My guest today is Dr. Nicole LePera, a.k.a. The Holistic Psychologist.
Given her extensive social media following, it’s very likely you are familiar with Nicole’s work—which has helped to democratize the field of psychotherapy. On her Instagram account, Nicole has made theories, tools, and practices for what she terms “self-healing” available and accessible to millions of people – and her new book, which is titled How to Do the Work, breaks down her approach to creating positive change in our live.
In this episode we talk about how this applies to being sober curious, and how part of the healing path is to reevaluate the impact of alcohol and other substances on our mental and emotional health.
Nicole also talks about her own journey with substances, and why it often feels easier to cling to what we know, even when it’s hurting us. She also beaks down in detail exactly what is happening in our brains when we reach for drink and other drugs to numb out, dissociate, or self-medicate.
Which is just a fraction of everything we cover in this episode, which was full of lightbulb moments for me. I hope you get as much out of it as I did. In the episode we discuss:
-How she defines “the work” of healing ourselves.
-How we get stuck in the disconnect between “knowing better” and “doing better.”
-Discovering alcohol at age 13 to help her dissociate from the constant anxiety in her family home.
-Why shame is one of the most common reasons people use substances – and how the stigma of addiction only adds to this.
-How to replace whatever we are using to numb out with new tools to help us find a new path forward.
-How the inner changes we are working on create a ripple effect in the world – and the people – around us.
-Why we cling to what we know – even when it’s no longer serving us.
-Her expanded definition of childhood trauma – and how this creates repercussions throughout our lives.
-The specific reasons alcohol can be used to mask past trauma.
-The meaning of the term “self-regulation” – and why our substance use stems from a desire to regulate an agitated nervous system.
-How we can also get addicted to stress – and unconsciously seek out experiences to keep us in an activated state (especially on social media).
-Why getting conscious about everything we consume – from booze to news to social media – is part of our healing.
-AND SO MUCH MORE FASCINATING STUFF (including the importance of poop).