Family Secrets

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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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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Parasite

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 10, 2020

Therapy is about discovering hidden truths lingering beneath the surface. Clients engaged in the therapeutic process excavate complicated or adverse circumstances and ideally discover new insights and perspectives that help them improve their current relationships or choose new ones if necessary. Many schools of therapy gently (or directly) ask strategic questions to challenge false impressions…

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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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Burn This

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 14, 2019

As a therapist, I am perpetually curious about what draws people into love. Relationships are the ingredients that create the recipes of my clients’ lives. And the dynamics of romantic love are an ongoing focus for many people in therapy. Landford Wilson’s Broadway play, Burn This, starring Keri Russell and Adam Driver is a story…

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The Witch Elm

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 21, 2019

There are many schools of psychology, and a significant thread that connects them all is the acknowledgment of a human tendency to repeat the past. Cognitive Theory explores learned thoughts while Behavioral Theory explores learned behaviors. Systems Theory suggests that if a dynamic or pattern is familiar, it feels more comfortable, so the security of…

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A Place for Us

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 6, 2019

When a relative cuts off from a family, the absence presents a conscious and unconscious heavy heartedness that is difficult to resolve. Interestingly, when a therapy client reveals that a relationship with a family member has been severed to the point that there is absolutely no communication, there are often many other cutoffs discovered throughout…

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