Ep27: How to Rewrite Your Own Story | with Dr. Steven Isaacman


The term “Psychoanalysis” comes with plenty of baggage, not the least of which is images of Freud asking someone about their relationship with their mother, or on the opposite end of the spectrum someone lying down on a couch expressing their innermost fears and desires only to have a practitioner passively responding with, “and how did that make you feel?” Ugh….shoot me.

But despite some of the negative stigmas surrounding therapy and mental health in our society today, there’s a lot more to the science and art of psychoanalysis than you may know, and in this episode I dive deep into the therapy rabbit hole with Dr. Steven Isaacman who specializes in working with creative professionals who deal with mental health issues (myself included).

This interview is a very candid look at the process of psychoanalysis using my own experiences as an example for others, and you’ll learn just as I did how powerful the scripts are we have in our mind that drive most of our behaviors. More importantly, as a creative professional you’ll understand how to rewrite your own script and your own story to drive your attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors in a very different direction if you’re willing to put in the hard work necessary to understand yourself.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Dr. Isaacman’s career path and early experience in marital therapy
  • What’s the difference between therapy and psychoanalysis?
  • Purging the negative stigma surrounding therapy and psychoanalysis
  • The importance of communicating importance through metaphor
  • Growing comfortable with your most emotionally raw self
  • Rewriting the hindering scripts that dominate your life
  • It’s okay to not be prepared with a topic list when you come to therapy
  • How preparedness can be an obstacle to psychological cleansing
  • Learning to stop being ashamed of your unconscious self
  • Knowing that we will always be in the process of growth and development
  • Embracing the beautiful potential of failure

Useful Resources Mentioned:

The Ultimate Creative Guide

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

This episode is made possible by the HumanCharger,  a revolutionary new light therapy device made specifically for people who spend long days in the dark and don’t get enough sunlight…i.e. You and me. Simply put in the earbuds for 12 minutes a day to receive your daily recommended dosage of UV-free white light. Doing so can drastically increase your energy, improve your mood, and increase mental alertness and focus.This device has literally changed my life and I use it every morning without fail. Use the code ‘OPTIMIZE’ to get 20% off your order.

Guest Bio:

Dr Isaacman is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a certified psychoanalyst in private practice since 1992 with an office in West Hollywood, CA. While he works with a broad variety of patients, he is particularly interested in working with curious and creative individuals, many of whom work in the entertainment industry.
Dr Isaacman believes that the patient/therapist relationship can open possibilities for rich fulfillment in both personal and professional realms. Some people are eventually grateful for the symptom that brought them in, as learning about oneself can be profoundly joyous, even while being difficult.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. Zack helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs overcome procrastination, depression, and creative burnout so they can get sh*t done and achieve the most meaningful goals in their lives...without sacrificing their sanity in the process. If you’re interested in learning how to better manage your time, your energy, and develop ninja-like focus, download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”

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