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-What is ‘broken wing syndrome’ and how does it relate to codependency?

-If codependents take the role of “victim” or “rescuer” in their relationship, what happens if they attempt to change that dynamic?

-What is “shadow work” and how can that help someone stuck in a broken wing syndrome dynamic?

In this week’s episode, Marissa is joined by Leah Sefor, South Africa’s go-to life and relationships expert. Leah shares with us about Broken Wing Syndrome, a dynamic in an intimate relationship where one partner is the “victim” and the other is the “rescuer.” Leah provides examples and connects this dynamic with codependency where the victim and rescuer are codependent on maintaining these roles–even when they become toxic and damaging. We conclude with Leah’s advice on how to get out of this dynamic if you’re stuck in it via shadow work. It’s a must-listen!

Thanks for listening! for the 30-Day Self-Validation Challenge!

More about this episode’s guest:

Leah Sefor is South Africa’s go-to life and relationships expert. She is well known for being a straight-talking, take-no-prisoners life coach, author, podcaster and speaker whose work is all about ‘what it means to be real’. Leah delivers dynamic coaching experiences, facilitating breakthroughs, and gives men and women the wake up calls they need to create a non-negotiable life. Your journey to a more authentic life starts with her.

Leah’s giveaways:

More deets on this week’s episode:

Leah shares with us her own definition and conceptualization of codependency. “Mutual manipulation.”

Leah describes aspects of codependency in her own life, including an abusive and toxic relationship in her early 20s. “He was a serial cheater.” Lean opens up about how she repeatedly forgave him since he kept “choosing me” every time he cheated.

Leah defines Broken Wing Syndrome: The dynamic of the rescuer and the victim, usually the man rescuing the woman from a horrible ex or a life of struggle. She needs to stay the victim for him to be attracted and he needs to constantly be the saviour for her to be attracted. The minute she wants to step into her power or him into his vulnerability, the relationship starts to crack.

We hear how Broken Wing Syndrome relates to codependency and what the consequences are of maintaining this dynamic long-term: RESENTMENT, CONTROL, TOXIC interactions. Yuck!

Leah describes how patriarchy and culture both contribute to the development of Broken Wing Syndrome. Marissa adds how families can add to the dynamic and what the messages/modeling can do to the children within that dynamic.

Leah describes ways she works with clients to address their Broken Wing Syndrome via shadow work where they look at the various parts of themselves, their “shadow self,” to then become an integrated whole.

Questions for homework:

If you relate to this dynamic, where do you sense you learned to be a “rescuer” or “victim?”

If you are in this dynamic right now, how is the dynamic serving you?

If you want to get help and get out of the broken wing dynamic, what outside support can you seek? (therapy, coaching, support group)

What aspects of your shadow self, the parts of you that are repressed and suppressed, do you need to start acknowledging?

Thanks for listening!

Marissa’s info:

@therapywithmarissa on IG

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