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What are some common ways that millennials are codependent?
Where do our codependent patterns stem from?
How can mindfulness and somatic (body awareness) practices help us combat our codependent ways???
In this week’s episode, Marissa sits down with Natalie Moore, LMFT to talk about codependency in millennials. Natalie shares about ways she’s observed codependency in her millennial clients and how she helps them start to address it. You’ll hear about codependent patterns in young adults, where these patterns come from, and how Natalie incorporates mindfulness and somatic therapy to help her clients become interdependent. It’s a must-listen!

About this week’s guest: Natalie is a licensed therapist, content creator and expert speaker based in Pasadena. She helps ambitious, creative millennials increase their emotional resiliency and transform limiting patterns to create the life, love and career of their dreams. Natalie incorporates holistic modalities like mindfulness, somatic psychology and breathwork into her work to support the natural healing process. She offers online secure tele-therapy to California resident adults.

Natalie’s contact info:

DOWNLOAD NATALIE’S Somatic Resourcing Guidebook:

More details on this week’s episode:

How do you define codependency?
Natalie: “Codependency is a relationship dynamic where someone puts the needs of others ahead of their own at the expense of their own needs.”
“Can you share some experiences of codependency from your own life?”
Natalie: “I was in an abusive relationship in my early 20s which, at the foundation of it, was a codependent relationship.” Natalie opens up about his need for control above her own safety, autonomy, and other needs that she had to “come out of and heal from.”

Natalie describes how the relationship was “fueled by codependency.” She was putting his needs before her own, making him more important than her, and believed it when he gaslit her. She was able to end the relationship and heal from it thanks to therapy, her support network, and coping skills.

“What aspect of your own healing do you sense contributed the most to you overcoming your codependent patterns?”
Natalie admits “therapy!” (no bias here) Natalie shares how she was able to talk about her goal: “to know myself better.” This helped her develop insight skills of understanding herself, her needs, her personality, and what she needed out of life. She realized that, since she was lost, she was vulnerable to an abusive relationship.

Natalie also talks about support from her family, pursuing new hobbies like hiking, and journaling in order to help her heal from her codependent relationship.

What are 2-3 common codependent patterns that limit the ambitious millennials you work with?
Natalie: “There are so many!” The #1 pattern: people saying “yes” all the time. Natalie describes perfection in young women and how they expect themselves to say “yes” to everything and have difficulty saying “no” to things they don’t have time, energy, or space for. Natalie really helps her clients connect with what they want.

Natalie also adds how she helps clients with a “bridge” behavior where they say “let me think about it…how much notice do you need from me…” so they aren’t saying “no” but also aren’t saying “yes” as a knee-jerk reaction.

#2 pattern: putting others needs above our own. Natalie describes what that looks like in the young adults she works with wanting to be everything to everyone.

#3 pattern: trying to be “nice” all the time. Natalie talks about how, culturally, women have been raised to be nice and how that limits our ability to express our true selves.

“Where do you sense your clients’ codependent patterns come from?”
Natalie: “Definitely parental modeling.” She describes how there is an implicit and explicit learning process thanks to our parents where “like a fish is living in water,” we take on the norms of our environment. Natalie adds details about how our family and culture both influence us, especially women, to “put our needs last and others first.” She adds how, as adults, we can start to “decondition” ourselves thanks to thinking critically about what we’d like to keep and what we would like to “unlearn.”

How do you help your millennial clients a) become aware of their codependency and b) start to foster interdependence?
Natalie: “It starts with understanding what codependency is and how it shows up in their life.” Natalie describes how she helps her clients understand codependency in a manner that makes sense to them. She then helps them envision their life without codependency…THEN WORK TOWARDS THAT. This helps them picture what they want and then use that in making decisions.

Another piece is mindfulness: bringing a non-judgmental awareness to the present moment. What does my breathing feel like right now? How tense are my muscles? What am I hearing? Can I hear the sounds around me? See the colors around me?

In order to stop being codependent, you have to know your boundaries. If you have to know what your boundaries are, you have to pay attention to your body.

Natalie provides an example of someone standing too close. If they are standing too close, we can take action and it’s okay. Natalie describes how, as a codependent, we tend not to stand up for ourselves BUT the new way of doing it is to: hear your thought, honor your thought, and stand back or ask for more space. “My need to feel safe is just as important as their needs are.”

What is one mindfulness, somatic, or breathwork exercise you would recommend to listeners to incorporate to support their healing from codependency?
Natalie: “There is a visualization I like to do with my clients where they imagine what their boundaries look like.” Natalie leads them through to help them picture a vortex, fog, veil, etc. around them and then identify how thick it is, how permeable, and other details for their “boundary.” Natalie shares how her own boundary is like a cell membrane that can allow things in or out but it’s up to her.

As always, thank you for listening!

DOWNLOAD NATALIE’S Somatic Resourcing Guidebook: