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.  When DC lifts the mask mandate, Elisabeth will return to her Palisades office.


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 honor 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...


Elisabeth was appointed to the Private Practice Committee of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).  She is honored to accept this appointment which runs through June, 2023.

In April, Spencer discussed marriage choices with Huffington Post.  In March, Spencer and Elisabeth both spoke with Huffington Post about the emotional impact of conflict in Ukraine.  Elisabeth also spoke with WFLA in Tampa about fidelity and cushioning one romantic relationship with the next.  February and March, Spencer gave compelling commentary to Huffington Post and then to Care.com about the concept of "weaponized incompetence".  She also spoke with Huffington Post about the signs that a friendship is toxic.  In November, Spencer spoke with Huffington Post about Taylor Swift's amazing new version of All Too Well and Elisabeth spoke with Huffington Post about balancing chores within the home.  In July, Spencer spoke with Dating Advice about the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on couples and relationships.  In May, Elisabeth spoke with Let's Go There on Channel Q about apologies and Spencer spoke with Huffington Post about the new mask-optional phase of the pandemic.  Spencer & Elisabeth also spoke with Huffington Post about the importance of marital partnership when it comes to household chores.  During COVID this has been an especially challenging relationship issue.

Check out Elisabeth's podcast with Thomas Westenholz of Zensensa about love and relationships available on iTunes, Spotify and Zensensa.

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.

A comprehensive archive of publications and commentary appears on our media page.

Latest Posts

Cinematherapy/Bibliotherapy Blog


By Elisabeth LaMotte | April 20, 2022

As a systems therapist, family roles and dynamics are an important area of exploration. Developing a deeper understanding of the…

Oh William!

By Elisabeth LaMotte | February 21, 2022

Lucy Barton, a relatable and compelling underdog admired by readers everywhere, is back for a third round in Elizabeth Strout’s…

Being the Ricardos

By Elisabeth LaMotte | January 14, 2022

Discovering infidelity leads many couples to seek therapy. The road to repair such a betrayal is a painful one that…

Therapy Jam Sessions

“It’s Gonna Be [May]” and Mental Health Awareness Month

By Spencer Northey | April 28, 2022

Summary: In this post I recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month, and I reflect on how it is important…

Coldplay and the S.L.O.W.E.X.I.T Steps for Setting Boundaries and Letting Go

By Spencer Northey | April 5, 2022

Summary: This post shares eight things you can do to practice setting boundaries and letting go in difficult relationships.  I…

Jill Scott and How to Deal with “Haters”

By Spencer Northey | April 4, 2022

We do our best to detach from people who mistreat us. That’s often a big goal in individual therapy for…

Questions of the Month

Why Do Some People Move Immediately From One Relationship Into The Next?

By Elisabeth LaMotte | May 13, 2022

We all know people who seem to need to be in a romantic relationship no matter what. The short answer…

What are the Signs of a Toxic Friendship?

By Elisabeth LaMotte | April 2, 2022

Spencer Northey recently spoke with Huffington Post about how to recognize when you are in a toxic friendship. The full…

Is it Normal to Struggle to Enjoy Life While Following the News in Ukraine?

By Elisabeth LaMotte | March 3, 2022

A reporter reached out from The Huffington Post asking if it was normal to feel “guilty” — about enjoying life…

Our Team

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