About the Book:
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.
Reviews of this book seem to be very polarized. ‘Group’ is certainly not for everyone, but if you would like to read more non-fiction and/or memoirs, then you should absolutely read this one!
I applaud the author for putting herself out there on display for the whole world to see in this book and also exposing her most innermost insecurities and emotions. How brave! With that said, it totally surprised me how funny the author made her story, right alongside the saddest and most emotionally draining events in her life.
This is a raw and poignant book, and many parts are very graphic.It is also very personal but overall reaches a perfect balance between humor and sadness. Christie Tate was very brave in finding the right therapy for her own mental health and this path is not the “right” one for everyone. But it worked for her.
The group therapy described in the book is unusual and also surprisingly somewhat non-confidential. I also thought that Ms. Tate’s therapist Dr. Rosen became too involved with his patients’ personal lives but as someone with no group therapy experience, I cannot say whether that is “normal” or not. Nonetheless, it worked for the author.
The audiobook was outstanding, to hear the author’s own voice reading her words and recounting her life experiences was particularly insightful and refreshing.
This book is often very uncomfortable, but I like discovering books that take me outside my own comfort zone. Ms. Tate had lots of roadblocks along her mental health path, and this story does not sugarcoat how difficult it is to work through emotional issues in therapy. Overall I think this is a very important book and definitely recommend it!
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