Intimacy & Commitment

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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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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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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45 Years

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 17, 2016

Director: Andrew Haigh Writers: David Constantine (short story ‘In Another Country’) Andrew Haigh adaptation 1 hour, 35 minutes, December, 2015 Communication surfaces as a centerpiece for most couples in therapy.  Married people often direct more effort towards communicating with children, friends and colleagues and less effort towards engaged discussions with their spouse. 45 Years was…

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High Fidelity

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 3, 2016

Director: Stephen Frears Screenwriters: John Cusack, D.V. DeVincentis, Steve Pink, Scott Resenberg Review by Nick Bastion in a collaboration with Vixen Daily In continuing my musings on my favorite romantic movies, I thought I’d move onto another off-beat choice – High Fidelity. Adapted from Nick Hornby’s acclaimed novel published twenty years ago last month, this 2000 film stars John Cusack…

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Mary and Max

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 12, 2015

What happens when two misfits find each other?  Why is intimacy sometimes trigger for anxiety and self-doubt?  What does it mean to have a true friend? Mary and Max, a 2009 film by writer/ director Adam Elliot, delves into the friendship that builds through the unexpected correspondence between kindred spirits turned pen pals.   Set in 1976, the…

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By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 2, 2015

Us David Nicholls 396 pages, 2014 “It was dizzying, really, to be in love at last.  Because this was the first time, I knew that now.  Everything else had been a misdiagnosis – infatuation, obsession perhaps, but an entirely different condition to this.  This was bliss; this was transformative.” Despite pages of engaging writing about…

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Mistress America

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 2, 2015

The development of a solid sense of one’s self is often the goal of psychotherapy.  When therapy clients in their late teens, twenties or thirties seek therapy describing debilitating anxiety, depression or general dissatisfaction with their lives, these symptoms can often resolve when the client embraces the daunting task of figuring out who they are…

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Clouds of Sils Maria

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 27, 2015

Writer/ Director: Olivier Assayas 2014, 124 Minutes, Rated R When therapists assign films to clients, research demonstrates that this approach can improve and enhance the effectiveness of therapy.  Why?  Movies — when thoughtfully selected and strategically assigned — function as powerful therapy tools because film provides a non-threatening mirror reflecting aspects of the client’s experience.…

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