“Teen Mom” life coach Dr. Cheyenne Bryant — the host of the “Family Reunion” retreat during season 2 of “Family Reunion — wasn’t offended when April Brockmiller said she didn’t like her during the mud pit exercise. The next day, Catelynn Lowell suffered from severe anxiety and depression, which Bryant referred to as an “emotional hangover.”
The cast members of “Teen Mom” stood in a mud pit with a rope tied around their waist while their mothers — the grandmother of the franchise — pulled them out of the muck. Bryant had the mothers confront their moms.
In Lowell’s case, she told her mom, Brockmiller, that she was “sick” of being the “perfect” child and needed more of her mother’s support when she was younger. Brockmiller got discouraged during the challenge and dropped the rope.
Bryant, 39, encouraged Brockmiller, 50, to continue with the activity, leading Brockmiller to hiss at the life coach. “I don’t like you,” she said. For Bryant, that was a good moment — and she didn’t take it personally.
“When April said, ‘I don’t like you,’ I took it as… I don’t like you because you’re pushing me and you’re stretching me and you’re growing me and this is what I’ve always avoided or I was afraid of,” Bryant told Heavy in a phone interview.
“I thought, good. This is exactly where we’re supposed to be. My job is not for them to like me. My job is to implement tools that will stretch them and grow them,” she said.
Brockmiller has struggled with alcoholism and admitted to Bryant on “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” that she drank daily during Lowell’s childhood.
Bryant likened therapy to growing pains. It doesn’t feel good, but it’s something that needs to be done to stop the same patterns from repeating.
The life coach took Brockmiller’s “I don’t like you” comment as a “moment of victory,” and if that makes her the “bad guy,” so be it.
“If I have to be the bad guy to help them heal, then you can put ‘bad guy’ on the back of my shirt every time and I’m okay with that,” Bryant said.
Lowell’s Breakthrough Came as an ‘Emotional Hangover’
Lowell, 30, had a different response to Bryant’s therapy tactics. Whereas her mother’s breakthrough came in the form of anger — or an “I don’t like you” to Bryant — Lowell was anxious and depressed the next day. She wasn’t able to hang out near the river with the rest of the cast on “Teen Mom: Family Reunion.” Instead, she stayed behind with her mother and Bryant to work through her anxiety.
During their conversation on “Teen Mom: Family Reunion,” Lowell told Bryant her anxiety was “paralyzing.”
“I just woke up with really bad anxiety this morning … and mine is literally like debilitating, like I can’t do nothing,” she said.
Bryant said Lowell was suffering emotionally that day because she was dipping into “pockets of pain” that she hadn’t faced. On the episode, Lowell told Bryant that her childhood was “chaotic” at times.
Brockmiller would drink until she passed out, and then Lowell would make sure her mother was safe, and cover her up with a blanket if she needed it. Bryant asked who was taking care of Lowell while she was taking care of her mother, but no one was there for Lowell.
“When you start to uproot that stuff… the cure for the pain is in the pain. So we took Cate into her pain. And when you get into your pain, people often have — what I call — an emotional hangover,” Bryant told Heavy.
The life coach said an “emotional hangover” is like when someone is heading after a night of drinking, they purge the alcohol from their system.
“Does it feel good? Absolutely not. But it’s a good thing because that means that Cate really opened up,” Bryant said. “She allowed herself to be vulnerable enough to get into the pain. So that she can cure and heal that pain.”
Bryant Was Proud of the Work She Did With Lowell & Brockmiller
Bryant was proud of Lowell for being vulnerable.
“In order to heal, you have to feel and deal,” Bryant said. “[Cate] was in the feeling part of it, then we were in the dealing. From there, they were able to have some healing.”
The life coach said it was good for the mother-daughter duo to confront their issues together.
“It was an absolutely beautiful experience for her and April. A lot of stuff came up and that was the intent,” Bryant told Heavy. “So I’m really proud of them and happy about the work we did together.”
“Teen Mom: Family Reunion” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on MTV.