Author: Christie Tate
Publisher: Avid Reader Press
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Book Description: The refreshingly original debut memoir of a guarded, over-achieving, self-lacerating young lawyer who reluctantly agrees to get psychologically and emotionally naked in a room of six complete strangers—her psychotherapy group—and in turn finds human connection, and herself.
Christie Tate had just been named the top student in her law school class and finally had her eating disorder under control. Why then was she driving through Chicago fantasizing about her own death? Why was she envisioning putting an end to the isolation and sadness that still plagued her in spite of her achievements?
Enter Dr. Rosen, a therapist who calmly assures her that if she joins one of his psychotherapy groups, he can transform her life. All she has to do is show up and be honest. About everything—her eating habits, childhood, sexual history, etc. Christie is skeptical, insisting that that she is defective, beyond cure. But Dr. Rosen issues a nine-word prescription that will change everything: “You don’t need a cure, you need a witness.”
So begins her entry into the strange, terrifying, and ultimately life-changing world of group therapy. Christie is initially put off by Dr. Rosen’s outlandish directives, but as her defenses break down and she comes to trust Dr. Rosen and to depend on the sessions and the prescribed nightly phone calls with various group members, she begins to understand what it means to connect.
Group is a deliciously addictive read, and with Christie as our guide—skeptical of her own capacity for connection and intimacy, but hopeful in spite of herself—we are given a front row seat to the daring, exhilarating, painful, and hilarious journey that is group therapy—an under-explored process that breaks you down, and then reassembles you so that all the pieces finally fit.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: 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.