Welcome to Your Mental Breakdown, hosted byDoug Friedman and Meredith Levy. YMB is a psychotherapy entertainment podcast featuring two licensed therapists. They are real people outside the office, and real therapists in sessions inside the office, who follow a client along the process of personal growth and healing in therapy. Doug andMeredith kick off the show by introducing who they are, how they met, why they are doing this, and what you can expect in the episodes to come. They talk about ways in which this show will demystify and destigmatize therapy, and what to know when seeking out a therapist. They explain why one may want to consider therapy and introduce us to the client we will hear in upcoming sessions. This episode features the client’s first session followed by Doug and Meredith breaking it down afterwards.
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.
[1:05] Not all therapy and therapists look the same, and people go to therapy for many reasons. Doug and Meredith’s have a conversational, relational, and humorous (at least to them – hopefully to you as well) style.
[6:44] Doug and Meredith are old middle school friends. They reconnected after years, only to discover they had both become therapists. Each of them comes from an eclectic approach of using clinical insight with whatever works best for a particular client.
[10:02] Therapy isn’t just for when you are feeling “crazy.” It can be a place to get insight, a sounding board, and a professional opinion rather than depending on your family and friends.
[11:46] Doug and Meredith introduce us to the client that we will hear in upcoming sessions. He is a 24-year-old living in Los Angeles, having difficulty in his life and looking for some direction and answers.
[14:15] Session begins.
[18:08] The client feels like his biggest stress is the feeling of not being able to relax, turn off his mind, and fully escape out of his constant thoughts.
[26:45] The client is doing things he likes, such as working in fashion and design. He is also struggling with depending on his parents, maintaining his own identity, and carving out who he is in the world as an individual.
[35:54] His parents are very successful, and he is torn between both living out his dream of the rich and fabulous lifestyle and his desire to settle down and live a comfortable family life.
[37:13] The main reason the client is here is to seek relief from his ongoing night terrors, “suicidal ideology” (later described as“suicidal ideation”), and general anxiety and panic.
[40:03] The client has also had an intense time dealing with his mother’s drug addiction, suicide attempts, and depression. This adds a feeling of pressure to stay connected with her, which shaped a lot of his insecurities and doubts in the present day.
[47:28] Doug will be working with the client on his core beliefs, thought patterns, and rewiring his brain to create a more accurate narrative and a healthy and happy life.
[49:30] Session ends. Breakdown begins.
[1:07:01] Meredith challenges the client’s idea of not meeting anyone “good” in Los Angeles. She explains that this is a phrase and way of thinking that she often explores with her clients.
[1:11:02] Next week, Doug will be spewing out ideas on vulnerability, and getting more details on the client and his relationship with his mother.
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