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072 - Andrew Wilkinson

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

“Recovery works because we’re not all crazy on the same day.” Andrew Wilkinson joins us from Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare. He talks about somatic experiencing, and approaching our bodies as a connected body and mind. He talks about regulation in our nervous system and healing from within in order to regain control of our lives in recovery. Enjoy.

The Illuminate Recovery Podcast is about Mental Health, Mental Illness, and Addiction Recovery. Shining light on ways to cope, manage, and inspire. Beyond the self care we discuss, you may need the help of a licensed professional. Curt Neider and Shelley Mangum are a part of Illuminate Billing Advocates ( They are committed to helping better the industry and adding value to the lives of listeners by sharing tools, insights, and success stories of those who are working on their mental health.

Transcript (no grammar):

recovery works because we're not all crazy on the same day andrew wilkinson joins us from granite mountain behavioral health care he talks about somatic experiencing approaching our bodies as a connected body and mind he talks about regulation in our nervous system and healing it from within in order to regain control of our lives in recovery and joy welcome to the illuminate recovery podcast we shed light on mental health issues mental illness and addiction recovery ways to cope manage and inspire beyond self-care we will discuss you may need the help of a licensed professional my name is kurt neider i'm a husband father entrepreneur a handyman and a student of life i avoid conflict i deflect with humor and i'm fascinated by the human experience and i'm shelley mangum i am a clinical mental health counselor and my favorite role of all times is grandma i am a seeker of truth and i feel like life should be approached with tremendous curiosity i ask the dumb questions i fill in the gaps the illuminate recovery podcast is brought to you by illuminate billing advocates make billing and collections simple with leader in substance abuse and mental health billing services verification and analysis of benefits pre-authorizations utilization management accurate claim submission and management denial and appeal management and industry-leading reporting improve your practice's cash flow and your ability to help your clients with eliminate billing advocates today on the illuminae recovery podcast kurt and i are really pleased to be able to welcome andrew wilkinson andrew is a somatic experiencing and neuroeffective relational model practitioner he works at granite mountain behavioral health care and he also does some control consulting on the side primarily assisting individuals in navigating their way through adversity and accumulated stress while bringing lasting recognition to their innate ability to heal self-regulate and build resiliency andrew thanks for being willing to talk with us today it's it's a pleasure to have you on of course yeah thank you so much for having me i'm grateful to be here um so as a as a therapist um i would love to kind of talk about and maybe have you share a little bit about how you ended up in the somatic experience and neuroeffective relational model um of practice and and what drove you there what took you to the to that approach sure yeah i mean it's a it's a long story that i can you know give in the reader's digest version but you know throughout the path of my own recovery uh i'm i'm in recovery and have been for quite a while i had to seek my own treatment quite a few times right i have personal experience with trauma and so you know really that's that's what drew me to this field is is my own lift experience with it but you know coming in 2010 and then starting to really observe what are the core issues right um looking at why why is it that you know treatment is really effective for some people addiction treatment is primarily what i work in and why is it not for others and so i was working in many different roles i've been the admitted administrative side and the program development side and you know even the the billing side and um landed with a you know really wonderful supervisor at one point who was a somatic experiencing practitioner himself and he was so excited about this modality and knowing this person and trusting him i just started to ask quite a few questions and i started to attend the trainings in 2016 really on a whim and wanting to know more myself and within you know the first couple days of this module that i was in uh you know to put it in short i was i was kind of hooked it just it made all too much sense to me and there was a lot of information uh about what the holes are you know what i what i see wrong with people healing in general and so my curiosity was sparked and i really ran with it and so then i ended up getting certified in somatic experiencing and finishing the training and started assisting some of the training and you know getting close to the teachers involved with that organization uh and and really you know since then have been applying it to every time i'm involved with a client uh i am i have this modality in the back of my mind um it's it's hard to kind of unlearn these things once you learn them because it again it illuminates so many of the holes that that i see in in what clients are receiving nowadays in treatment both for you know your straight-up substance use and mental illness so that's how i you know really started to engage in somatic experiencing it wasn't anything but a suggestion of someone i trusted and then you know i found out how helpful it was so i continued with it that's awesome and somatic experiencing although it's it's probably not as new as maybe it feels it's been around for a long time but i think it's becoming it's starting to get a much better foothold and a better understanding of how it helps people and how it affects people would you agree with that i would yeah i definitely would i think it's it's definitely gaining traction now again i i've only been aware to it since 2016 but in my experience when i tell people oh i do this thing somatic experiencing nine times out of ten they they don't know what that is um in in the treatment world of course it's becoming a bit more familiar but primarily uh you know emdr and the more classic cognitive therapies that have been around those are more people are more familiar with those than than essie so shelley's smart and she probably knows what you're talking about but i fit into the nine out of ten so i don't even know what somatic experiencing is what can you explain it to me sure yeah i can do my best it's so somatic experiencing it is a it's a bottom-up processing right so so most therapies to my understanding um and i'm pretty simple-minded myself you know uh my only ex my only education is is really through experience being in the field and then getting certified in somatic experiencing but you know how it compares to other therapies is we're really looking at the body and the mind is the same thing uh you know having grown up uh in america right like we do separate the two quite a bit it's my understanding that in other countries and into more eastern philosophies that they haven't really distinguished between the body and the mind right they're very connected uh but here and receiving my own treatment it was it was almost always cognitive and very thought-based which is really helpful don't don't get me wrong but um when we do fe we're involving the stress response and so our belief is that within the nervous system the stress response has been thwarted or it's been you know shocked in a way that it has altered the way we react to everyday life right so there's there's certain hormones that our nervous system is pumping through our bodies specifically cortisol and all these things that that help us adapt to just everyday anxieties and dangers and when our nervous system is dysregulated we're not gonna have a normal response um and we're gonna you know have a lot of different you know bodily issues uh which involved involves the cognitive and in our understanding so yes somatic really uh when we talk about healing from within it is it is that and the truest set so we're paying a lot of attention to uh someone's you know feelings and sensations and not just the stories that they're telling us i know that was kind of a long-winded response and i hope that answers your question yeah well and i think it's um and dude correct me if i'm wrong because i'm still learning a lot about this approach um you know i've heard about it for years but there's still a lot that we need to learn but i think it's um it kind of comes from a lot of it comes from um bessel vander kulk and his body keeps the scorebook in that idea that our cells and and all of those pieces in our body keep those memories and they hold on to them and if we can't um experience that and become aware of that then our body you know it ends up coming out sideways and that's where we get that emotional dysregulation in in a nutshell i said that pretty simply no i think you explained it much better than i did you know uh it's i i'm an overthinker right which is probably why i'm attracted to this but uh there's there's so many ways to describe it but that's really it and as far as far as bessel uh vander kulk i know that uh dr peter levine the creator of somatic experiencing and vessel are uh close right and i know that they have interacted quite a bit on the topic of trauma um but but that that book is always a wonderful reference to learn about you know somatics involved with trauma yeah and i'm glad you brought up peter levine too because i believe he is highly involved in these training um in some somatic training is that who you got yours through so i didn't he i have i have done some consultation with peter and i've seen him briefly but um he does most of the advanced level and you know specific trainings now the general to get certified in somatic experiencing training there's a ton of different faculty that have been around since the the dawn that are doing those and i received my training from dr joshua silvay awesome yeah there are some really great practitioners out there and i think that maybe andrew if you're willing i wonder if you could talk a little bit about you know you talked about the holes that you know our traditional cbt or emdr trauma therapy um there tends to be holes in that approach can you kind of share some of the thoughts of of how somatic experiencing um approach filled those holes and those gaps for you sure yeah that's a really great question and yeah i i look at it as what does trauma impact and you know what we know now and uh what we see is that it doesn't just impact the mind and if we're only dealing with the thought process of trauma we're only seeing a portion of the issue right um you know we see in essie we see that you know the imprint of trauma like you said the the memories being stored in the body are really large and so a client could be discussing an instance in their childhood and telling you their thought process around it meanwhile you know in their body they could experience very intense emotions and sensations and so for myself as a practitioner to not pay attention to the sensations and emotions and really hone in on the thought process they may they may find new meaning uh they may find some different strategies to use when when triggered in in their thinking but they're really not going to catch the entire integration of healing in my opinion right they they may leave the office and maybe they feel a bit more ramped up maybe they feel a bit more activated by what was talked about because it's all kind of kind of hanging out in in that prefrontal cortex you know in the part of the brain where we're obsessing and we're and we're thinking and we're going back and trying to figure out and um you know that can actually produce more stress in my opinion so you know when we start to incorporate the emotions and the sensation and even sometimes pay more attention to that than the stories and the tops themselves uh to me that's the the full picture right and you know when a client can experience a feeling of calm and settling in their body that's that's a big win that's a big win and especially with me dealing with mainly substance abuse clients for them to feel good in their body again sober that is a ginormous deal like that that's really what they've been trying to achieve for quite a while um and i have found that you know when just dealing with the thought process they're not going to be able to experience that tangible settling that comes from from essie yeah and i totally agree is it it's all one unit right the body the mind the the emotions the spirit it's all it's all intertwined and if you're only looking at one part of it i mean there's there's you know a theory that says if you change one part it changes the other which is true but there's a limit to that i think is what you're saying and and if you want a deeper healing you've got to be able to connect all of those those integrative information flowing parts of our body so that there's wholeness and there's the capacity to do that that emotional regulation sure absolutely yeah and and you've talked about that yeah and you've talked about emotional regulation as part of um part of the somatic experiencing um approach uh talk talk about what how what role that that i mean you've talked about it a little bit but go into a little bit more depth or maybe relate it back to your recovery of how emotional regulation was super powerful and important totally yeah i you know regulation is kind of a buzzword these days i i see it a lot with other healers and practitioners and i hear it quite a bit everyone's trying to get regulated right or oh they don't they don't have any regulation when i first came into this at the world i thought that regulation was a synonym for calm you know that everything is okay and we can be mindful we can be present which those are wonderful things right um but my teacher says it best and i'll just you know quote him directly but he said regulation is responding appropriately to environmental contingencies meaning if something is is is stressful in our life the response way to create that something when our kind of appropriate if something is making us angry of course you don't feel a healthy amount of anger so this is about bringing again i think i've mentioned this multiple times we're bringing to the ball to stress um and there is a way that we were designed uh to respond to stress and so you know regulation you know for me and my personal experience was first off realizing that uh metaphorically like my check engine light in my body was very off right if i'm engaging in substances to cope with with life something is going on right there there's a need to numb and there's a need to shut down uh and there wasn't always that need and so you know untreated trauma creates these responses that you know i would i would use the word as inappropriate uh when when we should be alert and alive we shut down or when we should have that healthy form of anger uh instead you know we do something different maybe we don't even approach maybe we avoid you know so there's these these things in our life that we are getting into that yeah i i don't know i feel like i'm losing it a little bit but it's uh we're not we're not responding appropriately you know and when i'm regulated i'm feeling appropriate emotions that are parallel to my experience well and it's interesting what you bring up too with emotions is because we've been conditioned for so long to respond in certain ways right men it's men it's okay to have anger and experience anger and express anger but it's not okay for women or sure sure you know a child should be heard and not seen and some of those cultural messages have been sent for a long time and we're trying to undo some of those as well as i mean because you talk about what's an appropriate response and in my head i'm like well sometimes i just don't know what the appropriate response is do i have permission you know to call you out and say i didn't really like the way you just responded to me and and is that safe right and so i even even someone who who gets this stuff might be asking those questions and and wondering what is an appropriate response so when you've had trauma and when you've had you know when you've been sent messages especially as a and i'll use this as a kid if you've been abused your boundaries have been violated all over the place right and and you don't even know what healthy boundaries are and now you're coming into this this world where you've been coping with by self-medicating which is a which is a valid way to to to work and and and be able to manage the stuff that's happening and now you're going to try and do it sober and you don't have the skills or the ability to do that because it was never modeled for you you was never taught to you and you really have no frame of reference and so i think if we don't address those pieces of how do what is an appropriate response what are appropriate emotions what does that look like you've got to experience all of that inside your body before you even can address how do i respond to somebody else right totally yeah and i'm thinking about a question i ask clients often when we're processing usually it's abuse that this question comes up and i and i say something to the effect of if you could have done absolutely anything in in that moment what would you have liked to do and i was speaking with a client not too long ago who endured some some physical abuse and what they said is they wish they could have you know just blown away right and exited and yeah that goes beyond the laws of physics right but what they want to do is they want to run and they want to exit from the situation that was very dangerous as a child and so in se we may spend a while uh really visualizing that right we we call it a corrective experience because that's what the system wanted to do uh the system knew that you know for this this child that they could not fight back right against this abuse and that they needed to leave so they weren't able to right and so really we're we're asking that what does the system want to do rather than the mind and the system always wants to seek safety that's really what the nervous system is wanting to do does that answer your question a bit yeah yeah it's it's a great i love the way you bring that up in this sense of you know as a child who doesn't have a lot of choices it's not like they can escape some of that abuse because they need it's that very sometimes that very person who is their primary caregiver that is also hurting them creates all sorts of you know confusing messages to that child and and they don't know how to escape it or that it's even possible to escape it which what you bring up is then that's where dissociation comes from they want to run yeah and they just run inside right they just run inside and disconnect from all of that painful world outside of them and and by allowing them to go look at those emotions and experience that event again um in a safe environment allows the body to reprocess it in a more healthy normal fashion with time with distance right with all of those things that get left out when the the hippocampus and the hypothalamus and all of those pieces of the brain are not functioning because it's in survival mode right and and the prefrontal cortex shuts down so you're talking about some super complex pieces of recovery but i totally agree that you cannot ignore those pieces and um one way that i love thinking about it is that window of tolerance right when we're self-regulating it's the ability to stay within a window or increase that window of tolerance or the tolerance that we have for really uncomfortable situations so that we can stay and look at them and respond differently than we did when we were a child or when we were using or felt unsafe right so i love i love talking about this stuff as you can tell it's fascinating to me and the way our our minds and bodies can heal themselves and have the capacity to heal themselves is something else we ought to talk about i know that um that in as we introduced you you talked about our innate ability to heal and self-regulate and build resiliency can you give us some examples of what that might look like in your journey sure yeah i think about uh also in my training all these these great little nuggets that i received and one of the first things we did is you know we got in partners and we sat across uh from just another member of the training and we were prompted to you know look at this individual as our client right kind of a role play and see them within the regard that they have everything they need to heal and that's kind of an interesting concept at least to me uh being a practitioner and someone coming to me for assistance with their healing right uh that i am a provider and i am here to you know bring something to them that they they don't uh have right so so my belief and i've seen this in myself absolutely is is that we already have all of these abilities to regulate and to calm ourselves or to you know process trauma on our own but again it's it's been interrupted and there's there's been you know kinks that have come in the normal processing that we need another person to shine a light on that that's not to say that you know once our stress response is altered it never goes back to normal absolutely can come back to normal i think that you know this process of se is much more about subtraction than it is addition you know we're subtracting all of these maladaptive coping skills and these responses that haven't served us to get back to this idea um that we were we were created to seek safety and when we're able to tune in to our own systems lo and behold it's there right i can't tell you how many times i've seen a client get so activated they look like they're about to jump out of their chair and then we slow things down and i'm like hey let's just let's turn the breathing over to the lungs i want you to watch yourself breathe for a second maybe just notice what's going on in the body and then slowly but surely like i start to see something change and all i'm doing is just making certain props right i'm not giving them a handout i'm not giving them any information that they need to study they're just tuning into their body's ability to regulate their heartbeat regulate their stress hormones and then you know they they see this and it's tangible and so you know when i think of the word innate it's just it's always been there right and we haven't seen it for a while and and i didn't see it for a long while uh and then you know i remember leaving some of my own personal etsy sessions thinking golly like i could bring this anywhere i can access this at any point right i don't have to wait until you know my next session with my therapist i can utilize these techniques as i go throughout my life that it's with me i love the way you explain that too andrew is you know it's the idea and you talked about having a you know a facilitator i like to use that word a facilitator somebody to help shine a light on something that seems so typical and usual and familiar but then when you shine the light on it and you can look at it just a little bit deeper it shifts those things inside of our bodies and the thing that that you said is sometimes we need help in doing that and and i will i will tell you that i've been doing processing for a long time my own work and work with other people and there is something about connecting with another human being that is healing in many ways and not just in the witnessing because witnessing having witnesses to our pain and validation for that is super vital but there is something about having somebody else stand outside of your process and be able to shine that light or help you see it that's super powerful and that doesn't take away from your own internal wisdom because what you say is correct we we innately bring all of those capacities within ourselves and we bring them to the table we have that wisdom it's there but tapping into it and having someone help us tap into it is incredibly empowering um so i love the way you talked about that andrew um and kind of shared that experience i i think sometimes it feels a little bit intangible that how do you explain to somebody how we're going to go process this stuff and we're going to go work through it except to just go do itright that's really it shelly i uh every time i again every time i get asked like hey what is what is the fd the the answer is let me show you right because it has to be experienced it is very difficult to explain to a client how we're going to be uh paying attention to sensation and emotion and at least in the demographic i'm working with they've never been asked these questions this is completely you know unfamiliar and i don't know i i don't know many kids that their parents said hey like where do you notice that anxiety in your body can you feel that i i for sure was not at that uh would have been kind of cool if i was so yeah this is a it's really unfamiliar and it's a very different way of being with ourselves that we have to get to know right and we have to kind of befriend this part of ourselves yeah i couldn't agree more and i love i love the way you talk about it talk a little bit um about the work that you're doing at grant granite mountain behavioral health care what they do there what makes them different because i know you said that you've really enjoyed working there and and it's been a good experience so talk about that just a little bit sure yeah first and foremost what i really enjoy about working at granite and i just mentioned is the demographic i get to work with i mean these are folks who are primarily coming out of incarceration um they uh it's you know basically a state-funded facility and so they are you know coming in here is really the last resort uh or the last house on the block so to speak um and most of them have not had access or the ability to access proper therapy or proper clinical help and so you know that's that's what i really love is feeling that what we're providing to these clients is something that they wouldn't be able to get elsewhere right and you know secondly it's it's a treatment program that incorporates exercise so we have uh we call it strength based empowerment therapy i don't run it uh but there's some some other people who run it and it's it's kind of like crossfit but it's a bit lighter because of course people coming in aren't in the best physical shape and so they're able to exercise multiple times a week and also engage the brain in the body as they're doing it right so we really see it as as full healing and why i think that's such a huge thing for for people getting sober and also doing somatic experiencing is again they're able to feel that like tangible difference of of exercise and i'm thinking about a client we had come in who you know had a lot of trauma like most of them do and he was pretty shut down he was in what we call the the freeze response you know which i personally relate to i had lived a long period of my life in that response and he's going through treatment and then he goes to his first uh it's called recover strong that's the program that they do he went to his first recover strong class where he was moving the body and he was exercising probably for the first time in years uh and he had to take a moment he just started weeping he went around the corner and he was just bawling his eyes out and he couldn't exactly explain why but what i think was going on there is that as he was working out his nervous system was was running right the heart rate was up uh certain hormones were being produced in the body that probably haven't been there in a long time and he was able to discharge a little bit of of the stress that he was holding and so being an sc practitioner who works for a treatment center that involves exercises there's already an opening to talk about the body because that right there is somatic experiencing what what this client went through and so that's a pretty big draw for me to work with this company and on a very basic level uh some of these people are my closest friends i've known them for a long time and so that's really nice to work with other clinicians um and administrators that i trust in what they're doing and i also know them personally and i know their process right and they're in it they're in it for heart so i'd say all of those things really encompass what draws me to granite i love it not you know i love the way you talk about one the you know the somatic experiencing and processing that way but you also spent some time talking about how important movement and exercise is and it is because again you're connected to the body um and and it brings up those memories on some way or you know it's on some level it reminded me a book that that i absolutely love it's called spark the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain it's by john ratey and he goes in depth about talking about how exercise impacts mental illness depression anxiety and and other disorders that people struggle with and it can be as beneficial as medication um and so exercise should not be minimized it is super important and i think the industry's probably got that you know most of us have that figured out that you're not going to do good wholesome whole you know whole body healing without incorporating that part yeah it's funny too i i have that book on my bookshelf right now and it's one of the many books that i'm like one day i'm gonna sit down and really get into that oh yeah that's a good one i've heard nothing but good things about spark and i know it's right in line with uh what what they're doing at granite and i couldn't i couldn't agree more you know i think exercise is really underutilized in the medical world of course right i think most people are catching on to that by now but what i think is so cool about the exercise portion especially for those who experience anxiety and activation or as we would say you know the fight or flight when we're exercising and our nervous system is moving in that way it it really is parallel to someone's experience with anxiety right like the the heart rate is up and they're sweating there's perspiration uh you know thoughts are probably doubtful i don't know if i'm going to be able to finish this you know and and that that's a lot like anxiety for someone you know that experiences it on a daily basis but in exercise where we're we're producing that ourselves and so i think if anything on a basic level when a client comes in and starts exercising they're able to normalize their experience of physical anxiety and also not not be as resistant to it and i'm sure that book uh spark illuminates that so much more um but that's something that's been a really great uh discussion point for myself with with clients yeah well that idea that anxiety not for everybody i won't say this is true for everybody but anxiety often feels the same as being really excited like you talked about when we're working out right yeah it has a lot of the same characteristics and and it may be a lot it can be not necessarily because it can be you know biological as well but it's the story we tell ourselves about those feelings that can often keep us in a downward spiral spiral so interesting that you bring that up i like it i like the approach and i like the work that you're doing i'm wondering if i could ask you maybe maybe kind of a maybe it's not a wrap-up question but but i'm wondering what if you had to quantify and this would be maybe hard to quantify but what was one of the hardest things um as you went through your recovery one of the hardest things that you had to approach or deal with you know what yeah it's uh it would probably be relapsed you know and this idea of addiction and alcoholism as a progressive disease and thinking that if i have the information and i have the self-knowledge that i'll be okay right that i i need to be provided with enough information about my uh maladaptive behaviors and i'm going to be able to conquer this sobriety thing but you know with my personal recovery i've had times of recovery that were very constant and i've had relapses after that fact where you know the self-knowledge and and the information i had it helped don't get me wrong but it it has nothing against active craving and obsession and so it was very difficult for me to get to a place of of regulation and effie had a really big part with that i for me personally being less in my brain and more in my body is a very healthy thing when i hang out in my brain too much especially as an individual with addiction i i can really get wrapped up in things that just aren't real things that aren't TRUE um and so yeah something you know there was a huge overcoming for me was was coming back from relapses and opening pandora's box each time when i would return the substances and thinking that i wouldn't be able to make it back you know and my own therapy has been really important and also my you know involvement in specific recovery fellowships has been uh i i would say uh equal if not even more important to that so i hope that answers your question but the idea of relapses it's a tricky one you know and there's this chronic relapse thing and all these ideas we have about people returning back to substances you know sometimes our lives get so darn chaotic where we're just trying to seek safety again and if we don't have the you know if we're not able to get in touch with that innate healing we will return to something that worked right and in my mind as an addict and recovery drugs and drugs and alcohol did uh work at one point that is my fantasy that they were working to treat something and so if i don't find a proper solution i will return to that so yeah i have you know my own journey of you know getting getting over those and and coming back to healing so well that's two really powerful concepts and ideas is the relapse because there's you know there's so much shame that's been i don't know shame it's shame however it's come right it used to come from the way we did treatment and it also comes from our own self loathing and you know feeling like we're not worthy and so that shame is alive and well and being able to to combat the shame by coming back into treatment and going i must need to learn some more things i might not have it all and let's let's go back and figure out what's missing you know in a very non-shaming way is really great and then you also talked about relationships being absolutely pivotal for you um talk about that for just a second and are you saying relationships is just connections and yes how did relationships yeah how did that affect your recovery and why was it so important i mean for me personally it's everything uh you know it's something that i've heard from mentors of mine is recovery works because we're all not crazy on the same day right that is so true to me you know it works because with the people around me whether it be someone else who's a part of a certain fellowship or whether it be a colleague or whether it be a therapist you know ultimately these connections are really helpful because they don't have my mind uh talking in their head you know i mean our views of ourselves and our own process it's just very skewed and i have to recognize that right off the bat like i really wish uh that i knew everything about myself and that i could kind of be the ceo of my own process but it's not true and so you know these other connections for me they're really there as uh just people that check my reality for me and and really bring me back to what's really happening um and i've had the experience of you know probably overworking right engaging in like some workaholic behavior and connections in my life becoming less and less important and you know burning out and then feeling very uh isolated and alone in recovery and not exactly knowing where to turn and feeling very resistant you know and the only thing that's brought me out of that is by my connection the people around me certain calls and texts i mean they're really simple things and you know what we i think is gaining a lot of traction and recovery alongside of what we've been talking about is this idea of human connection really being the the biggest part of the process you know there's really this uh i'm forgetting his name there's there's a guy he's been he has like the biggest ted talk about addiction what is his name talks a lot about this connection the only one i can think of off the top is is bernay brown but i'm sure but there's plenty out there i really like um i like daniel siegel as well but i'm pretty sure that's not who you're talking about no i of course i can't think of it now i've seen his material a million times and i can't think of his name but there's one there's one by uh johann hari that one's uh yeah about that yeah that's that's the one i'm thinking about yeah he talks about the rat park experiment and on all of those there's just so many truth truths to that you know so human connection really really is the most healing factor we cannot do this uh alone as much as people would like to do recovery uh on themselves uh it has never worked and it will never work in life it never worked in the past and it won't work in the future you know uh ever so that's an interesting i know that go ahead it's an interesting uh i want to call it a lie that is perpetrated in our brains right is that we have to do it alone we can't trust anybody everybody that we've known has been unreliable and but but you're right that connection which often we hear called the antidote to recovery or to addiction is because we we have to feel like we belong somewhere and we haven't felt that way for a long time right and we've got so much self-loathing so much shame so much of those pieces that to continually go back to a person or a group of people and know that they love you and care about you and they know your deepest darkest secrets there is something so healing and that just that place of belonging and acceptance that makes our bodies just take a deep breath and go oh i'm not as flawed as i thought i was i think i'm going to be okay right and then all the things that you talked about andrew which were fantastic of just having that phone call having someone to to be able to i think about the jahari window where it's got the four squares the stuff we know about our stuff the stuff other people know about us and we don't the stuff everybody knows about us and we know about us and then you know that the jahari window right we need people to reflect back to us because we can't see it all and it's it's absolutely essential that we connect um but it it feels opposite to addiction because addiction is isolation and withdrawal and all of those pieces and it's it's it's an interesting dynamic i love that you bring that up um i i appreciate you talking about what was the hardest for you too in your recovery because it's um you know everybody everybody has a story whether it's recovery or whether it's healing or whether it's just on the the journey of you know being a human being and and we all need that you know these helpful pieces to help us on our own journey and recognize what we might need um along that path and maybe it's somatic experiencing and maybe it's more mindfulness and um and all of those pieces of wholeness and connection and so i love that you've talked about those and and shared some of your passions around treatment um and andrew i'm wondering too if i'm sure that other people are going to want to connect with you they're going to want to learn more about what you're doing and and maybe even do some work with you um maybe give some ideas of how people can connect and get a hold of you sure yeah uh you know email is the best way at this point um of course i'm on linkedin and various social media platforms but you know my email it's my name andrew wilkinson and then the letters sep and i checked that pretty frequently so that would that would be the best way excellent awesome um andrew wilkinson thank you for being on with us today and sharing your wisdom and your your experience um super powerful story um and i've learned i've learned a lot from you as well so thank you you're so welcome yeah thanks for asking me and i'm really grateful for the opportunity thanks for being on andrew you

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