Dr. Andrea Brandt is a psychotherapist based out of Santa Monica, CA. She has over 35 years of professional experience, has written several books, and travels the US leading training sessions for other therapists. In this episode of Businesses in Bloom, Andrea discusses how the therapy profession has changed throughout her career, and how she came to specialize in anger and passive-aggressiveness.
[1:50] Andrea says her childhood indirectly led her to practice therapy. She was the only child of emotionally distant parents and was expected to bridge the gap between them. Later she moved to California and worked in the motion picture industry. She became “the company shrink” on the set. She enrolled in UCLA and began taking psychology courses. She and her husband at the time went into married couples’ group therapy, and individual therapy. In these sessions, she learned a lot about herself and realized she herself could become a therapist.
[5:34] Andrea eventually received a Master’s Degree in counseling psychology. She volunteered at a counseling center and opened her own practice. In the 1990s, 20 years later, she received a Ph.D.
[7:45] Andrea wrote a first book, “Mindful Anger,” and a second, “8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness.” She now travels the US training therapists on passive-aggressiveness and the constructive use of anger.
[10:00] Andrea says she initially wrote about anger because when she started as a therapist in the 1970s, there was not much information on anger or trauma. After attending an anger workshop in southern California, she decided to start her own workshops.
[12:30] Andrea was fascinated by how much anger people were able to release in her workshops.
[15:10] Andrea talks about the signs of passive-aggressiveness: being negative in good times, chronic lateness, and forgetfulness. The person never understands why their behavior angers others. Passive-aggressive people don’t have boundaries and are afraid to express their own power.
[19:29] Andrea says the way to handle passive-aggressive people is to establish boundaries with them, find out their beliefs, and use mindfulness. Conflict is healthy because it strengthens relationships. Passive-aggressive people don’t know this.
[20:55] Andrea still has a busy practice, seeing many different kinds of clients. She sees individuals and couples, anywhere from 28-30 clients a week.
[22:54] Andrea is working on another book on aging.
[23:55] Andrea says when she started her practice in the 1970s, she told people she was open for business and that was it. Word of mouth built her practice. Now Andrea has a blog on Psychology Today and sends out two newsletters a month. She does some public speaking too.
[27:05] Andrea talks about the challenges of her practice.
[30:42] Andrea incorporates sensory motor psychotherapy with clients who are open to it. This was a modality she had to learn 20 years into her career.
[31:30] Andrea used to worry that if she took time off she’d lose all her patients. This didn’t happen. She’s lived through a number of recessions and noticed a difference in her practice in those times. People couldn’t afford therapy. To weather the dry spells, she pulled in her purse strings, and she started up a website to advertise.
[33:19] She writes blog posts about forgiveness, passive-aggressiveness, and a range of other topics.
[34:30] Andrea’s advice for new therapists: network, be a good listener, and stay in the moment. Try different workshops and modalities.
BIO – Dr. Andrea Brandt, Marriage and Family Therapist, Santa Monica, CA
Dr. Andrea Brandt is a marriage and family therapist located in Santa Monica California. Andrea brings over 35 years of clinical experience to the role of individual family therapist, couples counseling, group therapy and anger management classes.
Dr. Brandt is a recognized expert in treating a full range of emotional issues, including anger & aggression, anxiety & trauma, aging, relationships, work-life balance, workplace, and women’s issues
In her workshops, patient sessions and presentations, Dr. Brandt reveals positive paths to emotional health that teach you how to reinvent and empower yourself. She emphasizes the mind-body-heart connection as a key to mental, physical and emotional wellness.
Upon pioneering a new approach to emotional healing, Dr. Brandt directed her attention to the study of anger management and conflict resolution. In her book 8 Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness, Dr. Brandt examines strategies for overcoming a common yet debilitating response mechanism. In her second book, Mindful Anger: a pathway to emotional freedom, Dr. Brandt explores methods to better understand and manage the powerful emotion of anger.
Dr. Brandt holds 3-hour workshops open to the public called: 8-Keys to Eliminating Passive-Aggressiveness. Go to abrandtherapy.com/passive-aggressive-workshop-group/ for details.
She also trains therapists across the nation with the seminar: Mindful Anger: The Art of Transforming a Difficult Emotion into a Therapeutic Tool Seminar
Go to mindfulangerworksop.com for details.
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