You Can't Control Vegas

Drew #15
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Published on
May 14, 2020
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In this episode...

This week, Meredith goes down the rabbit hole of tequila and zoom filters. She joins Doug for a walk down the memory lane of their worst old hairstyles. In the client session, Andrew goes on a work trip to Vegas where issues come up with his girlfriend - in part because the relationship is not out in the open. Doug and Andrew look at issues of validation and control. They also help name emotions and look at differences between being alone and feeling lonely.


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

[0:03] Merdle goes after tequila and zoom filters. While Doug lets his hair down, literally.

[6:46] Session begins

[8:02] Andrew puts in his two week notice at his job. He feels more relaxed, empowered, and resolved about leaving his job, even though he doesn’t exactly know what’s next.

[4:23] Andrew acknowledges that letting in fear allows him the opportunity to feel courageous. Doug highlights that courage comes from doing the things that we’re afraid of doing.

[6:40] Drew and his girlfriend head to Vegas for a work trip – but work still doesn’t know they’re together. Drew struggles to figure out where he fits in.

[12:24] Drew is ok not resolving things in the moment with his girlfriend (especially in Vegas!), and (not “but”) he acknowledges feeling conflicted, frustrated, invalidated, hurt, and lonely.

[15:36] Drew acknowledges that he was able to have a good time in Vegas when he wasn’t focusing on the issues with his girlfriend. 

[18:33] Being acknowledged and appreciated feels good, especially when it’s for being who you really are. Getting that validation is huge!

[21:43] Doug breaks down how the issue of control plays into our mental state. Drew realizes that most of his issues on the trip stem from not having control of a situation – he makes the connection to his mom and past experiences.

[27:43] Drew and Doug have a high five moment after Drew recognizes that setting rules for others in Vegas feels bad and having boundaries for himself feels better.

[31:36] Drew has seen how making room for disappointment has helped. He now wants to make room for not having control.

[40:31] Breakdown begins

[42:02] Doug and Meredith examine how allowing fear to enter gives you the opportunity to be and feel courageous. Drew is doing this in real time in therapy.

[42:56] Meredith explains how being intentional is a way of practicing mindfulness by paying attention on purpose - the opposite of auto-pilot.

[45:25] Meredith lets out her feelings about Drew’s girlfriend! They examine what it means for a couple to be “together” in a relationship. They see that Drew and his girlfriend may be reaching a conflict point that can bring them closer together or further away from each other.

[51:47] Meredith and Doug dig into the emotions that were coming up in the session and show how we can help name them. They examine what it means to be alone vs. lonely for Drew.

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