SHOP NOTES | Group by Christie Tate



Written by Christie Tate

Simon and Schuster. 288 pp. $27 

With the New Year comes resolutions, and with resolutions come a host of new books that pledge to help you with those resolutions.  I’m here to tell you to skip the dieting books.  Instead, do yourself a favor and read Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life, by Christie Tate.  Not only will it  inspire you to reach your full potential as a human being, it’s also a fun read that will make you laugh -- and maybe cry a little bit, too. 

Tate seemed to have it all together: She was the top student in her law school class, after all, and she’d finally gotten her eating disorder under control.  But behind the scenes all was not well.  So she decided to try group therapy sessions with a Dr. Rosen, about whom she didn’t know all that much, but who promised results. 

At first Dr. Rosen’s methods seem a bit unorthodox, but Tate perseveres, and as a reader, along for this wild ride, I found Tate to be a warm, generous, sometimes hilarious, always brave guide.  Gradually, she learns to connect with her fellow group members, and then with others, too.  Furthermore, she learns — and she teaches us — that connections are necessary if we ever really want to be happy. 

We need each other. 

One of Dr. Rosen’s rules is that there are no secrets.  So, in the spirit of Dr. Rosen's group therapy sessions, I’m not keeping Group a secret.  I’m shouting from the rooftops that this book will inspire empathy and warm your heart and make you believe that you, too, can do the work to make yourself a better person.  (It’s also a page-turner you won’t be able to put down.) In a courageous recounting of her own path to self-acceptance, Tate shows the rest of us the value of honesty, trust, and overcoming fear in order to love more fully — both ourselves and others.

christie tate, turner prize, william mellis christie, group: how one therapist and a circle of strangers saved my life