Grief

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 16, 2019

Lori Gottlieb took a circuitous route to becoming a therapist. A stint as a production assistant in Hollywood led her to become a script reviewer who developed a love for storytelling. To enhance her editorial understanding of a promising new show she was editing, (ER!) she began shadowing doctors in a local emergency room and…

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Burn This

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 14, 2019

As a therapist, I am perpetually curious about what draws people into love. Relationships are the ingredients that create the recipes of my clients’ lives. And the dynamics of romantic love are an ongoing focus for many people in therapy. Landford Wilson’s Broadway play, Burn This, starring Keri Russell and Adam Driver is a story…

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Beautiful Boy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 22, 2019

The film Beautiful Boy concludes with the statement in the closing credits that drug overdose is now the leading cause of death in Americans under age 50. Hardly a spoiler, this stressful statistic is the backdrop of the central question of film – why are so many young people getting hooked on drugs and dying…

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A Star is Born

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 12, 2019

Can spouses gage one another’s mental health? Can therapists and metal health professionals rest assured that a client who appears to be functioning well is safe and stable? Can we take responsibility for the emotional well being of people we love and heal their psychological pain? Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s tremendous remake of the…

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An American Marriage

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 21, 2019

Therapists are always asking about the intricacies of marriage, and so we learn a lot about our clients’ personal lives. But what actually happens within the dome of an intimate married life is ultimately private. Tayari Jones’s beautiful novel, An American Marriage, offers a layered exploration of the inner emotional lives of a married couple,…

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Come From Away

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 8, 2018

Each summer, as September approaches, I find myself remembering the morning of September 11, 2001. I was seeing a therapy client in my office on Washington Circle in Northwest DC. My office sat on one side of the circle, and GW Hospital sat directly across. I could easily see the hospital from my office window.…

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The Band’s Visit

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 27, 2018

I find it helpful to ask clients in the early stage of therapy to pay attention to where they notice the experience of being in therapy coming up when they are not in my office. The most common response I hear sounds something like this: “It’s hard to describe a concrete difference, but in the…

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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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Wind River

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 19, 2018

If either of my teenage daughters suggest to watch a movie with me, I eagerly agree. (A bit too eagerly, they would say.) My sixteen year old and I missed Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River in theaters, and we both enjoy a good murder mystery, especially if a strong female detective is featured. As a therapist…

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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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