At the top of the show this week, Doug busts himself and Meredith for not following through AGAIN on shutting down their computers at night! They swap teenage closet stories (including Doug’s roaches!). The session begins with Drew sharing that he is moving back to a place in LA that he has lived before. He feels grateful for the comfort and familiarity of it, rather than feeling like he is taking a step backwards. Although he is making strides becoming financially independent and showing up authentically in his relationships, Drew is still struggling with the anxiety of completely cutting the cord with his parents paying the bills. Doug ties in some pretty sweet sports analogies to help Drew see that it’s okay to let others know you are uncomfortable. Drew can see that there are a rainbow of possibilities out there rather than see everything as black or white.
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.
[1:48] In an effort to clear their own minds and shut down at night, Doug and Meredith didn’t shut down their computers before bed as discussed during the last episode. They will try again! Meredith did a major closet clean with her niece, and man did it feel good.
[6:09] Supposedly, by June 1 the Government has to reveal everything they know about UFO’s to the public... This may be more entertaining than the X-Files, if you remember that show!
[9:11] Session Begins.
[9:39] Drew is moving back to a place he’s lived before in LA, and instead of seeing it as a step backwards, he is comfortable with his choices and welcomes the familiarity. Doug compares it to the rockstar attire in LA, where one never knows if someone is a rockstar or not because they are wearing sweats and looking gritty. This comes from their internal confidence in their rockstarness.
[12:45] At the same time Drew is becoming more financially independent, he’s still worried that his parents may abandon him when he no longer depends on them for money. He’s feeling scared and uncomfortable, but sharing it with his loved ones rather than holding it in. He is noticing that he uses weed as a way to avoid certain thoughts or feelings.
[16:28] Drew’s new girlfriend allows him to be vulnerable and this makes him feel comfortable. He and Doug talk about the difference between being comfortable and being comforted. Drew is making strides towards showing up as his authentic self, while balancing his desire to be the pillar that holds everyone together.
[21:29] Drew wants his mom to call him every day, and shares with Doug that he is afraid that if that attachment goes away, something will go wrong. They discuss how some of his needs may not have been met as a child, and now as an adult he can see where his parents came from, and he can acknowledge the feelings and impact it left on him.
[29:37] Drew can see black and white situations clearly, it’s the gray that causes him problems. He and Doug talk about seeing the rainbow of people’s intentions, and how something can still leave us feeling not so great, even when someone has great intentions.
[33:57] The more we can accept that nothing is forever, the more we can be in the present moments, even the uncomfortable ones.
[35:10] Doug mentions that he wouldn’t be surprised if Drew has another night terror soon, and Drew said he did have one recently, but just doesn’t remember it.
[37:07] Drew is grateful to be able to look back and see his hard work paying off. His independence is empowering and scary, yet he sees it as a gift.
[38:43] Session Ends.
[41:40] Meredith noted that Drew showed his human-ness by having ups and downs with his weed usage. As his therapist, Doug has heard him use weed either to go to bed, to comfort himself, or to avoid. When it’s avoidance, that is when he digs into the situation with Drew to get to what’s underneath it.
[43:15] Meredith and Doug note Drew’s progress towards doubling down instead of shutting down and getting comfortable in the discomfort.
[46:00] Meredith loves Drew’s ability to see the dichotomy of being authentic AND loving his role as the caretaker. Doug used the baseball analogy with Drew to show him that it doesn’t do your team any good if you are playing while hurt, and it takes a lot of courage to speak up and ask for help.
[49:30] Meredith pointed out how Drew took the leap and isn’t texting his mom first as much, and he’s missing her more than ever. Meredith and Doug discuss how this is an example of choice vs. obligation, and how Drew is recognizing his hypervigilance for staying in touch and accepting crumbs with his mom, dad, and even former relationships. Meredith is impressed with how Drew is able to link his abandonment issues with mom to his recent ex-girlfriend treating him poorly with just a few crumbs of affection here and there.
[55:54] Meredith and Doug talk about breaking down the heavy bricks one by one. Should he change the analogy to a piece of dirty clothes one by one? Probably not, due to that whole roach thing.
[56:26] They discuss how Drew is also noticing the choice vs. obligation piece come up in his finances. It’s new and different for him to take care of himself financially, and this will mean that when he connects with his parents or they reach out to him, it’s out of choice rather than obligation.
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