The Ghetto Birds Were Flying

Drew #43
Published on
Mar 11, 2021
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In this episode...

Meredith and Doug discuss their take on working with clients that have different political views and ideologies than their own. It’s a great jumping off point for this week’s session. Drew is trying to be the bridge for people in his life dealing with racial injustice and prejudice. Drew talks about compartmentalizing when feeling overwhelmed and anxious. He and Doug use a house analogy to visualize how to store the different compartments of issues in his life. Doug plays the “High, Low, and Oddity” game with both Drew and Meredith to verbalize the range of our experiences in day-to-day life instead of just highlighting one aspect.


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

[3:00] Many things that were acceptable in popular culture on TV and in music aren’t seen as politically correct now. 

[4:56] Meredith and Doug talk about how as therapists, they suspend their own opinions and biases when working with clients that have their own political views. Therapists are, of course, able to not take clients when they don’t feel comfortable.

[12:59] Session Begins. 

[14:01] The session is happening at a time in 2020 when racial injustice was prevalent on the news. Drew shares his thoughts, feelings, and experiences on the topic.

[15:49] Drew shares that his mother is more narrow minded and ignorant from her upbringing. He is grateful that he can talk openly with his friend who is mixed race. 

[20:39] Drew and his girlfriend are long distance, but at least they are together in figuring out how they manage it. 

[22:38] Drew feels disorganized and frazzled with his work life. He has nowhere to put the anxiety since he can’t get to a gym and he doesn’t just want to smoke weed to escape. 

[27:25] Drew and Doug talk about compartmentalizing the idea of work, relationship, friendship, etc. into a “house” in Drew’s mind where everything has a place. This way, he can choose which rooms he visits and they aren’t all jumbled as one.  

[32:38] Drew’s best friend needed an outfit for his nephew’s funeral, and Drew takes a different route to his typical people pleasing behavior - he can provide support by being there for him even if he can’t provide the perfect outfit. Doug reminds him that what he offers is himself authentically.

[36:13] Things are not all “good” or all “bad,” they’re often both. Our Yoda and Vader voices both exist at the same time. 

[36:58] Doug asks Drew to name the “High, Low, and Oddity” of his week. This highlights that he has multiple kinds of experiences happening, not just one type. 

[38:51] Session Ends. 

[40:37] Meredith likes that Drew has been having deep discussions with his mixed race friend. Doug discusses how his colleague educated him when working in South Central LA. 

[44:46] Meredith talks about Drew spewing out his thoughts and worries, organizing them, and even getting the word “compartmentalizing” right! The highs and lows are still there, but they can be put in rooms of his “house” so he can stay more even keeled overall. 

[53:23] Meredith and Doug note that Drew’s friend asking to be hooked up with an outfit triggered his desire to be everything for everyone all the time. Drew is still working on just showing up to the best of his ability rather than going above and beyond. 

[55:01] Meredith loved the “High, Low, and Oddity” game so much that she and Doug play it! What’s your oddity? The entire last year of course.

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Mentioned on this episode:

Coming 2 America

David Bowie

Contact Us:

Your Mental Breakdown - The Facebook Group
Meredith Levy

Doug Friedman

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