Family

Manchester by the Sea

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 6, 2017

The sensations and experience of grief are a shocking departure from other states of existing. And we, as a society, often shy away from exploring or understanding the grieving process. Sensations can feel heightened, while orientation is often confused. For those who have never been through it, and even for those who have, a traumatic…

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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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Captain Fantastic

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 24, 2016

Zooming through the fast-paced lifestyle so many DC dwellers live today, it is not uncommon to discuss (in therapy or elsewhere) the desire to step away from it all and check out.   Captain Fantastic paints a cinematic portrait of a passionate, deliberate life off the grid in the Pacific Northwest.  Viggo Mortensen is utterly…

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Marley & Me

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 25, 2016

Director: David Frankel Screenplay: Scott Frank and Don Roos Based on the book Marley & Me by John Grogan How do I balance the demands of my job and the needs of my kids?  Should I work or stay at home while the kids are young?  Should I take the job that pays the bills…

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Still Alice

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 22, 2015

When a parent falls ill, the family constellation is bound to change, and multiple familial relationships usually become strained or strengthened, sometimes in unexpected ways.   Most people decide to begin therapy because something has changed, and usually this change involves a family or relationship crisis.  Since most of the clients in our therapy practice are…

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Boyhood

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 28, 2014

Writer and Director Richard Linklater’s unprecedented film Boyhood breaks new cinematic ground by employing an eleven year filming schedule beginning in May, 2002 and continuing through October, 2013. By filming for a few days each year, Linklater’s characters authentically age in concert with his storyline.  Many folks aware of this cinematic masterpiece admit that the…

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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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The Snow Queen

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 28, 2014

Michael Cunningham, 2014, 272 pages Intimate relationships are a primary focus in psychotherapy.  Through therapy, people examine their closest relationships in order to determine what aspects of their approach to others work well for them, and what aspects of their approach they might want to change in order to form healthier attachments.  In order to…

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Little Miss Sunshine

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 6, 2014

Helping clients navigate difficult breakups is a primary focus of our psychotherapy practice.  Sometimes, a painful breakup triggers a full blown depressive episode that is at once consuming, paralyzing and terrifying.  Such a breakup is depicted in the award-winning 2006 film, Little Miss Sunshine.  Directed by husband and wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris,…

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Wonder

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 13, 2014

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”   R. J. Palacio 2012, 320 pages, Alfred A. Knopf It’s not every day that I read a book written for middle schoolers; however, both of my daughters tore through Wonder with such intensity that I grew curious.  So, when their school principal…

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