The day has come! Earlier in the Spring I did an interview for The Love Fix Podcast with Sherry Gaba and Carla Romo. The interview was released today! What a great time we had talking together! Sherry and Carla really know their stuff and are super interested in codependency.


Here are the links to our show. There are plenty of wonderful shows on The Love Fix Podcast for you to enjoy and learn from, too.


iTunes:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/self-recovery-and-codependent-behaviors-with/id1551411428?i=1000567583238


Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/episode/6vzMuUXENHhVr0hFLmrw1g?si=PdXacaf8Sh-mh5PubJaVVQ


I hope you will take a listen and join us in our exploration of codependency recovery!




Recently I was speaking with someone about the importance of reminding our self of why we set a boundary, why we took a stand, why we made a particular decision - especially when we have carefully centered and thoughtfully made those decisions.


We loose track of the good work we are doing on our own behalf as our focus is drawn outside of our self. Remembering, reminding our self can anchor us when we are feeling pulled off our own moorings.

And then I thought about the word: re-mind and added the hyphenation to emphasize the work we are doing. We are re-minding our self. We are intentionally catching our thoughts which may be forgetting our own needs and feelings. We are re-setting self by re-minding self. We are anchoring back in self.

What helps you to re-mind your self?



May Roses

In case you have found your way to this Blog, please know that the "Self-Recovery" workshop I am offering on Saturday, May 21, 2022, 9am - 12:30pm is happening! Here are the details: https://www.nancyljohnston.com/copy-of-self-recovery-workshop-2.


If you are interested in participating, you are still welcome to contact me through this website as late as Friday, May 20, 2022 to attend this online event on Saturday.


Ready participants are already enrolled. You are invited to join us and spend a Saturday morning learning ways to connect with and foster your self. A refreshing opportunity.



Downtown Books in Lexington, VA - my home base - hosted me for a book talk on the 2nd Edition of Disentangle. In part we offered this event to promote this new 2020 edition. To a larger extent we offered the event in recognition of May as Mental Health Awareness month.


Loss of self in others can be a fundamental reason for the anxiety and depression we treat in our counseling practices. And certainly relationship problems emerge from this loss of self. Often such loss of self presents as over-functioning for others and under-functioning for self. The balance between self and other is off, and we may not even be consciously aware of it.


Since you were not able to attend this talk, I am posting part of the handout I offered that describes paths to internal connections which can improve this self-other balance. The 4 Areas of Work that are the core content of Disentangle are named and illustrated below. These areas of work offer numerous insights and strategies for Self-Recovery:



4 Areas of Work to Foster Internal Connections

With a Take-Away Suggestion for Each Area


Facing Illusions – Reading: pp. 75-76

    Be Realistic with Self

        – Reading: pp. 78, 80

Detaching – Reading: pp. 134-135

    Increase Calm Responsiveness

        – Reading: pp. 136-137

Setting Health Boundaries – Reading: pp. 154; 155-156

    Find your “I” statement

        – Reading: pp. 167-168

Developing Spirituality – Reading: pp. 195-196

    Be aware of what You Can and Cannot Control

        – Reading: pp. 217-218; 219

 



We had a wonderful and meaningful time at Codependence Camp the weekend of April 1 - 3, 2022 at Vine Cottage on the grounds of the Inn at Forest Oaks in Natural Bridge, VA. This was our 29th Camp, and the learnings, comfort, and flow of Camp offered healing and growth.

Our focus was on "Self-Attunement" - developing our abilities to tune into self, to cultivate self as a reliable, safe haven. Our time in workshops was spent understanding this important aspect of recovery and then working in various ways to develop our internal resources to support Self-Attunement.

We plan to continue this internal resource development at our Fall Camp scheduled at Vine Cottage from Friday, September 23, 2022 - Sunday, September 25, 2022. Consider joining us. 

You can come enjoy the screened porch:


Workshop in the living room:


Delight in delicious meals:



Stroll the grounds:



Learn from Nancy's Flip Chart:



Work on your Self-Recovery:



You are invited.






Thanks for finding my website. And thanks for digging even deeper to find this blog.


It's time to say a bit about where my work with codependence and Disentangle has gone over this past year - a brief and solid look.


In August, 2020 the 2nd Edition of Disentangle: When You've Lost Your Self in Someone Else was released pandemic style with radio interviews and online articles. Just prior to that release, I was fortunate to record a digital seminar for PESI: Codependence: Treatment Strategies for Clients Who Lose Themselves in Others.


These opportunities, along with participation in a number of virtual trainings, invited me to think even more comprehensively about the treatment of codependence. Clear and fundamental ways to describe codependence and its treatment emerged.


Simply put, I believe codependence can be defined as loss of self in someone else. This loss of self can lead to over-functioning for others/under-functioning for self. This intra/inter-personal style comes from a predominant tendency to focus externally. No blame or judgement. There are a number of reasons for our external focus. It has been adaptive and even protective for us. And we may find that we lost our self along the way as our internal focus dimmed and dimmed.


Then one day a client was telling me a story about losing her temper and saying regrettable things to the other person. She was feeling bad about what she said and her failed attempts to express her self in a way to be heard. In responding to her, I reflectively suggested, "You were not able to recover your self in that moment." We both liked that way of putting it. And I knew then that the integrated model of codependence recovery I was distilling is Self-Recovery.


This diagram/logo of the Self-Recovery Model incorporates the 4 integrated elements I now highlight as the heart of healing codependence:

The 4 Elements of Self-Recovery
Self-Understanding
Self-Awareness
Self-Competence
Self-Attunement


This Self-Recovery Model involves cultivating our internal focus with compassion, mindful presence, confidence, and care as we engage in specific work in each of these 4 areas of Self.


I will be offering a 4-hour workshop on Saturday, February 19, 2022, 10am-3pm(EST) on Self-Recovery. If you are curious about it, check out the description of that workshop under the Events Tab on this website.


More on Self-Recovery as these blogs emerge.


Well Wishes!
Nancy





 

I was writing an email to a friend today and found myself saying about our family, “We are all well and choose to not travel to support The Great Effort.” I like this phrase - The Great Effort. Yes, that’s what we are being asked to do and what will save us: The Great Effort.


Each word in this phrase is important. Whether we are working on our health, a home project, parenting, our primary relationship(s), or a community need, it usually takes “a great effort” to reach our goals.


“Effort” is not necessarily a state we run toward. When I explain to people that the changes they want to make for themselves will involve work, many are sorry to hear that. We want to believe that once we have learned something new, we can naturally put it to action with no looking back. Those of us in recovery from addictions know well that is not so. We know that “effort” means we will show up daily with our intentions, new skills, new knowledge, and practice the changes we are making. It is work to remember to do all of these things, and it is work to practice them when we easily can slip into our usual ways. Effort is needed.


“Great” speaks to both the extent to which I, as an individual, need to expend my energies toward the goal and to the extent to which collective movement toward the goal is imperative.  When an individual is in recovery from an addiction, consistent and clear support from family and friends as well as changes in their behaviors make a world of difference in fostering recovery for all. “Great” means that when I don’t want to do something that will make a positive difference for the larger world, I go ahead and do it. “Great” means that we are all in this together and what I choose has an effect that ripples out and out and out.


“The” highlights the importance of this Great Effort. It is “The Great Effort” needed to stop the spread of this pandemic and to give us safe spaces to restore ourselves, our communities, and our world. This is possible and quite likely with great effort on the part of each of us together.


Just days before the killing frost that took my COVID garden, I gathered this box of flowers, herbs, and vegetables to give to a friend.  Each of these varieties grew through the great, collective effort of the sun, soil, and water. They grew through my faithfulness in their care, through advice I was given from others about growing them, and through their natural ability to share their garden beds with each other so they all grew well and strong – and quite beautifully!