In this pre-Corona virus episode, Doug and Meredith talk about fires, mountains, Coachella and bubble gum. Doug’s client Andrew checks in about the guilt he is feeling towards not having a conversation yet with his estranged brother, as his brother’s bachelor party weekend approaches. He and Doug talk about what that conversation would authentically look like for him, and what’s getting in the way of him talking to him or even sending out a letter with his thoughts written out. Andrew has been taking a lot of what he’s learned in past sessions and applying it to himself, with the occasional awesome Yoda and Green Beret reference, which warms the cockles of our hearts.
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.
[8:47] Session begins.
[8:55] Andrew feels guilty that he didn’t call his brother. Doug encourages him to write a letter as a safe way to get his emotions out and his point across.
[11:30] Andrew says that being in the moment makes him feel vulnerable to the raw emotion, but a letter helps him organize his thoughts into what he really wants to say.
[20:44] Rarely are we born as a Green Beret, where we can walk into anything feeling totally self-assured and confident that we have the answers.
[22:43] Andrew recognizes that there is a chance that if/when he does call his brother, they could talk about nothing at all, or he could just wish him a good bachelor party weekend and tell him to call him when he gets back.
[23:02] Andrew realizes that it matters less about where the conversation with his brother goes, and more about knowing he is going to be okay with whatever the outcome is.
[36:18] There is a difference between arrogance and confidence. Doug shares a story that gives an example of just how many people in the music industry can be arrogant! It’s okay to not know things and even admit that, including bands.
[40:29] Session ends. Breakdown begins.
[44:01] Meredith and Doug talk about Andrew wanting to write a letter to his brother. Meredith gets it as a way to organize his thoughts, but wonders if he really will send it.
[45:21] Meredith explains three approaches to effective communication.
[48:03] Doug and Meredith recall that Andrew’s objective is not necessarily to have a big conversation with his brother, but to have the initial conversation about having a conversation in general.
[51:53] Going back to when Doug said he loves guilt sometimes, he and Meredith talk about guilt becoming a positive way to strengthen your own integrity, or at least see where it is and if you want to move towards or away from it.
[57:27] It can be a tough pill to swallow for some, but there is always someone “better”, since better is a relative term.
[58:24] It’s okay to say you don’t know. Even Doug didn’t know who Lizzo was. Admitting you don’t know something or someone becomes a strength rather than a weakness.
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