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The Midnight Library

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 6, 2022

Engaging in therapy, it is quite common to look back on past choices and scan for patterns. Reflecting on past decisions often illuminates insights about the present and the future. Honest examination in this mode is a template for therapeutic change. Let’s say a therapy client is working on a pattern of choosing unhealthy relationships.…

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Run Towards the Danger

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 26, 2022

Practically speaking, preparing for foot surgery feels surprisingly like preparing to have a baby. I stopped taking new therapy clients two months prior to my surgery date in an attempt to mold my work/life balance into the most manageable place during the 3 to 6 month recovery period. Not since giving birth two decades ago…

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Coda

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 20, 2022

As a systems therapist, family roles and dynamics are an important area of exploration. Developing a deeper understanding of the roles directly or indirectly assigned in childhood helps therapy clients reflect on how such roles are internalized and carried into adult careers and adult relationships. Developing a grasp of how past roles play out in…

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Being the Ricardos

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 14, 2022

Discovering infidelity leads many couples to seek therapy. The road to repair such a betrayal is a painful one that takes patience, commitment and hard work. As a couples’ therapist who believes in the power of prescriptive film-viewing, I often suggest that couples working through the discovery of infidelity watch movies on this topic. The…

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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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