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-What does codependency look like in veterans?

-Why does a poor transtion from military service to returning home often contribute to codependency in veterans?

-How can veterans begin to combat their codependency?

Welcome to Episode 135! This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Hermosillo, LMFT, and U.S. Army Veteran. Daniel and I discuss what codependency looks like in veterans upon their return from military service. As we heard in last week’s episode, many codependent traits and characteristics are beneficial in the military but are harmful upon the return home. Daniel opens up about his own codependency and how he helps his veteran clients let go of their codependent behaviors. While the situation with many veterans may seem dire, Daniel leaves us with a message of hope. It’s a must-listen!

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Daniel Hermosillo, LMFT and U.S. Army veteran, provides mental health therapy to teenage boys, men and veterans. Daniel assists the people he works with by assisting them comfront traumas, anxiety, depressions, and relational stressors. Daniel is CBT certified (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), MBSR trained (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), and TRM trained (Trauma Resilience Model).

Phone: (818)744-9551

Veteran Peer Access Network:

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We begin with hearing Daniel’s definition of codependency: an over-reliance to someone, an object, or an idea. This is related to relational impairments, psychological pain, and behaviors that previously were functional but are now dysfunctional.

Daniel opens up about codependency in his own life and how he relied excessively on his ex-girlfriend upon his return from the military. He describes how he constantly needed her feedback as a consequence to receiving so much feedback during his service. His independent thinking was “quelched” and he needed constant feedback, validation, and lacked a sense of self.

We then expand our focus to codependency in veterans. Daniel details how veterans will over-rely on partners/family members, seek constant feedback, over-commit to others, hold on to their military identity, have poor boundaries, people-please, self-sacrifice, etc. As a consequence, Daniel has observed their development of cognitive dissonance: “I want it (i.e., validation), but I don’t want it.” This has the potential to lead to coping behaviors through substances, video games, etc.

In extreme cases, Daniel highlights how codependency can be detrimental and contribute to homelessness, substance abuse, divorce, and joblessness. He emphasizes how veterans dysfunction previously served a purpose. For example, they’re ability to “just take it” before in active duty now leaves them vulnerable to working too much in toxic environments.

What’s a veteran who is really struggling to do? Daniel suggests the need for a good transition home, grieving their military experience and attaching to other things, creating boundaries, and helping them get past their stuck point. In his one-on-one work, Daniel focuses on creating safety, forming a healthy relationship, helping them self-regulate and self-explore, take on “task challenges”, and utilizing their strength.

We end on a message of hope as Daniel shares how rich the work is with veterans: they’re open-minded, well-traveled, have cultural exposure, good ideas/attitude, and empathy.

Thanks for coming on Daniel! And thank you for listening, my dear listener!
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