Mer Mer launches herself into another dimension with Oculus, and this reminds Doug of a time when he was immersed in a virtual reality Star Wars experience. The session begins with Drew feeling a little down that he hasn’t lived up to the financial or material standard set by his father. He and Doug examine the anxiety he feels about his mother and his lack of trust from feeling that he has been betrayed by everyone in his family. Drew shares a story when he recognized that a “feather” wasn’t his stress to take on. Doug reminds him that not everything needs to be perfect to start expressing and processing these emotions.
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.
[2:10] Doug and Meredith explore their experience in an alternate world with VR stories, and Meredith makes everyone want to get an Oculus.
[5:37] Session Begins.
[5:45] As Drew adjusts to the “new normal” he has a mini meltdown while moving into his new apartment. This prompts Doug to ask three questions from the book Fire in the Belly, that must be answered in this specific order:
[9:31] Drew knows he has a good support system around him and a nice life, yet he wants more. He realizes he has always grown up wealthy and maybe has had judgement around people of lesser economic status, which is why he is now judging himself.
[9:48] Instead of denying that he wants nice things, there is power in taking ownership that you can have both - a nice fulfilling life and material items.
[16:39] Drew’s mother doesn’t say “I love you” back right now as they are getting off the phone. This hurts, and it’s not making him stay in bed or feel overly anxious the way it used to. He had a previous experience where this happened right before she attempted suicide, and he’s doing his best to stay in his own experience and not pick up her feathers.
[17:39] Drew can be mostly independent and mostly self sufficient. It doesn’t have to black or white - it can be plaid, checkered, or rainbow.
[20:44] Drew wants to write a letter to his mother and “get it perfectly,” but Doug reminds him that before we say it to anyone, we need to say it to ourselves. It may not be pretty or exactly how we want it to come out, but we can “spew” it out and begin the process of healing.
[23:31] Time and time again, Drew feels as though his trust has been betrayed by those around him, specifically his mom, dad, and brother. He and Doug talk about being protective of our feelings but not closed off. Drew is starting to distinguish what are other people’s feathers and bricks from his own… and to not carry those around with him. One recent example is his girlfriend needing to fix their shower, and Drew realizing that she could do it herself.
[29:07] Drew already has his foundation and pillar set, however rocky he feels it may be. He just needs to keep doing the work and trusting in the process.
[31:08] Session Ends.
[34:12] Meredith is impressed with Drew’s sense of self at 25 year old!
[35:52] They discussed how Drew was able to grasp that he was judging himself because he was not where he wanted to be.
[38:00] Meredith and Doug talk about the concept of home and how it’s common to feel confused about where your real home is after moving away from your childhood home. Doug brings up Winnicott’s Object Relations Theory, and why people seek out a transitional person, place, or thing to soothe a feeling of separation from something or someone going away.
[41:23] Meredith and Doug discuss how Drew was able to vocalize how Big Drew is recognizing that Little Drew is struggling with missing his parents, and that’s okay.
[43:27] Meredith and Doug recognize Drew feeling uncomfortable having conversations with his mom since he doesn’t trust her not to attempt suicide again. Mer thought it was still amazing that he wants to try to make decisions based on the moment rather than based on past experiences or fear.
[47:04] Meredith loved that fixing the shower for his girlfriend was a feather Drew didn’t want to pick up!
[49:40] Explosive news! Doug and Meredith shut down their computers, and loved the extra rebooting time it gives in the morning.
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