Depression

Tender is the Night

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 21, 2017

Deepak Chopra famously said: “When you blame and criticize others, you are avoiding some truth about yourself.” The tendency to focus on the flaws of others in order to deny scary or painful dimensions of the self comes up often in therapy. Sigmund Freud described this process as projective identification. Projective identification — often called…

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Fences

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 17, 2017

Discovering infidelity is a common reason that couples seek therapy. Infidelity is much more frequent than one might expect, and the popular culture tends to equate infidelity with a loveless or passionless marriage. In my work as a couples therapist, I often discover marriages that have experienced infidelity but that clash with this popular conception.…

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The Price

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 15, 2017

Sibling relationships are frequently the longest intimate relationship of a person’s life. Brothers and sisters share memories about each other’s childhoods, and are likely to remember each other’s past from common and relatable vantage points. Parents, understandably, are prone to remember their children’s past from a more mature but inherently different viewpoint. As a result,…

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Everything I Never Told You

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 14, 2016

Celeste Ng’s 2014 debut novel about a Chinese-American family coping with the excruciating aftermath of a teenager’s death is as absorbing as it is humbling. It is absorbing due to its complex and realistic characters, each with their own layers and secrets and struggles related to the middle daughter, Lydia’s, mysterious disappearance and death. And…

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Love and Mercy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 4, 2015

This unsettling but inspiring film profiles composer and performer Brian Wilson’s life, from his early years in the 1960s forming the Beach Boys through his mid-life years in the 1980s living in the aftermath of an apparent paranoid psychosis.   Love and Mercy begins as the mid-life Wilson (John Cusack) breezes into a Cadillac dealership, where, he encounters and is eager to impress a beautiful saleslady…

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The End of the Tour

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 26, 2015

James Ponsoldt’s 2015 film, The End of the Tour, (recently released on cable) is easily relatable for therapists.  Perhaps especially so for therapists practicing in areas like DC full of high achievers.  Opening in 2008 with the news that acclaimed author David Foster Wallace has suicided, lesser acclaimed writer, David Lipsky, begins listening to old…

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Let’s All Hold Hands and Drop Dead

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 31, 2015

Three Generations One Story Elaine J. Cooper Group therapy is one of the most difficult forms of therapy, but it is also perhaps the most effective.  World renowned group therapist Elaine J. Cooper’s new book, Let’s All Hold Hands and Drop Dead; Three Generations One Story, is part autobiography, part biography and part guide for…

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Little Miss Sunshine

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 6, 2014

Helping clients navigate difficult breakups is a primary focus of our psychotherapy practice.  Sometimes, a painful breakup triggers a full blown depressive episode that is at once consuming, paralyzing and terrifying.  Such a breakup is depicted in the award-winning 2006 film, Little Miss Sunshine.  Directed by husband and wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris,…

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Kramer vs. Kramer

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 13, 2014

Directed by Robert Benton, 1979 Considering divorce?  When relationship dynamics hit an all-time low, and life stressors hit an all-time high, divorce can start to feel like a possible solution.  Granted, many, many divorces are necessary.  Many divorces, however, can be avoided.  For some couples contemplating a split, viewing the 1979 Academy Award winning divorce…

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