marriage

Marriage Story

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 26, 2020

I understand that Marriage Story is a critically acclaimed, Academy Award nominated, movie about divorce. But when a film begins with a series of authentic, heartwarming clips outlining everything that two married characters love about one another, it is difficult for an experienced couples therapist like myself to sit back and watch it all implode.…

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Green Book

By Elisabeth LaMotte / June 3, 2019

The general commentary surrounding the Academy Award winning film Green Book zooms in on Hollywood, race relations and the historical details related to legendary musician Dr. Don Shirley, his driver, Tony Vallelonga, and their travels on a concert tour through the deep south in 1962. From a psychological perspective, a compelling and less discussed dimension…

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What are some Noteworthy Qualities of Lasting Relationships?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 1, 2019

When Huffington Post Relationships reached out with this question, Spencer made some useful observations: Planned check-ins: Whether it’s daily, weekly, or annually – and ideally all three in some capacity – couples who are in it for the long and happy haul make a habit of checking in as needed and also as planned. Planned…

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An American Marriage

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 21, 2019

Therapists are always asking about the intricacies of marriage, and so we learn a lot about our clients’ personal lives. But what actually happens within the dome of an intimate married life is ultimately private. Tayari Jones’s beautiful novel, An American Marriage, offers a layered exploration of the inner emotional lives of a married couple,…

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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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The Leisure Seeker

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 20, 2018

Research demonstrates that engaged and newly married couples that watch films together about marriage and discuss the films afterwards are able to lower the likelihood of divorce to an extent that is as effective as participating in short-term couples therapy. Most films about marriage focus on the entertaining romantic tension that builds until a couple…

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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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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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A Moveable Feast

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 12, 2018

The therapeutic benefits of writing have been touted and encouraged by clinicians for decades. Research continues to demonstrate that writing can improve mood and help alleviate depression. Newer research proposes that writing and then editing and revising a personal narrative can become a catalyst for individual change and increased levels of happiness. Reading Earnest Hemingway’s…

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What are Some Misconceptions about what Married Couples Should have in Common?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 4, 2018

We are socialized to imagine that it is important to share common interests with our spouse. And many couples enjoy bonding through playing a sport together or sharing a variety of hobbies. But there are plenty of couples whose interests diverge. As long as a couple prioritizes spending time together on a regular basis, it…

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