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-What is Gestalt therapy and how can it help treat codependency?

-How can focusing on the ‘here and now’ build our awareness of of thoughts, feelings, and needs?

-What are some ways to start making meaning in your life?

Welcome to Episode 114! This week, we hear from Melissa Bennett-Heinz all about her work treating codependency with Gestalt therapy. What is Gestalt Therapy, you ask? Melissa gives us the 101 background on this form of therapy and describes how it can help one combat codependency, perfectionism, and unhealthy relationship patterns. You’ll hear Melissa open up about codependency in her own life, including a play-by-play reflection on an interaction while returning her shopping cart. We conclude with takeaways from Gestalt therapy that we can implement in our own lives. It’s a must-listen!

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Melissa has been a clinical social worker and Gestalt Psychotherapist for over 20 years. She practices virtually in NY, TX, WA, and NC treating adults who struggle with perfectionism, setting boundaries, codependency, and making their own needs a priority by utilizing individual and group settings. As a therapist to therapists, Melissa offers counsel to other mental health professionals and provides career guidance through clinical supervision. Melissa combines her creativity as a musician with the creative and experiential therapy of Gestalt, to allow for patterns that have become characterological, to emerge in session.

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We begin with hearing Melissa’s take on the definition of codependency: a relationship dynamic where the ‘giver’ completely sacrifices their needs for another (a ‘taker’ or a ‘receiver’). Codependency, to Melissa, is also how someone feels in a relationship where they are often anxious, insecure, questioning, and overdoing as they doubt they are enough.

Melissa revisits a codependent experience when she returned her shopping cart at ALDI. Yes, it was just a moment but there’s so much depth and meaning in the exchange, right?

Melissa then provides us with a 101 tutorial on Gestalt Therapy: who founded it, how it views human behavior, and the pillars of the therapeutic approach.

We hear about Gestalt’s emphasis on making meaning in our lives, dealing with interruptions, and the four ways we respond to others: introjection, projection, confluence, and retroflection.

We conclude with hearing how Melissa’s approach helps her clients become aware of their characterological patterns. It’s all about awareness!

Thank you for coming Melissa! And thank you for being here dear listener!
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