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Book Review of “Group” by Christie Tate

Roamers Therapy| August 2023

“You don’t need a cure. You need a witness.” – Christie Tate’s therapist

Group is a memoir about one woman’s powerful, healing experience with group psychotherapy. At the time the story begins, Tate is a top-of-her-class law student living in Chicago with the prospects of a high achieving law career. Despite her clear academic and professional success, Tate was quietly suffering from feelings of isolation, disconnection, self-doubt, and thoughts of death. Group is her personal story of finding herself, finding connection, and finding the joy and love she so desperately longed for from a group of strangers and her therapist. 

Tate writes the majority of her story chronologically, with flashback sequences, reflections, and stories of her childhood sprinkled in to provide insight into her relational patterns and history. She takes you with her as she enters the strange new world of group therapy and subsequently through her lowest moments, greatest humiliations, deepest heartbreaks, strongest bouts of anger, paralyzing fear and skepticism, and ultimately, her beautiful discovery of her capacity for intimacy. Her therapist, named in the book as Dr. Jonathan Rosen, tells Tate that she can’t simply fix her intimacy issues with a single prescription or cure but rather, that what she really needs is a witness. For people to see her. For people to know her. For people to hold her accountable. To be vulnerable with others can often feel incredibly daunting and scary. Many of us may tend to hide part of ourselves out of shame, fear, self-consciousness, or an inability to express how we truly feel. Oftentimes, to reach the level of intimacy we desire, we first have to let others into our inner world in order to make that inner world feel more safe and less lonely. 

At times hilarious and heartwarming, and at other times sad and relatable, Group will leave you evaluating your own relationships, reflecting on your own vulnerability, and acknowledging the undeniable power of connection. 

While our physical offices are located in South Loop and Lakeview neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois for in-person sessions, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more.