Books

The Index of Self Destructive Acts

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 31, 2020

As Election Day nears, predictions are everywhere. Pundits posture early and often, citing polls, historical data and opinions. The urge to predict the future feels palpable. Most of my therapy clients (and my family and friends) express quarantine fatigue and a desire to fast-forward and discover the election’s outcome. Maybe the urge to predict the…

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Just Mercy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 6, 2020

In 1987, Walter “Johnny D” McMillan was arrested in Alabama for a murder he did not commit. He was at a fish fry for several hours during the time of the murder, and several witnesses vouched for this alibi at the time of the initial investigation. Nevertheless, McMillan wound up on death row, slated for…

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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…

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The Great Believers

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 30, 2020

It feels like an appropriate time to read about a pandemic. Many describe how attention can wander during the quarantine, despite circumstances creating an optimal time for reading. Hours and hours of reading. Hours that are better spent reading quality fiction and non-fiction than overdosing on the news. The clever trick is to discover a…

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The Dutch House

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 17, 2020

Stay at home orders should set the stage for readers to burn through those books that tend to pile up bedside tables. Bibliophiles finally have ample time to devour the literature on our list. Unfortunately, many of my therapy clients lament that reading during a global pandemic feels difficult. Concentration wanders. The news cycle lures…

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My Name is Lucy Barton

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 25, 2020

It feels like a lifetime ago (early February) that I was fortunate enough to witness Laura Linney on Broadway in the one woman rendition of Elizabeth Strout’s best-selling 2016 novel My Name is Lucy Barton. The play closely follows the poetic novel’s plot, tracing Lucy’s unexplained hospitalization and prolonged, life-threatening illness. Lucy’s husband needs to…

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Machines Like Me

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 25, 2019

The impact of technology on relationships is a recurring theme in therapy. Our collective addiction to screens is a constant distraction and barrier to intimacy. Couples routinely fight about how much time their significant other spends looking at a phone or checking social media or excessively streaming. But technology also brings people together, whether through…

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 16, 2019

Lori Gottlieb took a circuitous route to becoming a therapist. A stint as a production assistant in Hollywood led her to become a script reviewer who developed a love for storytelling. To enhance her editorial understanding of a promising new show she was editing, (ER!) she began shadowing doctors in a local emergency room and…

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To Kill A Mockingbird

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 3, 2019

Aaron Sorkin’s version of To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway has obvious relevance and resonance in our current political climate. The acting is impressive and entertaining. The story is largely true to Harper Lee’s classic novel. But sometimes Broadway’s Atticus Finch sometimes sounds a little bit like the West Wing’s President Bartlett. That’s okay though.…

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The Witch Elm

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 21, 2019

There are many schools of psychology, and a significant thread that connects them all is the acknowledgment of a human tendency to repeat the past. Cognitive Theory explores learned thoughts while Behavioral Theory explores learned behaviors. Systems Theory suggests that if a dynamic or pattern is familiar, it feels more comfortable, so the security of…

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