Ski Trails in Your Head

Drew #8
Published on
Mar 26, 2020
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In this episode...

This week, we talk about the connection between knowing it and feeling it, and the difference between a human being and a human doing. Doug and Andrew dive deeper into his decision about going to his brother’s bachelor party. We explore what can happen when we try out new ways of thinking and create different neural pathways. In the breakdown, this leads to an amazing exchange between Doug and Meredith about whether or not it’s okay to ski off the trail out of bounds and into an avalanche! They even manage to bring Plato into the discussion!


Kenzie Jenest
Bonnie Rae

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

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

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.

Key Takeaways

[2:27] Take some time to stop and smell the roses, unless you are worried about a bee stinging your face like Meredith! There is a difference between “being” and “doing”, and a balanced and healthy life contains a mixture of both.

[7:29] Characters in our dreams can represent ourselves, or they can also be our mind processing thoughts and our subconscious working out events from the day while we are in a restful state. 

[9:48] To recap: Andrew is a 24 year old young man in Los Angeles, who came to Doug to work on his night terrors, family trauma, and to manage anxiety about his relationships. He is focused on becoming his own best self, while also mending family issues and learning how to speak up on what it is that he really wants. 

In the last episode, Doug and Meredith talked about the different types of therapy, and that it can be successful when the client is just venting and the therapist is listening, or as a two way discussion. Reparative experiences are good for therapist and client, and can be a way for both to show your feelings and emotions and to make authentic strides towards growth and healing. 

[10:44] Session begins.

[11:18] For Andrew in his current state of night terrors and nightmares, a good night sleep is just not waking up terrified. 

[18:53] Doug references the Darth Vader voice analogy that they talked about last week, where to combat the voice of doubt, we can learn to let in our Yoda and Jedi voice a little more. 

[25:23] Our neural pathways create what Doug calls “ski trails” that have created a triangle of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that feel predictable and safe to us. Sometimes we keep ourselves stuck by thinking and doing the same things, because it feels unsafe to go out of bounds and create new trails. A good therapist is there for you to help, and to create a safe foundation before you go plummeting off the proverbial mountain. 

[30:30] Andrew explains why he decided whether or not to go to his brother's bachelor party, and that he wants to start having a real authentic relationship with meaningful conversation. 

[45:20] Session ends. Breakdown begins.

[51:13] Meredith and Doug discuss how using hyperbole like “always” and “everything” it’s not actually accurate. 

[53:45] Meredith disagrees about skiing out of bounds analogy. We get connected because it’s a way for us to make sense and get down the figurative mountain, but it always doesn’t work for us.

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Plato: The Complete Works

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