Elisabeth LaMotte

How Can a Strained Friendship be Saved?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 31, 2018

(This Q&A was orignally posted in Huffington Post Relationship’s “Ask an Expert” segment of their newsletter.) My best friend and I had a falling out and recently have been trying to reconnect. What’s your advice for getting through the tense, awkward small talk? It’s hard when we used to be able to talk about everything.…

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A Moveable Feast

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 12, 2018

The therapeutic benefits of writing have been touted and encouraged by clinicians for decades. Research continues to demonstrate that writing can improve mood and help alleviate depression. Newer research proposes that writing and then editing and revising a personal narrative can become a catalyst for individual change and increased levels of happiness. Reading Earnest Hemingway’s…

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Besides Infidelity, What Forms of Betrayal can Traumatize a Marriage?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 6, 2018

Sexual and emotional affairs comprise the most common betrayals that lead people to therapy. And many couples work through those betrayals and find themselves stronger and closer on the other side. Interestingly, financial duplicities are often more difficult to navigate, grieve and understand. When, for example, a spouse loses thousands of dollars on a gambling…

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The Band’s Visit

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 27, 2018

I find it helpful to ask clients in the early stage of therapy to pay attention to where they notice the experience of being in therapy coming up when they are not in my office. The most common response I hear sounds something like this: “It’s hard to describe a concrete difference, but in the…

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The Stories We Tell

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2018

Family secrets are often discussed in therapy. The secret is rarely a reason that an individual or a couple initiates therapy. But, if a therapist takes a complete family history, certain secrets or unanswered questions from the past often surface. And these secrets often relate to present challenges and can be useful points of exploration…

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Why Do Some People Jump from One Relationship to the Next?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 1, 2018

Reflecting on current dating trends, it is useful to pinpoint a distinction between “backburner” communications and “cushioning”. The former typically refers to a strategy of communicating on dating apps or social media with a few people while dating others. Backburner communications typically occur in the early stages of dating, and ideally the flames are extinguished…

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The Boys in the Boat

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 15, 2018

“Every good rowing coach, in his own way, imports to his men the kind of self-discipline required to achieve the ultimate from mind, heart, and body. Which is why most ex-oarsmen will tell you they learned more fundamentally important lessons in the racing shell than in the classroom.” George Yeoman Pocock As a therapist in…

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Should my stepson be having sleep-overs with his girlfriend?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 3, 2018

The following Q&A originally ran in The Huffington Post relationship newsletter: My 18-year-old stepson frequently comes to our house for the weekend, and his father allows his girlfriend to come spend the night with him. My husband thinks it’s great that his son is having sex, but I keep thinking that the girl is 17,…

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The Tale

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 31, 2018

There are many different schools of psychology that shape various strategies of clinicians practicing therapy. An interesting point of commonality is a shared acknowledgement of the significance of the past and a shared interest in how childhood experiences sculpt adult life experience. Cognitive theory explores learned thought processes. Behavioral theory emphasizes learned behaviors. Systems theory…

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Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 18, 2018

Emotional maturity is a critical concept that underpins all couples therapy. If there is one consistent goal I have for therapy clients seeking couples therapy, it is to develop greater emotional maturity through engaging in the therapy process. The psychological school of Systems Theory places emotional maturity at the centerpiece of its conceptual framework. This…

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