therapy

Run Towards the Danger

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 26, 2022

Practically speaking, preparing for foot surgery feels surprisingly like preparing to have a baby. I stopped taking new therapy clients two months prior to my surgery date in an attempt to mold my work/life balance into the most manageable place during the 3 to 6 month recovery period. Not since giving birth two decades ago…

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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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Is it Normal to Struggle to Enjoy Life While Following the News in Ukraine?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 3, 2022

A reporter reached out from The Huffington Post asking if it was normal to feel “guilty” — about enjoying life post COVID, dining out, traveling — and requested comments from a broad group of therapists. Both Spencer and Elisabeth contributed thoughts on this important, complicated topic and we feel honored to both be a part…

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“Heavy” and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

By Spencer Northey / September 16, 2021

This is a heavy post. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month so it’s time to post it. “Heavy” was actually my very first blog inspiration. It just so happened that this song popped up in a random Spotify mix right after a session. As I heard the lyrics for the first time, they echoed the…

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Hadestown and Orpheus’s Tragic Reactivity

By Spencer Northey / September 9, 2021

The Orpheus and Eurydice tale broke my heart when I first learned it in high school, and I have been in the bargaining phase of acceptance of it ever since. It was one of the many contributors to my decision to become a relationship therapist. I’m probably not kidding. In short, the story is about…

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The Beatles, “Hold me Tight,” and Emotion-Focused Therapy

By Spencer Northey / August 26, 2021

    This post is about both Hold Me Tight by the Beatles, one of their least favorite, but still famous songs AND the groundbreaking couple therapy book Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson. (Note: I chose to post the cover from the movie Across the Universe because the sound and video quality is better than…

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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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Empire of Pain

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 6, 2021

Therapists are taught to screen for substance abuse in the first session. Conventional training teaches that traditional psychotherapy will not be helpful if a client is actively abusing a substance and encourages clinicians to refer addicts to a substance abuse treatment program. Some therapists use a tough love approach and refuse to move beyond a…

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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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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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