Marriage

Diary of a Mad Housewife

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 17, 2023

The book jacket for Diary of a Mad Housewife describes the novel as “a classic of urban women’s fiction that gave a wry voice to the nascent feminist stirrings of the 1960s.” I’m not sure how I missed it on my mother’s bookshelf while growing up in the 70s, but she confirms that it was…

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Leopoldsdadt

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 7, 2022

Family therapists love a good genogram. For those unfamiliar with this term, a genogram is a comprehensive family history framed through the psychological lens of Family Systems Theory. Family Systems Theory is a relationally oriented approach to therapy emphasizing the formative importance of the family landscape. Systemic therapists believe that relational patterns are often passed…

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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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The Lost Daughter

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 3, 2022

Years ago, I worked with a therapy client who reached out when she learned that her twenty-three-year-old daughter was addicted to opioids. Remembering early days of motherhood, my client sobbed recalling her struggles to balance a demanding career as an academic with her daughter’s pleas for attention and affection. Her daughter’s needs were obviously understandable.…

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King Richard

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 30, 2021

As the film King Richard opens and viewers meet the Williams family, there are a lot of healthy relational dynamics to admire. Richard and Oracine Williams are fiercely devoted to their 5 daughters and work tirelessly to build an enriching childhood and a safe secure home. The daughters work hard, do chores, have manners and…

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Turbulent Souls

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 6, 2021

Rebellion is considered a natural part of adolescent and early adulthood development and a topic of interest for many therapists and clients in therapy. Rebellion can look remarkably different depending on the rebellious actor and their family unit. While some rebellious acts, like cutting class or shaving one’s head, seem obvious, others feel more confusing…

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Pieces of a Woman

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 7, 2021

Vanessa Kirby’s performance in Pieces of a Woman is so raw and relatable that it can feel jarring to watch. Considering the trailer and the fact that her labor and delivery scene takes place almost immediately, it is not much of a spoiler to share that the film explores the impact of her loss of…

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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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