Cover Image: Group

Group

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Member Reviews

This is Christie's account of the many years that she spent in group therapy (and which she still attends) I was intrigued by the process, how different it is from the psychotherapy that I am familiar with as a CBT therapist. I was awed and humbled by how willing Christie is to reveal her most vulnerable self, the parts that are unlikeable and difficult. This takes courage, as in a book you know you are going to be judged by your readers, even if on the surface your group mates do not. I was also impressed how she did not pretend to be "cured" even when she had achieved a lot of her goals. There will always be challenges in life and some of them come from within. Her willingness to be open and acknowledge hard truths about herself show some of the ways that good therapy can be transformative even if group therapy would not be my weapon of choice. A fascinating read.
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Oh wow. Five stars all the way around. 

I know that several reviews I’ve read are stuck on the ethics of Dr. Rosen and the way he chooses to practice in his group therapy, but you know what? It didn’t bother me. I see the value in the way he makes everyone uncomfortable and let’s them feel things and get angry and work through it as a team. Having a support system is so important. Having a place to go every week at an exact time to keep the feeling of purpose alive in people who are struggling to feel a purpose is so important. This setting works for some people and doesn’t work for others. Christie made life long friends and has a support system like I’ve never seen before. We could all use that from time to time. 

This little therapy memoir made me laugh, made me cry, made me frustrated at times. It also made me wonder if the traditional 1:1 therapy didn’t work for me because I crave a deeper human connection with people rather than just one therapist and me talking about coping skills. Who knows? All I know right now is, this book was such a treat. A glimpse into all of us and our weird emotional struggles and how important it is to be communicative and compassionate towards others. 

So, as uncomfortable as some parts were, I think it challenged me to think outside my comfort zone and see a different perspective towards therapy and sharing intimate details of our lives with others we trust in a safe environment. And about the unorthodox prescriptions that helped these people have emotional breakthroughs, I loved them. 

10/10 would recommend if you need a good humble laugh about your own mental bullshit and want to feel the messy connection with some hilariously diverse strangers in group therapy. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my advanced reading copy.
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I’m not sure how to rate this book. Is it fair to rate the retelling of the author’s years in group therapy? 

As someone with an anxiety disorder, I related most to the following statement and yeah, great idea...if only it were that easy! 

“You just make up your mind to be happy. Focus on the positive; don’t put any energy into negative thoughts.”

I received an advanced copy of this book; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Unconventional therapy and uncomfortable truths make for a unique story. Tate gathers readers into the intimacy of her experience, revealing the shame and secrecy of her struggle with mental health while simultaneously celebrating the kindness and humor of  group therapy.
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Strongly written.  Emotionally satisfying.   Not something I would normally pick up but so glad I did because in a word it was healing!!
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This is an amazing book about one person's journey with an eating disorder and how group therapy (along with a lot of other things) helped her.  I loved the rawness and realness of her story.  It comes at a time when conversations are starting to open up about mental health and related disorders and I highly encourage anyone dealing with similar issues to check out this book!
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This is a complex review for me! 

I got to read this book as an ARC and I was super excited about it since I am first-year therapy graduate student. I think that I was coming at this book from a different angle. The book is from the perspective of a client in therapy, specifically group therapy. Christie is a very successful law student and professional who finds herself in need of help. 

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.

I am all for authenticity and honest emotions, but many times throughout the book I was confused about how the group therapies (multiple in a given week) were helpful to the clients, especially because they were required to pay so much money for the sessions. I have experienced AA-type meetings, and they are phenomenal for accountability and support - but they are donation based. I cannot fathom asking a client of mine to spend upwards of $900 on group therapy per month. 

I landed on 2 stars for this book because I really appreciate the author's honesty and the writing was well done, but as a future therapist, I cannot recommend the book based on the lack of ethics demonstrated in the book by the client's therapist.
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Group was not a book for me. I just could not connect with the information or the author. The information felt too forced for my liking.
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Shelf Awareness MAXIMUM Shelf:

In her memoir, Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life, Christie Tate gets real--and real honest--about her experience in group therapy, and all the things it taught her about herself and her life.

At the age of 27, Tate was on the rise. She had overcome an eating disorder, was working the 12 steps of her program, had a good job and was set to graduate at the top of her law school class. She was also deeply, deeply unhappy, and felt not only temporarily isolated and alone in her life, but as though she was entirely incapable of connecting with other people. "I sensed in my gut that I didn't know how to stay connected, how not to be cast aside." She wanted a meaningful and serious relationship. She wanted answers. She wanted, perhaps more than anything, to know what she wanted.

Enter Dr. Rosen, a therapist whom Tate herself calls "wacky" and whose methods seem, to anyone with even a passing familiarity with individual and/or group therapy, more than a little unorthodox. There is no confidentiality required in Rosen's groups, no promise that secrets shared there will stay there. It is in fact quite the opposite; sharing of secrets is not only welcomed, but encouraged. "[Confidentiality] might be standard practice," Dr. Rosen explains to Tate, "but keeping secrets for other people is more toxic than other people knowing your business. Holding on to secrets is a way to hold shame that doesn't belong to you." He assigns equally nontraditional "prescriptions" to patients in his groups; Tate, for example, is told to call a fellow groupmate to discuss what she ate for dinner, and to ask for nightly affirmations. Another groupmate is told to play his guitar in front of the group; a third to rub strawberries on her husband's stomach. "Wacky," it turns out, may be a bit of an understatement when applied to Dr. Rosen, and Tate joins his groups with no small amount of trepidation. "What am I going to get out of this?" she asks herself, not realizing then that this question would become "part mantra, part catch phrase."

There's something lurking beneath the surface of this therapy, which may look unfamiliar but proves appealing in its ability to give both its participants--and, by extension, readers of Group--a space to both think and feel and be in company with others without judgment or fear of rejections. Stories of Tate's own lived experiences--first discovering masturbation as a child, witnessing a drowning as a teen, recollections of unhealthy (and borderline abusive) relationships--combine with reminiscences from her groupmates to give readers an almost voyeuristic look into the deep, internal work that comprises therapy. But that is not to suggest that Group is mere tell-all, laying forth secrets for all the world to read. It is both that and an account of how that telling of all allowed one woman to become fully and completely herself, related with a sense of candor and honesty that is rare in memoirs.

Woven throughout Group is the idea of what it means to both have and be a witness to other people's most hidden depths. What does it mean to stop pretending, stop masking, stop acting like the person expected, and instead merely be one's absolute and truest self? In the early pages of Tate's memoir, neither Tate nor her readers are entirely sure. "I used fake smiles, 'I'm fines,' and gigantic binges like other people used Kleenex," she recalls.

Tate's background as an essayist (her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and many other print and online publications) shapes the rhythm and movement of her memoir; as she moves away from this "fabricated version" of herself, her recollections of her experiences move deftly between personal anecdote and larger reckonings to offer readers not just an exposé but an invitation. She herself learns the value of having witnesses to her every feeling and darkest secrets: not immediate answers, as she had hoped for, but a path to community and human connection. By sharing her story--and, yes, her secrets--in Group, she is inviting us each to remember that we, too, have the tools within ourselves to foster that same human connection, no matter how impossible it may seem at times. Sharp and insightful, told with a warmth and honesty that will make Tate feel as much like a friend as a writer, Group is a memoir that proves a valuable and refreshing addition to the annals of mental health conversations. --Kerry McHugh
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I received a free ARC of this from Netgalley.

I actually ended up liking this one more than I thought I would. I think we all need a group either professionally or personally to feel safe with and be our authentic selves. A look into one woman's quest to better herself through multiple group therapies.
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A debut memoir that brings you inside group therapy.We meet the members here there stories open honest at times raw at times funny.Having never been to group I was fascinated and in awe of how they share.I found this a very interesting read .#netgalley#avidpress
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When I saw this I was intrigued on two counts: first, I really enjoyed Lori Gottlieb's MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE, and GROUP seemed similar-but-different enough to be worth a try. Second, I would never, ever do group therapy—so of course I'm also desperately curious about what it's like.

I found the writing really engaging, and enjoyed the gradual piecing together of the author's life as she learns to build healthy relationships with food, friends, and men (and slogs through some really awful ones on the way). Her therapist's methods were definitely unusual and contrary to my personal sensibilities. I probably wouldn't have lasted long in one of these groups, but it seemed to work for the author and it makes for a fascinating read. The book made me think serious thoughts about how we form healthy relationships with ourselves and others, and about the amount of effort it takes to heal from trauma, but it's also dishy enough to make up for the months of missed brunches during COVID.
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Meh! this book was just okay.  I was hoping it would be engaging and enlightening, but it turned out to be neither.

I don't like the writing style at all.
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Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy.

Wow! I loved following the progression of Christie and really seeing therapy work for her.  The concept of this group therapy seemed so unique!  I applaude Christie and the others in the group share such personal things and to really make connections and force each other out of their comfort zone.  So many things seemed so relatable about her thought process, but she trusted in the program and it ended up working for her.
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Yikes. This memoir became more and more cringeworthy as it went along. At around 75%, I just put it down for good.
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Some of the stories and fears shared in this was great and it definitely had some LOL moments; however, there must be some kind of rules broken by the therapist who leads the group when she starts over sharing to the participants in group. If I was going to support, I would feel creeped out when the therapist is taking over and spilling her guts. Still a worthy read for people that find comfort for their issues in a setting like this but it may not be for all.

Goof writing and some stories but taking away a star for the therapist who is crossing some unsafe boundaries, I still appreciate this book.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and Avid Reader Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Available: 10/6/20
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I really loved this book in the beginning. But as the book went on, I found it more and more disturbing. The therapy group the author was a part of insisted that the members of the group shared everything, even intimate details about other people. It was so disturbing. But the writing style of the book was good.
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This is the story of one woman's group therapy experience through decades of attending the same group(s) run by the same therapist. Patients are encouraged to share everything about themselves and their lives, confidentiality is not respected, and boundaries are unclear. The patients become involved with each other, and bring all sorts of issues to the groups. 

I had conflicting feelings about the therapist and his no-holes-barred approach. Exposing everything about oneself to the group, confiding in each other during the week and socializing for years and years seems unethical and disrespectful to me. Yet the author makes enormous changes in her life, her desires, her attitudes, and after 5 years attains the type of relationship she always wanted with herself and with a man.

Engrossing read, thoughtful writing, compulsively readable.
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Love memoirs, this one not so much. Felt like it was trying so hard to be what itsnot. 

Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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I was lucky enough to win a digital galley of GROUP  through a Shelf Awareness giveaway. Thank you again for the early look, any distraction is more than welcome these days!
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