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The Stories We Tell

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2018

Family secrets are often discussed in therapy. The secret is rarely a reason that an individual or a couple initiates therapy. But, if a therapist takes a complete family history, certain secrets or unanswered questions from the past often surface. And these secrets often relate to present challenges and can be useful points of exploration…

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The Tale

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 31, 2018

There are many different schools of psychology that shape various strategies of clinicians practicing therapy. An interesting point of commonality is a shared acknowledgement of the significance of the past and a shared interest in how childhood experiences sculpt adult life experience. Cognitive theory explores learned thought processes. Behavioral theory emphasizes learned behaviors. Systems theory…

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Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 18, 2018

Emotional maturity is a critical concept that underpins all couples therapy. If there is one consistent goal I have for therapy clients seeking couples therapy, it is to develop greater emotional maturity through engaging in the therapy process. The psychological school of Systems Theory places emotional maturity at the centerpiece of its conceptual framework. This…

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Shadowlands

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 3, 2017

Love and connection drive the human experience. But balancing separateness and togetherness can feel much more challenging than we are socialized to expect. This balancing act – threading the needle between existing as a separate self while developing intimacy with another — is a frequent conversation topic in therapy. When falling in love generates anxiety,…

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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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La La Land

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 26, 2016

Adjusting to breakups, navigating work-life balance, managing anxiety and determining whether to remain in a current romantic relationship are some common urban stressors that lead people to therapy. Writer and director Damien Chazelle’s lyrical love story La La Land explores these psychologically complex struggles with compassion and integrity. Nominated for 7 Golden Globes, La La…

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Arrival

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 1, 2016

When individuals or couples initiate therapy, I ask that they begin by setting goals for themselves. Specifically, I ask them, what do you think you need to work on to have a more fulfilling life and more a satisfying relationship? The two most common goals — by far — are to improve communications skills and…

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Don’t Think Twice

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 16, 2016

Most people initiate therapy because something has changed.  A relationship may have ended, a new relationship may be intensifying.  And workplace adjustments also can spark a desire for therapy.  Maybe a team is restructuring or a new boss is shaking things up.  Even if the change is a net positive, adjusting to a new dynamic often generates…

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Dancer

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 17, 2016

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche Dancer, Director Steven Cantor’s intense documentary about the ballet’s “bad boy” Sergei Polunin hands viewers a backstage pass into the inspiring, beautiful and unforgiving world of classical ballet. Candid interviews, home movies, and news clips are pieced together to follow…

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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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