This week, we look at W who is making the biggest move of his life. W is moving across the country to be with his loved one. W has dealt very well with his codependent side of his personality to this point but has spent the last few days feeling extremely angry and down on himself and doesn’t know why. His partner is not really helping by being distant and not involved in the process. W is questioning himself and doubts he has made the right decision. W is currently doing inner child therapy and his inner critic is pushing him all the way.
I am at my wits end. I want this move so bad but have spent the last week really getting angry with myself. I doubt that I can do this and my inner critic has been telling me constantly how stupid I am to let my guard down and let my partner in. I am distancing myself from him trying to get a reaction and it is not working. He is giving me the cold shoulder and I am feeling abandoned and left on my own. This has brought old feelings of worthlessness up and I feel I am dealing with so much at present that I cannot function. I had an angry outburst at one stage and threw things across the room. I don’t know what to do. My behavior is back to the same codependent way it was before I started therapy. Was I dealing with it or suppressing?
W was very codependent when he first came into therapy and had talked about angry outbursts when he didn’t get what he wanted. His fear of abandonment was driving this and his anger was a control measure that he used frequently against his partners. This led to a dysfunctional cycle of guilt and regret. He is displaying anger and a victim mentality at present designed bring his partner into his focus of attention. This is again another cycle that has repeated itself over and over again. In his inner child work, it was identified that his inner critic, the one that uses the ‘should’ and ‘musts’ and was trying to protect him from rejection and pain was very strong and was working with his inner rebel who was telling him to run away before it is too late. These too polarizing concepts have left him with confusion and frustration concerning his indecision and rumination. The next stage in therapy will be to counter these two forces by using the inner parent, the reasonable voice in his inner world. This will be done using realism and fact based thinking and challenging any dysfunctional thinking that may occur. This would hopefully help him to focus on the factors within his sphere of influence and not on factors that he cannot control.
Dr. Nicholas Jenner, a therapist, coach, and speaker, has over 20 years of experience in the field of therapy and coaching. His specialty lies in treating codependency, a condition that is often characterized by a compulsive dependence on a partner, friend, or family member for emotional or psychological sustenance. Dr. Jenner’s approach to treating codependency involves using Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, a treatment method that has gained widespread popularity in recent years. He identifies the underlying causes of codependent behavior by exploring his patients’ internal “parts,” or their different emotional states, to develop strategies to break free from it. Dr. Jenner has authored numerous works on the topic and offers online therapy services to assist individuals in developing healthy relationships and achieving emotional independence.