Love

The Undertaking

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 18, 2015

The Undertaking A Novel by Audrey Magee Finalist for the Baileys Women’s Prize Conversations about the difference between infatuation and love are commonplace in a therapist’s office.  Many clients seek therapy when a relationship fueled by intense infatuation does not mature into love.  It is often useful to explore one’s own patterns in relationships and…

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Crossing to Safety

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 1, 2014

What makes a marriage work?  What makes a relationship last?  How does work influence marriage?  How does marriage influence work?  How important is it to make time to see friends?  These are questions that come up frequently in psychotherapy.  Wallace Stegner’s 1987 classic novel on love, literature, friendship and marriage illuminates the timeless quality of…

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Romantics Anonymous

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 2, 2014

Most of us experience some form of social anxiety.  We may feel nervous before a social gathering or slightly agitated during group activities.  In the extreme, social anxiety compromises the ability to connect to another person in an intimate relationship.  Jean-Pierre Ameris’ 2010 French film “Les Emotifs Anonymous” is a comedic but meaningful study of what happens…

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The Interestings

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 20, 2014

Meg Wolitzer’s page-turning novel traces the experiences and relationships of six friends who meet as teenagers at Spirit-in-the-Woods arts camp in the summer of 1974.  Wolitzer captures these glorious fifteen and sixteen year old souls with their musings, quirks, and complexities.  Readers will relish their adolescent ability to be intensely vulnerable and real with each…

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The Fault in our Stars

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 15, 2014

If you have tween or teen daughters, it is highly likely that you have already heard an earful about John Green’s bestselling novel and subsequently recently released film, The Fault in our Stars.  Even if you do not have teens or tweens, you would have to be living under a rock to have missed the…

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Hope Springs

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 26, 2014

Cinematic portrayals of couples therapy are tough to acheive.  While television series such as In Treatment and The Sopranos have done a wonderful job of conveying what its like to experience individual psychotherapy, a realistic portrayal is much harder to achieve in a film. And even harder to achieve with respect to couples.  The groundbreaking film Hope Springs (available on DVD) achieves…

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The Lowland (2013)

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 8, 2013

Exploring sibling relationships is often an important dimension of the therapeutic process. Understanding the dynamics between siblings sheds light on one’s historical roles in the family.  Understanding family roles from childhood can be key to understanding current patterns in romantic, professional and social relationships.   Jhumpa Lahiri’s riveting new book, “The Lowland”, begins with a beautiful narrative…

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Enough Said

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 14, 2013

(2013, Nicole Holofcener,  93 minutes) In his final film, James Gandolfini is extraordinary.   For years, Gandolfini mastered the portrayal of the ultimate bad-boy that women fell for against all better judgement.  In Enough Said, a new film by Nicole Holofcener, Gandolfini portrays Albert, a warm-hearted, middle-aged, television historian.  With his large and gentle heart, this anti-Tony Soprano embodies the ultimate…

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Sparrows Dance

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 2, 2013

(2012, Noah Buschel, 81 minutes) This quiet, intimate love story offers a sensitive look into the rare but real mental illness, agoraphobia.   Filmed entirely in the apartment of an agoraphobic actress, Sparrows Dance paints a portrait of the contained and controlled life this illness demands. Agoraphobia is a form of panic disorder in which…

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Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 21, 2013

(2010, Elizabeth Gilbert, Viking) As a therapist practicing since 1995, one of the most common requests I receive is for a good book about marriage.  This request is especially common among newly engaged couples and people who are struggling to decide whether to marry their current partner.   There are some interesting self-help books about…

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