Question of the Month

What Do Vacations and Affairs Have in Common?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 2, 2019

Therapy clients don’t spend a lot of time talking about how relaxed they feel. Except in mid-August when many DC dwellers return from vacations. I heard the words calm, chill and relaxed more often this week than I have all year. Interestingly, the relaxation that transpires following summer holidays seems more authentic than the sensations…

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What Are Some Strategies for Planning a Wedding if the Bride or Groom’s Parent is no Longer Living?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 3, 2019

From a psychological perspective, marriage is , in part, about separation from one’s family. It’s about making your partner your number one most important person. For most people, up until the point of engagement, one or both parents fill that role. This transition can feel incomplete when a fiancé and a beloved parent have never…

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What Fights are Common During the First Year of Marriage?

By Spencer Northey / July 4, 2019

1. What goes where? Whether a couple has lived together for years or is cohabiting for the first time, after a wedding there is bound to be some restructuring of the space. Couples living together for the first time may have some major projects to undertake as they merge spaces together. Couples who have lived…

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What’s the difference between ghosting and cloaking?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 1, 2019

A colleague recently shared this video posted by the dating app user who coined the term “cloaking” and asked for commentary. While the jilted dater shares an honest, vulnerable dating vignette and helps other dating app users feel less alone, what seems most noteworthy about her experience is how common it has become to experience…

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What are some Noteworthy Qualities of Lasting Relationships?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 1, 2019

When Huffington Post Relationships reached out with this question, Spencer made some useful observations: Planned check-ins: Whether it’s daily, weekly, or annually – and ideally all three in some capacity – couples who are in it for the long and happy haul make a habit of checking in as needed and also as planned. Planned…

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How Do I Address My Concerns About How Much My Partner is Working?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 2, 2019

This question is inspired by an interview with Huffington Post Relationships. In DC, where I practice therapy, the first question people ask one another is “what do you do?” Work is a defining feature and many people are used to working long hours and structuring a family life around consuming professional obligations. Marital tension about…

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What Strategies can be Helpful During a Breakup?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 1, 2019

When Huffington Post Relationships reached out to ask about tips for getting through a breakup, Spencer and Elisabeth both weighed in: SPENCER’S TIPS: It’s okay to be the one who is hurting more: First of all, it’s not a comparison game. And in many breakups both parties are experiencing similar intensities of hurt, though they…

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What does Ariana Grande’s Twitter Feed Teach us about Grief?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 8, 2019

Any conversation about Ariana Grande should acknowledge that she demonstrates exceptional fortitude.  She survived the tragic suicide bombing killing twenty-two of her concert goers in May, 2017 and she continues to perform.  She is brave in the face of trauma and has faced extreme adversity in the past 18 months. Grief is an intensely personal…

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What’s a Good Way to Split Up the Holiday Visits?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 1, 2018

This question is inspired by a media request from HuffPo Relationships. For the full story click here. We all have such busy lives and the holidays are a time when we can feel pulled in so many different directions that distract from the underlying meaning of the season. Sometimes it helps to consider that when…

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What Small Habits Make a BIG Difference in a Romantic Relationship?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 1, 2018

When Huffington Post Relationships reached out to ask what small habits actually make a big difference in romantic relationships, Spencer Northey LMFT and Elisabeth LaMotte LICSW both chimed in with ideas. Spencer: Lingering Kisses “Make and effort to lengthen your hello and goodbye kisses to last for at least 6 seconds. Relationship guru John Gottman…

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