Episode
31

You Can’t Spell Smother Without Mother

Andrew #31
Published on
Dec 10, 2020
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In this episode...

Doug and Meredith kick off the episode talking about cute cows, amaaaaazing smelling wreaths, and giant Christmas trees. The session begins with Drew’s literal worst fear coming true - his mother relapsing. He and Doug talk about how he is coping and making big strides in taking care of himself first by practicing compassionate detachment. Doug tells a fantastic prom story, Drew drops a second exciting bomb about getting a new puppy, and they discuss Drew’s openness when it comes to talking about his career at his brother’s wedding.

Hosts

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

[2:50] Doug sees cows (plural) while hiking, and Meredith shares her disdain for non masked hikers!

[6:34] Meredith swaps out a giant Christmas tree for one sized a bit more to her liking. 

[10:18] Session Begins

[10:28] Drew begins with his worst fear - his mom relapsing. He feels emotional and sad, but he doesn’t feel guilt and shame about it anymore. He is realizing he doesn’t have to take it on and solve it as though it’s his problem.

[15:18] Doug digs in a little more about Drew using the phrase “catching” his mom in the act of using drugs. 

[20:04] Drew acknowledges that catching his mom using before, was more about his own feelings of betrayal, abandonment, and disappointment. He is now finding his own inner strength and support from two very close friends. 

[22:46] Drew explains that he’s living a little more in the Adventure Mentality than the Challenge Mentality. He is focused on the present moment and having fun with his brother and family rather than trying to control the experience. 

[30:09] Drew can feel compassion for his mom’s relapse and be sad about it. He is experiencing what it’s like to pull assurance and confidence from himself instead of grasping for it from the outside world. 

[31:44] Drew’s mindsight going into this wedding is that he is meeting a long lost brother, not an old brother with a bunch of baggage.

[35:40] Session Ends

[36:28] Meredith and Doug discuss their reaction to Drew’s biggest fear of his mom relapsing and being altered at the wedding.

[38:10] Doug highlights the shift in Drew learning to take care of himself first rather than dropping everything to take of his mom or others. Mer points out that Drew still feels sad and is practicing “compassionate detachment” by taking care of himself first. 

[41:36] As a therapist, there is a fine line to walk between empathy overtaking you (and crying in the room with a client) and coming across too jaded with a wall between you and your client. 

[46:50] Doug and Meredith dissect how Drew is figuring out how to be honest with others about his work in fashion and not worrying so much about being judged by others.

[47:05] Doug shares his sweet prom story and shows us what a respectful lad he was at the core, even back then.  

[48:51] MerMer goes ga-ga for the cute Frenchie bulldog that Drew is getting! She also loves how Drew is making up his own mind about getting a dog and doing it regardless of Mom’s approval, judgement, or involvement. 

[55:20] Meredith is relieved that Drew decided not to bring weed to the wedding - and across state lines! Just knowing that he doesn’t have to rely on it as a coping mechanism is a big step.

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