Coming of Age

Captain Fantastic

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 24, 2016

Zooming through the fast-paced lifestyle so many DC dwellers live today, it is not uncommon to discuss (in therapy or elsewhere) the desire to step away from it all and check out.   Captain Fantastic paints a cinematic portrait of a passionate, deliberate life off the grid in the Pacific Northwest.  Viggo Mortensen is utterly…

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Brooklyn

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 19, 2016

Self-esteem is a common and complicated theme in psychotherapy.   Underpinning many of the catalysts that bring people to therapy is an underlying lack of adequate self-esteem.  One way to think about increasing self-esteem is to focus on a person’s sense of themselves and subsequent ability to exist and operate in the world as a…

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Francis Ha

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 16, 2015

Director: Noah Baumbach Writers: Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig With so many engaging, independent women living the single life in New York and in cities everywhere, it’s surprising there aren’t more authentic films about the single woman’s experience.  Sure, Sex and the City was a great fit for my cohort, and now Girls continues to…

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The Art of Fielding

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 24, 2015

The pursuit of meaningful work is a common topic in therapy.  Especially in a town like Washington, DC, where the question “What do you do?” is an unfortunately mandatory opener in most social settings.  The answer to this question can provoke anxiety and self-doubt, especially among those who are facing a professional fork in the…

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Mistress America

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 2, 2015

The development of a solid sense of one’s self is often the goal of psychotherapy.  When therapy clients in their late teens, twenties or thirties seek therapy describing debilitating anxiety, depression or general dissatisfaction with their lives, these symptoms can often resolve when the client embraces the daunting task of figuring out who they are…

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 19, 2015

Teenage romantic relationships are formative experiences that can be especially difficult to capture on film.  Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s adaptation of Jesse Andrews’ novel, Me, Earl and the Dying Girl captures the gritty and evasive sphere inhabited by teenagers and draws convincing, memorable performances.  Thomas Mann plays Greg (“me”), a moody, self-deprecating teen who spends his spare…

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The Interestings

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 20, 2014

Meg Wolitzer’s page-turning novel traces the experiences and relationships of six friends who meet as teenagers at Spirit-in-the-Woods arts camp in the summer of 1974.  Wolitzer captures these glorious fifteen and sixteen year old souls with their musings, quirks, and complexities.  Readers will relish their adolescent ability to be intensely vulnerable and real with each…

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The Fault in our Stars

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 15, 2014

If you have tween or teen daughters, it is highly likely that you have already heard an earful about John Green’s bestselling novel and subsequently recently released film, The Fault in our Stars.  Even if you do not have teens or tweens, you would have to be living under a rock to have missed the…

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Wonder

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 13, 2014

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”   R. J. Palacio 2012, 320 pages, Alfred A. Knopf It’s not every day that I read a book written for middle schoolers; however, both of my daughters tore through Wonder with such intensity that I grew curious.  So, when their school principal…

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The Way Way Back

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 17, 2013

THE WAY WAY BACK (2013, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, 103 minutes) Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s heartwarming, psychologically astute film The Way Way Back has all of the elements of a perfect end-of-summer film.  The luring beach, the breezy boat rides, the classic water park, the welcoming summer cottage and the festive outdoor dinners remind us…

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