film review

Coda

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 20, 2022

As a systems therapist, family roles and dynamics are an important area of exploration. Developing a deeper understanding of the roles directly or indirectly assigned in childhood helps therapy clients reflect on how such roles are internalized and carried into adult careers and adult relationships. Developing a grasp of how past roles play out in…

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Encanto and Family Systems Theory

By Spencer Northey / January 31, 2022

Disney’s Encanto has had family therapists buzzing ever since it came out in November 2021. Honestly, this movie just made our jobs easier. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a clear and engaging reference for talking about family systems.  Lin-Manuel Miranda over and over has shown such a keen sense about how human relationships…

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Being the Ricardos

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 14, 2022

Discovering infidelity leads many couples to seek therapy. The road to repair such a betrayal is a painful one that takes patience, commitment and hard work. As a couples’ therapist who believes in the power of prescriptive film-viewing, I often suggest that couples working through the discovery of infidelity watch movies on this topic. The…

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King Richard

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 30, 2021

As the film King Richard opens and viewers meet the Williams family, there are a lot of healthy relational dynamics to admire. Richard and Oracine Williams are fiercely devoted to their 5 daughters and work tirelessly to build an enriching childhood and a safe secure home. The daughters work hard, do chores, have manners and…

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Driveways

By Elisabeth LaMotte / July 13, 2021

Most schools of psychology emphasize the significance of examining the past. As a systems therapist, I try to help therapy clients discover how past family dynamics shape current life experience. Rather than harping on the past, which no one finds particularly useful, we reflect on what a client’s life was like growing up to develop…

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Pieces of a Woman

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 7, 2021

Vanessa Kirby’s performance in Pieces of a Woman is so raw and relatable that it can feel jarring to watch. Considering the trailer and the fact that her labor and delivery scene takes place almost immediately, it is not much of a spoiler to share that the film explores the impact of her loss of…

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Angry Inuk

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 8, 2021

I am excited to share our review of Angry Inuk which is posted by The New Social Worker

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On the Basis of Sex

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 28, 2020

On the Basis of Sex gives an entertaining and illuminating account of the backstory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legal education and career-catapulting cases. For those grieving her recent passing, the film is therapeutic viewing that celebrates her refusal to cave in the face of repeated discrimination leveled on the basis of her gender. Ginsburg…

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Palm Springs

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 4, 2020

With schools across the country and throughout the DMV announcing that they will remain virtual for several more months, life in quarantine is affirmed as our new normal. When DC and the surrounding area shut down in March, it was hard to imagine that in July we would be bracing for distance learning and stay…

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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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