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How We Can Help

Perhaps you are planning to marry, looking to improve your marriage, or trying to decide whether or not to remain in your current romantic relationship.


We have had the privilege of helping many people work through these and other challenges in order to build happier, healthier lives.


Our specialties include couples therapy, addressing infidelity, adjusting to break-ups, relationship skill-building, communication enhancement, navigating divorce, self-esteem building, and pre-marital counseling.


Elisabeth also works with family businesses and closely held corporations to improve workplace dynamics, enhance communication skills and optimize performance.

— Elisabeth Joy LaMotte, founder

What We Do

Help You Improve Your Relationships

We teach concrete relationship skills that help clients build stronger, happier, more intimate relationships with family, friends and romantic partners.

If you are experiencing a difficult break-up, a divorce, or the painful discovery of infidelity, we will help you work through the many levels of loss that are common to such challenges. We help our clients find opportunities for growth in spite of these painful scenarios.

If you want to improve your marriage or seek pre-marital counseling, our approach considers each partner as an essential player in the relationship’s strengths and challenges. We teach relevant psychological theories to help you work on both yourself and your relationships.

Help You Achieve Your Goals

Whether you are looking to build self-esteem, become a better communicator, manage anxiety or relieve depression, we work with clients to set concrete goals and take clear steps to achieve them. In addition, we help clients gain insights necessary to improve their lives.

We suggest resources so that the therapy is happening not just in our office, but outside of the office, in your lives. To this end, specific books, films, web sites and articles are suggested and tailored to the needs and interests of each client.

One of the signature aspects of our practice is our emphasis on cinema-therapy and biblio-therapy. For many years, we have integrated these resources into our approach, and our clinical experience has been that the use of appropriate films and books enhances the effectiveness of therapy. Research has more recently validated the clinical benefits of our approach. You can find out more in this report from the New York Times. In February, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Elisabeth was honored to have the opportunity to present strategies for this approach at the annual conference of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.

For clients who are interested, we also offer periodic outcome questionnaires to help clients analyze and track their improvement throughout the course of the therapeutic process.  In the coming weeks, we look forward to offering access to a new cinematherapy app.  Elisabeth is the therapeutic consultant working with the developers to launch this groundbreaking tool to compliment therapy.

Corporate Consultation

We also work with family businesses and closely held corporations to help organizations apply systemic strategies that enhance teamwork and improve professional communication.


In the News...

The New York Times published Elisabeth’s letter to the editor about Facebook use and social media consumption. Elisabeth’s article about news consumption was featured on the homepage of The Washington Post. Elisabeth’s article about using films as a catalyst for change was also featured on The Washington Post home page. The comprehensive, unedited version of this article is posted here. Elisabeth’s article about film viewing and couples therapy was featured in Family Therapy Magazine.

In October, Elisabeth was interviewed by Real Simple discussing the psychology behind ghosting.  In September, Elisabeth spoke with The Atlantic about practicing therapy in Washington, DC.    In June, Spencer spoke with Huffington Post Relationships about frequent points of conflict during the first year of marriage.  In March, Elisabeth spoke with The Washington Post about the college admissions scandal and she spoke with Washingtonian about the political climate and mental health.  In February, in anticipation of Valentine's Day, Spencer spoke with Huffington Post Relationships about habits of couples in satisfying relationships and Elisabeth and Spencer discussed qualities of lasting relationships and Elisabeth discussed strategies for work-life balance.  In January, Elisabeth's article about collective anxiety was published in The New Social Worker , Spencer was interviewed by Huffington Post Relationships about marital challenges that are important to address, and Elisabeth and Spencer were interviewed by Huffington Post Relationships about helpful breakup strategies.  In December, 2018, Elisabeth’s article about Michelle Obama, communication strategies and couples therapy was published in The New Social Worker. In November, Elisabeth was interviewed by Huffington Post Relationships about Ariana Grande and the process of grieving and ex. In October, Elisabeth was interviewed by Politico about heightened politically related anxiety and media addiction. Spencer and Elisabeth were featured in Huffington Post Relationship’s article about healthy habits to improve a marriage. In September, Elisabeth was quoted in the Wall Street Journal discussing couples therapy and divorce. In July, Elisabeth was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about heightened anxiety levels in response to current events and volatility on social media. She was also interviewed by Huffington Post Relationships about marital betrayals other than infidelity. In June, Elisabeth was interviewed by The History Channel to discuss the 20th anniversary of the television show Sex and the City. She was also interviewed by Huffington Post Relationships to discuss why some people tend to bounce straight from one relationship to the next. In April, Elisabeth was interviewed by Huffington Post Relationships about misconceptions regarding what married couples should have in common. In March, Elisabeth spoke with Health magazine about strategies for digital detoxing and with New York Magazine about the process of ending therapy. In February, Elisabeth discussed the dynamics of emotional labor and relationship red flags that are easily overlooked with Huffington Post Relationships.

Elisabeth appeared on Fox 5 to discuss why breaking up is getting harder to do in Washington. She also appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss parenting and divorce. She was quoted in Redbook Magazine discussing strategies to avoid divorce, and in Fox News Magazine discussing breakups.

She was also interviewed by WTOP radio and Washingtonian Magazine discussing couples and exercise by Washington Post Express for an articles about breakups cohabitation and moving in together.

Latest Posts

Cinematherapy/Bibliotherapy Blog

Book Smart

By Elisabeth LaMotte | September 19, 2019

If you happen to have teenagers navigating the college admissions process, this may be a tense life chapter for you…

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

By Elisabeth LaMotte | August 16, 2019

Lori Gottlieb took a circuitous route to becoming a therapist. A stint as a production assistant in Hollywood led her…

To Kill A Mockingbird

By Elisabeth LaMotte | August 3, 2019

Aaron Sorkin’s version of To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway has obvious relevance and resonance in our current political climate.…

Therapy Jam Sessions


By Spencer Northey | September 12, 2019

Backstroke Raptor by The Story Pirates Lyric Excerpt (for full lyrics click here) NARRATOR IT WAS DINNER TIME FOR THE…

She Loves Control

By Spencer Northey | March 4, 2019

Camila Cabello Cold, ’cause she has been here before She doesn’t cry anymore, no looking back No, she doesn’t go…


By Spencer Northey | January 28, 2019

By Dua Lipa You call me all friendly Tellin’ me how much you miss me That’s funny, I guess you’ve…

Questions of the Month

What’s the Difference between Talking with a Shrink and Talking with a Friend?

By Elisabeth LaMotte | October 11, 2019

Atlantic Monthly reporter Olga Khazan reached out last month to discuss what it is like to practice therapy in Washington,…

What Do Vacations and Affairs Have in Common?

By Elisabeth LaMotte | September 2, 2019

Therapy clients don’t spend a lot of time talking about how relaxed they feel. Except in mid-August when many DC…

What Are Some Strategies for Planning a Wedding if the Bride or Groom’s Parent is no Longer Living?

By Elisabeth LaMotte | August 3, 2019

From a psychological perspective, marriage is , in part, about separation from one’s family. It’s about making your partner your…

Our Team

Elisabeth Joy LaMotte: Founder & Executive Director
Sarah Spencer Northey
Erin Katz