Codependency is …
- Putting other peoples’ needs above your own
- Feeling and behaving like a victim
- Allowing others to control you or over-control of others
- Often associated with denial and low self-worth
- Poor interpersonal boundaries and emotional over-reactivity
- Needing frequent acceptance from others (fears of being alone)
- More likely to result in problems with addiction, anxiety and depression
A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior; Melody Beattie, Codependent No More.
Codependency is not …
- A formal diagnosis (it’s not classified in the DSM)
- Normal dependency (we all have normal dependency needs)
- Simply needing close relationships
- Simply loving and caring for people with serious problems
- A disease or personality disorder
- Loving attachment and intimacy
Loving is mutuality; loving is synchronous attunement and modulation … Loving derives from intimacy … Lewis, Amini, and Lannon, A General Theory of Love.
Help is available — for recovery, growth and change.
The professional counselors and therapists at our Center have the training and experience to guide individuals, couples and families through the complexities and painful feelings that result from codependent relationships. We know that close, “dependent” relationships are actually essential to health and well-being. And we have all experienced the trap of codependent patterns in our relationships. Our approach to codependency begins with a deep understanding of, and sensitivity to, the feelings and experiences that are so common, so “normal,” in these important relationships.
The focus and goals in codependency counseling include:
- Understanding the reasons and causes of codependency
- Learning to manage emotional reactions
- Tools for improving relationship boundaries
- Self-care and self-love (including inner child work)
- Healing the childhood wounds that result in codependency (abuse, neglect, abandonment)
- Healing and rebuilding damaged relationships
It’s never too late to create positive change in your life. You can be free to love and to be loved by others, and to grow as a strong, empowered, and independent person. The relationship experts at our Center understand the differences between healthy dependency and love, and an unhealthy codependence on others.