Doug and Meredith talk about broken toes, wind chimes, and maintaining confidentiality even when a client shares a crime they committed. In the session, Drew is back from his brother’s wedding and preparing to head home for a visit. Drew is noticing some major changes in himself, such as being scared as well as excited for the unknown. He talks with Doug about the positive impact a new puppy has had on his life. He shares how he was able to set boundaries with a house guest and how surprised he was at the outcome. Drew also opens up about feeling very overwhelmed and cluttered at work, and wonders if fashion is even the right industry for him anymore.
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.
[1:10] It’s a pain in the teeth and toes that gets us every time, man. Meredith is annoyed about her broken toe - and the fact that she is annoyed is also annoying her.
[3:17] There is only one thing even more annoying than a broken toe - wind chimes. Even just one chime can be too much, but a whole lotta chimes... forget it.
[5:50] Meredith isn’t surprised that Doug had exercised induced asthma in high school. He recalls when his soccer coach told him to just run it off and “get it out of his system” during practices.
[11:04] You can tell your therapist basically anything - even a crime you committed! However, there is a difference between a past action, an expression of a thought or feeling, and an immediate and actual threat. Therapists are trained to assess the difference and know when to maintain confidentiality and when it is a legal obligation to break confidentiality.
[13:14] Session Begins.
[13:24] While Drew is cleaning his house and decluttering his space around him, he recognizes feeling overwhelmed and stressed about his work. Doug gives an analogy comparing our long list of things to do with a full sink of dirty dishes. It can seem daunting to start and every time we walk by the sink it can seem like a failure, but even just starting with a spoon can give us momentum to keep going.
[20:17] Drew is trying to figure out if he even wants to be in the fashion industry anymore. As he figures out a long term game plan, he is actually excited for the unknown which is a new feeling for him.
[22:22] Having a new puppy has made Drew realize how much he wants to slow down and see the people in his life - to love them and be “loved on” in return. Doug reminds him that pets can augment our life and bring joy, but they aren’t a substitute for our own individual life.
[26:14] Drew’s parents are supporting him while he thinks about the next step, and Doug reminds him that there is a big difference between a crutch and support.
[29:11] Drew has been allowing himself to be more positive in the unknown and throwing in a positive “what if” now and then.
[33:42] Drew talks about how he set boundaries for a recent house guest to pick up his stuff and not make a mess. This was new for him, since he is usually passive and puts others first. Doug explains how sometimes flexing our assertive muscle can make us feel like we’re an asshole, or being mean or too harsh. It’s okay to feel like an asshole sometimes as we practice asserting ourselves and our needs!
[38:09] Session Ends.
[39:09] Meredith loved the decluttering analogy with the dishes. It’s easy to feel like a failure when we see the mess and remember the cleanliness that got away from us.
[42:33] Drew saying that he needs a new start or a fresh start is a very human reaction to feeling overwhelmed. Meredith and Doug talk about how the feeling of “needing to get away” and start with a blank slate is a real feeling, and it often comes from feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how or where to start.
[48:41] As much as we all want to live with our dogs on a remote island, Doug and Meredith agree that it’s important to have your own life and not just make everything about your animal.
[50:02] Doug and Meredith discuss success vs. fulfillment. People can be so driven for external success that they forget the fulfillment part. One modern example is judging our social media “success” by many likes a post gets.
[53:01] When we are asking for support, some people may not say yes, and that’s okay.
[54:24] Meredith and Doug note that Drew was himself at his brother’s wedding, and it made him feel good. They discuss the difference between relating to others around you and being a chameleon to change your personality.
[58:14] Setting and holding boundaries is not a confrontation.
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