Codependency And What To Do About It with Mary Joye | POP 754

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A photo of Mary Joye is captured. Mary Joye is a solution-focused Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Mary Joye is featured on Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Do you feel like you often lose yourself when caring for others? Is codependency inherited at birth or taught in childhood? What are some common codependent tendencies?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about codependency and everything to do about it with Mary Joye.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

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Meet Mary Joye

A photo of Mary Joye is captured. She is a solution-focused Licensed Mental Health Counselor who works most often with trauma, grief and life changing events. Mary Joye is featured on the Practice of the Practice, a therapist podcast.

Mary Joye is a solution-focused Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She works most often with trauma, grief and life changing events. Mary works together with her clients to find what is operating from their past or present to find ways to help them have a more authentic and happier future.

She integrates traditional and customized models, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, PTSD Trauma Resolution and other proven techniques to make her clients feel safe and motivated to move forward towards becoming their best selves.

Visit Winter Haven Counseling and connect with Mary Joye on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.

In this Podcast:

  • What is codependency?
  • Is codependency inherited or taught?
  • Raising kind and independent kids
  • Common codependent tendencies
  • Tips for clinicians
  • Mary’s advice to private practitioners

What is codependency?

Society’s view of codependency evolved. At first, it meant you were living with someone dependent on a substance or addiction … but it has now expanded. (Mary Joye)

There are other ways to define codependency as it has expanded throughout society and as relationships have been more widely studied.

A new term that can describe codependency in relationships is pathological altruism.

The definition that I use and I think is most broadly used in our field is a loss of self when caring for others. (Mary Joye)

Codependency is a lot like an addiction because you lose yourself while caring for others. After all, you get a hit of dopamine when you give.

Therefore, what might seem like a selfless and kind gesture is actually narcissism in reverse because while narcissists are hyper-focused on themselves, codependents are hyper-focused on other people.

Is codependency inherited or taught?

It is nature and nurture in tandem.

Some people can be born with a greater ability and skill of empathy and sympathy. So much so, that even as children they can feel guilty for receiving something that someone else wanted and share things that they earned, like a prize.

Sometimes codependency is learned, especially if a parent is unaware of their child’s sensitivities.

There are some nurturing [parent techniques] that teach [that] it’s more blessed to give than to receive, however, you need to receive to be able to give, and that’s the missing link of this. (Mary Joye)

Raising kind and independent kids

Teach your kids about the cycle of giving and receiving. There is a rhythm to being nice to others while still being nice to yourself.

You can teach your children the importance of self-care and not allowing other kids – or adults – to take advantage of their kindness.

Teach them that there is a cycle of giving and receiving and of give and take, and that’s what real friendships are built on, not, “What can that friend do for me?” (Mary Joye)

Common codependent tendencies

You may be codependent or have codependent tendencies if you:

  • Find yourself constantly in relationships with narcissists, sociopaths, or people who struggle with addictions where they are always doing the sharing and you are always doing the caring
  • Have a lot of one-sided relationships
  • Allow people to use you for favors or help
  • Constantly try to keep everybody happy and you feel drained or exhausted afterward

I know in our business we’re not supposed to use [words like] “always” and “never”, but I am in this case because it really does feel like that to a codependent. If you are always there for everyone else and you feel like no one is there for you when you need it, that’s what to watch out for. (Mary Joye)

You need good relationships with reciprocity that have a healthy and equal give-and-take dynamic.

Tips for clinicians

Mary’s top tip for practicing clinicians and their clients in therapy: if you are working harder than your client, then you are not doing your job.

You are not here to help people, but you are here to help people help themselves.

Remember that self-care is essential if you want to care for other people because you have to look after yourself if you want to be able to help those around you.

Mary’s advice to private practitioners

How are you doing? How are you doing taking care of other people? Check in with yourself before work and check in with yourself after work, and do not take work home with you.

Watch something at the end of the day that makes you laugh.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Useful Links mentioned in this episode:

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Joe Sanok

A photo of Joe Sanok is displayed. Joe, private practice consultant, offers helpful advice for group practice owners to grow their private practice. His therapist podcast, Practice of the Practice, offers this advice.

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE SANOK] This is the Practice of the Practice Podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 754. Well, I’m Joe Sanok, your host, and welcome to the Practice of the Practice Podcast. I am so excited to have you here with me today. It’s the middle of summer, and I hope you’re enjoying yourself, enjoying your July and that you’re just finding some time to rest a little bit. Sometimes summer can be a time to push into goals outside of practice. Sometimes it’s time to just slow down. Actually, when this is airing, I’ll actually be at Slow Down School with a bunch of therapists slowing down for a couple days and then running full tilt towards their businesses. So if you’re interested in coming to the 2023 Slow Down School you can join that wait list over at I’m so excited to have Mary Joye with us today. Mary is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, life coach in Florida, Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator. Her recent book, Codependent Discovery and Recovery 2.0: A Holistic Guide to Healing and Freeing Yourself is available through Simon and Schuster, and has been well received. Her transformative journey was featured in O Magazine. She’s the bestselling writer for, and her popular course from Codependent to Independent has sold tens of thousands of copies. Mary, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast. I’m so glad that you’re here with us today. [MARY JOYE] Oh, I’m so honored to be here, Joe. I really appreciate it. I can’t wait to see what we have, what comes up out of our conversation. [JOE] Yes, well, I feel like we already achieved something with the tech snafus we had on the front end. We did a great team-building exercise to get to even just this point. So we’re a team already. [MARY] Yes, absolutely. [JOE] Well, so you are an expert on codependency and I feel like right now in society, to me, I study all sorts of psychology, business, things like that, but I haven’t dug super deep into the clinical side of many things since I sold my practice. I feel like codependency is a word that is thrown around so often. Like, “Oh, they’re a codependent couple. Those kids are codependent.” I was just talking with some friends recently about whether, at what age should kids be allowed to co-sleep with you because it could build codependency and there’s all these debates around things. First maybe clarify that push and pull in society’s view of codependency versus what you actually study and what you teach when it comes to codependency. [MARY] Well, society’s view of codependency evolved. At first it meant you were living with someone who was dependent on a substance or addiction and you were codependent. But it’s expanded. Really, I prefer the terms that some researchers came up with, Barbara Oakley and other researchers, pathological altruism. It’s also got two qualities of dependent personality disorder, which are volunteering to do things that you don’t really want to do, just to maintain relationships and then asking for a lot of advice and you’re in insecure and unsure of yourself. But the definition that I use that I think is most broadly used in our field is a loss of self when caring for others. When I heard I was codependent, one of my professors told me and I said, “No, I’m just being nice.” She said, “No, you are being too nice. People will eat you alive. You’re about to go into your internship.” I went on a study of it. You call me an expert, but I’m still a work in progress. I think we all are. Codependency is a lot like addiction because you lose yourself caring for others because you get dopamine when you give. So what seems like a selfless, kind, wonderful thing is really narcissism in reverse, narcissist or hyper-focused on themselves, codependence or hyper-focused on other people. See how they can lose themselves, making everyone happy, is everybody happy? I hope that helps. [JOE] Yes, lose yourself when caring for others. I love that definition. I’ve never heard that before. Maybe dig into that a little bit for people that deal with codependency or even tendencies around codependency. Are there things in childhood or early adulthood that happen to a lot of people that struggle with codependency? Or is it a whole swath of things that can happen that lead to that moment? [MARY] Well, I think the nature nurture debate is very powerful. So I think it’s a hundred percent of both, as you’ve probably heard in your world, it’s nature and nurture and tandem. But you can be born with extra empathy. That’s true. You really can, you can be born with so much empathy and so much sympathy that a highly sensitive child can be codependent if a parent doesn’t recognize that they’re giving everything away. If somebody says, Oh, you won the prize at the fair and I wanted that, and the other kid starts crying, the one who won the prize will hand it to the other kid when they’re the one who earned it. So they feel guilty when they don’t give people what they want. You can also be taught that. I think a lot of religious backgrounds teach us that. I think a lot of parents, even perfect parents to say we don’t have, there’s people who don’t have as much as you do. You have to, there’s guilt attached to it and there’s some nurturing that teaches it’s more blessed to give them to receive, however you need to receive to be able to give and that’s the missing link of this. I always say a codependent, if you ask a codependent for $10 and they only have eight, they’ll go borrow two and put themselves in debt to make sure you have the 10. That’s where it’s a benefit to others when it’s a detriment to yourself. [JOE] Well, I’m going to stick on the parenting thing for a bit more selfishly, because I’m a single dad raising two daughters almost full time and they’re seven and 11. So what can I do to help raise kids that are set up, from your lens around codependency that I can set them up to be independent, to be able to recognize things in their lives, make good choices? Any things that you notice in parents that are really building that independence versus codependence? [MARY] Absolutely. I think it’s fine to teach children to give, but it’s also teaching them the cycle of giving and receiving and the cycle of being nice to other people and being nice to themselves and self-caring and not allowing other kids to take advantage of them and not allowing themselves to be bullied, not allowing themselves to be taken advantage of. We have a funny thing in our society, we teach children not to take candy from strangers, and then we take them out on Halloween. We teach them not to sit in strangers lap and we take them to meet Santa Claus. We have to be very careful of what, I use a little humor to express those, so we have to be careful on what we’re teaching our children. It’s okay to teach them to give, please don’t make selfish entitled little kids, but also teach them that it’s a cycle of giving and receiving of give and take and that’s what real friendships are built on, not what can that friend do for me, but how can we have a friendship? Teaching your children to socialize well and to give out of a spirit of not expecting something in return. Actually, co-dependency is absolutely not a selfless act. Even people pleasing children they will try to please everybody to make sure everyone’s happy. This is especially true in an alcoholic home. I was raised in a psychiatrist home, so glad you’re asking this question because I had to be an extension of my family’s image because back then, if you were a psychiatrist kid, it was a lot like being a preacher’s child. You couldn’t have it, you couldn’t have anything wrong, you couldn’t have real feelings, you couldn’t express yourself. You had to repress and you had to be this perfect little example of what a psychiatrist family is supposed to look like. Good luck with that, there was a lot of dysfunction in our family and I had to hide all that. So teaching kids to keep all the family secrets, especially not in your case, you’re healthy and raising good kids, but especially in families where they are protecting a perpetrator, such as when a child is molested or a child is being beaten, sometimes that non-offending parent, the one that doesn’t protect the parent, is often the one teaching the child to be codependent. They’re teaching the child to protect the perpetrator, just to keep the family secrets. Sometimes it’s about money, sometimes it’s about image, but it’s always protecting the perpetrator, never the target or the victim. [JOE] I want to fast forward a little bit from kids to adults. So when we look in ourselves what are maybe some codependent tendencies that people have that maybe they don’t even recognize are setting themselves up for some codependency or some mindsets or just things that maybe the average listener says, “Oh, I’ve never thought of that as being codependency. I should stand up for myself a little bit. I should put my needs first a little bit more.” What are those sorts of things that maybe we don’t always recognize this codependency, but actually are some of those traits? [MARY] If you find yourself constantly in relationships with narcissists or anybody who’s sociopathic or anyone who’s addicted and you’re always the one doing the caring and they’re always the one doing the sharing, you might be a codependent if you have a lot of one-sided relationships. If you have people who are cutting you down or only using you for, I need a ride, I need this but when you need them, they’re nowhere to be found. If you find yourself in these sided relationships and maybe codependency, and these are from those early attachment styles we talked about, if you keep your parents happy, then you retain safety as a child. So that translates into adulthood and insecure attachment or anxious preoccupied attachment styles in adulthood where you go, well if I’m good, if I’m really, really good enough, they’ll think I’m good enough and they’ll like me, they’ll really, really like me. Like that famous Sally Field speech when she got an Oscar, “You like me, you really, really like me.” Wow, it took an Oscar for her to understand that and I was very much like that. I understand that dynamic. So if you’re constantly trying to keep everyone happy and you don’t feel good about yourself after you do it, if you feel drained or exhausted, instead of, I always say if you feel unabated instead of energized, you might be in a codependent relationship. Now sometimes you just need to absolutely help people. You are just being nice. Sometimes people are going through divorces or deaths in their family, they’re grieving, then yes, absolutely let that be one sided, be there for them. But if you’re always there for them and they’re never there for you, and I know in our business we’re not supposed to use always or never, but I am in this case because it really does feel like that to a codependent, if you’re always there for everyone else and you feel like no one is there for you when you need it, that’s what to watch out for. You need good relationships with reciprocity, give and take. [JOE] I’m not sure if how versed you are in the Enneagram, but I’m wondering if there’s certain Enneagram or Myers-Briggs types that tend to be drawn to codependency more. I’m thinking about if there’s a people-pleaser perfectionist, I would guess, without being an expert on codependency, I would guess that they might be more prone to be codependent because of the people pleasing than say in any Enneagram three who’s like an achiever type. Are there any correlations between any Enneagram types or Myers Briggs types or find any of those that you’re maybe has some expertise in that you would say tend to lend themselves more to codependency? [MARY] I know very little about Enneagram, so I will defer to you on that but Myers Briggs I use a lot and yes, INFPs and INFJs in particular. INFJs will stick up for themselves a little bit more because that J is the judgment versus perception. But an INFP is an introverted, intuitive feeling, perceiver, and they look at the big picture. They look at everything just saying, “Oh, that person had a really bad day. My husband beat me because he was in a bad mood. Or that person’s just being mean to me because they had a terrible childhood.” Do you see how a perceiver could justify a relationship that isn’t healthy? They need to have a little bit of judgment in there. So INFPs are particularly at risk for codependency. So are the fixers, the rescuers the people that have that profile, which also as an INFP. I think they are the most at risk. [JOE] So when we think about the clinicians that are listening, that’s my primary audience, what are some things in their own private practices that they can start looking for, understanding, trying to really get a hold of with their clients around codependency? [MARY] Well, I absolutely love what my professor taught me, and I also went to an addiction specialist to figure out what was going on on my brain that would make me say yes when I meant no and no when I mean yes. So I’ve really studied the neuroscience of this, but my favorite thing a professor taught me was, if you’re working harder than your client, then you’re not doing your job. You are not here to help people. You are here to help people help themselves. You are not here to have people listen to you. You are here to help people listen to themselves and achieve their goals, not what your goal is, not to ask leading questions, not to give them unsolicited advice because giving unsolicited advice, as we all know, as therapists, when you start giving advice, that’s more life coaching and it can be a very slippery slope because the advice may be too much for them to handle. It may not be their ideal and it may backfire. You may give them advice that isn’t right for them. It’s just your opinion. So helping them help themselves is what to watch out for. I actually have a chapter in my book about closet codependence, and one of them is therapists and doctors that they will work harder than, and if I think if we saw that anywhere in healthcare, it was during Covid that people were giving until they gave out. Some of them sadly and honorably passed away saving others. They didn’t sleep for days. So self-care is essential to care for other people. If you don’t care for yourself first, you cannot care for your clients. I work on that every single day, Joe and I walk into my office every day and I just look up to that greater source than me, whatever that is to you. I say, help me, help others, help me help others. I’m a conduit for their healing. That’s what I am. I am not their healing source. I am a conduit for them to help them listen to themselves. I hope other counselors get that because when you feel burned out at the end of the day time to take a break, like I love your slow down. Oh my gosh, that is, I’m leaving tomorrow for a slow-down writing retreat. That’s what I do. If I don’t take time to slow down and I’ve been a writer all my life, I used to be a songwriter for a living, if I don’t take time to go back to that original version of myself, then I’ve worn out my resilience and resilience is like a rubber band. We snap when we don’t go back to our original shape. But if you just come back to your origin and come back to your natural self and get reconnected to yourself, then you can help people connect to themselves better. [THERAPY NOTES] Is managing your practice stressing you out? Try Therapy Notes. It makes notes, billing, scheduling, and tele-health a whole lot easier. Check it out and you will quickly see why it’s the highest rated EHR on Trustpilot with over 1000 verified customer views and an average customer rating of 4.9 out of five stars. You’ll notice the difference from the first day you sign up for a trial. They offer live phone support seven days a week so when you have questions, you can quickly reach out to someone who can help. You are never wasting your time looking for answers. If you’re coming from another EHR, they make the transition really easy. Therapy Notes will import your clients’ demographic data free of charge during your trial so you can get going right away. Use the promo code [JOE], J-O-E to get three months totally free to try it out, no strings attached. Remember telehealth is included with every subscription free. Make 2022, the best year yet with Therapy Notes. Again, use promo code [JOE] to get three months totally free. [JOE SANOK] I just looked back at your bio and I realized I didn’t read the last line, which is one of the most interesting lines and that’s that you worked for KISS as a makeup artist. I mean, you lived some life. I can’t believe I left that out of your bio. So when you think about going back to your original self and slowing down, I mean, first I just want to hear stories of being a makeup artist for KISS and then we’ll get into other stuff. So tell me about being a makeup artist for KISS. [MARY] Well, my father disowned me because I wouldn’t become a psychiatrist. So I put myself through school as a stage hand. So really, remember when people disowned you, they don’t own you anymore. I was noticed by a road manager. I wasn’t working on a KISS show, but he needed somebody to work for KISS. I was carrying lights up ladder and he said, why aren’t you drinking with the boys? I said, I just want to get out of the swamp because I was at University of Florida, I said, I just want to, I’m in my senior year, I’m getting ready to graduate. So I got a call a few weeks later and I was on the KISS toward Jean Simmons’s all business and he’s all show business. I always said it was a great starter job for a codependent because taking care of for rock stars was a piece of cake compared to taking care of my family, really and what’s dancing. My father, the psychiatrist, I asked him one day, I said, “Why are you so hard on me?” He said, “Well, I’m a full blown narcissist and I have no intention of changing.” I said, “Wow, you know that?” I had to go look up what narcissist meant because honestly back then when I was 15. I really didn’t know what it meant. Then I said, Hmm, he knows all this, and he is, I said, It’s not like he’s a carpenter. So when I went back to graduate school later in life, after my show business career, which also, a lot of codependents are in show business, they give performances, they give benefits, they give of themselves, they end up exhausted. But when I went back to graduate school, I did not tell my parents until long after I graduated. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t ask anyone’s opinion. I knew as a songwriter, I was helping people get in touch with their feelings. I knew when Warner Brothers sold to AOL, my contract wouldn’t be renewed and I knew to reinvent myself. That’s when I discovered I was codependent and I wanted to learn to be independent and healthily interdependent and like I said, it’s a work in process and I love helping other people do that. When I flup up, when I need help, I think all good therapists should have a therapist they have as a lifeline for them so that they can just stay as I say, clean. I don’t mean clean, like perfectly healthy. No one is perfectly healthy. Can we all agree on that? But if a life event happens, and a life event did happen to me where my co-dependency just slapped me in the face about six years ago, and when my brother passed away, I said, “Okay, here’s the deal. I have to really reset, get deeply into this and when I started digging into the neuroscience and the research and what was going on in my VA nerve and this need to be needed and instead of a wanting to be wanted, I could help other people.” I came up with tools and lists to provide outlets for clients. I had gone through a terrible divorce too so I sat all those things straight. I sat on the couch so I could sit on the chair across from the couch and be of better benefit from a place of wholeness, not a wounded healer, but a healer who was wounded and got better. [JOE] I’m so glad you bring that up. I feel like there’s so many things I resonate with in what you said. My dad is a Ph.D. psychologist and was the school psychologist at the school I went to. So that whole idea of like, I had a ponytail in high school and he was like, “You can’t have a ponytail,” like the whole family image thing and all that. It was a Catholic school, so he hated that I had a chain wall. It was all alternative. So I get that side of it. But then even just the freedom of like, I haven’t been disowned by my parents, they’re amazing, we have a good relationship now, but about a year ago I uncoupled and got divorced. In episode 736 I talked about that and we did this whole series this summer of How I Got Through It, not just me, but I interviewed all these different people who have been through just crazy things and how they got through it. That idea of when you’re just so broken apart that you just have nothing left to lose, it feels like at times. To just the pain of that, but then also the freedom of it, I mean, I now feel like I can reflect back on my role of a 17 year marriage where I pulled somebody along that wasn’t developing in maybe age appropriate ways and like, wow, I never thought of myself as codependent, but the idea of being abandoned in a marriage was such a fear of mine. Then when it happened, it was terrible and it was, the whole marriage and divorce was just like wretched. To now be about a year out and feel like, whoa, I feel so light. I’m an unexpected single dad with almost 90% custody. I feel like life is easier as a single dad now and granted I have my sister and my parents and her parents and lots of family and friends that have surrounded me, but just the emotional side of, huh, maybe I was codependent, didn’t even realize it. As you talk about some of these things, I’m like, I never would’ve labeled myself that way. The freedom I now feel is like, oh, maybe something was there that I didn’t even recognize. I just wanted to say that. But I also love the idea of not being a wounded healer that we’re doing our own work, we’re doing our own reading meditation, like whatever that looks like therapy to be the best version of ourselves to then join people we’re they’re at. Can you dig into a little bit more of your healing of post-divorce, post family stuff, all those things? What did that look like for you? What was helpful? What were mindsets or habits that you did that personally helped you grow in a different way out of being a codependent person? [MARY] Well if I put myself in that moment, it looked like utter chaos from the inside looking out but, on the outside, looking in, I actually was putting things in order. My brain was taking in the information of getting a divorce, my parents being ill, my brother not helping, he got ill. All of those things made me realize that, I said I have to go back to a form of self-care that is very important to me. I’ve done it most of my life, is meditation. I did meditation, also a lot of walking and I not walking with friends either, walking with myself with my thoughts and I put music on because music is, I love what Beethoven said, I’m pretty sure it was Beethoven. He said, “Music is the mediator between the soul and the mind.” And it is. [JOE] Oh my gosh, Mary, during my uncoupling, we were in a camper. I had to sleep next to her for months while we found an apartment for, and every morning I would just, as soon as the sun came up, I couldn’t go back to sleep and I would meditate and then I would go walking, listening to music. So, I mean, hearing you say that, it’s like, oh, okay, that wasn’t just chaos. Maybe there was something going on there, [MARY] There was, the brain, just like the body seeks homeostasis. The homeostasis is balanced. The earth tries to seek it with fires and earthquakes and the things that happen. It’s what looks like chaos, is actually the planet trying to reach homeostasis that’s in the macrocosm of society and in the microcosm of our personal lives. So when you have chaos, something was wrong to begin with. It’s venting itself like a volcano really to release the heat of it and then to form ah, the beautiful solid ground that you need to go forward because it is very freeing. I’m telling you, there’s nothing like you think you’re going to die when you put that blue ink on the paper when you’re getting a divorce and then you go, “Oh wait a minute. This is the beginning of my actual life. I no longer have to please this person. I no longer have to try to please all these people. I no longer have to fawn after people to make them feel better. I don’t even have to make my clients feel better. That is not my job.” I did not take a break from my brother’s death for 10 months. I went to my former supervisor and he said, “Are you really asking me permission if you can take a break? You should have already done it.” I hiked around the mountains of Sedona. It’s very safe out there to hike by yourself. I did get lost one day and it’s humorous, it’s darkly humorous, but I got lost. Grieving my brother’s death was tragic. We don’t need to go into that. But I was sitting on top of a rock in Sedona. The rocks were red, the dirt’s red, the trails are red and the sunset was red and I got lost. Everything’s red and there’s like no green. I sat on a rock and I started crying. I said, “Can I please just be over this grief?” I mean it was loud because no one could hear me. I was hoping someone would, but no one could. I was crying and all of a sudden I heard a horse, I heard hops, clap, clap, clap. I heard horses. So I went, ah, horses, that’s a horse. They know where water is. So I did follow the horse sound and then there was a woman on the back of that horse, she had taken the back trail and it was flatter where I was, so I guess it was safer for a horse. I looked up at her, she looked like an angel, but she didn’t talk like one. I don’t really want to cuss on your show, but I said, “I’m lost. I have no water.” She said, “Follow the horse. You know what.” In that moment, and I did because when you’re on the trail alone and it’s a seven mile trail and you’re on the backside of a mountain. You really have to be, be careful who you do and don’t talk to. I understood that with her. But when I was following the horse manure, I said, oh crap is what we make fertilizer out of. So I can have posttraumatic stress disorder the rest of my life, or I can use this posttraumatic stress for growth. I can use the manure for fertilizer and help other people do the same and reframe bad things that happen to you to how you can find purpose in the pain, not to make sense of the senseless, but to find purpose in that pain. It took me four weeks of hiking around red rocks to figure that out but it instantly lifted, like you said, just the freedom and the buoyancy and the liberty to be myself and allow other people to be themselves and to no longer have that codependent bone and to be able to say no and set a boundary without fear. It’s just beautiful. It wasn’t much more abundant life than trying to please everybody because you really can’t please anyone. You can’t control anyone and you shouldn’t let anyone control you. Even as a therapist, a lot of us therapists let people control us in our sessions. We do. I mean we have to be very, very careful of that. [JOE] That’s so awesome. Tell us a little bit, we’ve only got a few more minutes left, but we’d love to hear a little bit about Codependent Discovery and Recovery 2.0. What will people understand, learn from the book? Who is it for? How can therapists use it in their practices? [MARY] Well, I’ll tell you, the beautiful thing there, I have YouTube videos at the end of every chapter because there are meditations at the end and I put them on YouTube so I tell people, you don’t have to read it. They’re accessible. Also there’s Audible, but the beauty of that book, and also the course that I’ve written for at the end of every chapter is a list of what people don’t want and they’re going to write the opposite of what they do want. Every chapter builds on the next. Like on the first chapter will say, I don’t want to be codependent. The opposite is I do want to be independent. So they do that and doing so, they’re just making bullet point lists. They have a meditation, they have an affirmation, those help, if people don’t believe in them. They actually help, they reset your mind. So there’s an affirmation, a meditation, and a bullet point list that the person is making themselves. At the end, that left side of the don’t want list is they discard it. So they’re only left with what’s right for them. I actually did that to get better myself because I get very tired of some of the, I don’t mind some of the positive psychology, but I know why people to call it toxic positivity because you can’t just focus on positive things. When you’re codependent or you’re in grief or you’re going through a divorce like you did Joe, or you’re raising kids by yourself sometimes all you know is what you don’t want. When you deduce what you do want from what you don’t want, then you’ve embraced it and you erased it, if that makes sense. You’ve embraced what you don’t want, you replace it with what you do want, the thought of it, and then it erases the past and keeps you present and moving forward. I hope that makes sense. [JOE] Oh, it’s beautiful. Thank you so much. And Mary, the last question I always ask is, if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want him to know? [MARY] The same thing my supervisor told me, and he was a neuropsychologist, at every session when I went for internship, he always started it with, how are you doing? I want to know how you are. How are you doing taking care of other people? Ask yourself that every day. How am I doing? Check in with yourself before you go to work. Check in with yourself before you leave work. Don’t bring it home with you. Of course, you can think about people, of course we do that but really make sure you process anything that’s extremely negative out. Also I watch something really silly at the end of every night. I watch something that just makes me laugh. I need dopamine by the end of the day. Give yourself a little dopamine. Don’t be watching murder shows at the end of the day. Don’t be watching the news at the end of the day. Watch something ridiculously mindless, whatever that is for you, that gives you a little dopamine mean. [JOE] I love that. Well, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. If people want to get your book, if they want to learn more about your work where should we send them? [MARY] I have a website called Also, I’m very easy to find online because my name is spelled differently. It’s Mary Joye and Joye has an [E] on the end. So it’s Mary, last name Joye, J-O-Y-E LMHC. You can find me on Google. Amazon has my books, anywhere books are sold and, I have four courses on there and one of them is from Codependent to Independent and it’s also very helpful. It’s a lot quicker than the book if people want to do. It’s more interactive as well. So it’s up to the person to decide. It’s good for practitioners to use. Also it’s paper free. You download the courses, they’re very inexpensive and you have them for life Daily Om keeps them for you so you can refer back to them if you need to. So those are the best ways to find me and get in touch with me. Thank you, Joe, for today. It was lovely to share with you. I really feel for you and with you. I mean, don’t you love synchronicity? You’re a psychologist kid. Wow. That’s all we can say about that. [JOE] Oh, Mary thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast. This has been wonderful and have a great day. [MARY] Same to you, Joe. Thank you so much. [JOE] Wow. What an expert Mary is, and I love when it just comes from a place of learning for yourself first. So much of just my last year has been just selfishly learning about what I need personally and to just make that front and center. Coming up in September, we have Level Up Week and we are going to be doing probably about 10 or so webinars, totally free, some giveaways and really helping you go from, if you’re just starting a practice to really get that thing thriving, if you have a thriving solo practice to jump into adding your first clinician or if you have added your first clinician to rock out group practice. So we’re going to be doing all sorts of support that week. Make sure you sign up over at You’ll see right at the top of the page that you can sign up for Level Up Week. It’s totally free. We have a bunch of really amazing webinars for you. Also, we couldn’t do the show without our amazing sponsors. Our sponsors this week, we have Therapy Notes. Therapy Notes is the premier electronic health records out there, HIPAA-compliant, automatic billing to your insurance. And they now include their video platform as part of their service. Just use promo code [JOE] to get some months for free at the end, and that’s going to help you just rack out your private practice even more. Head on over to and use promo code [JOE] at checkout. Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon. Special thanks to the band Silences Sexy for that intro music. 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