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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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Wind River

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 19, 2018

If either of my teenage daughters suggest to watch a movie with me, I eagerly agree. (A bit too eagerly, they would say.) My sixteen year old and I missed Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River in theaters, and we both enjoy a good murder mystery, especially if a strong female detective is featured. As a therapist…

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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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My Name is Lucy Barton

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 21, 2017

Elizabeth Stroud’s 2016 best-selling novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, examines the literary challenge of capturing an internal emotional experience and translating it to tell a meaningful story. The novel begins from Lucy’s hospital bed in Manhattan where she is battling a substantial but undiagnosed illness. Lucy’s husband is struggling to balance work, caring for…

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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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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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Dancer

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 17, 2016

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche Dancer, Director Steven Cantor’s intense documentary about the ballet’s “bad boy” Sergei Polunin hands viewers a backstage pass into the inspiring, beautiful and unforgiving world of classical ballet. Candid interviews, home movies, and news clips are pieced together to follow…

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Ricki and the Flash

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 2, 2015

“Marriages come and go, but divorce is forever.” Nora Ephron This provocative quotation would be a suitable tagline for Jonathan Demme’s 2015 film Ricki and the Flash, released for on demand viewing this week.  This unexpectedly moving tale explores the long-term impact of divorce and maternal estrangement.  When a crisis in their adult child’s life…

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