Work & Career

Joy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 8, 2016

David O. Russell has triumphed again.  Like The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, the film Joy blends captivating entertainment with psychological sophistication.  Russell tells the almost true-to-life tale of master inventor Joy Mangano, a New Jersey mother of two who rises from obscurity, overcomes loads of adversity, and builds a home- shopping empire.…

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The End of the Tour

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 26, 2015

James Ponsoldt’s 2015 film, The End of the Tour, (recently released on cable) is easily relatable for therapists.  Perhaps especially so for therapists practicing in areas like DC full of high achievers.  Opening in 2008 with the news that acclaimed author David Foster Wallace has suicided, lesser acclaimed writer, David Lipsky, begins listening to old…

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Francis Ha

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 16, 2015

Director: Noah Baumbach Writers: Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig With so many engaging, independent women living the single life in New York and in cities everywhere, it’s surprising there aren’t more authentic films about the single woman’s experience.  Sure, Sex and the City was a great fit for my cohort, and now Girls continues to…

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The Art of Fielding

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 24, 2015

The pursuit of meaningful work is a common topic in therapy.  Especially in a town like Washington, DC, where the question “What do you do?” is an unfortunately mandatory opener in most social settings.  The answer to this question can provoke anxiety and self-doubt, especially among those who are facing a professional fork in the…

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Mistress America

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 2, 2015

The development of a solid sense of one’s self is often the goal of psychotherapy.  When therapy clients in their late teens, twenties or thirties seek therapy describing debilitating anxiety, depression or general dissatisfaction with their lives, these symptoms can often resolve when the client embraces the daunting task of figuring out who they are…

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While We’re Young

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 25, 2015

“If age is just a state of mind, then While We’re Young is the best kind of therapy a forty something starting to lose touch with the younger generation could hope for.”   Peter Debruge, Variety Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are settling into their forties and beginning to feel all washed up.  Josh,…

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Clouds of Sils Maria

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 27, 2015

Writer/ Director: Olivier Assayas 2014, 124 Minutes, Rated R When therapists assign films to clients, research demonstrates that this approach can improve and enhance the effectiveness of therapy.  Why?  Movies — when thoughtfully selected and strategically assigned — function as powerful therapy tools because film provides a non-threatening mirror reflecting aspects of the client’s experience.…

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Still Alice

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 22, 2015

When a parent falls ill, the family constellation is bound to change, and multiple familial relationships usually become strained or strengthened, sometimes in unexpected ways.   Most people decide to begin therapy because something has changed, and usually this change involves a family or relationship crisis.  Since most of the clients in our therapy practice are…

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Chef

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 16, 2014

In a society that emphasizes internet sensations, the joys of finding meaningful work can take a backseat to the celebration of viral videos and social media phenomenons.  Jon Favreau’s 2014 comedy Chef explores what it means to choose to pursue a passion for the sake of the work itself, rather than for the praise or…

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The Children Act

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 30, 2014

Can a marriage be saved following infidelity?  Is it okay to cheat if a marriage has become sexless?  If infidelity is discovered and a couple wants to stay together, how do they find their way through?  Such questions are frequently raised in couples therapy if one or both partners have strayed.  Ian McEwan’s 2014 novel,…

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