Trauma

Everything I Never Told You

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 14, 2016

Celeste Ng’s 2014 debut novel about a Chinese-American family coping with the excruciating aftermath of a teenager’s death is as absorbing as it is humbling. It is absorbing due to its complex and realistic characters, each with their own layers and secrets and struggles related to the middle daughter, Lydia’s, mysterious disappearance and death. And…

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Spotlight

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 22, 2016

Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight deserves each and every award and glowing review.  A constellation of riveting acting performances coalesce to shine necessary attention on the epidemic of clergy members’ abuse of young boys and the gruesome cover-up methods that became a horrific routine.  The film industry’s top critics and award judges have ensured that Spotlight receive…

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Room

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 22, 2016

Exploring childhood and understanding the mother-child bond is an important dimension of most forms of psychotherapy.   Discussing child development and the significance of a secure emotional attachment can often help therapy clients gain insights about their adult selves, as well as the strengths and challenges of their unique parental bonds.  Understanding these complex dynamics can lead…

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Let’s All Hold Hands and Drop Dead

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 31, 2015

Three Generations One Story Elaine J. Cooper Group therapy is one of the most difficult forms of therapy, but it is also perhaps the most effective.  World renowned group therapist Elaine J. Cooper’s new book, Let’s All Hold Hands and Drop Dead; Three Generations One Story, is part autobiography, part biography and part guide for…

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The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 19, 2015

Author: Jeff Hobbs Scribner, 2014, 416 pages College life is under a microscope of of significant recent media attention.  The massive promotion surrounding Frank Bruni’s new book “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be:  An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania” makes a convincing case that an Ivy League education is not necessarily in…

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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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Frontera

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 6, 2014

Michael Berry’s timely new film, Frontera, is sure to stir controversy and conversation.  The film’s backdrop is the border between Mexico and Arizona where Ed Harris plays a retired Sheriff living on an expansive ranch with his wife (Amy Madigan).  The couple have a deliberately independent and horse-centered life and one of their ongoing conversations…

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The Broken Circle Breakdown

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 9, 2014

Director: Felix van Groeningen, Screenwriters: Carl Joes and Felix van Groeningen 2012, 112 minutes, Netherlands, Belgium Many people reach out to a therapist when they are facing a crisis or a tragedy and therefore at their most vulnerable.  While conflicts and challenges related to religious faith are not at the forefront of my daily work…

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The Language of Flowers

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 15, 2014

THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS 2011, 338 pages, Random House, Vanessa Diffenbaugh It is a basic principle of most forms of psychotherapy that it is often essential to examine how formative childhood events and primary family relationships relate to current life experiences.  If you are curious about or currently examining how your own past informs your…

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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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