Fathers

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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The Price

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 15, 2017

Sibling relationships are frequently the longest intimate relationship of a person’s life. Brothers and sisters share memories about each other’s childhoods, and are likely to remember each other’s past from common and relatable vantage points. Parents, understandably, are prone to remember their children’s past from a more mature but inherently different viewpoint. As a result,…

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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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The Art of Fielding

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 24, 2015

The pursuit of meaningful work is a common topic in therapy.  Especially in a town like Washington, DC, where the question “What do you do?” is an unfortunately mandatory opener in most social settings.  The answer to this question can provoke anxiety and self-doubt, especially among those who are facing a professional fork in the…

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Amy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 13, 2015

During post-graduate training in couples, family and sex therapy, I was taught the importance of asking new clients about alcohol and substance use during the first session.  There is a controversial but widely accepted understanding in the therapeutic field that if someone is actively abusing a substance, traditional psychotherapy will have limited benefit unless a…

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The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 19, 2015

Author: Jeff Hobbs Scribner, 2014, 416 pages College life is under a microscope of of significant recent media attention.  The massive promotion surrounding Frank Bruni’s new book “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be:  An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania” makes a convincing case that an Ivy League education is not necessarily in…

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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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Chef

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 16, 2014

In a society that emphasizes internet sensations, the joys of finding meaningful work can take a backseat to the celebration of viral videos and social media phenomenons.  Jon Favreau’s 2014 comedy Chef explores what it means to choose to pursue a passion for the sake of the work itself, rather than for the praise or…

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