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-How did we go from babies crying to meet our needs to children ignoring our needs to not inconvenience mom and dad?

-What are the signs of codependency in children?

-If we start to show codependent behaviors as children, is it irreversible as we grow older?

-What can we do, whether parents or without children, to foster a sense that our children’s needs (or our inner child’s needs) MATTER?

In this week’s episode, we are graced with the gracious presence of Ofra Obejas, LCSW, who is a play therapist who specializes in working with children. In the episode, you’ll hear Ofra open up about her own experiences of codependency and how she continues to combat it as a consequence to experiences from her childhood. Ofra describes to us what codependency can look like in children, how to distinguish the term “enmeshment” from healthy attachment, and answers whether or not we are doomed to be codependent forever once it takes hold in our childhoods. It’s a must-listen!

Helpful links:

More on this episode’s guest:

Ofra Obejas plays with kids for a living. She is a play therapist in the Los Angeles area. She provides child and family therapy and parent coaching.

Click to download Ofra’s PDF:

More deets on this week’s episode:

We begin by hearing about Ofra’s definition of codependency. “The reason we become codependent is when there is a conflict between competing factors. It can be unsafe, intolerable, or too scary” to prioritize our needs above others or in balance with others.

Ofra opens up about experiences in her childhood, namely with her mother, father, and older sister, which contributed to her developing codependency out of fear of abandonment.

Ofra goes on to give great examples of codependency in her own life as well as in the children, parents, and families she has worked with throughout her career.

I ask Ofra about enmeshment and how we can distinguish that from healthy attachment (since the two can look, sound, and feel the same BUT THEY ARE NOT).

Ofra provides us hope by asserting that codependency is never irreversible since it is a learned behavior. That means that we can unlearn it my dear, sweet codependummy.

We conclude with steps we can take to help discourage codependent behaivor in children (and ourselves). Remember, you matter and your needs matter.

Questions for you:

What came up while you heard Ofra talk about her definition of codependency? Do you agree you likely became codependent due to you asserting your needs was unsafe, intolerable, or scary?
How did you feel while hearing about Ofra’s experiences in her childhood? How do you relate?
What do your enmeshed relationships look like in your family, friendships, or other areas in your life?
How can you start to practice what Ofra encourages and start to believe that you needs matter?
If you have children, how can you encourage interdependent rather than codependent behaviors by using Ofra’s guide? Click here to download:
If you don’t have children, how can you encourage interdependency in yourself and take care of your inner child? Click the link above to download her free PDF.
Thank you for listening!

Marissa’s info:

@therapywithmarissa on IG

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