Doug and Meredith finally saw each other in person again! They break down what an “episode” means to Drew and what it can mean when a therapist hears that word. In the session, Drew is feeling down and out because of some issues with his girlfriend that leave him feeling misunderstood and underappreciated. He tells Doug about a trip to Malibu that didn’t go as planned - and how her “passing out” triggered him. The argument that followed the next day brought up issues around getting his needs met and being more authentic and vulnerable, without having to share everything with a partner.
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.
[2:19] Mer and Doug finally saw each other in person - and on the way there, Doug drove into two lanes of oncoming LA traffic to avoid an elderly driver veering into his car.
[6:33] Are you a champion napper? If so, Doug and Meredith greatly admire and envy your ability to sleep like a baby on planes.
[8:43] Session Begins.
[8:53] Drew woke up depressed and is in what he refers to as an “episode.” Doug explores what an “episode” means to Drew.
[12:02] Drew tells Doug about a trip to Malibu that went awry when his girlfriend got sick from drinking too much. It triggered him and made him feel disappointed and frustrated that his need to have a relaxing weekend was not met.
[14:02] Staying organized at home is a huge thing for Drew and his girlfriend didn’t make good on her offer to help him clean the house. The two had some friction with the build-up of unspoken little things that led to Drew not connecting and being vulnerable with her.
[16:22] Doug talks with Drew about “feathers and bricks” and how stressors piles on top of one another until it feels overwhelming to carry the weight of a ton of feathers and/or bricks.
[18:50] Drew’s girlfriend had a reaction to him shutting down after their argument, and then it triggered him when she just left and didn’t stick with it.
[20:02] Session Ends.
[20:24] Meredith and Doug discuss the term “episode.” They explain how therapists can listen to their clients to see if the episode is something clinical, chemical, or a passing feeling of sadness. A feeling of sadness or wave of depression is different than a clinical episode of depression - whether or not it’s situational.
[22:52] Often times, people experience depression and they don’t know why - there is no situational trigger for it. This impacts their life negatively, which can cause them to feel worse and more down in the hole.
[25:06] Meredith and Doug discuss how Drew was very clear about what he needed from the trip to Malibu, and how he was let down by his girlfriend not delivering on her act of service to help him clean.
[29:32] Doug is working with Drew on showing up as the boyfriend he wants to be, much like the son he wants to be in his relationship with his parents. In order to do this, he is going to have to embrace his real vulnerability and not just pick and choose the parts he wants his girlfriend to see.
[30:46] Doug explains the analogy of bringing “baggage” into a relationship that he used with Drew. We don’t often show a new partner all our baggage right away, we just show them our carry-on bag!
[32:12] It’s a balance between the vulnerability of sharing your full self with someone you are dating and oversharing on the first date.
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