This week, Doug and MerMer remind us to not “should” all over ourselves and then recap the first two sessions with Andrew (the Client has been given a name for the podcast). Session three includes Andrew opening up about traumatic incidents that contributed to the strained relationships with both his brother and mother. Doug introduces some tools to practice changing our perspective, and in turn, our experience using both real-life examples and analogies.
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.
[3:38] The client has been named Andrew/Drew so we can know him as a
person, while still respecting his privacy and confidentiality.
[6:24] The epiphanies that Andrew is having are great, and Doug and
Meredith remind us that not every session ends with the client having a ton
of answers and direction, and that is more than okay.
[8:28] Reminder to not “should” all over yourself. We most often are doing
the best we can with the tools we have at that moment.
[12:02] Session begins.
[12:33] Andrew has been dealing with night terrors for over 15 years and wants to figure out how to focus more on the good instead of the bad. He is practicing throwing in good thoughts with the bad and scary “what if” ones.
[18:17] Doug applies the pendulum analogy to Andrew finding the middle ground of achieving, working hard, and relaxing. It’s not always going to be perfectly in balance, but swinging back and forth in a smoother manner would be a great first step to focusing on his well-being.
[26:16] Andrew opens up about the night he and his brother were divided on how best to care for their mother.It’s a very pivotal moment for him, and their relationship was never quite the same after that night. He is confused about his role in his brother’s upcoming wedding because of the fractured relationship.
[32:06] Doug and Andrew will be working consistently and steadily on his trust issues and fear of abandonment.Doug assures him that this is a normal feeling for the very high stakes of life and death he dealt with in his teenage years. They will also work on identifying support that he can count on, to show him that not everyone leaves him high and dry.
[47:39] Session ends. Breakdown begins.
[47:51] Meredith and Doug discuss why analogies work so well to create
those “aha” moments in sessions.
[58:14] In a session the arc can look more like a dip as they cover deep
emotional subjects, but a responsible therapist will lift their client up to a
baseline emotion by the time the session is over.
“Rippling refers to the fact that each of us creates – often without our conscious intent or knowledge – concentric circles of influence that may affect others for years, even for generations. That is, the effect we have on other people is in turn passed on to others, much as the ripples in a pond go on and on until they’re no longer visible but continuing at a nano level.”
- Irvin Yalom, Staring at the Sun
“I think we ripple on into others, just like a stone puts it's ripples into a brook. That, for me, too, is a source of comfort. It kind of, in a sense, negates the sense of total oblivion. Some piece of ourselves, not necessarily our consciousness, but some piece of ourselves gets passed on and on and on.”
- Irvin Yalom, Interview, Wise Counsel
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