Cinema Blog

The Midnight Library

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 6, 2022

Engaging in therapy, it is quite common to look back on past choices and scan for patterns. Reflecting on past decisions often illuminates insights about the present and the future. Honest examination in this mode is a template for therapeutic change. Let’s say a therapy client is working on a pattern of choosing unhealthy relationships.…

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Room

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 9, 2022

When my book club selected Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel, Room, for our monthly read, I was not too psyched about revisiting this memorable, haunting tale. I saw the 2015 film in theaters and sat riveted through Brie Larson’s masterful performance which won her academy award for best actress in a lead role. Given the emotional…

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Run Towards the Danger

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 26, 2022

Practically speaking, preparing for foot surgery feels surprisingly like preparing to have a baby. I stopped taking new therapy clients two months prior to my surgery date in an attempt to mold my work/life balance into the most manageable place during the 3 to 6 month recovery period. Not since giving birth two decades ago…

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Coda

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 roles directly or indirectly assigned in childhood helps therapy clients reflect on how such roles are internalized and carried into adult careers and adult relationships. Developing a grasp of how past roles play out in…

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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 magnificent continuation of a journey that began in a small New York City hospital room. Fans fell in love with Lucy reading the novel showcasing her name. My Name is Lucy Barton (2016) and the…

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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 takes patience, commitment and hard work. As a couples’ therapist who believes in the power of prescriptive film-viewing, I often suggest that couples working through the discovery of infidelity watch movies on this topic. The…

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The Lost Daughter

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 3, 2022

Years ago, I worked with a therapy client who reached out when she learned that her twenty-three-year-old daughter was addicted to opioids. Remembering early days of motherhood, my client sobbed recalling her struggles to balance a demanding career as an academic with her daughter’s pleas for attention and affection. Her daughter’s needs were obviously understandable.…

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King Richard

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 30, 2021

As the film King Richard opens and viewers meet the Williams family, there are a lot of healthy relational dynamics to admire. Richard and Oracine Williams are fiercely devoted to their 5 daughters and work tirelessly to build an enriching childhood and a safe secure home. The daughters work hard, do chores, have manners and…

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Empire of Pain

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 6, 2021

Therapists are taught to screen for substance abuse in the first session. Conventional training teaches that traditional psychotherapy will not be helpful if a client is actively abusing a substance and encourages clinicians to refer addicts to a substance abuse treatment program. Some therapists use a tough love approach and refuse to move beyond a…

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Driveways

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2021

Most schools of psychology emphasize the significance of examining the past. As a systems therapist, I try to help therapy clients discover how past family dynamics shape current life experience. Rather than harping on the past, which no one finds particularly useful, we reflect on what a client’s life was like growing up to develop…

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