Family Secrets

Passengers

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 21, 2017

Relocation is an interesting psychological process. My experience as a therapist is shaped by geography, and practicing in DC means that relocation is a recurring theme. A typical day of office hours might include sessions with clients from the Middle East, Europe, the Midwest as well as the South. Some of my clients grew up…

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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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Fates and Furies

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 22, 2016

Lauren Groff Riverhead Books, 2015 391 pages When couples in therapy describe their relationship challenges, the delicate act of balancing separateness and togetherness surfaces as a recurring theme.  Lauren Groff’s provocative 2015 novel, Fates and Furies, injects this theme with steroids and invites readers into a provocative narrative exploring the internal emotional worlds of two…

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45 Years

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 17, 2016

Director: Andrew Haigh Writers: David Constantine (short story ‘In Another Country’) Andrew Haigh adaptation 1 hour, 35 minutes, December, 2015 Communication surfaces as a centerpiece for most couples in therapy.  Married people often direct more effort towards communicating with children, friends and colleagues and less effort towards engaged discussions with their spouse. 45 Years was…

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The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 22, 2016

Kim Edwards, 2006, 401 pages, Penguin Books Relationships and intimacy are an expected focus in psychotherapy.  Most clients reach out to our practice because something is happening — or is not happening — in an important relationship or in several relationships. Some action-forcing event often makes it clear that something has to change in order…

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The Marriage of Opposites

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 24, 2015

Alice Hoffman, Simon & Schuster, 2015 “I suppose this is what love can do to a woman, bring her into a garden at night, convinced she somehow can affect fate’s plan with her desire.  Love like this was a mystery to me.  I didn’t understand how people allowed sheer emotion to get the better of…

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The Children Act

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 30, 2014

Can a marriage be saved following infidelity?  Is it okay to cheat if a marriage has become sexless?  If infidelity is discovered and a couple wants to stay together, how do they find their way through?  Such questions are frequently raised in couples therapy if one or both partners have strayed.  Ian McEwan’s 2014 novel,…

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The Interestings

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 20, 2014

Meg Wolitzer’s page-turning novel traces the experiences and relationships of six friends who meet as teenagers at Spirit-in-the-Woods arts camp in the summer of 1974.  Wolitzer captures these glorious fifteen and sixteen year old souls with their musings, quirks, and complexities.  Readers will relish their adolescent ability to be intensely vulnerable and real with each…

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