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-In our families, how do roles, rules, and responsibilities contribute to our codependency?

-As adults, how can we challenge the expectations we have of ourselves and our family members in order to heal?

-What are the initial steps we can take to make changes in our families?

Welcome to Episode 126! This week, I sat down with Dove Pressnall, LMFT, to discuss her work providing therapy to adult families: between siblings, adult children and a parent, or having a whole family working with her. Dove discusses her approach by helping her clients get clear on their roles, rules, responsibilities and reasons within their family. She opens up about her own role as the “caregiver” and how she was able to heal from that role, especially in her relationship with her mother. We explore how to challenge familial expectations, boundaries, and communication. You’ll be left with thoughtful questions you can start to ask yourself to heal your family as an adult. It’s a must-listen!

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More on this week’s guest:

Dove Pressnall, pronouns she/her, is a psychotherapist (all one word, most days) who has been helping individuals, couples and families tackle problems and build the lives they want since 1997. Dove also founded the nonprofit organization Survivors’ Truths and, in her spare time, is the single mom to a 15-year-old who is way cooler than she’ll ever be.

More deets on this week’s episode:
We begin with hearing Dove’s definition of codependency: when one sacrifices for someone else that is not having the effect one wants. It becomes codependent when what we sacrifice for does not work. She then shares about her approach to codependency which involves looking at her clients’ rules, roles, responsibilities, reactions, and reasons.
Dove describes her codependency as a child where she was the caregiver in her family. She would roll with the punches, sacrifice her needs, go along with others, etc. She was able to heal from that role and offers hope by sharing about the drastic change she and her mother have had in their relationship.
We shift focus to Dove’s work with families. She has worked with adult families, including siblings, a parent and a child, or the entire multi-generational family. She helps them question the different expectations in communication, the roles they’ve had, helps them create space, and explores how they can meet their needs and the needs of others.
Dove suggests asking ourselves deep questions like: how and why caring became important to us? When has sacrifice previously paid off? When has sacrifice caused us harm?
She concludes by offering her perspective that “good things are going on” when she begins with a new patient. Her focus is to help them become curious about what if things were better?
Thanks for coming on Dove! And thank you for listening, my dear listener!
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