This week, Doug and Meredith tell us about when therapy in their past has sometimes gone wrong (or ineffective). Andrew and Doug dig more into the upcoming wedding of Andrew’s brother, and whether it’s his choice or obligation to go. Andrew opens up about some relationship anxiety he has been experiencing, and Doug helps him understand steps to take when he feels insecure and triggered. Meredith gives Doug accolades for using some sweet Star Wars analogies, and we all learn ways to turn down that critical voice inside ourselves and add a kinder, more realistic voice.
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.
[4:16] Doug and Meredith share their own personal stories about therapy gone wrong. While Doug was hiding from one as a ‘youngin,’ it took Meredith 30 years to find the right one. Once she did, she was hooked and it even helped inspire her to become one herself.
[5:25] One sign of a good therapist to Doug is someone that has tools beyond clinical ones to help their client.
[9:43] For some, therapy can be a conversational back and forth, while for others it just feels good to talk it all out and hear your situation reflected back to remember you are not alone.
[10:40] Recap: Andrew is a 24 year old from a small hometown, now living in Los Angeles. His estranged brother is getting married, and he is invited to the bachelor party but still unsure if he wants to go.
[12:01] Session begins.
[12:29] Andrew implemented tools and ideas from last session and talked with his dad about why he didn’t want to attend the bachelor party. There were uncomfortable moments for sure, and he felt like he blacked out and just went into autopilot, but Doug is proud of him for cracking the seal and being vulnerable.
[17:31] It means a lot for Andrew that his dad told him how proud he was that Andrew could speak his mind and heart.
[22:27] Andrew is working with Doug on observing the critical voice that is speculating and projecting about the unknown. This is what Doug refers to as the “Darth Vader” voice, and we all have it, but we can learn to harness our Jedi powers more and treat ourselves more like a Yoda.
[33:36] Andrew is working through some feelings of uncertainty and anxiety with his relationship in a situation that triggered feelings of being unsafe. Doug asks him to give himself some credit, and to see that this is a protection mechanism he has been using since childhood.
[46:43] Session ends.
[50:03] Our fear responses are fight, flight, or freeze. When we are in that zone, it feels like a “black out” and we don’t think logically but instead just go into auto pilot to protect ourselves.
[54:28] Meredith picked up on when Andrew said his dad was his best friend. This will be something that is discussed more in the future.
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