Divorce

Being the Ricardos

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 14, 2022

Discovering infidelity leads many couples to seek therapy. The road to repair such a betrayal is a painful one that takes patience, commitment and hard work. As a couples’ therapist who believes in the power of prescriptive film-viewing, I often suggest that couples working through the discovery of infidelity watch movies on this topic. The…

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The Lost Daughter

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 3, 2022

Years ago, I worked with a therapy client who reached out when she learned that her twenty-three-year-old daughter was addicted to opioids. Remembering early days of motherhood, my client sobbed recalling her struggles to balance a demanding career as an academic with her daughter’s pleas for attention and affection. Her daughter’s needs were obviously understandable.…

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King Richard

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 30, 2021

As the film King Richard opens and viewers meet the Williams family, there are a lot of healthy relational dynamics to admire. Richard and Oracine Williams are fiercely devoted to their 5 daughters and work tirelessly to build an enriching childhood and a safe secure home. The daughters work hard, do chores, have manners and…

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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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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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Medea

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 21, 2020

Simon Stone’s jolting modern day version of the classic Euripides tale Medea was so intense, it took weeks for me to gather my thoughts. This steamy pairing of real life couple Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale premiered in January at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and runs through March 8th. For one thing, it…

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Marriage Story

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 26, 2020

I understand that Marriage Story is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award nominated, movie about divorce. But when a film begins with a series of authentic, heartwarming clips outlining everything that two married characters love about one another, it is difficult for an experienced couples therapist like myself to sit back and watch it all implode.…

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Beautiful Boy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 22, 2019

The film Beautiful Boy concludes with the statement in the closing credits that drug overdose is now the leading cause of death in Americans under age 50. Hardly a spoiler, this stressful statistic is the backdrop of the central question of film – why are so many young people getting hooked on drugs and dying…

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The Stories We Tell

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2018

Family secrets are often discussed in therapy. The secret is rarely a reason that an individual or a couple initiates therapy. But, if a therapist takes a complete family history, certain secrets or unanswered questions from the past often surface. And these secrets often relate to present challenges and can be useful points of exploration…

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All the Money in the World

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 14, 2018

Clients in therapy describe a variety of life stressors. In a place as expensive as Washington, D.C., it is understandable that money surfaces as a frequent source of tension and anxiety. Therapy clients describe the sensation of feeling like there’s never enough money to create a sense of financial security. Interestingly, some therapy clients notice…

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