Show cover of Your Mental Breakdown

Your Mental Breakdown

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.

Tracks

138. Drew #102: I Don’t Want to Become My Mom
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 finding a balance between focusing on himself without being too selfish and focusing on his baby without giving up himself. Kenzie and Doug break down the psychological concept of being a “good enough” parent and how we can course correct along the way. Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
60:05 23/05/2024
137. Sarah #43: Eulogy for My Old Self and T-Shirt
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 an emotional goodbye and homage to her old self that embodied the motto she literally wore on a t-shirt that her siblings made for her. Sarah can envision a path ahead as a new version of herself that doesn’t try to handle everything for everyone all the time. As she says, she’ll “Keep calm, then move out of the way.” Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
64:17 16/05/2024
136. Drew #101: It’s All Life: Balancing Work, Rest, and Play
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 all being under the umbrella of life with a balance of work, rest, and play. Drew draws the link to how the current imbalance is affecting his relationship and intimacy in his life right now. Kenzie breaks down how your individual dreams don’t have to die just because you’re in a relationship. Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
58:54 09/05/2024
135. Sarah #42: Looking at Yourself with a Fun House Mirror Lens
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 realizes that sometimes the most powerful thing she can say is nothing. Kenzie and Doug break down the current progress and process of re-wiring Sarah’s brain without making it overtly clinical. Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
52:35 02/05/2024
134. Drew #100: Taking a Big Rip of Oxygen
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 evolving relationship with his parents. Drew acknowledges feeling embarrassed, frustrated, and disappointed in who they are now, especially as it might reflect on how people see him. Doug validates his feelings and reflects it back to him before helping Drew reframe it. By radically accepting his mom as she is, he can see that she might be showing him love the way she is capable, rather than the way his love language usually recognizes it.  Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
71:20 25/04/2024
133. Sarah #41: Miss Independent Has a Robot Vacuum
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. Sarah processes the anxiety and feelings around letting go of control and spoke up for something selfishly – meaning she was taking care of herself. Doug and Kenzie break down how we can process anxiety when it hits for all of us by staying mindful and present focused instead of going back into our past or future tripping. And they actually go over a couple of tools that we can all take with us.   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok   Jennifer Lawrence on Hot Ones – What do you mean? Relax, Nothing’s Under Control – T-Shirt
58:42 18/04/2024
132. Drew #99: I’m WebMDing Myself
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 Kenzie are feeling it – literally – as an earthquake hits during recording.   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media: YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
55:51 11/04/2024
131. Sarah #40: Doing Your Personal Best
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 break down external versus internal validation and the drive to be perfect versus doing your personal best. They discuss what it is to be good enough and how “meets expectations” isn’t a negative thing. Striving for perfection is about doing your best, which can be “good enough” if we allow it to be. However, many of us feel that we’re not doing enough unless something is done perfectly, especially when there’s a historical experience of criticism and an internal voice in our head constantly criticizing us. What does doing your personal best mean to you? Can that be good enough or does it need to be perfect?   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage   Join us on Social Media: YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok Mentioned in the Episode: Link to Rapper’s Delight from “Happy Feet” Link to “Spinal Tap” These Go to 11
58:29 04/04/2024
130. Drew #98: What Would Be Supportive to You Right Now?
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 that often lets him down. Drew is experiencing what it’s like to choose himself and put his needs first ahead of everyone else, instead of his old pattern of putting his needs last. Doug helps him understand what it means to show up for someone the way they want, rather than the way he wants them to show up for him. It’s not about mind reading - it’s about communicating what would be supportive to you and asking someone what feels supportive to them.   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice   YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
64:18 28/03/2024
129. Sarah #39: It Had to Start with Me (Healing the Inner Child)
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 feel their feelings and sit with it (something she didn’t have growing up). She acknowledges the challenges of not acting on her instant reaction in these parenting situations, especially when interacting with her ex-husband. Sarah is able to stop and process before just going to her default protective mode to either fix the triggering event right away or bear the brunt of the consequences herself to shield her children (like she did for her siblings growing up in a cult). Sarah is healing her inner child!   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice   YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
63:06 21/03/2024
128. Drew #97: The Fire in Your Own Belly
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 that he’s also been feeling. Doug and Kenzie discuss anhedonia and sitting with clients when they are experiencing this feeling. They also talk about what happens when we may have missed something in a session as a therapist or feeling like our therapist missed something as a client. Have we missed something else, let us know… or if you’ve missed something, check out the podcast archives and listen to Drew and Sarah from day one of their journey in therapy!  Doug’s Group Therapy Practice  YMB Webpage  Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
74:15 14/03/2024
127. Sarah #38: Giving Yourself Permission to Feel
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 logically driven versus being emotionally driven. Sarah connects this to how she can sound like a robot sometimes while suppressing and invalidating her own feelings. Doug invites Sarah to give herself permission to bring out her inner Captain Kirk so she can practice allowing her emotions to come up and out.    Doug’s Group Therapy Practice   YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
64:43 07/03/2024
126. Drew #96: Much Love Because Here Comes the Challenge
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 independent. Doug and Kenzie discuss the therapeutic relationship as a secure attachment. With this secure base to jump off from, Doug is able to challenge Drew, and Drew is able to explore his independence.    Doug’s Group Therapy Practice   YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
69:05 29/02/2024
125. Sarah #37: I Feel Like I'm Going to Think About It a Lot
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 as a child growing up in a cult, but it isn’t serving her well now in her adult life. Doug invites her to come out of the protective shell to feel her own emotional experience rather than stay “safe” inside and keep her feelings internalized. Kenzie presses Doug to break down the abundant use of analogy and personal stories in session rather than stay in Sarah’s own personal experiences and emotions. They find that the analogies, especially the airplane one, really do land for Sarah… do they land for you too?   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
58:37 22/02/2024
124. Drew #95: Digging Up That Old Polaroid
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 how we often perceive (and misperceive) people. There are polaroid snapshots from one instance in time and there are “Harry Potter” pictures that constantly move and change - but neither is a true moving picture of our actual life now. The images someone has in mind of us don’t necessarily line up with how we really are now. We want people to see us and know us for who we are, but we are constantly changing. This gets murky when we put up walls and present false pictures to people, especially family members. Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
65:05 15/02/2024
123. Sarah #36: The Scooby-Doo Effect: Catching Up With Yourself
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 Scooby-Doo Effect,” when the cartoon bodies get scared out of their skins then later join back together. This helps highlight the concept of how Sarah is now catching up with herself after being in a heightened cortisol state of fight or flight to get through an event or experience. From this place, Sarah can take stock of what she just went through and process it.   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
56:51 08/02/2024
122. Drew #94: Big Ol’ Heaping Helping of Avoidance
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 what it means to “Double down, don't shut down." We can hear Drew name and feel the feelings in the session and release some of the judgement he’s been holding inside. As he says, “Being able to say it out loud helps me not avoid it.”   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
61:00 02/02/2024
121. Sarah #35: Therapy is the Rehearsal for Life
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 unconscious habits and patterns more conscious. Doug helps Sarah uncover a moment in her past when her emotional expression was literally shut down by being told that “No one cares.” We’ll see if Sarah can give herself permission to go back to a time in her life when it was safe to express herself before she learned to shut it down.   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
70:58 25/01/2024
120. Drew #93: Quarter-life Crisis: I Wanna Laugh, Cry, and Punch a Wall
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 head out of the sand and look between the immediate financial pressures and the larger picture of existential anxiety. Drew sees, and feels, what he’s really avoiding - his emotional experience in the here and now. He is able to go there in session with Doug, and express feeling like he wants to cry, laugh, and punch a wall.   Doug’s Group Therapy Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
70:14 18/01/2024
119. Sarah #34: The Sarah Whisperer: (Re)Parenting With Natural Consequences
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 whisperer,” and Doug turns this around and reminds her that she is the one whispering to herself and growing. She is, in effect, actively re-parenting herself – and we hear it happening in this session. In the breakdown, Doug and Kenzie talk about how to know which direction to take a client during a session, especially when there are moments with multiple possibilities to process. Therapy is like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book – if only real life let us peek ahead at the options before choosing!    Doug’s Group Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok Mentioned in this Episode:  Choose Your Own Adventure books:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choose_Your_Own_Adventure    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/09/19/the-enduring-allure-of-choose-your-own-adventure-books
73:17 11/01/2024
118. Sarah #33: Courage is Fear Walking
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 the emotion by putting the focus on “her” own personal story and subjective relationship with “her” parents in the cult, rather than looking objectively at “one's” experience and “one’s” parents. Doug tells Sarah a story about working with a teenager to highlight how someone can access their deeper feelings by allowing anger to come out first rather than suppressing it with restraint or punishment.  Sarah is motivated to let anger come up and come out to get to the real feelings that she’s compartmentalized.    Doug’s Group Practice YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
69:13 04/01/2024
117. Sarah #32: Camping In Your Mind
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. Sarah is now personalizing her experiences, as evidenced by her saying “I” at several points in the session rather than referring to the general “one” or “you.” Doug tells a story about camping with his dog that helps Sarah express her own feelings about freedom and safety. It’s a great benchmark moment in their therapy for Sarah to have identified a frame of reference for those feelings.   Doug’s Group Practice Meredith Levy YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
46:16 01/06/2023
116. Sarah #31: I’m Gonna Breathe, You Talk
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 highlights this as her having a personal boundary even in the face of disappointing her son. Is this the beginning of a new neural pathway in her brain that allows her to take care of herself and not constantly put others’ needs ahead of her own?   Doug’s Group Practice Meredith Levy YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
45:51 25/05/2023
115. Drew #92: Living For Myself
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 the end of the session indicating that he definitely won’t be living just for himself anymore in about nine months!   Doug’s Group Practice Meredith Levy YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
34:25 11/05/2023
114. Sarah #30: Re-Personalizing Your Experiences
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 compassion.   Doug’s Group Practice Meredith Levy YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
40:03 04/05/2023
113. Drew #91: The Challenge, Not the Fluff
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 regard. Drew loves the challenge approach and is able to explore how he is starting to feel like an adult, but still acting like a child. In Drew’s own words, he said, “I think I’m still learning how to be an adult in the process of learning how to be a parent, in the process of figuring out my childhood.”    Doug’s Group Practice Meredith Levy YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
42:05 30/03/2023
112. Sarah #29: It’s Actually Not Crazy
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 out that she is embodying the Carl Rogers quote, “When I accept myself as I am, then I can change.” Sarah has accepted herself as a trauma survivor and is “lit tur uh lee” reshaping her brain.   Doug’s Group Practice Meredith Levy YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
43:51 16/03/2023
111. Drew #90: Being the Green Beret
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 his family while he lives his own life for himself.   Doug’s Group Practice Meredith Levy YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
30:39 09/03/2023
110. Sarah #28: Tears and Hugs Are Not Enough
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 the abuse she endured as a child.   ***Trigger warning*** This episode contains potentially triggering and sensitive topics including child abuse. If you suspect or know that a child is being abused or neglected, call or text 800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453). Professional crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 170 languages. All calls are confidential.   Scene from A Time to Kill   Doug’s Group Practice Meredith Levy YMB Webpage   Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
42:04 02/03/2023
109. Drew #89: Trusting the Process
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 “trust the process” with both the move and the unknown in general in his life. Drew then drops a “banger” on Doug at the tail end of the session related to his thoughts on not wanting to see a doctor about his heart condition. Doug Friedman Meredith Levy YMB Webpage Join Us on Social Media:  YMB The Facebook Group YMB on Instagram YMB on TikTok
45:02 23/02/2023

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