I love reading about other people's therapy, so I was fascinated by this account of unconventional group therapy and its life-changing consequences. 10/10 would recommend if you need a good, humble laugh about your own mental BS and want to feel the messy connection with some hilariously diverse strangers in group therapy. Tate is funny, awkward, and sometimes very raw, but her story is ultimately a wonderful reminder that we are never as alone as we may sometimes feel.
“I cannot recommend this book enough! Group reads like a novel while also being incredibly insightful. Christie Tate is able to articulate a reality that I, and I’m sure others, haven’t quite been able to express to those closest to us. This book will help people realize that there are things they haven’t let themselves face yet, but it will also show them that their feelings are normal and natural. I, for one, am going to recommend this from now on to anyone I think might benefit from Tate’s journey, which I think will be just about anyone.”
— Sterling Miller, Ferguson Books & More, Grand Forks, ND
A REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK * NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The refreshingly original and “startlingly hopeful” (Lisa Taddeo) debut memoir of an over-achieving young lawyer who reluctantly agrees to group therapy and gets psychologically and emotionally naked in a room of six complete strangers—and 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 despite 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.
“Often hilarious, and ultimately very touching” (People), Group is “a wild ride” (The Boston Globe), and with Christie as our guide, 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.
About the Author
Christie Tate is a Chicago-based writer and essayist. She has been published in The New York Times (Modern Love), The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere.
"Every page of this incredible memoir, Group by Christie Tate, had me thinking 'I wish I had read this book when I was 25. It would have helped me so much!'... We need each other through the good times and the bad. Please read this book with a group of friends you cherish." —Reese Witherspoon
"Tate’s hard-won willingness to become loving and to be loved ultimately shapes a story that has a lot of heart—one that goes straight to the messy center of what it means to interrogate our own limitations and deepest desires, wherever that journey may take us." —Dani Shapiro, The New York Times
"Tate's candid path to healing is often hilarious and ultimately very touching." —People
“Tate's writing positions the reader as her witness, watching and cheering as she works her way to psychological health...[Her] commitment to detail serves Group well. So does her plain determination to present herself not as a victorious therapy graduate — she's a group ‘lifer,’ and proud of it — but as an ordinary woman who has been lucky enough to beat some extraordinary demons. Group is consistently determined and grateful, with an appealing strand of self-deprecation and a deep affection for [Tate’s groupmates].” —NPR
"Over-achieving young lawyer Christie Tate gives readers an inside peek into the highs and lows of group therapy. Recovering from an eating disorder and battling depression, Tate reluctantly turns to this communal form of psychotherapy. Funny, emotional, and insightful, Group is sure to be a breakout hit." —Good Morning America
"Group is an honest, addictive memoir about a woman’s experience in group therapy. She held nothing back with them, and she holds nothing back with us." —HelloGiggles
“Fearless candor and vulnerability.” —Time
"A wild ride...It gets pretty raw."—The Boston Globe
"It takes courage to bare your soul in front of a therapist, but when you add six strangers to the mix, it becomes an act of faith. In Group, Christie Tate takes us on a journey that's heartbreaking and hilarious, surprising and redemptive—and, ultimately, a testament to the power of connection. Perhaps the greatest act of bravery is that Tate shared her story with us, and how lucky we are that she did." —Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
“Eugene Onegin made me want to move to Russia and Little Women made me want to have sisters. Group made me want to rewind a decade, sit with a number of strangers and one shamanic doctor, strip down and survive. This unrestrained memoir is a transporting experience and one of the most startlingly hopeful books I have ever read. It will make you want to get better, whatever better means for you." —Lisa Taddeo, New York Times bestselling author of Three Women
"Group sucked me in and never let go. Real transformation is not for the faint of heart, and in these pages Christie Tate captures her evolution in all its misery and hilarity, along with the beauty of bearing witness to one another as we grow. Group reminds us that we are hurt by other people, but we can be healed by them too. Damn, I want to join a group now." —Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget
"In breathtaking bursts of beauty and vulnerability, Christie Tate's Group dares to tell the story of a body from the inside out. There is a place between pain and joy and her body is the word for it. This book will remind you how to come back to yourself even when you want to give up, make you laugh, make you cry, help you breathe. This book will save lives." —Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Verge and The Misfit's Manifesto
"[A] dazzling debut memoir...Readers will be irresistibly drawn into Tate’s earnest and witty search for authentic and lasting love." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"What actually helps when we despair? In this therapeutic page-turner, a boon especially to women struggling with loss, loneliness, or imposter syndrome, Christie Tate tells the story of how she overcame trauma and found love. Her hard-won strategy is as simple to say as it is tough to do: keep showing up.” —Ada Calhoun, New York Times bestselling author of Why We Can’t Sleep
"Christie Tate's...writing displays a wonderful combination of clear and simple with sparkle and intelligence...[Group is] a compelling narrative that empowers readers to better understand their own lives." —Booklist (starred review)
“Tate takes readers on a journey through her life-changing road to recovery and in turn finds hope, human connection and a new take on life.”—CNN (Best Books of October 2020)