Grief

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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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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When Breath Becomes Air

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 4, 2016

Some books are so special, articulate, and profound that the pages read as if the book has written itself.  Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air leashes words together in poetic combinations that are both a revelation but also obvious.  Sentences seem as if they were waiting to be placed beside each other with remarkable beauty and clarity.…

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 19, 2015

Teenage romantic relationships are formative experiences that can be especially difficult to capture on film.  Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s adaptation of Jesse Andrews’ novel, Me, Earl and the Dying Girl captures the gritty and evasive sphere inhabited by teenagers and draws convincing, memorable performances.  Thomas Mann plays Greg (“me”), a moody, self-deprecating teen who spends his spare…

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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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Frontera

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 6, 2014

Michael Berry’s timely new film, Frontera, is sure to stir controversy and conversation.  The film’s backdrop is the border between Mexico and Arizona where Ed Harris plays a retired Sheriff living on an expansive ranch with his wife (Amy Madigan).  The couple have a deliberately independent and horse-centered life and one of their ongoing conversations…

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