Developing skills to build stronger,
happier, more intimate relationships
Reducing anxiety, relieving depression, and concrete steps towards a more fulfilling life experience
Improving communication and
enhancing relational intimacy
We suggest resources so that the therapy is happening not just in our office, but outside of the office, in your lives
Family Business
Enhancing Professional Performance and Strengthening Workplace Dynamics

UPDATE on COVID-19 Response:

For the foreseeable future, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to transition to a virtual office through our Simple Practice Telehealth office. This platform offers a HIPAA Compliant mechanism to offer therapy that is private and secure.  Most versions of Zoom are not secure so if you are seeing a therapist via TeleHealth, make sure they are using a HIPAA compliant platform like Simple Practice.


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...

In September, Elisabeth spoke with Thomas Westenholz of Zensensa about love and relationships.  Her free relationship podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify and Zensensa.

In October, Elisabeth was appointed as an alternate on the Private Practice Committee of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  She is honored to accept this appointment which runs through June, 2022.

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 June, The New Social Worker published Elisabeth's review of Crip Camp - A Disability Revolution.  April, Elisabeth wrote about practicing TeleHealth during COVID in The New Social Worker .    In February, Elisabeth was interviewed by The Washington Post regarding the intersection of current political climate and mental health.  In December, Elisabeth's article about empathy was featured in Family Therapy Magazine.  In October, Elisabeth was interviewed by Real Simple discussing the psychology behind ghosting and Spencer gave insightful commentary about vulnerability in Huffington Post Relationships. 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

On the Basis of Sex

By Elisabeth LaMotte | September 28, 2020

On the Basis of Sex gives an entertaining and illuminating account of the backstory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legal…

Palm Springs

By Elisabeth LaMotte | August 4, 2020

With schools across the country and throughout the DMV announcing that they will remain virtual for several more months, life…

Just Mercy

By Elisabeth LaMotte | July 6, 2020

In 1987, Walter “Johnny D” McMillan was arrested in Alabama for a murder he did not commit. He was at…

Therapy Jam Sessions

So Done

By Spencer Northey | October 6, 2020

So Done Written by Ludwig Göransson, Khalid and Alicia Keys ‘Cause I’m so, so done Got it, my time Holding…

Use My Voice

By Spencer Northey | September 30, 2020

USE MY VOICE By Evanescence and Deena Jakoub Featuring: Sharon den Adel, Lindsey Stirling, Lzzy Hale, and Taylor Momsen Cover…


By Spencer Northey | September 15, 2020

Bigger Performaed by Beyonce, Shatta Wale, and Major Lazer (written by Beyonce, Richard Lawson, Derek Dixie, Stacy Barthe, Akil King,…

Questions of the Month


By Elisabeth LaMotte | May 5, 2020

Since the stay at home orders began, many of my friends and therapy clients are expressing frustration because they notice…

How Do We Find Meaning During Quarantine?

By Elisabeth LaMotte | April 10, 2020

During these unprecedented and unsettling times, it feels clear that none of us will come out of this fight against…

How is the current political climate impacting clients in therapy?

By Elisabeth LaMotte | February 21, 2020

It is difficult for a therapist in DC to answer this question considering how the very nature of living in…

Our Team

Elisabeth Joy LaMotte LICSW: Founder & Executive Director
Sarah Spencer Northey LMFT
Michele Martini LMFT
Erin Katz LICSW