• Dr Jodie Bradnam

Start where you are

If you are struggling with addiction or love someone who is, the fourth episode of our Addicted Podcast (Season 2) is for you. Counsellor Steve Stokes shares his story, his commitment to recovery, 32 years of sobriety and passion for his work as a therapist at the coal face of addiction. Steve greets people in moments of despair, when they are out of luck, low in hope and searching for miracles. That’s exactly where he met Ashley in a Sydney rehab in 2015.

Steve explains the connections between complex trauma, emotional pain, numbing and addiction. He discusses the freedom that comes with owning our stories and acknowledging the pain that resides deep within them. Steve discusses the complexities of recovery, the anchors of wellbeing (sleep, diet, safety, exercise, gratitude) and the role of fellowships and peer support in walking a sober path. He also shares a message for the partner of the addict who rarely escapes unscathed from the chaos and trauma of living in the shadow of addiction.

Steve shares my passion for helping clients develop an emotional vocabulary (getting curious about what we are feeling moment to moment) and affect regulation skills (learning to get back on our emotional feet when we are hooked by powerful feelings). This episode is everything I love about my work as a psychologist. It’s meeting people exactly where they are with compassion, empathy and understanding. It’s seeing who they are beneath the armour that they wear. It’s accepting that life is no fairytale but if you’re willing to reach out and ask for help, good people will stand beside you as you find a way to step out of the dark.

I’m in awe of my talented husband and the authenticity, openness, courage and honesty he brings to these podcast interviews. Whether you are struggling with addiction or not, trust that this episode holds something for you. It does.

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