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An Interview with Melissa Llarena


Mar 31, 2020

I met Mikael Lund at a Tony Robbins event years ago. Mikael is the CEO / Founder of Human Gardening, a drug, alcohol, gaming, codependency treatment center based in Sweden. Amidst the global pandemic, many are finding themselves in isolation. During our conversation, Mikael helps us to think about the risk of addictions, coping mechanisms, and shame in times of isolation and stress. Addiction is agnostic; anyone can become an addict, whether you are wealthy, poor, or in-between. If this episode is something you feel you can use right now, in a moment of stress or uncertainty, listen. I am excited to be able to bring this conversation to you today.

Mikeal is one of Sweden's foremost experts and continues to be an active dependency therapist with 25 years of experience in this area. You can also find his wisdom online via his content, whereby he educates people around the world about how to cope with shame, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and the lessons he has learned through his rehabilitation journey.

Michael's experience of working with alcoholism and addiction extends from boardrooms to prisons and includes supporting big-name celebrities as well. He has even participated as a therapist in the TV program Lyxfällan called "The Luxury Trap" where contestants were grappling with overspending. He also frequently lectures for municipalities, colleges, universities, and companies, including at Malmö University and earlier in his career at Karolinska Institutet. 

Tune in to hear Mikael's thoughts pertaining to:

  • We are in an unprecedented situation in different parts of the world and filled with intense emotions; some people may want to suppress them. (2:29)
  • How we can manage our emotions in ways that are not destructive, especially for those who have suffered from addictions who are now in isolation due to the global pandemic. (4:21)
  • Mothers who may have the disease of addiction, you are still a good mom at heart. (5:41)
  • Mikael's own addiction story and how he keeps his addictive personality in check when it pops up. (10:29)
  • How the top in society (executives, celebrities, high-achievers) and the best at being the worst (criminals, people in the street) are more similar than different when it comes to addiction. (11:35)
  • How Mikael pivoted in his career from working long hours and being away from home, to starting a treatment center, Human Gardening (15:35)
  • An in-depth discussion on shame: not being good enough, how guilt is manifested, and how to reduce shame through self-knowledge. (21:36)
  • The fastest way to have a heart-to-heart with your inner child is to have a conversation through the use of a Gestalt Therapy Exercise. (29:25)
  • A reminder there is nothing wrong with you if you feel burnout – there could actually be too much work. (29:36)
  • Mikael's story of feeling inadequate, how he quit a job that was no longer bringing him joy, and his take on having a mentor. (31:56)
  • How to get to the point of knowing you are inadequate and that you need help. (41:27)

I ask Mikael: What does it take for someone to reach a point where they accept that they are inadequate on their own in isolation to cope with their addictions?

Listen to hear Mikael's honest answer on what it may take for anyone to conclude that they need help.

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