Codependency, sometimes referred to as “relationship addiction," describes sacrificing one’s personal needs to try to meet the needs of others. Although it is often associated with romantic relationships, codependency can be experienced in all types of close relationships, including with family and friendships.  Someone who is codependent has an extreme focus outside themselves. Their thoughts and actions revolve around other people, such as a spouse or relative or they build their identity on helping or “saving” other people. Codependents typically experience feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety and insecurity in these relationships and may also experience perfectionism and control issues. Codependent symptoms can worsen if left untreated. If you are worried that you might be codependent, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s codependency experts today!

Meet the specialists

Are you the one who always takes care of everything? Have you had to do things for yourself most of your life? "Codependency" is a big word that doesn't have to involve substance abuse. Ironically, its most common subjects describe themselves as "independent." If thinking about someone else's problems occupies more of your time than you'd like, let's talk.

— Kathryn Gates, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

Codependency is the worst! Am I right? When you fall in love with someone you want to feel excited and happy and filled with optimism. You don't want to feel anxious and nervous and obsessed with when you'll see them next or how much they really like you. I want to talk to you if codependent feelings have been haunting you you're whole life. Together we can figure out where they are coming from and why they keep popping up. I've got tons of tools and techniques for coping with your codependent feelings. Our goal will be to leave your codependent experiences in the past so that you can enjoy falling in love and feel a lot more secure in your relationships.

— Jeff Guenther, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Over 10 years of experience specializing in helping those with self-love deficiency (co-dependecy) learn how to love and care for themselves and create healthy relationship with themselves and others in their lives.

— Amy Green, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Online, OR

Do you spend too much time thinking about other people? Are your needs usually on the back-burner because you are worried about the needs of others in your life? Do you feel responsible for the happiness of others? If any of this resonates with you, you may have difficulty prioritizing your own needs and setting healthy boundaries in your relationships. Let’s work together to establish (or re-establish) a healthy relationship with yourself.

— Bianca Walker, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta,

When your relationship with yourself is unconscious or wounded, you lack a stable center. Your boundaries are necessarily distorted when your center is off. I’ve immersed myself in recovery from codependency, and view it on the spectrum of attachment relatef trauma.

— Elizabeth Ostolozaga, Clinical Social Worker in Rapid City, SD

I have worked in the Addiction & Recovery field for over 10 years. I am intimately familiar with Al-Anon, CODA, and related groups, as well as works by Melody Beattie and Pia Melody.

— Annia Raysberg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

lacking self-love and being dependent on others to meet fill those needs/wants.

— Nicole Bailey, Therapist in Avondale Estates, GA

If your relationship is not the place you want it to be. You would like to have a loving relationship with your partner and for some reason that not happening. I would like to help you figure out why. A codependent relationship in all of its form and simply a relationship is not working because of many different reasons. Sometimes it would help to have another person in the process to figure out why.

— Ronica Clark, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Do you find your self worth in the perspective of other people? Let's be honest, its time to start living for yourself and not depending on other people for filling a void in you that you could only fill yourself.

— Janitzia Rodriguez, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Bay Area, CA

When we are co-dependent it usually roots from our early childhood as being caregivers early on. I can help you understand these patterns and learn to have healthier ones moving forward.

— Lacey Morris, Counselor

Do you stay in unhealthy relationships far too long and don’t know why? Do you tend to be a people-pleaser? Do you sometimes feel alone and unworthy? Are you very comfortable in the “caretaker” role with friends, family, your partner and feel overly responsible for other’s problems? Do you struggle with letting people help you? Do you struggle setting boundaries with others? Codependency is a strategy we learn as children to deal with these life stressors. Without help, we may continue to feel burdened, lack self-love, and in a lot of pain in many of our relationships into adulthood. I enjoy helping clients understand and have compassion for these traits in themselves, so that they can transform them into healthy and empowered choices. Through our work together, you can create more balanced, rewarding and successful relationships in your life.

— Jon Fox, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Relationships are hard -- especially when you feel your life completely revolves around someone else's. Ever felt like you're having a great day, but if your partner is having a horrible one, you automatically take on their demeanor? Do you feel you rely on your partner more than "normal?" Breaking codependency takes work -- we'll work to increase your self-esteem and self-worth, so you can confidently be who you want to be, independent of other's emotions. Years working with codependency: 10.

— Shelby Schrader, Licensed Professional Counselor

I have personal and professional success in dealing with and treating people who have issues with codependency. My approach to counseling folks who have issues with codependency is to combine my personal experiences with "book knowledge" and ongoing educational experiences to help my clients learn how to overcome those issues and form healthier relationships with others.

— Aimee Royer, Counselor in Peoria, IL

Many people only have a vague understanding of Codependency, and yet it is an issue that may be extremely impacting on one's functioning : the ability to set boundaries, to feel self love, identify reality and experiences, and modulate emotional responses. Codependency is often endemic in families impacted by addiction but it is a widespread issue that extends beyond the presence of usual addictions. Clients gain clarity about what this disorder is, what it means for them and how to heal.

— rachel khints, Counselor in New York, NY