This week, Doug and Meredith reminisce aboutDoug’s parachute pants and MerDog’s love of Megadeth. They talk about how to know when a session is over, taking notes, and how they prevent burnout. Doug shares his Buddhism dropout story, and then we dive into the client’s second therapy session. During the session,Doug and the Client focus on the themes of vulnerability, balance, and how better to control our negative thoughts.
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.
[7:40] Meredith prevents burnout by taking care of herself physically, spending time with her beloved family, and finding balance with work and life.
[12:00] Doug uses narrative therapy, metaphors, and analogies because it gives the client a way to take the pressure off of themselves and see the point objectively.
[13:46] Session begins.
[17:06] We learned from the first session that two of the important themes right now for the Client are vulnerability and balance.
[22:02] The Client is working on communicating his need for reassurance with his girlfriend and expressing his boundaries for spending time apart. Overall, he feels very comfortable with his girlfriend and is examining what love really means to him. He is dealing with some insecurities from what happened in past relationships.
[29:44] Doug explains three stages of thought:
We can play the “What If” game by adifferent set of rules, adding the positive possibilities to the negativeexpectations we hold. In reality anything can happen and anxiety comes when weonly “what if” negatives.
[40:41] The Client has normalized some of his mom’s behavior to keep going in life, and Doug assures him that he did great for what he needed at the time.
[50:14] The Client is practicing mindfulness and being more present in the moment. He is already starting to use the tools he and Doug are working on since their first session.
[51:05] Session ends. Breakdown begins.
[55:08] Meredith was impressed with the Client’s ability to be so introspective and realize that the more he is authentically himself, the closer he will get to his goals in 5 years.
[1:01:02] Be sure not to “should” allover yourself. We all have cracks in how we think we should be, and accept them instead of judging them.
[1:10:26] Next week, Doug will dive more into examining the Client’s separation anxiety and how it stemmed from his relationship with his mother.
Your Mental Breakdown
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
- Attributed to Mark Twain in Reader’s Digest, Apr. 1934.
“There is surely nothing other than the single purpose of the moment. A man's whole life is a succession of moment after moment. If one fully understands the present moment, there is nothing left to do, and nothing else to pursue.”
- Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
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