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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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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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