Family

Dear Evan Hansen

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 10, 2017

Parents of teenagers are bound to struggle to communicate and connect with their kids. It’s hard enough to lure a teen out of their bedroom, let alone to convince them to engage in an authentic conversation. One strategy to connect with teens is to create scenarios that set the stage for conversation. Driving to and…

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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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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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