This week, Doug and Meredith talk about adjustments they’ve been making during this pandemic time. The client, Andrew, feels the benefits of putting in the hard work and letting raw emotions come up and out. He is beginning to see with a new perspective and way of thinking as he gets ready for a big weekend with his family and girlfriend. Doug brings up the idea that it’s okay for someone to be disappointed - and that doesn’t mean that you’re a disappointment. Andrew realizes he doesn’t need to exhaust himself trying to make others happy.
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.
[1:39] Meredith and Doug talk biking, masks, and dogs in the time of the ‘Rona.
[7:30] Session begins.
[8:03] Fresh off the emotional release of last week’s session, Andrew went over to his girlfriend’s house to convey what he was feeling. He was able to sit in the raw emotions without trying to change or fix things. His girlfriend was receptive and gave him what he needed. This gave Andrew confidence in himself and trust in the process.
[9:58] Andrew’s session last week was a tough one with a lot of pent up emotions, AND it was a good experience which showed him that he doesn’t need to numb himself or run away from painful feelings.
[10:40] Andrew uses his own analogy from a childhood book, The Giver to highlight how he is able to see the color in the world and choose what his mind focuses on.
[13:54] Andrew feels his confidence building and is able to recognize his progress. He thinks about the trip in terms of what he wants to get out of the weekend rather than what he thinks would make everyone else happy.
[19:48] Andrew is seeing new milestones as he actively creates new neural pathways in his brain with new ways of thinking. He is now challenging old ways of thinking and welcoming new perspectives leading to behaving differently (and more authentically)
[29:17] Andrew and Doug explore ways to communicate his boundaries while still connecting and showing respect for others. Drew will be practicing that this weekend with his family when he and his girlfriend may choose to not spend every moment together with his parents.
[31:52] It can be exhausting trying to make everyone happy, or even just trying to not disappoint them. If we disappoint someone it doesn’t mean we are a disappointment as a person overall.
[33:53] Session ends. Breakdown begins.
[35:35 Doug and Meredith talk about interdependence in a relationship and getting your needs met. Meredith notices something “off” and “sus” about Drew’s relationship with his girlfriend.
[38:07] Changing your perspective can break the cognitive behavioral triangle, and lead to different behaviors and feelings.
[40:12] Meredith loves Drew using his own analogy to highlight the shift in his perspective. Doug notes that this shows how he’s seeing it within his own frame, and the world around him will start to look different too.
[45:13] Doug and Meredith recognize some of the growth is coming from Drew allowing himself to be emotional and process the feelings instead of running away from them.
[50:07] Home may still be home, but it’s going to change and be different as we change and become different or more independent.
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