trauma

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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Nina Nesbit and “When You Lose Someone”

By Spencer Northey / March 22, 2022

The authenticity and simplicity of these lyrics and the video caught me today. Like with many songs on this blog, the words and emotion feel like I’m communicating directly with a client. They echo what I’ve heard clients express to me over the years, and especially these past years. I feel a lump welling in…

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Oh William!

By Elisabeth LaMotte / February 21, 2022

Lucy Barton, a relatable and compelling underdog admired by readers everywhere, is back for a third round in Elizabeth Strout’s magnificent continuation of a journey that began in a small New York City hospital room. Fans fell in love with Lucy reading the novel showcasing her name. My Name is Lucy Barton (2016) and the…

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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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“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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