Anxiety

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

The Color of Water

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 3, 2020

Throughout the COVID19 I notice that reading a good book is welcome diversion from the relentless news cycle. However, I also notice and hear from others that it helps to read books that quickly grab and absorb one’s attention. With this in mind, I decided to re-read James McBride’s “The Color of Water.” I first…

Read More

Adaptation

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 30, 2020

Ten weeks into quarantine, I am thinking a lot about the process of change. How will we get through the quarantine? What will life look like on the other side? Will I ever shake a colleague’s hand or hug a friend? I watch films for brief diversion and notice that scenes in restaurants, at parties…

Read More

Next to Normal

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 18, 2020

“Is that normal?” People in therapy commonly describe a particular thought, feeling or behavior in vivid detail, and then ask whether what they are describing is “normal”. Is it “normal” to scroll through photo after photo of your ex even if you broke up months ago? Is it “normal” to have so many dreams about…

Read More

Book Smart

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 19, 2019

If you happen to have teenagers navigating the college admissions process, this may be a tense life chapter for you and for your kids. The demands of keeping track of ACT and SAT examinations, subject tests, AP exams, the common application, and the personal statement makes me wonder how on earth any high school seniors…

Read More

Beautiful Boy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 22, 2019

The film Beautiful Boy concludes with the statement in the closing credits that drug overdose is now the leading cause of death in Americans under age 50. Hardly a spoiler, this stressful statistic is the backdrop of the central question of film – why are so many young people getting hooked on drugs and dying…

Read More

Subscribe


Search

Recent Posts

Categories

Archives