family secrets

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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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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A Place for Us

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 6, 2019

When a relative cuts off from a family, the absence presents a conscious and unconscious heavy heartedness that is difficult to resolve. Interestingly, when a therapy client reveals that a relationship with a family member has been severed to the point that there is absolutely no communication, there are often many other cutoffs discovered throughout…

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The Wife

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 10, 2018

Bjorn Runge’s cinematic adaptation based on Meg Wolitzer’s popular best-selling novel, The Wife, opens with a cozy snapshot of marital intimacy. Celebrated author Joseph Castelman (Jonathan Pryce) and his down-to-earth wife Joan (Glenn Close) are comfortably situated in their bedroom when Joseph receives the much anticipated call informing him that he has been selected to…

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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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