*** Warning - this episode contains potentially triggering and sensitive topics, including sexual assault. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1800-646-4673 or go to RAINN.org.*** Drew shares his thoughts and feelings about an extremely disturbing and traumatic event. The details are not 100% clear, however his initial description was that his girlfriend was “raped and essentially kidnapped.” Doug and Drew discuss what this situation brings up for him, and how it furthered his belief that he has to put on his Superman cape and save everyone. Drew grapples with the Vader voice in his head, and processes some pretty big emotions. They discuss how Drew is showing up, keeping his boundaries set, and if this is really the right relationship for him. Instead of the usual Meredith and Doug chit chat, they decide to spend more time discussing the session and the topics involved. They feel that the seriousness of the situation lended more to focusing less on them, and more on Drew and the seriousness of sexual assault.
Bonnie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles. She is an instructor for graduate students in the LGBT Specialization Psychology program at Antioch University. Although her specialty is working with the LGBTQ community and people in the entertainment industry, she also assists clients in managing and/or overcoming anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, painful relationship patterns, creative blocks, co-dependency, love and sex addiction, issues with intimacy and low self-esteem.
Bonnie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emerson College and a Masters in Clinical Psychology degree from Antioch University with a specialization in LGBT psychology.
Doug Friedman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker that has spent nearly 20 years working with adults, adolescents and families with issues ranging from depression and anxiety to substance abuse, bipolar disorder and PTSD. He has supervised a program at a community mental health agency that serves severely emotionally disturbed youth and their families in Los Angeles. He continues to provide clinical supervision to therapists and associates in his private group practice, Clear Mind Full Heart in Los Angeles.
Doug received a Masters in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and a BA in Study of Religion from UCLA. Before becoming a psychotherapist, Doug worked for a music management company that oversaw bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, and Bonnie Raitt. Doug is also the artist and songwriter behind all the music heard on the podcast.
Meredith Levy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California and holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Over the last ten years she has worked with many different populations, and feels most at home working in addiction, personality disorders and mood disorders. Meredith specializes in Dialectical
Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Meredith worked with inner-city youth as a bi-lingual therapist for the Department of Mental Health in Los Angeles County. Not only has Meredith worked at a variety of different drug and alcohol treatment centers throughout California, she was also the co- founder of a large treatment facility in Northern California.
Meredith's extensive education and background as an attorney and an MBA gives her a unique perspective and a fresh approach to elevating personal growth. In addition, she is a certified yoga instructor and believes that the spiritual, physical and emotional aspects of the self are important components of the therapeutic process.
[2:15] Session Begins
[2:31] Drew starts off by sharing with Doug that his girlfriend was raped and kidnapped a few nights prior. He shares some of the details of the night and the very intense feeling of mixed emotions. Doug and Drew talk about how to even begin processing it.
[4:45] Drew uses the details he does have to explain how his girlfriend ended up in this situation, yet there are still some things left unclear. Her sister was involved, they got into a fight, and a man that postured that he was there to help actually may have taken advantage of her. Drew’s girlfriend was not sober, and there is speculation that she was possibly drugged. Thankfully Drew was able to contact the police and lead them to her via her phone gps. Drew shares that he is both mad at the girlfriend for making poor decisions that led her to get to this point, and also relieved that she is alive and safe.
[7:07] While Drew’s girlfriend may have knowingly went home with another guy, he is pushing most of his anger down to deal with the situation at hand. He tells Doug he wants to let go of “past animosities” from both this relationship and prior ones, and focus less about feeling hurt and jealous and more gratitude towards her being safe.
[9:24] Doug reminds Drew that he is still now in activated trauma mode, and that taking care of someone else is second nature to him. He’s Superman with the cape and it was also really scary, and not okay. Drew agrees and admits he feels powerless at some points.
[13:05] This situation reminds Drew of having to be there and rescue his mom, and plays into his beliefs that he must be there to help everyone, otherwise something terrible will happen.
[21:03] Drew wants to have intimacy and trust in a mature relationship, but is this the right girl for him? Doug reminds him that it’s not about her right now, it’s about how he is showing up and setting his boundaries. Time will tell if this is the right relationship.
[25:16] Despite all the chaos, Drew and his girlfriend actually had a relatively normal Seattle trip, and they were able to relax a little.
[28:43] Session Ends.
[29:29] Wow. Meredith is left feeling confused and frustrated, and Doug helps fill in a few of the gaps in Drew’s story. Doug and Meredith talk about how there are facts, and there are feelings, but what matters is what it triggered for Drew.
[37:29] Whether or not the girlfriend was sexually assaulted, it isn’t okay if something happened against her will. We still don’t know if she was on another substance besides alcohol, possibly drugged, and if she was willingly spending time with or even being sexual with the guy.
[46:44] Meredith would ask Drew why he hasn’t collected more facts. Doug said Drew went into a fight or flight trauma response and his state of mind was immediately to go into Superman mode.
[51:32] Drew saying that his girlfriend doesn’t black out, except that one time at 10am, was a red flag to both Doug and Meredith. He’s making excuses for her, just like he would for his mom.
[53:24] All this, yet Drew says it’s the happiest he has ever been in this relationship? Meredith wants to know what happened, but knows there is so much more and regardless of what happened, he went through certain thoughts and feelings he needs to process.
[54:57] There is certainly a lot of reasonable doubt as to what happened, however ANY unwanted touching of any person is unacceptable. Meredith’s inquiries are just to know more facts, and of course states there is no right or wrong because we are allowed to talk about our feelings without being judged for it.
[60:10] Drew admitting to Doug that he wondered if his girlfriend liked it, even a little, is normal and not anything to be alarmed by. Therapists are there to listen and not judge, and Drew is doing a major service by being open about his thoughts to help others grow.
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