Fathers

Coda

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 20, 2022

As a systems therapist, family roles and dynamics are an important area of exploration. Developing a deeper understanding of the roles directly or indirectly assigned in childhood helps therapy clients reflect on how such roles are internalized and carried into adult careers and adult relationships. Developing a grasp of how past roles play out in…

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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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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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Driveways

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2021

Most schools of psychology emphasize the significance of examining the past. As a systems therapist, I try to help therapy clients discover how past family dynamics shape current life experience. Rather than harping on the past, which no one finds particularly useful, we reflect on what a client’s life was like growing up to develop…

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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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Just Mercy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 6, 2020

In 1987, Walter “Johnny D” McMillan was arrested in Alabama for a murder he did not commit. He was at a fish fry for several hours during the time of the murder, and several witnesses vouched for this alibi at the time of the initial investigation. Nevertheless, McMillan wound up on death row, slated for…

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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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Marriage Story

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 26, 2020

I understand that Marriage Story is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award nominated, movie about divorce. But when a film begins with a series of authentic, heartwarming clips outlining everything that two married characters love about one another, it is difficult for an experienced couples therapist like myself to sit back and watch it all implode.…

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