This week, Doug and Meredith discuss the routine and comfort of going to a therapist’s office as a physical space not just a virtual room. Meredith updates us on her US geography skills. In the session, Drew’s issues of trust in the relationship are pushed to the edge, leading to a breakup. Doug and Meredith break down the break up. They talk about healing from, and dealing with, breakups using some of their own experiences. We all have our own ways of coping with grief and loss; and that can look so different or so similar, but comes from the same place.
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.
Doug and Meredith discuss the routine and comfort of going to a therapist’s office as a physical space not just a virtual room
Meredith works on her US geography skills.
[6:26] Session begins
[6:26] Drew and his girlfriend broke up. He recounts the details of the relationship straw that broke his back and the ongoing trust issues he’s had.
[11:38] It’s hard to say goodbye - it’s not something that we really learn how to do. Drew’s last day at work means he has to say goodbye to that environment - where his girlfriend also works, compounding the emotions for him.
[13:28] It feels true that everybody leaves, but it is not true. Doug helps Drew distinguish the pattern and old narrative from what’s actually happening.
[17:30] Drew acknowledges he’s in a lull and feeling hurt and uncertain. Doug and Drew see this as an opportunity for him to commit to himself. Drew connects his current experience to the Missing Piece stories.
[19:31] Doug and Drew talk about how looking at a breakup can lead to an ineffective and inaccurate process of finding fault in ourselves.
[22:02] Nobody ever teaches us what ‘goodbye’ really means - it’s more often “see you next time.” So we’re not well equipped when there’s a bad-bye.
[23:38] Saying goodbye can be beautiful and horrible. It can be painful to let go of something that’s good. Drew is finding the beauty and opportunity for growth during this, while still feeling hurt and angry.
[26:57] Drew says there’s nothing he could have done, even though he’s been finding fault in himself and thinking about things he could have done differently. Doug normalizes the process of grief and loss.
[29:14] Doug paraphrases a definition of love as the dedication to yours and another’s personal growth - and that has to be reciprocated.
[34:36] Session ends. Breakdown begins
[35:12] Breakups suck. Doug and Meredith break down the break up and share some of their own experiences
[36:02] While some things feel abrupt, there’s often been an accumulation over time that we don’t recognize until the straw breaks the camel’s back.
[39:41] We all have different ways of coping. It can look so different or so similar but often comes from the same place of grief and loss. And it’s not a linear process, we circle and cycle through the stages of grief.
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