Codependency Briefly Defined
Author: Barbara Reade, MS, LCPC
Codependency is often referred to as a relationship problem. In the past, it has been most commonly applied to relationships with alcoholics, drug addicts, and/or their families. Codependency is an issue that affects people’s relationships, but the problem is not within the relationship itself. The difficulty lies in the beliefs, feelings, and actions a person experiences within a relationship that causes unneeded pain and frustration.
Codependency does exist as a problem-laden belief system within all people who are challenged by addictions. The main symptom of “dependency” is apparent as someone shows over reliance on a person, substance, or process (i.e, activity, such as gambling or sex addiction). Instead of having a healthy relationship with self, a person makes something or someone else more important. Over time, a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions revolve around that other person, activity, or substance, and one increasingly abandons relationship with the true self.
Recovery entails a 180-degree reversal of this pattern in order to reconnect with, honor, and act from the true self. Healing develops the following characteristics:
Change is not easy but definitely worthwhile. It takes time and involves these four steps:
For more information please call:
Barbara Reade, MS, LCPC
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