Episode 59: Living With Your Head Detached From Your Body with Amy Guerrero
Episode 59: Living With Your Head Detached From Your Body with Amy Guerrero
Amy Guerrero is a trauma-informed recovery coach helping people on their journey of sobriety and healing from trauma. In this episode, she talks with Alyssa about why it can be dangerous to tell people struggling with addiction to “just quit”. She also shares about her own battle with addiction and how addiction actually saved her life – at first! Tune in to hear Amy’s incredible story as well as her unique approach to helping others heal via a fully somatic experience.
Alyssa Scolari [00:23]:
Alyssa Scolari [00:23]:
Hello, everybody, welcome. On the day that we are recording this, it is Friday and I am in a really good mood. Why? I don’t know, because things are hectic, but I am, so we’re going with it. I am really excited for today’s episode. I am really excited for our guest today. We have with us Amy Guerrero. I’m just going to tell you a little bit about Amy before we get into it.
Alyssa Scolari [00:55]:
“When we stay curious together, we can experience unimaginable freedom.” I love that quote. “On a journey to heal from my trauma, I stumbled, pun intended, into a conscious sober lifestyle and my deeper purpose to support people. Today, I support sober people to heal past traumas, to feel more freedom, pleasure, and purpose, and create healthy relationships and thrive.
Alyssa Scolari [01:22]:
I was confident no single approach to healing and living a conscious sober life would work for me, so why would it work for anyone else? I got busy educating myself, training and working with people in somatic experiencing, attachment theory and other trauma-informed modalities and relating it to living a conscious sober lifestyle.
Alyssa Scolari [01:44]:
What I discover is missing for my clients, who include all adults ready to create healthier relationships, is when we unravel the root causes of the addictive escape, such as grief, trauma, and painful events from the past, they discover the safety to live with purpose and thrive in all of their relationships.
Alyssa Scolari [02:06]:
Outside of running my coaching business, Thrive in Recovery, you can find me practicing what I teach, cooking healthy, delicious food, practicing yoga, playing outdoors, and strengthening my connection to myself to serve others.”
Alyssa Scolari [02:22]:
I love that. Hi, Amy. Welcome.
Amy Guerrero [02:26]:
Thank you so much. It’s so delightful to be here and all of our good moodiness is jiving off of each other because I too am having a great Friday.
Alyssa Scolari [02:36]:
Oh, that makes me so happy to hear that. Amy and I are moving buddies. Amy has just moved so we were talking about the process of moving before we started recording. Yeah. We’re both vibing.
Amy Guerrero [02:50]:
Alyssa Scolari [02:50]:
Is there anything you want to add to that bio, or can I just get rolling?
Amy Guerrero [02:56]:
Alyssa Scolari [02:56]:
Can I just start with my 21 questions?
Amy Guerrero [02:58]:
Just get started with your 21 questions. You said it all. Yeah.
Alyssa Scolari [03:04]:
Can you define, for the listeners, what is somatic experiencing? What does that mean? Because I love that technique, but I don’t think a lot of people really know what that means.
Amy Guerrero [03:19]:
Absolutely. I like to put things in very user-friendly words, so I’m not going to define it as maybe the Somatic Experiencing Institute would define it. I’m going to define it as Amy Guerrero defines it.
Alyssa Scolari [03:31]:
Amy Guerrero [03:31]:
It’s really, for me, as a conscious sober woman, before I became conscious I was really feeling my way through life. I was experiencing a lot of life through all of the sensation in my body, and everyone in the world doesn’t experience that, or stops the sensation from happening. Then just tries to analyze and analyze and think and think and think.
Amy Guerrero [03:57]:
What somatic experience is, is really a bottom-up approach to mental health, mental wellness, and overall wellness. It’s really going into the body to allow the body to complete things that happened, whether unconscious or conscious. For instance, with traumatic events or with grief, oftentimes we stuff it down and we put it away and we promise we’re going to go back for it later.
Amy Guerrero [04:26]:
Then some kind of chronic inflammation shows up and it just won’t go away. Often that’s the body keeping the score, as Bessel would say, or telling us like, “Hey, there’s something in here.” So often it’s an emotional piece. The somatics that I really practice in somatic experiencing that I practice for myself and my clients is like, “Hey, let’s listen to what your body wants to tell us and then listen to what your mind is telling us about that.”
Amy Guerrero [04:52]:
Really slowing it down. So often people who’ve experienced any escapism with drugs or alcohol, or even just the behaviors that are just highly palatable on the GABA receptors and the feel-good transmitters, they don’t remember that they have a body because it’s been drowned out by the heavy use of other things outside of themselves. That’s my story too.
Alyssa Scolari [05:18]:
Yeah. That was going to be my next question, is, this is something that I feel like many people who struggle with addiction, and I also believe eating disorders, this is something that we do. We almost, metaphorically of course, are walking around with our heads detached from our bodies when we’re in our addiction. Would you agree with that?
Amy Guerrero [05:46]:
Absolutely. Our heads get very manipulative and wise at the same sense, because it’s all a protective mechanism. Our brains start to create all of the story that becomes so intense and it just won’t stop.
Amy Guerrero [06:03]:
When I was working in eating disorder clinics, I was always just really watching the room instead of listening to every single word, because what I could see in their bodies would tell me the story in which they had calculated such a beautiful story in which most of it their body was telling me wasn’t true. Right?
Amy Guerrero [06:25]:
Their head was like, “Oh, no, this is exactly what’s happening.” It’s so true. It’s a protective mechanism. I don’t think there’s anything wrong or right about it. It makes sense.
Alyssa Scolari [06:39]:
Absolutely. I think that for some people that’s truly where they need to be, because it’s one of those things where maybe if we were fully in tune, we would lose it. It is, as you said, a protective measure. I believe it’s a survival mechanism.
Amy Guerrero [06:54]:
Alyssa Scolari [06:55]:
It keeps us alive.
Amy Guerrero [06:57]:
Alyssa Scolari [06:58]:
In a way … And this might sound like a twisted sentence, but sometimes our addiction is what keeps us alive.
Amy Guerrero [07:05]:
Oh, if I didn’t start using drugs and alcohol when I did, I think I would have been suicidal much sooner in my life than when I was. I mean, my first MDMA experience was a life-changer. I believe I used it in this very beautiful way where I had journals and all of the things and just really got to the matter of what was really bothering me.
Amy Guerrero [07:27]:
I believe that those experiences, although then I would use them in ways that weren’t necessarily therapeutic for me, but if I didn’t use the way I did, I don’t think I’d be here now. Because at the end of my using, when that coping mechanism was taken away from me, I tried to kill myself for almost 18 months.
Alyssa Scolari [07:46]:
Yes. I am so appreciative of the fact that you shared that, because not only are you speaking some really hard and wise truth about addiction, but in saying what you just said, which is drugs and alcohol essentially helped to keep me alive, you are taking the shame off of it and the guilt and the stigma as well, because there’s such a stigma, right? We know about stigma.
Alyssa Scolari [08:15]:
We could talk about that all day, but when you look at it as like, “I needed this to survive.” There are so many people who carry so much guilt and shame from years when they had addiction and they struggled, but when you reframe it and you look at it as what it was, which was you just trying to survive, I feel like it takes a lot of that guilt and shame away.
Amy Guerrero [08:39]:
A hundred percent. That was what I struggled with at first, because I wasn’t being met where I was at. The people that were trying to support me … I had started working on my trauma before I became physically dependent on alcohol. About halfway through my journey, I met my birth mom and then that’s when my alcohol use just went up and up.
Amy Guerrero [09:04]:
My coping mechanisms, I really leaned into them, but I was on this journey to heal all my trauma by the time I was 40 and I just giggle at myself now because that’s so my personality. Like, “I’m going to figure all of this out before I’m 40 because I’m going to walk into my 40 totally freaking healed and have it all figured out.”
Amy Guerrero [09:24]:
Instead, I’m waking up shaking and going, “Wait, you cannot take away my favorite coping mechanism. What the actual fuck is going to happen now?” People were trying to tell me that everything that I was saying was untrue and to not trust my body and that I was powerless and all of these things. I was like, “Ah, no, I hear you. Maybe this works for some people, but please listen to me and meet me where I’m at.” I wasn’t really receiving that kind of support.
Alyssa Scolari [09:56]:
When you say people were telling you, do you mean professionals, healthcare professionals were telling you … In what aspects were they telling you to not listen to your body?
Amy Guerrero [10:07]:
The first treatment center that I went to, I mean, beautiful humans that knew what they knew. They were a 12-step modeled treatment center. Everything was modeled off of the 12 steps. They really believed in everything that the book said and didn’t take into account the body and the trauma and the deeper underlying things. It was like, “Oh, yeah, okay, sure, but right now you’re powerless over alcohol and that’s all we need to focus on.”
Amy Guerrero [10:38]:
I’m like, “Maybe, but all day long I can tell you what you want to hear, but my body’s still telling me, ‘I’m not safe here. I’m not safe here. I’m not safe here.'” That extra … You know? I think coping with food or by not really choosing food in the ways to nurture the body, right?
Amy Guerrero [11:00]:
That’s something that’s so similar where the people that are there just don’t feel like they’re being met where they’re at and they’re being told how they feel rather than actually being listened to on how they feel. I feel like that was something that was really missing.
Amy Guerrero [11:15]:
No fault of the practitioners. Just not trained in the same things that I had already been studying for a long time, because I was into my body’s going to tell me what’s right and what’s wrong.
Alyssa Scolari [11:29]:
Yeah. Absolutely. As I think back to my eating disorder treatment days, because I had a whole host of anorexia, bulimia and then binge eating, and by the time I was in treatment, I was in full-blown binge eating. It’s exactly like you said, they know what they know and they don’t know what they don’t know. What they didn’t know was how badly I needed food to be able to survive with what I was going through.
Alyssa Scolari [12:00]:
What they didn’t know was how deeply and horribly traumatized I had just been. I have a group of people sitting here telling me like, “You have to stop eating. You have to stop.” Then I would get those weekly weigh-ins and they would be like, “You gained more weight this week. You’re not being compliant.” Ultimately they kicked me out. I got kicked out. Cue guilt and shame.
Alyssa Scolari [12:29]:
I mean, please. I mean, I understand. I feel completely what you’re saying, because people are in a way telling you not to listen to your body.
Amy Guerrero [12:43]:
Yeah. I don’t know about your experience and I really don’t … This is such an important conversation because I felt shame from childhood and I was really good at feeling shame. As a matter of fact, I felt more comfortable in my shame than I did in my power, so when people would tell me to not listen to my body or basically that what I was doing was wrong, again, it confirmed that I had to stay in the shame spiral.
Amy Guerrero [13:14]:
I had to … I call it a blanket. I stayed underneath the blanket of shame and walked through my life with not good enoughness, with compromising my body with men, with work, with overworking, overdoing over everything, over, over, over, really led by my masculine energy.
Amy Guerrero [13:32]:
Because I was more comfortable feeling ashamed of who I actually was than empowered to be the confident woman that … I exhibited all the traits of it on the outside, but inside I was like, oh, just awfully, awfully, awfully shameful of everything and always asking for permission to take up any freaking space in any room that I was in.
Alyssa Scolari [13:59]:
Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s like, we have trauma that contributes to us feeling very disconnected from our bodies and then we try to seek help. Then we get this message from people who aren’t meaning to give us this message, but again, they don’t know what they don’t know. Then we get this message that’s like, “Well, yeah, you really don’t. You really don’t know what’s going on.” This is really bad.
Alyssa Scolari [14:31]:
Then we further detach from ourselves and we just sink into the shame. I mean, yeah, absolutely. I mean, to the point where I remember being a kid and if somebody ever told me … I would get the comment a lot, because I think by nature, I’m a loud person. I do have a lot of confident energy, and if somebody would tell me like, “Shh.” Just that, if you shush me, done. Done.
Alyssa Scolari [15:04]:
Shame attack, right? You call it a shame blanket. I call it shame attack. I’m done. Hiding under a rock, shame spiral into suicidality.
Amy Guerrero [15:15]:
Yeah. Oh, gosh. Yeah. I think again, it’s something that we don’t spend enough time naturalizing. It’s just like, “Oh, it’s totally a natural response based on the fact that we weren’t being met where we were.” No one was just looking in our eyes going, “Hey, that’s okay. What you’re feeling’s totally natural.” Instead, it was like, “Oh my God, it’s my fault again.” You know?
Amy Guerrero [15:42]:
I can remember even, especially with my partners, how I would just shut down, and because I have such a big presence in a room as well, when I shut down, I shut down the whole room because of my energetic [inaudible 00:15:53]. Like a manifesting generator, utilitarian. I am an energy source and a-
Alyssa Scolari [15:58]:
You’re a manifesting generator?
Amy Guerrero [16:00]:
Alyssa Scolari [16:01]:
Okay. I’m a projector.
Amy Guerrero [16:03]:
Alyssa Scolari [16:04]:
To the listeners out there, look this shit up. I am telling you, your life will be changed by human design. Go to Jovianarchive.com. Find your human design. You will be forever changed. That’s a side note.
Amy Guerrero [16:16]:
Yeah. Totally. My best friend is a projector as well, and so I’ve learned so much about projectors. Yeah. Yeah. Our energy levels are so different, and so it’s so beautiful to have this information so that we can navigate our relationship in such a different way.
Alyssa Scolari [16:32]:
It’s a truly beautiful thing. I think my husband is a manifesting generator and it is like reading about manifesting generators I’m like, “Wow.” It’s so cool. Anyway, I digress because I could talk about human design all day too. I want to ask you, what was that turning point for you?
Alyssa Scolari [16:53]:
Because you’re describing the Amy who was walking around feeling detached, getting this message from treatment facilities that you shouldn’t trust your body, right? Then you’re trying to give up this addiction that you actually need to survive. How did you get from that Amy to the Amy who’s like, “Oh, I needed this and it’s okay that I needed this.”
Amy Guerrero [17:20]:
Yeah. That’s a great question. It took about 18 months. First it took me like just trying to take my life. I always tried to drink enough and take enough Xanax to just not be here. I was so frustrated because it just wouldn’t work. Somehow some way, I would end up in the hospital and somehow I would wake up. I started writing this program, the Thrive in Recovery methodologies, I call it Regroovin’, in 2014 when I was first in treatment.
Amy Guerrero [17:48]:
By 2016 I was unsuccessful again and I was just like, “Enough is enough.” I went to a treatment center and I said, “Please, let me do it my way. Hold space for me. I have a plan. I just need a safe environment to get out of this. I will be the client that I need to be, if you give me space to study and do my own thing during groups.” They did. I did exactly what I was told to do and got out of there.
Amy Guerrero [18:19]:
Then I chose to move into sober living. When I moved into sober living, I immediately started creating the coursework and teaching it three months later and then started my business. It’s like, I knew that if I wasn’t going to die, that I needed to live like I was never going to live before.
Amy Guerrero [18:38]:
Exactly like you said, I needed to go through this experience to be here now to bring this into the world. It wasn’t really this super empowered decision. It was just like, “Oh, okay. I didn’t die again so I’m going to live like I’ve never lived before.”
Alyssa Scolari [18:55]:
That’s realistic, right? I so appreciate that because that’s what it’s like. That’s recovery. It’s not like I think the way they make it fucking look in movies where you wake up one day and the sun shines fucking brighter and the birds are chirping. The birds are singing that you’re meant to be alive. That’s not the shit that happens.
Alyssa Scolari [19:22]:
It’s like, we wake up and we’re like, “Well …” I know for me, it was like I had an attempt and then it didn’t work and I was like … It’s very similar. I was like, “Well, fuck. I’m here. I guess I’m fucking here. What am I going to do about this shit?”
Amy Guerrero [19:43]:
Yeah. A hundred percent. It wasn’t this beautiful oh. It was like, “I’m fucking here and I’m going to fucking make this decision and everyone just …” Then I think there was a bit of like, “I’m going to prove the haters fucking wrong.”
Alyssa Scolari [20:01]:
Yes. That anger that you make productive instead of self-destructive.
Amy Guerrero [20:05]:
Absolutely. Yeah. I was still really involved in the 12-step communities and the things that I knew that people told me they worked and I was like, “You know what, I’m going to study them. I’m going to go into why these things were developed and why it works. Then study SMART Recovery and then study LifeRing, and then study all of these different modalities and figure out something. What’s the throughline for all of them? Why does this work?”
Amy Guerrero [20:30]:
I was. I was fucking angry at first, and so I wanted to prove everybody fucking wrong. Then I also wanted the answer to be through the body. What I first started with my gateway in was actually through nutrition and wellness and just understanding instead of eliminating things from people’s diet, because we already eliminated so much, how can we add in things to support them?
Amy Guerrero [20:53]:
I started making essential oil blends and I started teaching yoga classes and just really encouraging everyone in … Because I was working at treatment centers. Encouraging them to go to sound baths and to go into the somatics. It’s like, let’s just get to know that you have a body that’s meant to do more than take you out in so many different ways.
Amy Guerrero [21:14]:
Because that detachment, that head that’s not attached to the body, just felt like their body was in their way and then therefore abused it. All of the sex that happened in there, I was just like, “Ouch, that does not feel good for you.” You know?
Alyssa Scolari [21:30]:
Amy Guerrero [21:30]:
For many of the women, they weren’t even having orgasms, but they were sleeping with everyone at treatment. I was just like, “Let’s stop that and let’s add in some yummy oils and some yummy practices and let’s go to the beach every day. Then let’s acquaint yourself with your sensuality in a different way.”
Alyssa Scolari [21:48]:
Yes. I love that. Operating from the approach of, what can we add, right? What can we add? Because you clearly are lacking, right? We’re already lacking in something if we are caught up in addiction and eating disorders. It’s like, let’s not take anything away right now because that’s not safe. Then in my private practice, I tend to be very slow with that.
Alyssa Scolari [22:20]:
I actually get a lot of … In working with kids because I work with kids and adults, but the parents of kids are often on my ass about like, “Why is my kid still binge eating? Why? This isn’t working.” I’m very slow. I’m never like, “Well, why don’t you just stop?” Because you don’t know what’s on the other side of that. Nine times out of 10, it’s deep, intense suicidality.
Amy Guerrero [22:49]:
Yeah. Oh, gosh. I don’t know how many times you were told that, “Oh, God, Amy you’re so smart. Why don’t you just stop?”
Alyssa Scolari [23:00]:
You have such a bright future. Just stop.
Amy Guerrero [23:04]:
Oh my God. I just remember when … I mean, at one point I remember I did try to kick someone in the face when they told me that. I was just like, “It’s so insulting.” I was drunk but, “It’s so insulting to hear that. I know I’m fucking smart. I know I’ve accomplished all of this shit. I know that it’s not a wise decision. My prefrontal cortex is not online right now. Get the fuck out of my face. If you ever told me to just stop again.” Really listen to what that means.
Alyssa Scolari [23:36]:
Amy Guerrero [23:37]:
It is so condescending.
Alyssa Scolari [23:38]:
You’re only problem won’t be my foot if you ever fucking tell me to stop again. We’re going to have much bigger problems than my foot in your face.
Amy Guerrero [23:49]:
Yeah. I get it because the parents want to control that so badly. Then that’s their unhealed emotional trauma.
Alyssa Scolari [23:57]:
Totally. Totally. A thousand percent. For you, this is the approach that you’re taking and you work individually with people?
Amy Guerrero [24:08]:
And in groups. Yeah. Yeah.
Alyssa Scolari [24:10]:
And in groups. Yeah. Tell me a little bit about the business that you have because you’ve taken, what I feel is like a newer approach and a highly effective approach to recovering from addiction and trauma because, right? The biggest thing is, “Okay. Now what, right? After I’m no longer an alcoholic or I no longer am using drugs, now what do I do?”
Alyssa Scolari [24:33]:
I feel like you have found a really beautiful way of helping people through that. How do you do that? If you can answer that and in a few sentences, I don’t know if you can.
Amy Guerrero [24:42]:
I can actually. I mean, that’s exactly what it was. It was like, you’re sober now what? Right? Now maybe for the first time we’re learning how to do life, right? The first thing that I do when I’m working with people one-on-one is we usually start with something like a three-month commitment to one another and really just decide like, yes, we’re in it.
Amy Guerrero [25:06]:
That first month is all about teaching regulation and really helping them understand that they have a nervous system and the three parts of the nervous system and really teaching polyvagal. Then understanding their attachment patterns and then not going too deep into the trauma, but just touching on the things that we know, what I call them they’re anchors of trauma, right?
Amy Guerrero [25:28]:
Like, “Oh, that’s the incident that started this and that’s the incident that started this.” We build that connection to take away the shame and the guilt and the blame, right? Because I believe that once we understand that we have a nervous system and we really get to know it and map it out, then we’re like, “Oh, yes, it all makes sense. It wasn’t my fault.”
Amy Guerrero [25:51]:
Then we can start actually doing a life and setting up a plan to repair, to reconnect and to build that trust from within so that people can start to trust from without as well. Just depending … High-level mentorship. We are talking every day and there’s just a lot, a lot that happens in that one-on-one work, that most of my clients now are starting their own businesses.
Amy Guerrero [26:19]:
It’s so beautiful to watch this ripple out and then they have 10 or 15 clients that are learning this work. Then those 10 or 15 clients, a couple of them start and I’m like, “Yes, this is how we’re going to change the world.” Right? Is the more people that understand this.
Alyssa Scolari [26:35]:
Amy Guerrero [26:36]:
It starts with that deep one-on-one, depending on where they are in their journey. Sometimes people are coming to me with 10 or 15 years of sobriety, but not that real deeper … As you said earlier, that real fucking recovery, right? They’re still just scratching the surface and they’ve been sober for 10 or 15 years and they’re ready to do their deeper work. They’ve heard something in me that they’re just like, “Oh, yeah, girl, please help me get there.”
Amy Guerrero [26:59]:
That’s really fun because things happen so quickly because we have a lot of sober time, but we don’t have a lot of time that they went into their trauma. They’re often very resistant and very blocked by their 12-steppedness. Y’all, I do not have anything against 12 step at all, but there’s some deconditioning that has to happen from any place that we spend a lot of time.
Alyssa Scolari [27:21]:
Amy Guerrero [27:23]:
There’s nothing right or wrong with it.
Alyssa Scolari [27:25]:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Then if I understand this correctly, you don’t work with people who are active in their addiction or you-
Amy Guerrero [27:35]:
Alyssa Scolari [27:36]:
Amy Guerrero [27:36]:
Yeah. I have several people right now that I’m working with that are still having a little bit of going back to that coping mechanism every now and again. Safety is everything for me. If someone’s really in their stuff and I know that I’m not going to be able to keep them safe because I’m not with them physically, then I will suggest that they go someplace else just because safety is so important. Again, they’re not going to get well if they don’t feel safe with me.
Alyssa Scolari [28:07]:
Yeah. I think that that is so important. I’m really glad you brought that up because I was going to say, “I think that we should clarify that there’s a certain level here where it’s simply not safe.” I don’t want for the listeners for it to come off as like I’m being like, “Oh, yeah, just let people run hog-wild into the arms of addiction and we just watch people waste.” No, right? That’s not what we’re doing here.
Amy Guerrero [28:37]:
Oh, no. No, no, no, no. Yeah.
Alyssa Scolari [28:38]:
It’s, there’s certainly a level of assessment there where we’re like, “Is it safe? Is it not safe?” I’ve had people who come to me with an eating disorder and I’m like, “This isn’t safe. I’m not trying to tell you, you have to give up the thing that’s kind of keeping you alive, but now the thing that’s keeping you alive is nearly killing you.” That’s where it’s like, I feel unsafe.
Amy Guerrero [29:02]:
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, fortunately I’m usually able to tell that within the first conversation.
Alyssa Scolari [29:08]:
Amy Guerrero [29:08]:
Then I’m able to make lots of recommendations in places that I really trust and that I’ve built relationships with, that I know that they have some of these modalities in place to keep them safe. Then we can work together after that initial … Maybe just a little time out away from their coping mechanism and just understanding it at a higher level.
Alyssa Scolari [29:31]:
Totally. Yeah. Totally. Thrive in Recovery is your program, but you also recently have Bridge to Trust.
Amy Guerrero [29:42]:
Alyssa Scolari [29:43]:
Can you talk a little bit about that? Because I think that’s really neat.
Amy Guerrero [29:46]:
Oh, yeah. Oh, it’s so neat. Yeah. What I found was that people were working with me for three months and then six months sometimes and then they just didn’t know how to connect to their friends and family. They had this understanding of their nervous system. They had this understanding of their attachment system and they were just like, “Ah, no one understands me and they just keep taking me back to my old patterns and my old behaviors.”
Amy Guerrero [30:10]:
The Bridge to Trust experience is all about learning to trust what you know, to come back to that intuition, to come back to that trust, and then to invite your friends and family from that place to learn with you, right? Not about the addiction, not about the recovery, but like, “Hey, how can we connect more deeply as humans here and have yummy or healthier communication with each other and really bridge this trust so that we can recover the trust that maybe was broken when we were heavily into our patterns?”
Amy Guerrero [30:44]:
Because I know for me, I broke a lot of trust out there in the world and it took time for me to build that bridge within myself. Then I felt safe to offer it to others. Like, “Oh, you can come closer to me and here’s how.” I can show you without guilt and shame an amends process of me going, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry.” It was more like, “Hey, I get it. What can I do to make this right? How can we move on from here?”
Alyssa Scolari [31:09]:
That is a beautiful thing. I think probably hugely helpful, because one of the things that I have seen lead to relapse is a lack of those protective factors, i.e. relationships. You’re not just saying, “Okay. Great. You’ve worked through your trauma. We’ve been working together. Good luck. Have fun. Catch you on the other side.”
Alyssa Scolari [31:40]:
What you’re doing is taking it a step further and then going, “Hey, let’s also now build some really healthy and trusting relationships in your life so that you can continue on this path.” Oh, that’s so cool. I love that.
Amy Guerrero [31:54]:
Yeah. Because isolation and the loneliness, it’s like we can learn all of this shit, but if we’re not practicing it with someone that we trust, then we’re not-
Alyssa Scolari [32:03]:
We fall right back into … Yeah.
Amy Guerrero [32:06]:
Alyssa Scolari [32:07]:
Amy Guerrero [32:08]:
It’s so cool because the Bridge to Trust events have led to a community and just watching this community just grow with each other and feel that like, “Oh my gosh.” And practicing with each other, and then going and practicing with their friends and their family and then going, “Oh, wait, this works.” Then inviting their friends and family to come join the community and then all of a sudden we’ve got parents and their children and partners and their partner.
Amy Guerrero [32:36]:
Their partners are like, “Oh, shit, I need this stuff. I always thought it was them. I always thought it was their fault.” You know? And I’m pointing my finger. There’s a lot of that. The finger-pointing starts to go like, “Oh, shit, we’re in this together. We both have nervous systems. How can we really understand this at a deeper level?” Yeah.
Alyssa Scolari [32:57]:
Yes. Because it becomes so easy to blame the person with the addiction or the person with the ‘mental health’, right? It’s them, they’re sick. They’re not well. I’m just like, “Man, I wish I could bring my whole family to one of these Bridge to Trust.” Because I’m the outcast in my family, even doing what I do. It’s like, “Oh, she’s the weird one. We don’t talk to her.” It’s like … Right?
Alyssa Scolari [33:28]:
I’m sure in this event you have family members that then their eyes are open to, “Oh, right. Multiple nervous systems. We’re all trying to regulate. I did play a part in this. I did have a role to play in this as well.” I think that’s really important.
Amy Guerrero [33:49]:
Yeah. Another virtual Bridge to Trust event is coming up at the end of July. It’s so exciting because exactly what you said happens. I have many parents that come without their children at first and then they’re like, “Oh, shit. Thank you.” Because I don’t make it about the coping mechanisms. It’s all about the solution and the root cause of what keeps us stuck intergenerationally and that trauma. Then just some … I like to bring fun. I call everything I do a regrooving method. We’re regrooving-
Alyssa Scolari [34:24]:
I love it.
Amy Guerrero [34:24]:
… our nervous systems to just … And I bring a lot of fun and breath, sound and movement into things. It’s like, “Oh, we’re not just going to sit still and learn a bunch of shit.” We’re going to interact and have some fun together and not take this so seriously that they’re like, “Oh, she’s the weird one.” We’re all weird together, y’all.
Alyssa Scolari [34:43]:
We’re all weird. We’re all a little dysregulated.
Amy Guerrero [34:46]:
Absolutely. When you learn to come back to regulation and giggle about it, then we can really embrace that dysregulation and it becomes regulated.
Alyssa Scolari [34:55]:
Yes. It’s a beautiful thing.
Amy Guerrero [34:59]:
Yeah. It’s freedom.
Alyssa Scolari [35:01]:
It is. It truly is. Now, if people would like to find you, because you’re speaking some really innovative treatment approaches, what you’re doing is so important, so important, how can people find you?
Amy Guerrero [35:16]:
Yeah. I think the easiest thing is Instagram, Facebook and my website is Thrive in Recovery with Amy. There’s no secret there. It’s how do you thrive in recovery and with Amy? Right? It’s all there. Instagram is a great place to get to know me. There’s tons of videos. I go live three times a week. I’m there for Q&As.
Alyssa Scolari [35:39]:
Amy Guerrero [35:40]:
Facebook is the samesies, I do a weekend wellness hack every Sunday night on Facebook and I have been for years. I’m really consistent in my practices and I invite you to come closer to check it out, and then we go from there.
Alyssa Scolari [35:54]:
So cool. For the listeners out there, I will … Well, A, I’m going to be following you myself because I really think that’s … I love what you’re doing. I really, really do. B, for the listeners out there, I will link everything in the show notes. You know the deal, you by now. Head over to the show notes and you will find everything that you need. All things Amy.
Alyssa Scolari [36:20]:
Amy, thank you so much for coming on today. This has been truly a delightful conversation. You’re a delightful human being and you are really kicking ass in the world, so thank you.
Amy Guerrero [36:35]:
Thank you. It’s so great to be here with you today and I will talk to you soon. Good luck on the rest of your move too.
Alyssa Scolari [36:42]:
Thanks for listening, everyone. For more information, please head over to lightaftertrauma.com, or you can also follow us on social media. On Instagram, we are @lightaftertrauma and on Twitter it is @lightafterpod.
Alyssa Scolari [36:59]:
Lastly, please head over to at patreon.com/lightaftertrauma to support our show. We are asking for $5 a month, which is the equivalent to a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Please head on over again. That’s patreon.com/lightaftertrauma. Thank you and we appreciate your support.
Alyssa Scolari [37:27]: