therapy

Next to Normal

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 18, 2020

“Is that normal?” People in therapy commonly describe a particular thought, feeling or behavior in vivid detail, and then ask whether what they are describing is “normal”. Is it “normal” to scroll through photo after photo of your ex even if you broke up months ago? Is it “normal” to have so many dreams about…

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American Utopia

By Elisabeth LaMotte / March 3, 2020

David Byrne began his uplifting performance in American Utopia by musing with his audience about the human brain and its capacity for change. Of course, this is a concept explored by therapists and human behavior experts. The brain’s capacity for psychological change is also a central focus for clients in therapy. What unfolded on stage…

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Parasite

By Elisabeth LaMotte / January 10, 2020

Therapy is about discovering hidden truths lingering beneath the surface. Clients engaged in the therapeutic process excavate complicated or adverse circumstances and ideally discover new insights and perspectives that help them improve their current relationships or choose new ones if necessary. Many schools of therapy gently (or directly) ask strategic questions to challenge false impressions…

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What’s the Difference between Talking with a Shrink and Talking with a Friend?

By Elisabeth LaMotte / October 11, 2019

Atlantic Monthly reporter Olga Khazan reached out last month to discuss what it is like to practice therapy in Washington, DC. She was curious about what it means to work in a city where so many professionals have top secret security clearance or work in fields like politics and reporting where it can be complicated…

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Samantha

By Spencer Northey / September 12, 2019

Backstroke Raptor by The Story Pirates Lyric Excerpt (for full lyrics click here) NARRATOR IT WAS DINNER TIME FOR THE FAMILY OF MONSTERS SAMANTHA HAD SOMETHING ON HER MIND AFTER A THREE COURSE MEAL SHE FINALLY FOUND THE COURAGE TO TELL HER MONSTER PARENTS WHAT SHE FELT INSIDE SHE SAID (As SAMANTHA) MOM AND DAD…

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Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

By Elisabeth LaMotte / August 16, 2019

Lori Gottlieb took a circuitous route to becoming a therapist. A stint as a production assistant in Hollywood led her to become a script reviewer who developed a love for storytelling. To enhance her editorial understanding of a promising new show she was editing, (ER!) she began shadowing doctors in a local emergency room and…

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The Witch Elm

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 21, 2019

There are many schools of psychology, and a significant thread that connects them all is the acknowledgment of a human tendency to repeat the past. Cognitive Theory explores learned thoughts while Behavioral Theory explores learned behaviors. Systems Theory suggests that if a dynamic or pattern is familiar, it feels more comfortable, so the security of…

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Just Hold On

By Spencer Northey / November 5, 2018

Just Hold On Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson Wish that you could build a time machine So you could see The things no one can see Feels like you’re standing on the edge Looking at the stars And wishing you were them ‪What do you do when a chapter ends?‬ ‪Do you close the book…

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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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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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