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Our Souls at Night

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 12, 2021

Committed relationships often feel complicated, as any couples therapist will acknowledge. But falling in love often feels simple. Clear and inspiring, liberating and pure. Kent Haruf captures the purity and ease of burgeoning romantic feelings in his final novel, Our Souls at Night. The novel is a quick, engaging read that explores the magic of…

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Turbulent Souls

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 6, 2021

Rebellion is considered a natural part of adolescent and early adulthood development and a topic of interest for many therapists and clients in therapy. Rebellion can look remarkably different depending on the rebellious actor and their family unit. While some rebellious acts, like cutting class or shaving one’s head, seem obvious, others feel more confusing…

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Palm Springs

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 4, 2020

With schools across the country and throughout the DMV announcing that they will remain virtual for several more months, life in quarantine is affirmed as our new normal. When DC and the surrounding area shut down in March, it was hard to imagine that in July we would be bracing for distance learning and stay…

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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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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…

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Oklahoma

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 2, 2020

When I decided to see Oklahoma on Broadway, I knew only that this current version differed significantly from the play my mother and I enjoyed on Broadway years ago. I wish I had read Frank Rich’s excellent review BEFORE the show rather than discovering his insightful reflections the next morning as an anecdote to my…

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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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Freestyle Love Supreme

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 16, 2019

When my sixteen-year-old daughter learned that ushers lock up cell phones when ticket holders enter the Booth Theater to see Freestyle Love Supreme, she became underwhelmed about our evening plans. She complained and imagined aloud that the show might be involved in some sort of an underground scam. I, on the other hand, felt intrigued…

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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…

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