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Member Reviews

It's kind of awkward to say "I loved" a memoir- after all, these are real experiences, someone's real life struggles that they are humbly sharing with u. But I don't know how else to express my enjoyment of @christieotate 's candid writing.

Group is a memoir about Christie’s experience with group therapy; how it helped her open up and be receptive to relationships, how it helped her overcome her grievances and conquer her self doubt.

I don't know how she did it- I don't mean how she overcame her obstacles, that she breaks down and walks you through step by step alongside her. I mean how she wrote a memoir in story form, where I felt like I was reading a novel more than a memoir. If only I could look back on my life and recall the conversations that got me here, it would definitely make for much more fun reflection!

I hope Christie gives herself proper credit for how strong she is. And not just for all that she's overcome personally (which is HUGE). For showing up and doing the work in spite of her skepticism. For trusting the process and giving it a fair chance even though it seemed impossible. For going all in, following the sometimes whimsical/ nonsensical seeming advice in the hopes of progress. For allowing herself to be open with a group of strangers, so much so that they became her second family.

And for, more than anything, choosing to share all this with us. It is no small feat to put all your insecurities to paper, let alone share them with millions of readers. I can almost tangibly access my own anxiety at the prospect of writing a book like this about myself and so my appreciation for it runs deep.

I can't attest to anyone else's takeaway from reading this but I can to my own, and Christie if you've written this in the hopes of helping just one person I want to thank you for it 💙
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Wow.  I am not sure what I was expecting with Group, but Christie Tate does not hold back.  Group is one of the most addicting memoirs that I have ever read.

My emotions really ranged with this one.  I felt uncomfortable, I felt like a voyeur, and I felt disbelief.  As a person who has done a lot of therapy and attempted one group, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole "no confidentiality" concept.  I don't think I would have done it.  But that is my choice.  Dr. Rosen also came off as a bit of a cult leader and the groups all seemed a bit incestuous.

I have questions about whether pseudonyms were used in the writing of this book.  I couldn't find any info online and the book did not seem to indicate if there were or not.
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Thank you to the author, Avid Reader Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I whipped through this book, and found it hard to put down... but it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. It's abrasively honest in terms of looking at the protagonist's life and thoughts, and well-written. The flow of the story pulls you in, and parts of the story are heartbreaking, as the brokenness and hurt gradually becomes more clear to see. What I found extremely problematic were the ethical issues and lines crossed by the therapist and clients - to the point where the therapist and the group should be reported, not held up as a positive example of group therapy.
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What an emotional roller coaster!  I laughed and cried through Christie Tate's story of her years in group therapy.  She shares everything with her therapy groups and her readers.  There are no secrets.  She details several failed relationships in her journey to find intimacy and a partner for life.  Tate's honest account of her emotional growth is refreshing and the challenges she faces are relatable.   

If you enjoyed Lori Gottlieb's "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone," pick up a copy of "Group."  Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.
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The guide in this memoir is an author with a unique and honest voice. While very accomplished, she has clearly had her struggles. In this memoir the reader observes Ms. Tate as she brings her issues to a therapy group and her rather unconventional therapist. As a result her life was changed.

This book has received mixed reviews. There are those who have given it five stars and others who have barely given it one. Having facilitated support groups as part of my career, I was intrigued to read about the author’s experience with her therapist and the other members of her group. I recommend that you take a look and decide for yourself. I am glad to have read it.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the arc in exchange for an honest review. 

I got 25% into this book and stopped reading it. As someone who has worked in the social work field, if this is a true story she’s just spilling everyone’s details I’m guessing without permission. The doctor didn’t seem ethical in what he was doing. Beyond that, just not written well and like it was trying too hard to be entertaining.
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When I began this book, after reading some of the member reviews, I went in expecting it to be slow and slug along. Yet, this was not the experience I had with this book. Tate's writing style is fresh, and raw. The reader feels like they are sitting in the circle with her and the rest of her group during sessions. I found myself constantly drawn back in, wanting to know how she would continue with her story. I often found myself remarking on the notion that this is Tate's life, her experiences, and I cannot bring myself to be negative about someone's own life. I was especially drawn to what Dr. Rosen kept telling Tate about secrets, that holding onto them never brings peace. 
Everything about this novel is raw, and unfiltered. And that's how it should be.
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This book has gotten a lot of hype good and bad. A lot of early reviews from people I trust have not been so good. However, I implore you get through the first 25% and get past all the peculiarities of this unconventional group therapy and you will have all the payoff of Christie Tate’s journey.

Tate writes a tell-all memoir of her decision to join group therapy. Her therapist has a no-holds bar approach to therapy. You have to be completely honest in all things or this will never work.

We learn of Tate’s eating disorder, her trouble in having relationships with men, her fear of being alone for the rest of her life. Through this book, she pours her heart out to us. Her time in therapy is not quick, in fact as of the post script she is is still in the same group and calls herself a lifer.

As I mentioned this is unconventional therapy that relies on the true support of the other members. The relationships she builds with these people are key to her success. Everyone truly loves each other and will do anything they can to help these people succeed.

I have heard this book described as gross, especially in the relationship of the therapist to the patient, but as he continued to break down all of their insecurities, you really saw the growth of Christie and other members of this group.

This is a very emotional read. I was sad when Tate was sad and I cheered her on when she finally had her breakthroughs. I feel like we received a gift from this author, and I cannot wait to see what else she writes.

Thank you NetGalley and Avid Reader Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Group - How one therapist and a circle of strangers saved my life // by Christie Tate

Sometimes I come across titles or blurbs that leave me thinking "THIS WAS WRITTEN JUST FOR ME." Now, I'm not that delusional that I think that is literally true but I still wonder if someone, something, somewhere had me in mind when this book idea came into existence. For someone that was not even into memoirs until last year, I sure to race through them at full speed now, especially those related to mental health. Group by Christie Tate is no exception.

While I do not personally struggle with an eating disorder, I do have my own issues that have led me to therapy. Never in my life would I have imagined myself in group therapy the way Christie Tate has experienced though. I am an introvert after all. Following this book though, I find myself contemplating the idea more and more. I do enjoy talking through the struggles in my life with a small group of people after all. Who am I and who is this Christie Tate for making me even consider this??

This book is wild and unapologetic and detailed in ways that you would not expect going into it. I found myself literally laughing out loud several times and had to read the passages to my husband who does not usually show that much interest in my books. I also found myself on the bring of tears as she took me back to my own memories and struggles that I am working through with my own therapist. While I am one part skeptical of many of the prescriptions given by Dr. Rosen, part of me also sees the benefits of even the craziest ones, making me wonder how I could adapt some of them for myself. 

I truly admire the guts of the author when writing this book. There are many embarrassing things included but her raw honesty made this such a compelling read for me that I know I will be thinking about for a long time to come. It has allowed me to put words to some of my own feelings that I was not able to articulate myself. I also appreciate the chapter she included for ten years later to show that her wedding was not the end of therapy for her but rather a milestone she celebrated with her group. It warms my heart to know that she is still attending group and that her children are growing up knowing that therapy is a helpful tool that can assist you with many different problems in any life stage. She hinted at having several other books in the works and I am looking forward to seeing more from her in the future.

Thank you to the publisher and author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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I really enjoyed this book! As someone who is very private, it was so interesting to read the memoir of someone who was so open that she was able to share her most personal experiences with a roomful of people in her group therapy sessions. 
I am a big believer in therapy and think that literally everyone can benefit from it. I actually think the world would be a different place if everyone had access to therapy.  However, I never really gave a second thought to group therapy until reading this book. 
That said, Christie’s therapist certainly sounded like an eclectic guy, and at times I had to wonder where he came up with his “prescriptions” when his patients were suffering or struggling with something.  I sometimes thought he went too far or even bordered on being inappropriate, yet I can’t deny that Christie saw positive results from trying the things he suggested. 
I think this is a great book for everyone to read. Either it will open your eyes to group therapy (and quite possibly make you desire it in your own life), or you may be able to relate to some of the stories if you’ve been in group therapy yourself. 
I found the book to be informative, interesting, entertaining and thought provoking. And as guarded and private as I am, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t kind of wish I had my own “group” by the end of the book.
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I love reading books about therapy. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone was one of my favorite books last year and I recently reviewed Good Morning, Monster which I also thought was riveting. Both of those were written by therapists about their experiences helping patients through various issues. Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Helped Save My Life by Christie Tate is a memoir about her years in group therapy and this new perspective sucked me right in.

Christie is at the top of her law school class but also a lonely, recovering bulimic with suicidal thoughts. She starts group therapy hoping that fixing herself will help her form the healthy relationships with others she desperately craves. Her therapist, Dr. Rosen, is kid of unconventional and Christie's journey is both hysterical and heartbreaking. She goes on bad dates, has REALLY bad sex, makes some great decisions and other terrible ones, has professional triumphs and personal breakthroughs, she throws tantrums and breaks dishes and considers harming herself, all while being supported and held accountable by Dr. Rosen and her fellow group members. Christie is often is hard to like but you can't help but hope she finds what she's looking for. 

Tate's writing is sharp, funny and raw - she doesn't shy away from sharing every detail with her group or with us as readers. There were several times I literally laughed out loud like when she compares herself to her friend Marnie, who's in another of Dr. Rosen's groups - "Marnie was clearly doing better than I was. If we were a tampon commercial, I'd be the one scowling about odors and leakage; she'd be doing a jeté in white jeans on her heavy flow day."

Tate's honesty in group led her to find happiness and her honesty in this book is refreshing and gripping. Group is one of the best books I've read all year.  

Thanks to NetGalley, Avid Reader Press & the author for an advanced copy to review.
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This is a memoir in which the author, while in law school and while having very dark thoughts, decides to seek help in the form of a group therapy session. Initially, therapy seems to do a lot of good for Tate. She’s forced to start talking about her issues with eating and sex, and the therapist (Dr. Rosen) helps her give voice to issues long left unspoken.

But as we go along, the therapist’s instructions and his role in the author’s life grows, especially as he suggests that she join additional groups and he begins to encourage her (read: commands her) to stay in a toxic relationship or to accept a more high-powered job (that pays more...when his sessions are pricey. Just saying).

I am always pleased when people make choices to take care of themselves. I think therapy is an amazing thing you can do for yourself and I absolutely hate that often people can’t afford to get that kind of help. Christie Tate obviously had a number of things haunting her from her childhood and from previous relationships that she needed to work through and it seems like group therapy helped with that. She’s very honest in this memoir about what the experience was like, and for that I applaud her.

But what I’m having trouble accepting is the ownership these people allowed Dr. Rosen to have over their lives. As stated above, Tate would repeatedly make choices that her therapist had given her as “prescriptions,” such as telling a man who was basically a stranger that she was a “cock tease.” I waited until the end of the book, hoping that the reasoning for such a command would be made clear, but nope. If there was a reason, it’s destined to remain a mystery. More likely, it was a power trip on the part of this therapist.

“No secrets” is a rule that Dr. Rosen has. You must tell this therapist everything or else….what? You’re failing? You’re cheating yourself? He doesn’t say. The whole way through this book, I kept thinking, “it seems like the only thing you’d gain from such a rule is a room full of oversharers.” And boy, oh boy, I had no idea how right that gut impulse was.

Because Christie Tate isn’t just an author of this memoir, she was also in the news just shy of two years ago, for being the mommy blogger who refused her child’s request to take down their personal information. At the time her child requested this, Tate said, “Promising not to write about her anymore would mean shutting down a vital part of myself, which isn’t necessarily good for me or her.” Or, to rephrase in my words, “I’ve made a second career off of writing about these humans that I’ve birthed and now that they’re old enough to see that I’ve talked about their intimate details for an audience, I’m going to claim this blog is a vital part of my personhood so that I can deny them the right to privacy.”

The oversharing is a huge part of this book. There are so many sexual details. SO MANY SEXUAL DETAILS. I’m a very nosy Scorpio and even I DON’T NEED TO KNOW ALL OF THIS.

This is a really complicated book for me to talk about because yay therapy, but I think this therapist is ethically questionable and I think the author, according to the abovementioned mommy blogger scandal, doesn’t draw boundaries effectively. This one gave me an icky feeling and it’s not one I would recommend.
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Well this just became one of my favorite books of 2020!

When I started Group I was verrrry on the fence about it. The beginning made me feel uncomfortable - the author’s pain and struggles at the start of her group therapy journey were almost too palpable and relatable and made me feel very sad. And I felt uncomfortable with the lack of anonymity in her group and wondered how that could possibly be ethical. 

But as she progressed through her journey with her doctor and other patients my discomfort turned to hope. The issues the author has dealt with are things that so many of us face. Reading about how she overcame them made me feel like there was hope for me, too. And it definitely made me want to sign up for some group therapy!

I just had one small qualm with the book - I found it hard to keep track of the names of the ancillary characters, who she knew from which group, which people were friends from outside of therapy, etc. 

And then my only real issue, which is not with the book itself but with the author - I didn’t realize until after reading it that she was the woman who wrote the OpEd in the Washington Post a few years ago about her daughter’s request that she stop writing about her and her refusal to do so. Suddenly I had some real concerns about how much she had learned in group therapy and the ethics of her years of over sharing about her family. However, I’m going to try really hard to divorce my thoughts about the book (most of which were really about the power of therapy more than anything else) from my thoughts about the author, and this is a book I’ll be recommending to a lot of people.
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Group by Christie Tate is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early October.

Overstressed suicidal author Tate goes to group therapy to sort things out. She's initially reluctant to share things, be asked questions, acknowledge a complicated relationship with food, then gradually sharing all her inner stressors, realizing her inner worth and reasons for living.
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I have mixed feelings about this memoir. On the one hand, I respect he honesty of the author and her hard work to better understand herself. On the other, I'm a little disturbed by the therapy itself and not sure of the ethical implications of this therapist's work. The writing is excellent and engrossing and I'll continue to form my thoughts on this one.
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I read Group basically in one sitting last night. This memoir follows Christie Tate, a perfectionist and over achieving law student that is having suicidal thoughts and decides to see a therapist. She is quickly put into group therapy where the rules are to show up, feel feelings, and disclose everything to the group. We follow her journey from there. This is very well done. I was rooting for Christie along the way, even when questioning her decisions. I also questioned the decisions of the therapist often, but, like Christie, learned to trust him too. I loved it even more than others like this. I actually learned about the work done to heal. A fantastic memoir! This comes out next month and I highly recommend picking it up.
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The group therapy angle of this book had me hooked, especially this being a memoir. Christie made me laugh, cry, and feel. Read this book if you want to feel something.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and Avid Reader Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Christie Tate was a successful law school student and recovering bulimic who started attending therapy wanting to have more intimate connections, specifically a romantic relationship, in her life. My struggle at formulating that first sentence encapsulates my primary criticism of the book: it's not very clear what the problem was. 

Her writing is so candid, and as she learns in group therapy to share everything because the holding of secrets is the carrying of shame, the reader gets to live inside her head. Sometimes the progress she was making was obvious to me even as it wasn't obvious to her, like when she writes about still being unable to form attachments even as she's experiencing grief from the ending of a not quite right relationship. She seems to mistake not exerting strong boundaries or experiencing disproportionate reciprocation as failing to form an attachment, even if her attachments are at times unhealthy. She describes her strongly emotional moments in great detail, but as we all know, the ordinary moments in life don't make a great story and so these meltdowns can feel a bit unmoored, almost like catastrophizing a bad day. Learning to allow emotions and to express them was one of her primary challenges, so it makes sense that the seemingly typical events of going through several relationships before finding the right one would feel bigger and more of a reflection of herself than others may find it. 

That said, Tate is a really gifted writer and it is that writing that absolutely carries this book. I loved the way she could tell a funny story or be achingly vulnerable. I came to love the cast of characters here, particularly her therapist Dr Rosen, who is portrayed as wise and generous and very human. Group is supremely readable, and I think it will get a lot of buzz when it's released this fall.
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This amazing memoir is about how one doctor and a bunch of therapy groups saved the author’s life in getting her to confront her fears, open up to accept friends and love, and make peace with her past failings.  I couldn’t put it down..
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