therapy may not benefit everyone in the same way it helped Tate.

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book.
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I liked this book, but I especially liked the ending and how things turned out for the author. I appreciated so much the story about her past trauma and how not dealing with it allowed it to fester in her life in so many negative ways. That made me think about thinks in my own past and how I possibly haven't dealt with it and how it is manifesting for me.
What I didn't particularly care for were the endless musings about her sex life and her failure to have a voice and advocate for herself. I get that it was part of what she needed to discover and bring out in herself, but I still remain a bit skeptical about her therapist and his treatment techniques. It's one thing to encourage patients to discover things for themselves, but it's another to actively encourage destructive behavior (such as dating a married man). I see that other reviewers didn't like the "no secrets" thing, but I see how keeping secrets wreaked havoc with Tate and how it could definitely be a drawback to becoming mentally healthy.
It feels kind of strange to say negative things about someone's personal story, but overall it's not a bad book, I just couldn't really relate to it for the most part. Not awful, just not the best book about therapy that I've read.
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I was eager to read this book when I saw Reese Witherspoon recommend it for her book club. The subject of mental health and therapy is a huge interest for me, and I was excited when I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
And I enjoyed this book for the main part, Christie is a very talented writer. I enjoyed her honesty and frankness. However, after repeatedly sabotaging her relationships and constantly playing the victim I started to lose sympathy and respect for her. And the therapist should look at another career, what a sadist.
The book starts to get repetitive after chapter twenty, she really seems to enjoy her misery. The last two chapters (the epilogue) felt so rushed, she honestly should have expanded upon her next chapter a bit. Give the reader some payoff for sitting with her through her constant self made dramas.
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My main critique of this book (it is a memoir) was that I really struggled with ethical issues throughout the book. While I think some of the narration is tongue-in-cheek, as a first-year therapy student, I am learning a lot about the importance of ethics and boundaries regarding therapy. Having been in therapy myself for the last 4 years, it is very difficult for me to wrap my head around some of the lines crossed by the therapist and clients.
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This wasn't about an ethical therapy group so that was really off putting to me. I couldn't really over look it. It was so unhealthy.
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This is a book I'm going to be thinking about for a long time and am still piecing my thoughts together. I do want to share how appreciative I am for Christie’s vulnerability throughout this book. It takes a lot of strength to put out anything in the world, but to write a story about your mental health journey when there is so much stigma around this topic is incredibly brave. I think people will be able to see themselves and their experiences in this memoir and I hope it makes them feel like they aren’t alone. And that’s powerful stuff! I found the writing style to be engaging and once I made it through the first third of the book I didn't want to stop reading. I am hoping this book opens the way for more memoirs focused on mental health journeys.
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Group by Christie Tate gave me conflicted emotions, as so many memoirs do.

The group “therapy” that Tate participates in is, simply put, an unethical clinical practice. BUT, it provided Tate with a support system that essentially turned into a type of family for her and seemed to be nothing but a highly positive force in her life. BUT, it made her incredibly co-dependent on a therapist who told her exact actions she should take in her life, despite the number one therapist rule being that your role is to empower others to make their own decisions. BUT, she was shamed for not making every intimate aspect of her life public not only to her group, but to whomever they wished to speak about each other to as well.

And on top of all that it was highly readable, made me genuinely look forward to what would happen next, and had me questioning why we’re all not in (ethical) group therapy. So, take that as you will and please share your opinions below!
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As someone who has had therapy as a part of my life for as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by what it is like for other people. I am so grateful that especially during this last decade mental health and therapy have been normalized so much.

I started attending therapy when I was just a child during my parent's tumultuous and quite painful divorce. While it was something that was monumental in my ability to process many hard encounters and feelings, it was also a very isolating experience, because, in the 90s, NO ONE talked about therapy. I don't think I told my friends I went to therapy even when I was in college in the early 2000s. There was a taboo about it for so long, and in some ways there definitely still is. 

Group dives in and gives you a deeply personal look at Christie Tate's experiences with a fairly unconventional style of group therapy. Told through memoir style, Tate writes openly and honestly and the balance of humor and heartbreak made this one engrossing from the very beginning.

I loved how Tate shares that therapy of any kind is not a linear path and often things feel harder before they feel easier. This book made me uncomfortable at times due to the lack of ethics (mostly that there are no requirements for confidentiality among members) but it was also a great reminder for me to address my own discomforts about the spectrum of therapy and supports that are available. There isn't a one size fits all answer and Group is a wonderful example of just that.

Books like this are so important and if you loved Good Morning, Monster, or Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, this will be right up your reading alley!

Thank you to Avid Reader Press for a gifted copy in exchange for my honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. My full review will be posted on my website, genthebookworm.com, on Group's publication date, October 27th, 2020.
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This is a very revealing memoir about a traumatized young woman’s experience with group therapy. At first, I found Ms. Tate difficult to relate to, but as she becomes more self-aware and starts to share more deeply, I found this memoir quite affecting. She reveals things that I would never dream of sharing with my closest friends, let alone whoever might pick up this book. That, even more than her therapist’s odd rule about no privacy or secrets in his groups, caused me to question my own desire for secrecy. 

Although her tantrums and tendency to self-harm were quite uncomfortable to read about, I generally enjoyed Ms. Tate’s writing style and often found myself laughing while reading this memoir. I appreciated witnessing her healing journey, and it gave me hope that any of us can heal with support and persistence. I am thinking more about my own relationships and how open I am willing to be with others. As the old song goes, “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading memoirs and is curious about the group therapy experience. Be aware that the author does use crude language at times, and there are a few sex scenes, some of which become repeating jokes.

I was provided an unproofed ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review.
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My rating might be a little low, actually. One of the reasons why I read is to learn about other people, their perspectives, and experiences. I certainly learned a lot in this one! It’s very intimate, and as I was reading I thought it was brave of her to lay her life out like this. That’s why I feel weird saying that it got a little tedious halfway through for me. I know the story is what matters and her relationship with these people, but it was largely the same throughout the book so I found at times I wanted it to speed along. But who am I to critique?!
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“Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life” (2020) is a candid and remarkable debut written by Christie Tate. The basis of her memoir is the exploration of group therapy that is based on the therapeutic alliance modeled after 12 Step Programs. Tate began group therapy when she was enrolled in law school seeking relief for her addiction and relationship issues. Tate is a practicing attorney in Chicago, with a passion for writing, essay, and blogging-- her award winning writing has been featured in several notable publications including the NYT and Washington Post.

Initially, the idea of group therapy didn’t appeal to Tate. After being recommended by a friend to Dr. Rosen, a Harvard educated psychiatrist, she was impressed with the results of his organized therapy groups. Dr. Rosen would insist that while he honored all forms of patient confidentiality, his therapy groups were based on the fact that secrets were “toxic” and ultimately blocked the healing process. Tate also realized she had been in a 12 Step program previously with Dr. Rosen and actually knew the history of his personal problems! This didn’t faze him in the slightest bit, and he made it clear that all aspects and intimate details of her life would be shared with her assigned group. Tate gave group therapy a try, and her slow healing process began.

The book spans over several unspecified years. It was unclear how Tate realistically managed the two critical parts of her life: her academic studies in law school, with her group therapy. The stories of her peers and lovers were really interesting and how group members worked together with affirmations and phone calls outside their group to support one another. Tate naturally heals with maturity over time, and honestly relates her mis-steps, periods of insecurity, desperation, and poor relationship choices. However, the idea of being part of costly therapy groups indefinitely may not appeal to some readers, though it was encouraging this form of therapy worked quite well for Ms. Tate.** With thanks to Simon and Schuster via NetGalley for the DDC for the purpose of review.
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Group was a very enlightening look at therapy groups. It is a Reese Witherspoon book of the month pick with very positive praise.  It definitely sparks some intriguing questions that would be great for a book club.
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For most people, the thought of group therapy is horrifying. Skeptics and readers travel through the journey in "Group" to see the benefits and a circle of strangers impact on a person.
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“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” Brené Brown

Many of us in our 40’s, myself and @christieotate, the author of Group, included, didn’t grown up with the resources of Brené Brown readily available. In an interview, I cringed when I heard someone ask Tate if she was ashamed that her secrets were out there for all to read. Those of us doing the work of therapy and trying to heal know that sharing our truth and surviving it isn’t something to be ashamed of. That’s Group. A story of fighting to live, connecting, and trying to heal.

I’m a mental health professional. I also have my own mental health issues with ptsd, anxiety, cancer, and chronic illness. I read through that lens. Trigger warnings: eating disorders, suicidal ideation, self-harm. Criticisms I’ve read include the lack of confidentiality among group members, ethics of the therapist, cost (though I’ve paid similar for my own therapy at times, when I lived in Silicon Valley and needed to find a therapist that could work around my schedule...we can talk the cost of MH services/ access in another post), boundaries, and these were red flags. The author notes the therapy is radical (e.g., most group therapy has confidentiality within the group). It is a patient’s perspective. Her story.

And that’s why I loved it. We say normalize mental health. Yep. It can look like the law student who is ranked first in her class, who goes to her AA meetings, and still thinks about killing herself. She’s extremely lonely. How often is this higher-functioning on the outside woman, while making very poor choices in secret (e.g., one-night stands, odd eating) presented to us. Rarely I think. Or at least not nearly enough. For that vulnerability and courage of Tate’s, I’m grateful. I hope it shows others they are not alone.

“‘It’s not going to work if you don’t do the hard thing,’I told myself. Deep breath. ‘Seven fucking apples.’”

That’s the part that broke me. I know the feeling to share that secret, that pain, the shame. And also to feel the weight lift and begin to heal.

It is ok to need help.

Thank you to @avidreaderpress
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We meet Christie as she aimlessly drives around in her car, wishing that she were dead. Christie is a promising law student turning lawyer. She is also in recovery from an eating disorder, insecure, anxiety ridden, lonely and a total mess. Her friend suggests that she embark on a journey of group therapy, and she does. There, she engages in intimate conversations with not only her group members, but with Dr. Rosen, the oddball psychiatrist who suggests all kinds of out of the box (and in my opinion) nutty and unconventional remedies for gaining control of herself. We sit in her therapy meetings as the members of the group work through their issues,

I had very high hopes for this book, as not only was it recommended by Reese Witherspoon, (and she has recommended some good books), but I had been reading about it. All of the reviews were glowing. 

I did not like this book at all. While I cannot dispute this book because it is indeed someone's experience -- and the author has documented it according to her experience, I was not entertained nor drawn in by the story, rather I was bored and kept waiting for something -- anything -- to happen.. The group therapy experience reminded me of the co-counseling movement of the early 80's, where people where led to try yet another method of getting their lives together, despite the fact that they often got worse. Dr. Rosen made me extremely uncomfortable to the point that I sometimes questioned the ethics of his prescriptions.

I often enjoy stories about psychology and I am a huge fan of memoirs, but this one did not do it for me.
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This book was a little more than I bargained for. I am very familiar with individual therapy but have no experience with group therapy. I'm glad the author found the help and support she needed but there was just way too much personal information. I was slightly uncomfortable and found myself questioning the "no secrets" rule of their group. An interesting read but it is very raw and real, 2.5
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I have no shame in saying I've talked to therapists several times in my life (including currently!), and I have found it extremely valuable. Learning about Christie's years in a group therapy setting were completely different from anything I've experienced, and it was pretty fascinating. The vulnerability in these pages was not lost on me and I appreciated her honesty in sharing all the cringeworthy moments. 

Overall it was a solid memoir, and was a refreshing reminder to be considerate, to remember we're all facing internal struggles (that we can work to overcome!)

Thanks Netgalley + Avid Reader Press for my complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Nonfiction and Auto-Biographies are not my typical genre. I am a big fan of psychological thrillers. 
However, as a high school guidance counselor the header: “How one Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved my Life” certainly got my attention.

When I finished, I thought ~ hmmm this didn’t work for me.
Yet it kept me up most of the night as I kept thinking about it.
 I decided that it was interesting. It just was uncomfortable to read and not enjoyable

 In my counseling program, we have had group counseling courses. As a school counselor, my counseling experience was one-on-one and yes many times with immediately family as the main concern was finding the problem and helping the student to take responsibility for their actions.
 Again, my training was counseling not therapy. However, the coursework included group counseling. Another important part of the program was to understand our limitations and to know the resources that are available ~ health professionals who are experts in certain fields. 
There is no doubt Ms., Tate has or had big issues and needed an expert.
I had concerns about Dr. Rosen’s therapy prescriptions.. Although my training did include an assignment of doing something uncomfortable and writing how the situation made you felt and what you did about it; ~ which was certainly an interesting exercise.

I realize that this is a “tell all story” and whatever Ms. Tate has to say is her story and is not for me to criticize! 

Want to thank NetGalley and Avid Reader Press Simon & Schuler for this eGalley granted in exchange for an honest professional review.  Opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Publishing Release Date was October 27, 2020.
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There’s nothing better than a witty and gritty memoir, and that’s exactly what Group is. It’s hopeful and humorous and honest (Tate seriously does not hold back) and exactly what I needed to read right now. 

I’m not only impressed by the raw and moving story Tate tells, but also how she goes about telling it. She does a truly incredible job of padding complex, dark, and emotional stories with moments of levity and humor. Everything (like, for real, nothing held back) is handled with beautiful care.

Dax Shepard is thanked in the acknowledgments, and I totally see the parallels between Group and Armchair Expert — I can’t imagine liking one but not the other. 

 I just loved this book and am really, really glad it was written.
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In this memoir, readers follow the author's journey as she works through her traumas and relationships in group psychotherapy. It's an engrossing, quick read that will transport readers.

What drew me to the book was the title and description of its holding center-- the therapy sessions. I"m personally all for de-stigmatizing mental health and seeking therapy. However, I'm not sure all of Dr. Rosen's methods and 'prescriptions' were sound.
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