Elisabeth LaMotte

Kramer vs. Kramer

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 13, 2014

Directed by Robert Benton, 1979 Considering divorce?  When relationship dynamics hit an all-time low, and life stressors hit an all-time high, divorce can start to feel like a possible solution.  Granted, many, many divorces are necessary.  Many divorces, however, can be avoided.  For some couples contemplating a split, viewing the 1979 Academy Award winning divorce…

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Take This Waltz

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 23, 2014

2011, 1 hour and 56 minutes Written and Directed by Sarah Polley When a marriage is going through challenging times, it is extremely common to become consumed with thoughts about how there must be something out there that is better.  Such thoughts can be especially powerful if there is someone else in the picture.  Whether…

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The Language of Flowers

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 15, 2014

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS 2011, 338 pages, Random House, Vanessa Diffenbaugh It is a basic principle of most forms of psychotherapy that it is often essential to examine how formative childhood events and primary family relationships relate to current life experiences.  If you are curious about or currently examining how your own past informs your…

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The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 20, 2013

THE FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS Edward Burns , 2012, 99 minutes  Navigating the holiday season with divorced parents is somewhat like walking a tightrope: at any moment one can plunge into dangerous territory, and it requires tremendous balance, skill and practice to avoid disaster.   People with divorced parents spend countless holidays practicing this precarious act.  Sadly,…

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The Lowland (2013)

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 8, 2013

Exploring sibling relationships is often an important dimension of the therapeutic process. Understanding the dynamics between siblings sheds light on one’s historical roles in the family.  Understanding family roles from childhood can be key to understanding current patterns in romantic, professional and social relationships.   Jhumpa Lahiri’s riveting new book, “The Lowland”, begins with a beautiful narrative…

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PIECES OF APRIL

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 26, 2013

Pieces of April (2003, Peter Hedges, 80 minutes) Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with many traditions — Grandma’s cranberry sauce, mom’s holiday decor and marathon football viewing fall into the category of expected traditions celebrated by the media and popular culture.  A lesser publicized truth is that, for many families, there is an unspoken tradition…

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Broken English

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 1, 2013

(2007, Zoe Cassavetes,  93 minutes) When you are single, it can seem like absolutely everyone is in a relationship.  It can also seem like everyone expects you to find a relationship.  People can say and do the most hurtful and insensitive things to convey the message that you are somehow less than those who are…

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Enough Said

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 14, 2013

(2013, Nicole Holofcener,  93 minutes) In his final film, James Gandolfini is extraordinary.   For years, Gandolfini mastered the portrayal of the ultimate bad-boy that women fell for against all better judgement.  In Enough Said, a new film by Nicole Holofcener, Gandolfini portrays Albert, a warm-hearted, middle-aged, television historian.  With his large and gentle heart, this anti-Tony Soprano embodies the ultimate…

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Sparrows Dance

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 2, 2013

(2012, Noah Buschel, 81 minutes) This quiet, intimate love story offers a sensitive look into the rare but real mental illness, agoraphobia.   Filmed entirely in the apartment of an agoraphobic actress, Sparrows Dance paints a portrait of the contained and controlled life this illness demands. Agoraphobia is a form of panic disorder in which…

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Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 21, 2013

(2010, Elizabeth Gilbert, Viking) As a therapist practicing since 1995, one of the most common requests I receive is for a good book about marriage.  This request is especially common among newly engaged couples and people who are struggling to decide whether to marry their current partner.   There are some interesting self-help books about…

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