This week, Mer and Doug are doing ‘fair’ and ‘corona good’ in spite of a burnt tongue and a kitschy therapist pillow. In the session, Drew feels good having put in his two week notice. He can feel himself slowing down and letting go of a lot - and he hasn’t had a night terror in weeks! Drew notices triggers on date night with his girlfriend and doesn’t spring into action or reaction to fix things. As we allow the people in our life to be their own selves, it’s less work for us and we can focus on being our own individual person.
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.
[4:29] Doug’s trip to Vegas in his 20’s was frugal and the blood stained sheets in the motel proved it (so gross)!
[6:46] Session begins
[7:22] Drew feels good having put in his two week notice. He can feel things are slowed down, it’s feeling new and different.
[9:26] Drew acknowledges the fear of failure that he feels right now.
[13:02] Doug helps Drew reframe the issues coming up as being about control. Drew has been letting go of a lot - and he hasn’t had a night terror in weeks!
[14:09] Triggers pop up during a date night with his girlfriend, and they were each activated. Drew was able to let it be, as opposed to trying to fix it and make it better in the moment.
[16:30] We’re going to get triggered all the time - the work is learning to respond, rather than react from that activated place.
[18:56] The only way to know what someone is thinking is to ask. Doug and Drew each use analogies to highlight acknowledging other people’s perspectives and experiences of the same event.
[21:26] The question that gets asked in relationships - are you mad at me? - is often about the person asking not the partner.
[23:03] Drew is so focused on all the things that are going well in hs life, that now he’s worried about something bad happening that he’s maybe just overlooking or not dealing with now.
[27:10] Doug and Drew talk about the dialectic - shifting the ‘but’ to ‘and’ so we can have both forces at the same time. It’s about finding balance and allowing things to be as they actually are.
[29:39] Drew has been allowing the people in his life to be their own selves, which is less work for him. It’s happening more naturally for him as he allows himself to be his own person.
[33:48] Session ends. Breakdown begins
[34:47] Meredith picks up on Drew mentioning mom here and there as a marker of the parent-child dynamic that is shifting as he grows. They discuss individuating from parents by becoming your own person.
[38:16] We can address things in therapy without addressing them - Drew hasn’t had night terrors in part as he’s been more comfortable with the discomfort. It frees him up to have the emotions be there without having to fix it right away.
[44:38] Doug and Meredith look at how we can respond instead of react as we become more aware of triggers.
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