Infidelity

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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Medea

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 21, 2020

Simon Stone’s jolting modern day version of the classic Euripides tale Medea was so intense, it took weeks for me to gather my thoughts. This steamy pairing of real life couple Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale premiered in January at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and runs through March 8th. For one thing, it…

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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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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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The Leisure Seeker

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 20, 2018

Research demonstrates that engaged and newly married couples that watch films together about marriage and discuss the films afterwards are able to lower the likelihood of divorce to an extent that is as effective as participating in short-term couples therapy. Most films about marriage focus on the entertaining romantic tension that builds until a couple…

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The Wife

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 10, 2018

Bjorn Runge’s cinematic adaptation based on Meg Wolitzer’s popular best-selling novel, The Wife, opens with a cozy snapshot of marital intimacy. Celebrated author Joseph Castelman (Jonathan Pryce) and his down-to-earth wife Joan (Glenn Close) are comfortably situated in their bedroom when Joseph receives the much anticipated call informing him that he has been selected to…

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A Moveable Feast

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 12, 2018

The therapeutic benefits of writing have been touted and encouraged by clinicians for decades. Research continues to demonstrate that writing can improve mood and help alleviate depression. Newer research proposes that writing and then editing and revising a personal narrative can become a catalyst for individual change and increased levels of happiness. Reading Earnest Hemingway’s…

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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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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 Humans

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 23, 2018

Playing in DC at The Kennedy Center through January 28th! Each November, many therapy clients begin to plan for and fret over the upcoming holiday season. The holidays in general – and Thanksgiving in particular – represent a psychologically robust time. I sometime joke with clients that there’s a good reason Hollywood creates so many…

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