Question of the Month

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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How Can My Spouse & I Reconnect Post-Baby?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 1, 2018

(The following Q & A is written by Spencer Northey LMFT and originally posted in the newsletter for Huffington Post Relationships.) How do I maintain/salvage a relationship with my husband post-baby when we’re both exhausted mentally and physically all the time, which results in tensions being high? The work needed to “maintain” a relationship under…

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How Can a Strained Friendship be Saved?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 31, 2018

(This Q&A was orignally posted in Huffington Post Relationship’s “Ask an Expert” segment of their newsletter.) My best friend and I had a falling out and recently have been trying to reconnect. What’s your advice for getting through the tense, awkward small talk? It’s hard when we used to be able to talk about everything.…

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Besides Infidelity, What Forms of Betrayal can Traumatize a Marriage?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 6, 2018

Sexual and emotional affairs comprise the most common betrayals that lead people to therapy. And many couples work through those betrayals and find themselves stronger and closer on the other side. Interestingly, financial duplicities are often more difficult to navigate, grieve and understand. When, for example, a spouse loses thousands of dollars on a gambling…

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Why Do Some People Jump from One Relationship to the Next?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 1, 2018

Reflecting on current dating trends, it is useful to pinpoint a distinction between “backburner” communications and “cushioning”. The former typically refers to a strategy of communicating on dating apps or social media with a few people while dating others. Backburner communications typically occur in the early stages of dating, and ideally the flames are extinguished…

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Should my stepson be having sleep-overs with his girlfriend?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 3, 2018

The following Q&A originally ran in The Huffington Post relationship newsletter: My 18-year-old stepson frequently comes to our house for the weekend, and his father allows his girlfriend to come spend the night with him. My husband thinks it’s great that his son is having sex, but I keep thinking that the girl is 17,…

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