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-What happens to the child of an alcoholic/codependent couple when they grow up and become…an adult?

-Who are these “adult children of alcoholics” and what are the common traits they have in their relationships with others and themselves?

-How come adult children of alcoholics need to explore their values in order to heal (or “grow up”) from their childhood wounds?

Thanks for tuning in! This week, I sat down with Anna Jarviautio, Integrative Therapist and Personal Transformation Coach, to learn about “adult children of alcholics” (ACOA) and how their common character traits relate to codependency. Anna shares with us about how children, when growing up in an alcoholic/codependent home, develop certain coping mechanisms in order to survive and navigate that environment…but those coping mechanisms are necessarily sustainable as adults. You’ll hear Anna discuss some of the 14 traits of adult children of alcoholics, including the all-too-familiar trait of denial. We conclude with how ACOA’s heal by getting in touch with their values which then leads to caring habits, choices, and beliefs–and how you can do the same!
It’s a must-listen!
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More on this episode’s guest:

Anna Jarviautio is a Personal Transformation Coach and an Integrative Therapist. She lifts up and carries the Stressed-out overthinkers, grown in dysfunctional families towards peace and focus.
Instagram @anxiety_specialist_in_mayfair
Book a free 30-minute zoom consultation by checking out Anna’s website!

More deets on this episode:

We hear about Anna’s definition of the term codependency which she describes as a “somatic feeling.” She articulates the tightness in our bodies which we prioritize the needs of another over ourselves in an effort to create or maintain “safety.”

Anna recalls codependent experiences from her life, including a time when she reluctantly let her friend borrow her “very expensive” shoes–despite her hesitation to lend them. Sound familiar?

Anna then teaches us about the history of “adult children of alcoholics” (also known as ACOA). The group and resources for ACOA came about after services providers realized “Ok, we have treatment for alcoholics. We have support for their spouses. What about the kids growing up in that home?”
What are some of the 14 traits of ACOA? Here is a complete list: Anna describes how codependency is common as well as denial. “These children learn to survive by not having needs. Then they forget they have needs. Then they deny they have needs!” While these traits and coping skills were necessary in order to navigate the home environment with an alcoholic parent and an enabling/dependent/codependent parent, these traits typically are not sustainable in adulthood.

Anna then describes how ACOAs start to feel as adults: isolated, empty, discontent, unfulfilled, lonely, and so on. That’s when they end up in her therapy office.

We end by hearing about Anna’s treatment using Transactional Analysis where she helps her clients heal from their “child ego” by letting go of their inner critic/”parent ego” to then become their “adult ego” self where they are their best self. She details how she helps her clients put words to their experiences, explain what they are going through, STOP LIVING IN DENIAL, and “come home” to themselves.

It’s a must-listen! Thanks for coming on Anna!

Questions for you:

What came up as you heard Anna’s definition of codependency?
How do you relate to Anna’s examples of her codependency? What aspects of your codependency were you reminded of?
After reading the list of the 14 traits of ACOA,, which traits resonate most with you and why?
Have you experienced similar feelings of emptiness, loneliness, discontent, and isolation like Anna described as the reality of ACOAs?
Did Anna’s description of the parent ego, child ego, and adult ego describe your experience? How can you work towards integrating your inner parent and child egos in order to be a loving/compassionate adult-ego-to-yourself?
Hearing Anna and I talk about how long this process takes–are you practicing patience with yourself and the pace of your healing? If not, can you make an effort to take deep breaths, slow down, and surrender to the process?

Thank you for listening!

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