EXCLUSIVE: ‘Teen Mom’ Insider Has Good News About Amber Portwood After Custody Loss

Amber Portwood

MTV "Teen Mom" counselor Dr Bryant gives update on Amber Portwood.

Dr. Cheyenne Bryant, the life coach from Season 2 of “Teen Mom: Family Reunion,” is proud of the work Amber Portwood has done on herself.

Portwood lost custody of her son, 4-year-old James, in July 2022. An Indiana judge determined her ex-boyfriend, Andrew Glennon, would have primary guardianship, meaning Glennon could move from Indiana to California with James, The Sun reported. In 2016, Portwood agreed to pay child support to Gary Shirley, the legal guardian of Portwood’s eldest child, 14-year-old Leah, Us Weekly noted.

Bryant, who joined the “Teen Mom” universe during season 1 of “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” in 2022, has been working with Portwood on living in the present moment.

“Amber, from last season to now, is starting to find a sense of empowerment within herself,” Bryant told Heavy in a phone interview. “Season 1 was about her beating herself up about the mother she has not been, beating herself up about the mother she is not being and how she’s not deserving of this relationship with her beautiful kids.”

There was a season during season 1 where the “Teen Mom” cast members were asked to stand up if they thought they were good mothers. Portwood was the only one who didn’t stand up. The cast encouraged Portwood to join them, but she struggled to accept she was a good mother.

Bryant emphasized that Portwood — as well as every parent — deserves to have a relationship with their children. While they can acknowledge where they “came up short,” they can’t beat themselves up for the mistakes they made.

The life coach described Portwood as a “beautiful person with a beautiful heart,” of whom she’s proud.

Portwood, 31, has been on MTV since her episode of “16 and Pregnant” debuted in 2009. She went on to star in “Teen Mom OG,” until it disbanded in 2022 and MTV launched “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” and “Teen Mom: The Next Chapter.”

Portwood Has ‘Guilt And Shame’ for Her Mistakes

Portwood struggles to move forward from the mistakes of her past.

The “Teen Mom” star split from Glennon in July 2019 after an incident where she pleaded guilty to domestic battery and intimidation, per the Indy Star. Portwood has also struggled with addiction and canceled visitations with Leah when she was younger. She and Leah had a brief estrangement after Portwood didn’t show up to Leah’s party, but the two were able to reconcile after Portwood lost custody of James.

“She has a lot of guilt and shame and she beats herself up about her choices and decisions she’s made in the past,” Bryant told Heavy in a phone interview.

“So when you live in the past, that breeds depression. When you live in the future, that breeds anxiety. What Amber has been able to do is move into, ‘Who am I today?” Bryant said.

Portwood Has Experienced ‘Tremendous Growth’

Portwood has been able to make great strides while working with Bryant.

“When she stays in that present moment, she feels empowered,” Bryant told Heavy. “She feels better and she makes better decisions. So she’s been able to come into that present moment a lot more.”

Bryant said Portwood has been able to be more active in her children’s life, telling herself things like, “I’m making a phone call. I’m building a relationship with my kids. I’m showing up for them. I’m doing the best that I can.”

“That is tremendous growth for Amber, because she was in a very different place for herself when it came to her and her relationship with her kids,” Bryant added.

Season 2 of “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on MTV.

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