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HOD SELECT: Navigating Love Addiction and Codependency

with

Kristine Jackson

Heart of Dating is continuing to look back on some EPIC conversations through HOD Select! Today, we look back on an episode with Kait’s friend Kristine Jackson from Onsite Workshops!

Onsite is a therapy retreat center dedicated to changing lives through advanced emotional health. Kristine is a Clinical Supervisor at Onsite. With a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, Kristine went to UCLA for a certification in co-occurring disorders. She remained in California for the next two decades working as Clinical Director of mental health, addictions and eating disorder programs.  As a life-long learner, Jackson is certified in several modalities including Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Eating Disorders (CEDS), Daring Way (DWCF-C) and Experiential Therapy (CET I). She lives in Nashville with her husband, Kelly and their dog, Scully.

What is Onsite? 

  • Onsite is a therapy retreat center that is dedicated to changing lives through therapy, meditation, and inner healing.
  • Kait and Kristine talk about how Onsite workshops focus on finding and healing yourself.
  • Healing is about being true to yourself and learning how to be vulnerable.
  • Sometimes we have to share our mess to work through it.

Kristine then asks Kait how her experience was with Onsite:

  • Kait has remained connected with people from her experience.
  • Kait and Kristine talk about the 2 Degrees step.
  • The 2 Degrees step is about when you’re coming out of a hard situation, then you start by moving forward in a direction by only 2 degrees first. If you try to make a 180 all at once, you’re going to fail. You start small with the steps and you can make yourself successful.
  • Kait had to find her own tendencies when it came to love addiction and the program helped reveal that to her as she progressed on her healing journey.

What is love addiction?

  • Wanting more love in your life is a good thing and a natural human drive.
  • The term love addiction is more of an obsession. 
  • Love addiction is trying to find the world in another person. 
  • “We repeat what we need to and still have yet to repair.”
  • Love addiction cycle is a fear driven response towards a fantasy and fear is the opposite of love. 
  • You cannot have true intimacy without first understanding yourself. 
  • On the other side of love addiction is love avoidance in which the person fears the other needing them too much.

How can we get out of love addiction and control those desires?

  • Love addiction is feeding and intensifying our fears. You first have to become self-aware of those fears.
  • Get away from the idea that the other person is the problem or solution to your desire of finding love.
  • Be on the lookout for denial and fantasies as these can feed the love addiction or love avoidance. 
  • You have to find your self-worth and not have a neediness as having a perceived abandonment. 
  • The symptoms of these addictions can sometimes lead to manipulation and confusing intensity for intimacy.
  • Both love addicted and love avoided live in their own fantasies. One about the other person wanting them and the other about upkeep their own image. 

How does codependency play a role in this? 

  • When we have fear, the left side of our brain shuts down while the emotional aspects remain active. So fear is being hyper focused on emotions.
  • “If I stuck a thermometer in your mouth and said what it read is what I’m feeling, then that’s codependency”.
  • It’s about being disconnected with yourself in order to connect with the replacement of yourself or another person. 
  • “Am I so concerned with what the other person is feeling that it’s beginning to destroy me?”
  • There is no healthy relationship without boundaries. 
  • “It’s hard to have any type of relationship if you don’t have a relationship with yourself first”

What is your final nugget of dating advice?

  • Do not be tethered to other people’s emotional experiences.
  • Look for joy in dating as joy is a sign of God. 

Other Resources:

Find out more about Onsite Healthy Love and Relationships Program HERE

Follow Onsite on Instagram HERE

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