Your Mental Breakdown ציבורי
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Your Mental Breakdown

Your Mental Breakdown

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A psychotherapy-entertainment podcast featuring licensed therapist, Doug Friedman and a co-host. Episodes include real therapy sessions in sequence with a real client that has agreed to be recorded throughout the process of therapy. After the session, Doug and his co-host break down the session and they give you their clinical insights with personality, humor, and the opportunity to use therapeutic tools in your own life.
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Drew gives an update on his medical health and it leads to a discussion about parenting. He is worried about turning into his parents while he is preparing to become a parent himself. Doug explains how we can have traits of a personality type like narcissism or borderline without it being a diagnosable personality disorder. Drew is worried about fi…
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Doug helps Sarah stay in the moment and allow emotions to come up. She acknowledges being more comfortable in constant motion and hypervigilance mode when she is more focused on “doing” rather than “feeling.” We hear a pivotal moment in her therapy when Sarah reads a poem she wrote as a eulogy for the motto “Keep Calm, Sarah Will Handle It.” It is …
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Drew digs deeper into his core thought that his self-worth depends on how good of a provider he is to his family. Doug helps Drew explore taking care of himself in a healthy way rather than working so hard to provide that he keeps spinning plates until he gets overloaded and shuts down. Doug reframes the see-saw concept of a work-life balance to it…
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Sarah is interacting with the world around her slightly differently. Doug invites her to experiment with what it’s like to be the observer, especially when interacting with her siblings. Sarah is shifting from the person that tries to fix or correct everyone to the person that can just notice something happening without taking it personally. She re…
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Drew sees progression and growth in his relationship with a friend, but doesn’t see it with his parents. Drew has an epiphany about his relationship with them that he names “conditional love,” as he is more aware of how he people-pleases in order to feel love from them. Doug helps Drew slow down and process his thoughts and feelings about the evolv…
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Doug and Sarah reflect on how growing up in a cult stripped her of agency and individuality in her own life. She is reclaiming her individuality and feeling strength in her sense of self now. Doug and Sarah make the link from this to the issue she has with control. Sarah walks through a specific example when one of her sisters was driving her car. …
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Drew has a birthday coming up and a few doctors’ appointments on the horizon. He is able to organize his thoughts and come up with a plan both for addressing his medical health and for celebrating his birthday. Doug helps Drew acknowledge that he is not responsible for his parents’ response to him and his boundaries. Drew is adulting! Doug and Kenz…
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Sarah acknowledges being in a constant battle with herself because of how she wants to hear feedback from others for things she has done. She has a hard time accepting praise; and, she doesn’t mind constructive criticism if it helps her grow. Doug helps her make sense of getting comfortable without having feedback be the validation. Doug and Kenzie…
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Drew is feeling independence and individuation from parents, especially when he signs a lease on a new place without using them as the guarantor. He had a breakaway moment after mom didn’t show up the way he wanted her to on a phone call. He felt solitude and the “solid-tude” of relying on himself not on his parents and the anxious-attachment style…
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Sarah is going through all the emotions with her teenager and the situation he got into at school this week. While she continues to practice using natural consequences to parent her kids, she is also allowing herself to have her own emotional experience. Sarah is re-parenting herself by letting her kids to come to her and giving them the space to f…
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Doug helps Drew focus on himself, not just the baby on the way. Drew admits that he isn’t feeling joy in things the way he’s used to feeling it and that it’s taking him out of the present. Drew realizes that he’s looking for the joy instead of being in the moment and letting the joy find him. This leads Drew to acknowledge the existential anxiety t…
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Doug helps Sarah move forward along a path toward her emotions. They discuss her learned pattern of being dismissive of herself and her feelings. The pursuit of data and facts that turns Sarah into the “justice warrior” is a defense mechanism to not feel the feelings. Doug uses an analogy with Spock and Kirk to highlight a spectrum of being logical…
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Drew is feeling like an adult and living in the world. He acknowledges feeling strength where he used to feel weakness in asking for help. He’s getting support in his life by virtue of actually asking for help from others rather than doing everything on his own. Doug and Drew talk about the subtle differences between being an individual and being i…
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Sarah is experiencing the difference between being of value at work and being the singular essential piece that also carries with it all the responsibility and pressure. She notices how she’s starting to relax a bit and soften her edges when she isn’t in complete control. Doug helps Sarah acknowledge how the control issue arose to protect herself a…
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Doug and Kenzie talk about connecting to your inner child. Then in the session, Drew is adulting and creating distance from his parents while preparing to be a father himself. Doug digs deeper with Drew in the session to get to the emotions underneath all the progress we see and hear on the outside. Doug explains an analogy of photographs to show h…
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Sarah keeps learning and exploring in therapy – and her family is noticing the change in her and the progress she’s made as a result. Doug explains how and why he uses stories and analogies so often in sessions. It’s an effective way to make a concept less clinical and more relatable and memorable for clients. He names a sensation for Sarah, “The S…
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Drew’s adulting! He is practicing parenting himself, in preparation for his baby on the way. Drew acknowledges feeling anxious about how his parents will react to the pregnancy news he has yet to share with them. Doug challenges Drew to stay focused on himself and bring his emotions out to alleviate the anticipatory anxiety. Doug and Kenzie look at…
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Sarah follows up on last session’s “wow moment” about using the concept of natural consequences rather than being judge and jury when giving a punishment. Sarah is re-parenting herself while effectively parenting her kids. People around Sarah are starting to notice a difference in her as a result of her processing in therapy and making previously u…
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It’s the return of Drew to the podcast! We check in with his health, and the stress he’s feeling as a 26 year old adult with a baby on the way. Doug challenges Drew with tough love to see his pattern of trying to avoid present issues. Drew says he keeps everything up in the air where he doesn’t have to catch it and face it. He is able to take his h…
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Doug introduces the concept of natural consequences to Sarah as opposed to being judge and jury as a parent, even if the punishment fits the crime. Sarah acknowledges that she is not failing as a parent; rather, she is growing as a parent. She points out that her growth is carrying over to other aspects of her life. Sarah calls Doug “the Sarah whis…
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We’re back! Doug is joined by Kenzie on the breakdown and they pick up right where Sarah left off in her therapy sessions. Sarah has been listening to podcasts featuring other people’s experiences in cults, which gets her intellectualizing how growing up in a cult still affects issues of power and control in her life now. Doug helps Sarah get into …
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We discuss the issue of “control” after it came up in our small talk about parties, drugs, and past behavior. Sarah sees clearly how the abuse she suffered in the cult as a child triggers her so profoundly in her current life. She is starting to make a connection of how setting personal boundaries can keep her safe, especially when anxiety comes. S…
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Sarah was super busy at work, had drama with her ex, and then got Covid! In session, she expresses that it’s hard for her to say no to anyone, especially her children. Doug helps her stay with the emotion and process “disappointment." Sarah recognizes that she had been running on adrenaline and that she needs to take care of herself. Doug highlight…
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Drew is feeling “confident alone” rather than “scared alone.” He describes it like being the driver of the car of his own life and holding the steering wheel himself. He is less co-dependent and not feeling so impacted by triggers and the old wound of abandonment by mom. From this place, Drew is living for himself - although he drops big news at th…
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Sarah has sense memories in the present that trigger some traumatic experiences from her upbringing in a cult. She depersonalized her trauma in the cult as a defense mechanism, but she is now able to go through it in therapy. From this more secure and stable place, Sarah is starting to connect emotionally to her own life with understanding and comp…
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Drew went back home to his parent’s house to re-ground himself. He’s been able to practice how to be present with his parents and not take on the full responsibility for their well-being. Although Drew feels more adult, Doug takes a tack of challenging him in session rather than the “fluff” of praising him and just using unconditional positive rega…
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Sarah is learning not to take ownership of someone else’s feelings. She is still owning her part in triggering someone, but she is starting to allow others to be not ok without having to fix it. Sarah is no longer accepting her old default that there’s something’s wrong with her, or that she needs to fix every uncomfortable situation. Doug points o…
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Doug provides the space to let Drew complain about his job and his boss – something many of us can relate to feeling! Outside of work, Drew is feeling like a grown-up as he individuates from his parents. He is relating to his dad as a fellow adult rather than as a child that needs his father’s approval. He’s redefining the emotional ties he has to …
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Sarah shares memories and scenes that are coming up now from her past as a child growing up in the Children of God cult. Since being in therapy, she is putting pieces of her past together with new perspective and understanding of how it has impacted her life. Sarah is able to verbalize her thoughts and process her feelings with Doug about some of t…
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Drew is not forcing a change externally to feel better internally, having recently come out of a depressive episode. Doug reflects that he might be feeling better in part because he’s allowing himself to be present in the journey not because he reached an end destination. Drew applies this to moving his home right now, and says that he’s able to “t…
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Sarah explores how impactful it was to not have someone that at least tried to protect her as a child growing up in a cult. Doug reinforces the concept that she’s now re-parenting herself when she uncovers old wounds and tends to them. Sarah also protects herself by gathering data, like with her upcoming eye surgery. As a protective measure, data c…
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Drew is finding his groove again after a three month depressive episode. We highlight “inter-dependence” in his relationships right now in contrast to the people pleasing and co-dependence that marked most of his previous relationships. Drew is setting his boundaries and not feeling guilty about moving away from the people that have “done me dirty,…
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Sometimes feeling misunderstood can lead to self-realization. Ouch, Meredith! Sarah sees herself objectively after hearing Mer’s reaction to her from an earlier session. This leads Sarah to explore her protective mechanism of correction and hyper vigilance when there is a problem in her life. Doug encourages Sarah to sit with the emotion for a mome…
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Doug recaps the lost audio from session #86 with Drew comparing his depressive episode to turbulence on an airplane, and how we can manage our way through it. In the current session #87, Drew reflects on being able to stay present in the day-to-day experience of his life rather than getting caught up with what the next six months, year, or two year…
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Sarah attends a memorial for her cousin and is triggered at the service by seeing an abuser from her past in the cult. She is able to compartmentalize in the moment, let it out later with her family, and then process it with Doug in therapy. Sarah could be present in her own experience as it was happening and then acknowledge and process the emotio…
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Sarah is feeling overwhelmed with a lot of little things stressing her out and one big thing coming up – her cousin’s memorial. Doug helps Sarah stop and breathe, so she can acknowledge and process some of her grief and feelings of guilt. Sarah gains different perspective on the loss of her cousin and her relationship with him. Doug and Meredith br…
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Sarah links her current feeling of powerlessness with her past experiences of powerlessness in the cult and in her previous marriage. Doug helps Sarah go to an emotional place and process from there, rather than go to an intellectualized place, or get anxious and shut down. Sarah uses therapy to help carve new neural pathways in her brain and shape…
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***Trigger warning*** This episode contains potentially triggering and sensitive topics including suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, please call 988 in the United States. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or …
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An incident with her daughter sparks Sarah’s feelings of anger and powerlessness. Doug helps her draw the link to her emotional experience in the cult. Sarah is able to stay with her emotions rather than intellectualize them or try to fix the situation. They begin processing the feelings in session that she’s been holding onto most of her life. Dou…
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Sarah tells the story of her life as a teenager after escaping the cult she grew up in as a child. Doug helps her see where some patterns started with her only focusing right in front of her, staying hyper vigilant, and never dropping the ball or giving up control. Doug and Mer highlight Sarah feeling free and independent as a teenager for this fir…
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From the vantage point of his new job and a regular paycheck, Drew looks back objectively with appreciation at some of the things he was doing for work the past 18 months. He gets support from his girlfriend/not-girlfriend as he finds his new speed. Doug Friedman Meredith Levy YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media: YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Insta…
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Drew got a new job and feels like he’s taking a couple steps back mentally but he’s taking ten steps forward emotionally. Although he's overqualified for this job, he has the perspective of feeling a sense of mastery in what he's doing. We look at concepts of success, balance, and confidence building. Doug Friedman Meredith Levy YMB Webpage Join Us…
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Drew is allowing himself to slow down and experience all of the emotions coming up right now rather than just “getting through it” or numbing away from it. He acknowledges that his roots at the bottom feel solid while at the top, he can be a reed blowing with the wind and not fighting it. He feels like an Evergreen, baby! Doug Friedman Meredith Lev…
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Drew gets emotional as he copes with a hard week in the midst of a depressive episode. Drew expresses that he needed the safety net of parents this week and didn’t get it. He’s now feeling alone in the world, questioning his purpose, and not feeling much hope. Doug helps Drew acknowledge that much of this is a function of being more independent and…
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Drew is feeling depressed. Things are going good, but he’s not feeling good. During this period of time, Drew feels like something internal is missing – he’s not enjoying anything on his own and pushes back whenever Doug looks at his connection to others. Drew gets emotional and they are able to sit with the feelings of just being “in the grey.” Pi…
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As a sign of vulnerability, trust, and the safe space of therapy, Sarah allows herself to cry in session and feel the loss of her cousin. She connects this with the loss of her dad nearly a decade ago. Doug helps her stay with the feelings and express what is coming up for her in these initial stages of grief. Doug Friedman Meredith Levy YMB Webpag…
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Drew is feeling lukewarm, anhedonia, and meh rather than being in the high highs or the low lows. He’s understanding what it’s like being somewhere in the middle and not being at 0 or at 100. Drew recognizes that he used to need a partner or his parents to validate his experience. Now he's experiencing being alone and not lonely. He’s embracing hav…
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Doug and his mom open with a discussion about multiple personality disorder and her previous work in therapy with clients coming out of cults. In the session, Sarah acknowledges never allowing herself to fully feel the anger she’s held onto from her own upbringing in a cult. She is able to drop her protective armor in this session and show trust in…
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Doug helps Drew go deeper to explore the concept of a safety net by processing his all-in, all-out mentality. Drew goes to an emotional place when they talk about feeling abandoned, betrayed, and neglected by the inconsistency of his parents not being there for him. Doug Friedman Meredith Levy YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media: YMB The Facebook G…
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