While we all start to come out of the pandemic lockdown, Drew and his girlfriend are starting to come out of the honeymoon phase. In their relationship reality, running out of toilet paper becomes a symbol for so much more. Drew and Doug talk about setting boundaries vs. giving rules. Drew is ready to have the tough conversations with his girlfriend, even if it means he ends up being alone. Doug and Meredith differ over their definition of love, but still have love for each other at the end of the episode, so it’s all going to be okay!
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.
[1:48] Meredith goes to a restaurant for the first time in a while and it actually feels semi-normal. Doug and Mer recall their teenage days of sneaking healthy snacks into movie theaters and sneaking beer into concerts.
[8:48] Session Begins.
[10:36] The honeymoon period for Drew and his girlfriend is wearing off and some realities are becoming clear. Drew expresses his frustration with her not helping around the house, even with something as simple as buying toilet paper when they run out.
[12:21] Doug and Drew talk about Drew setting his boundaries rather than giving rules to his girlfriend. Drew says the caution flags are really coming out and they are looking more like red flags by the day.
[13:59] Drew would like his girlfriend to take more of an interest in his life. He came home to share exciting news with her about his work, and she said it sounded like bragging. Drew is feeling invalidated and unsupported.
[18:57] Drew and Doug use the Wheel Of Emotions to name what Drew is feeling, instead of just saying, “It sucks.”
[24:46] Drew is building strength in himself and recognizing that he wants to cultivate relationships with people that neither give too much nor too little of themselves.
[28:50] Doug points out that Drew not wanting to abandon his girlfriend’s son may be a projection of his own abandonment issues.
[30:31] Drew wants to have a mature relationship, and that may call for him being alone until the right person comes along. He is taking accountability and pointing the finger at himself. He is ready to move through the discomfort in order to have tough conversations with his girlfriend.
[34:03] First Session Ends. Second Session Begins.
[35:39] Drew surprises Doug by telling him he quit his 9-5 job, and has been talking things out with his girlfriend. There is some middle ground for now, and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
[36:17] Session Ends.
[37:07] Meredith says c’mon girlfriend, you could have at least used Drew’s money to Postmate over some toilet paper!
[37:53] Meredith loved that Drew said it was a dependent relationship rather than a codependent one. He is now able to discern the difference and knows he is not codependent with her but she has been dependent on him.
[39:03] Meredith and Doug discuss how the girlfriend was drinking when she knew she had to go pick up her son. They note how Drew is observing and setting boundaries without giving her rules.
[43:02] Drew may be trying to push her to grow, when she may not even be interested. This brings up Meredith questioning Doug’s definition of love, and how both parties have to be interested in growth for themselves and for their partner.
[50:38] Because of how much we change throughout our 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, it can be a struggle for couples to grow together when they get together earlier in life.
[51:08] Saying you are “fine” is another way of shutting down, and when someone says they are fine they are often not communicating how they are really feeling.
[58:39] Meredith notes how Drew said he both wants to be in a long term relationship and also left alone. It may be best for him to be alone while he waits for a mature and more reciprocal relationship.
[1:00:10] Drew’s girlfriend may make the relationship bad to end it, and often we sabotage because we are too afraid to just have the conversation that it’s over.
[1:01:45] Meredith and Doug have noted Drew’s growth, and he has done at least a 160 degree turn!
[1:03:15] There was more in their session about Drew setting up his own bank account and cutting financial ties with his mom.
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