family

Jay-Z and Bowenian “Going Home”

By Spencer Northey / August 12, 2021

Jay-Z’s song “Moment of Clarity” is a powerful example of what renowned family psychotherapist Murray Bowen calls “going home” and “doing the work” to make sense of your family system.  To thoroughly experience the song, I recommend you find his version from The Black Album on your favorite streaming platform. The variations posted on YouTube…

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Something Corporate and How to “Forget December”

By Spencer Northey / July 31, 2021

  We are in peak summer 2021 and December 2020 seems a long way away. Even though things are not completely back to normal, and some of us are anxious about the variant, most of us who are vaccinated in the DC area have been able to move on from having to stay in, socially…

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Marvin Gaye, Antiracism, and Therapeutic Differentiation

By Spencer Northey / May 27, 2021

What’s Going On By Al Cleveland, Renaldo Benson, and Marvin Gaye You know we’ve got to find a way To bring some lovin’ here today  (full lyrics at the end of this post) In 1971 Marvin Gaye released the hauntingly beautiful song “What’s Going On” in response to the police brutality, inequality, and suffering he…

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Coat of Many Colors

By Spencer Northey / May 7, 2021

Coat of Many Colors Written and Sung by Dolly Parton My coat of many colors That my momma made for me Made only from rags But I wore it so proudly (see full lyrics at the end of this post) This song tells a beautiful story of a mom’s differentiation, and how it supported her…

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Take Yo’ Praise

By Spencer Northey / April 21, 2021

Take Yo’ Praise by Camile Yarbrough We’ve come a long long way together Through the hard times and the good I have to celebrate you baby I have to praise you like I should  Vingette: Sean and Selena have been together for about 7 years, they are working through surviving the pandemic and raising a…

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Just Mercy

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 6, 2020

In 1987, Walter “Johnny D” McMillan was arrested in Alabama for a murder he did not commit. He was at a fish fry for several hours during the time of the murder, and several witnesses vouched for this alibi at the time of the initial investigation. Nevertheless, McMillan wound up on death row, slated for…

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The Stories We Tell

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2018

Family secrets are often discussed in therapy. The secret is rarely a reason that an individual or a couple initiates therapy. But, if a therapist takes a complete family history, certain secrets or unanswered questions from the past often surface. And these secrets often relate to present challenges and can be useful points of exploration…

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Lady Bird

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 31, 2017

Written and Directed by Greta Gerwig I doubt I can overstate my excitement when my sixteen year-old daughter mentioned she was eager to see the film Lady Bird with me. She was even willing to sit next to me in a theater, and open to spending a bit of time together before the show. (She…

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Force Majeure

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 15, 2017

Family vacations represent an important opportunity to reconnect, recharge and step away from the constant demands of daily life. Families look forward to family vacations and invest in them both financially and emotionally. Family vacations hold the promise of unfolding as some of the happiest memories for parents and children alike. But sometimes these holidays…

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