Family Secrets

Oh William!

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 21, 2022

Lucy Barton, a relatable and compelling underdog admired by readers everywhere, is back for a third round in Elizabeth Strout’s magnificent continuation of a journey that began in a small New York City hospital room. Fans fell in love with Lucy reading the novel showcasing her name. My Name is Lucy Barton (2016) and the…

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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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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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Empire of Pain

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 6, 2021

Therapists are taught to screen for substance abuse in the first session. Conventional training teaches that traditional psychotherapy will not be helpful if a client is actively abusing a substance and encourages clinicians to refer addicts to a substance abuse treatment program. Some therapists use a tough love approach and refuse to move beyond a…

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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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The Color of Water

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 3, 2020

Throughout the COVID19 I notice that reading a good book is welcome diversion from the relentless news cycle. However, I also notice and hear from others that it helps to read books that quickly grab and absorb one’s attention. With this in mind, I decided to re-read James McBride’s “The Color of Water.” I first…

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The Index of Self Destructive Acts

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 31, 2020

As Election Day nears, predictions are everywhere. Pundits posture early and often, citing polls, historical data and opinions. The urge to predict the future feels palpable. Most of my therapy clients (and my family and friends) express quarantine fatigue and a desire to fast-forward and discover the election’s outcome. Maybe the urge to predict the…

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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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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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