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Driveways

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2021

Most schools of psychology emphasize the significance of examining the past. As a systems therapist, I try to help therapy clients discover how past family dynamics shape current life experience. Rather than harping on the past, which no one finds particularly useful, we reflect on what a client’s life was like growing up to develop…

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Our Souls at Night

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 12, 2021

Committed relationships often feel complicated, as any couples therapist will acknowledge. But falling in love often feels simple. Clear and inspiring, liberating and pure. Kent Haruf captures the purity and ease of burgeoning romantic feelings in his final novel, Our Souls at Night. The novel is a quick, engaging read that explores the magic of…

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The Color of Water

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 3, 2020

Throughout the COVID19 I notice that reading a good book is welcome diversion from the relentless news cycle. However, I also notice and hear from others that it helps to read books that quickly grab and absorb one’s attention. With this in mind, I decided to re-read James McBride’s “The Color of Water.” I first…

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On the Basis of Sex

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 28, 2020

On the Basis of Sex gives an entertaining and illuminating account of the backstory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legal education and career-catapulting cases. For those grieving her recent passing, the film is therapeutic viewing that celebrates her refusal to cave in the face of repeated discrimination leveled on the basis of her gender. Ginsburg…

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Palm Springs

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 4, 2020

With schools across the country and throughout the DMV announcing that they will remain virtual for several more months, life in quarantine is affirmed as our new normal. When DC and the surrounding area shut down in March, it was hard to imagine that in July we would be bracing for distance learning and stay…

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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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Crip Camp – A Disability Revolution

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 17, 2020

Check out Elisabeth’s review of Crip Camp in The New Social Worker. As we contemplate the revolutionary power of protest, this film is as relevant as it is powerful.

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The Great Believers

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 30, 2020

It feels like an appropriate time to read about a pandemic. Many describe how attention can wander during the quarantine, despite circumstances creating an optimal time for reading. Hours and hours of reading. Hours that are better spent reading quality fiction and non-fiction than overdosing on the news. The clever trick is to discover a…

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American Utopia

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 3, 2020

David Byrne began his uplifting performance in American Utopia by musing with his audience about the human brain and its capacity for change. Of course, this is a concept explored by therapists and human behavior experts. The brain’s capacity for psychological change is also a central focus for clients in therapy. What unfolded on stage…

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Machines Like Me

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 25, 2019

The impact of technology on relationships is a recurring theme in therapy. Our collective addiction to screens is a constant distraction and barrier to intimacy. Couples routinely fight about how much time their significant other spends looking at a phone or checking social media or excessively streaming. But technology also brings people together, whether through…

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