trauma

“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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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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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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Freestyle Love Supreme

By Elisabeth LaMotte / November 16, 2019

When my sixteen-year-old daughter learned that ushers lock up cell phones when ticket holders enter the Booth Theater to see Freestyle Love Supreme, she became underwhelmed about our evening plans. She complained and imagined aloud that the show might be involved in some sort of an underground scam. I, on the other hand, felt intrigued…

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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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Come From Away

By Elisabeth LaMotte / September 8, 2018

Each summer, as September approaches, I find myself remembering the morning of September 11, 2001. I was seeing a therapy client in my office on Washington Circle in Northwest DC. My office sat on one side of the circle, and GW Hospital sat directly across. I could easily see the hospital from my office window.…

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The Tale

By Elisabeth LaMotte / May 31, 2018

There are many different schools of psychology that shape various strategies of clinicians practicing therapy. An interesting point of commonality is a shared acknowledgement of the significance of the past and a shared interest in how childhood experiences sculpt adult life experience. Cognitive theory explores learned thought processes. Behavioral theory emphasizes learned behaviors. Systems theory…

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Educated

By Elisabeth LaMotte / April 26, 2018

Overcoming childhood trauma is a frequent focus for clients in therapy. When someone grows up in an abusive household, it is quite common that harmful dynamics feel normal and difficult to see or address, even as children grow and embark on adulthood. Many therapy clients ask questions like: “How can I get over my childhood?”…

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Everything I Never Told You

By Elisabeth LaMotte / December 14, 2016

Celeste Ng’s 2014 debut novel about a Chinese-American family coping with the excruciating aftermath of a teenager’s death is as absorbing as it is humbling. It is absorbing due to its complex and realistic characters, each with their own layers and secrets and struggles related to the middle daughter, Lydia’s, mysterious disappearance and death. And…

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