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Crazy Rich Asians

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 27, 2018

Rachel Chu, a game theory economics professor and first generation Chinese American, is an easy heroine to admire. When Crazy Rich Asians opens, Rachel is rocking her lecture that wraps up with a slick conclusion as her boyfriend, Nick, picks her up for dinner. At the chic restaurant, Rachel and Nick lean toward each other…

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I, Tonya

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 11, 2018

The previews and early promotion of I, Tonya inspired memories about Tonya Harding and her scandalous role in the 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan. I felt conflicted about revisiting that infamous incident and the popular cultural drama that followed. I assumed that I would enjoy learning more about the competitive world of figure skating, but…

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Lady Bird

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 31, 2017

Written and Directed by Greta Gerwig I doubt I can overstate my excitement when my sixteen year-old daughter mentioned she was eager to see the film Lady Bird with me. She was even willing to sit next to me in a theater, and open to spending a bit of time together before the show. (She…

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Shadowlands

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 3, 2017

Love and connection drive the human experience. But balancing separateness and togetherness can feel much more challenging than we are socialized to expect. This balancing act – threading the needle between existing as a separate self while developing intimacy with another — is a frequent conversation topic in therapy. When falling in love generates anxiety,…

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The Big Sick

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 27, 2017

Breakups can be heartbreaking, traumatic and disorienting. Therapists are intimately familiar with breakups, because a relationship’s demise is often the catalyst for therapy. A surprising outcome of certain breakups is that sometimes, they ultimately save the relationship. Director Michael Showalter’s hilariously raw romantic comedy, The Big Sick, illustrates a compelling roadmap to the ways in…

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Their Finest

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 29, 2017

The mysteries of attraction and the selection of romantic partners are frequent focal points of discussion during individual therapy. If you have a pattern of choosing unsuitable or unavailable romantic partners, it is important to figure out why you are making substandard choices, especially if you want to experience more fulfilling relationships. It is also…

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Blink

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 2, 2017

Instincts are important. Instincts guide our decisions, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Practicing as a therapist, I would be lost without my instincts. Solid psychotherapy must be grounded in theory, but without a willingness to also use instincts, the theory can fall flat. I use my instincts working with therapy clients. And the clinical work often…

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Sing Street

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 21, 2017

Sublimation is a freudian concept defined as the conversion of an unacceptable impulse or desire into an acceptable and even desirable form of expression. Unacceptable impulses are expected reactions to painful and traumatic experiences and are often discussed during the process of therapy. Director John Carney’s 2016 musical coming-of-age film Sing Street celebrates how song-writing…

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Hidden Figures

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 17, 2017

Romance novels, films, television and advertising socalize women to prioritize becoming part of a romantic union. Breakups, new romances, engagements and divorce are among the relationship developments that might inspire the urge to reach out to a therapist. Any dramatic shift in romantic relationship status can spark the onset of sudden symptoms, most notably anxiety…

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Passengers

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 21, 2017

Relocation is an interesting psychological process. My experience as a therapist is shaped by geography, and practicing in DC means that relocation is a recurring theme. A typical day of office hours might include sessions with clients from the Middle East, Europe, the Midwest as well as the South. Some of my clients grew up…

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