Question of the Month

What are some Strategies to Feel More Connected this Thanksgiving?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving is a psychologically robust holiday. We grow up and mature into adults, but the simple act of walking through the household door to join a family Thanksgiving gathering can cause a surprising surge of emotions and regression to our prior adolescent selves. That’s why Hollywood makes so many movies about Thanksgiving. Over-eating and excessive…

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What are Some Strategies for Raising Self-Esteem?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 2, 2017

One way to think about the concept of self-esteem is to focus on what it means to have a strong sense of self. People with a solid sense of an independent individual self are able to balance separateness and togetherness, and they are able to feel calm an contained on their own. They are able…

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What are the Signs That You are in a Substandard Relationship?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 2, 2017

I once worked with a real estate agent who came to therapy explaining that he kept renting his relationships rather than buying them. He repeatedly chose temporary and substandard relationships and wanted to break out of this pattern. How did he know he was renting his relationships? What are the signs that a relationship is…

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Are You Concerned that Your Significant Other May Be Having an Emotional Affair?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 2, 2017

Emotional infidelity is an area of relationships where it is important to trust your instincts (unless you are excessively possessive). The clearest sign of emotional infidelity is a sense of discomfort with a particular person in your partner’s life. Maybe you notice flirtatiousness in the email that was left open on the computer or overly…

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What’s an Important Question to Discuss Before Getting Married?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 2, 2017

What Do You Anticipate as the Strengths and the Challenges of your Marriage? This is a wonderful two-tiered conversation topic that can help couples prepare for the future. It is meaningful to enter marriage by first putting words to your relationship’s strengths. If you share values, trust one another implicitly, have great sex, work well…

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What Pattern Commonly Sabotages a Marriage at Bedtime?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 7, 2017

“Honey We Need to Talk!” Raising complicated discussion topics at bedtime is rarely productive and not the least bit sensual. Juggling work and parenting is chaotic and exhausting, so the urge to toss out weighty conversation topics once kids are asleep, responsibilities are met, and your heads are finally hitting the pillow makes sense. But…

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What On-Line Dating Forum Is Right for You?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 3, 2017

Therapy clients looking for romantic love used to designate therapy as a place to ponder the question of on-line dating. Years ago, the primary question was whether or not it felt comfortable to place a profile in the cyber universe and begin interacting with strangers on-line. That dated question has shifted away from WHETHER to…

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What Qualities Distinguish a Resilient Marriage?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 1, 2017

Resilient couples refuse the temptation to blame each other in the face of adversity. For example, if a child is diagnosed with a serious illness or a disability, the shock and impulse to understand why might lead a less resilient parent to blame or lash out with accusing questions like: “Why didn’t you try harder…

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What Should Couples Discuss Before Moving in Together?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 10, 2017

With high rents in DC and even higher costs associated with buying, the financial advantages of moving in together appeal to many young couples. Living together saves money , saves time traversing to and from each other’s homes and eliminates the logistics involved in spending time in two different locations. However, there are psychological downsides…

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As a Couples Therapist, What Stands Out in a First Session?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 6, 2017

To begin couples therapy, I ask each half of the couple to describe why they reached out, and how I can be helpful. The answer often involves excellent insights about what they wish their partner could do differently. To explore the answer in more depth, I ask each person if they can describe what they…

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