Mothers

My Name is Lucy Barton

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 25, 2020

It feels like a lifetime ago (early February) that I was fortunate enough to witness Laura Linney on Broadway in the one woman rendition of Elizabeth Strout’s best-selling 2016 novel My Name is Lucy Barton. The play closely follows the poetic novel’s plot, tracing Lucy’s unexplained hospitalization and prolonged, life-threatening illness. Lucy’s husband needs to…

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Next to Normal

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 18, 2020

“Is that normal?” People in therapy commonly describe a particular thought, feeling or behavior in vivid detail, and then ask whether what they are describing is “normal”. Is it “normal” to scroll through photo after photo of your ex even if you broke up months ago? Is it “normal” to have so many dreams about…

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Marriage Story

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 26, 2020

I understand that Marriage Story is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award nominated, movie about divorce. But when a film begins with a series of authentic, heartwarming clips outlining everything that two married characters love about one another, it is difficult for an experienced couples therapist like myself to sit back and watch it all implode.…

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A Place for Us

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 6, 2019

When a relative cuts off from a family, the absence presents a conscious and unconscious heavy heartedness that is difficult to resolve. Interestingly, when a therapy client reveals that a relationship with a family member has been severed to the point that there is absolutely no communication, there are often many other cutoffs discovered throughout…

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An American Marriage

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 21, 2019

Therapists are always asking about the intricacies of marriage, and so we learn a lot about our clients’ personal lives. But what actually happens within the dome of an intimate married life is ultimately private. Tayari Jones’s beautiful novel, An American Marriage, offers a layered exploration of the inner emotional lives of a married couple,…

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Crazy Rich Asians

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 27, 2018

Rachel Chu, a game theory economics professor and first generation Chinese American, is an easy heroine to admire. When Crazy Rich Asians opens, Rachel is rocking her lecture that wraps up with a slick conclusion as her boyfriend, Nick, picks her up for dinner. At the chic restaurant, Rachel and Nick lean toward each other…

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Tully

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 24, 2018

Hormones fluctuate throughout a woman’s pregnancy, and the immediate aftermath of delivery leads many mothers on the hormone-infused emotional roller coaster commonly known as post-partum depression. Having a baby is so uncivilized and consuming that many mothers do not realize that they are experiencing a delivery-induced depressive episode until it either subsides or reaches a…

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The Wife

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 10, 2018

Bjorn Runge’s cinematic adaptation based on Meg Wolitzer’s popular best-selling novel, The Wife, opens with a cozy snapshot of marital intimacy. Celebrated author Joseph Castelman (Jonathan Pryce) and his down-to-earth wife Joan (Glenn Close) are comfortably situated in their bedroom when Joseph receives the much anticipated call informing him that he has been selected to…

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The Stories We Tell

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2018

Family secrets are often discussed in therapy. The secret is rarely a reason that an individual or a couple initiates therapy. But, if a therapist takes a complete family history, certain secrets or unanswered questions from the past often surface. And these secrets often relate to present challenges and can be useful points of exploration…

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The Tale

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 31, 2018

There are many different schools of psychology that shape various strategies of clinicians practicing therapy. An interesting point of commonality is a shared acknowledgement of the significance of the past and a shared interest in how childhood experiences sculpt adult life experience. Cognitive theory explores learned thought processes. Behavioral theory emphasizes learned behaviors. Systems theory…

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