If you are looking through a ton of arrays you are probably using an old version of the PHP client. So go over to https://github.com/podio/podio-php and fetch a new version. Beware there are many syntax changes in the new version. These are made to solve your exact problem.
After that you can see a bunch of examples of how to work with items in https://github.com/podio/podio-php/blob/master/examples/items.php
For your specific case. Here is how to get an item, get a specific field by external id and then print the human friendly value of that field.
$item = PodioItem::get($item_id);
// Get the field with external id 'title'
$field = $item->field('title');
// Print human friendly value
// Raw values are available in $field->values