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

Do you find yourself falling into one or more of these codependent relationship patterns: people pleasing, defining your self-worth by others, ignoring red flags, have poor boundaries, have a hard time saying no and staying in a relationship with someone who is unavailable or abusive? For many people conflict is comfortable, and healthy feels foreign. I will help you recognize the patterns in your life and provide you with the necessary tools to challenge your beliefs and self defeating thoughts

— Amie Celender, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Scottsdale, AZ

I work with clients to help them see how they contribute to co-dependent relationships, where they learned it, and support them to help break the cycle.

— Stuart Malkin, Counselor in Portland, OR

Within my professional experience working with drug and alcohol abuse, I noticed a codependency theme in the recovery process, once one is clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. I also witnessed loved ones struggle with wanting to control their loved one suffering with drug and alcohol abuse. I am passionate about helping people rediscover who they are and what lights them up. This often stems back to childhood wounds that have yet to be healed. I walk alongside my clients on their journey.

— Cassy Brezner, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Barbara, CA

Are relationships a big source of your emotional pain? Working hard to find someone and it’s not working? Tempted to cheat or have already done so? Maybe you’re overusing substances to cope or your loved one is battling addiction? I am invested in your emotional health and happiness and will assist you in finding solution and solace by exploring embedded beliefs, automatic thoughts, and attachment issues that are shaping your outside life.

— Steven Reigns, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

Is it challenging for you to say "No" to your partner, parent, boss or co-workers? Do you find yourself wondering if you are helping too much, or giving too much of yourself, your independence or your personal power away? The art of managing your personal boundaries in a way that supports you and your relationships in a healthy and authentic way is part of the ongoing work of growing into a fuller, more realized version of yourself.

— Nathan Michael, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

If "they" are happy, you're happy. If "they" are upset, you're a mess and feel like you have to "make it all better". Maybe you just can't tolerate the idea of your child(ten) being unhappy. Sound familiar? If so, you might be struggling with co-dependency. Setting emotionally boundaries can be hard and can feel really scary. There are lots of reasons why codependency has ruled your life but with guidance you can learn to set the boundaries that set you free of pain and guilt.

— Lisa Dyck, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Westlake Village, CA

Codependency most often comes from growing up in a dysfunctional environment with underlying trauma at the core. The manifested symptoms are vast and can include; the belief that you need someone or something outside of yourself to feel whole, being so absorbed by other's problems (addiction, illness, etc) that you don't take care of yourself, having the need to control people and events because you feel out of control inside or being unable to set boundaries or say no.

— Kim Tayler, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Austin, TX

No is not a four letter word, even if you were raised to think it was. I love helping people lay claim to their borders, reconnect with their own wishes, and establish awesome and flexible boundaries to protect their own interests. People-pleasing, also known as codependency or anxious attachment, can wreck havoc on a life. It can also be changed. I have studied attachment and codependency for the last 13 years.

— Ann Stoneson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX

You look like a rock star, always on top of things, responsible, the one that others depend on. But you’re exhausted, resentful, lonely, and furious that no one is taking care of you. Codependency is a strategy we discover to connect to parents who have unmet dependency needs from childhood. We care for them to get a smidge more of the love we need. Now, your mission is to give yourself the care you’ve been giving to others. By meeting your own dependency needs, you can heal your codependency.

— Julie Levin, Marriage & Family Therapist in Pleasant Hill, CA

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

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

Do you find yourself falling into one or more of these codependent relationship patterns: people pleasing, defining your self-worth by others, ignoring red flags, have poor boundaries, have a hard time saying no and staying in a relationship with someone who is unavailable or abusive?

— Amie Celender, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Scottsdale, AZ

Living with a person who is addicted to alcohol or drugs is a lonely, terrifying experience. Often, when the person is “high functioning” and manages to have a job, home, family, family members and other loved ones feel crazy…they wonder if it’s really “that bad.” You’ve tried various ways to get them to stop. Maybe you’ve tried to limit access to money, tried hiding the alcohol or stash, deleted phone numbers, called other family members, yelled, threatened to leave.

— Joanne Ketch, in Katy, TX

We live in a culture that overtly and subtly encourages us to fixate on the needs of others, to the detriment of our own wellbeing. Codependency exists pervasively, and on a spectrum, inside all of us. I'm here to help you develop healthy boundaries and empathy for yourself, so that your connections to others can come from an authentic, energizing and expansive-feeling place within yourself, rather than causing strife. Your relationships should ---and can--- energize and inspire you!

— Katy Bullick, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Tired of trying to help people who won't get help? Want to make changes in your own life but snagged by the needs of those closest to you? You may be suffering from codependency, a habitual way of being what puts you in the back seat of your own life. Because codependency is a habit, not a trait, it can be unlearned with the right tools and the inspiration to use them. You have the right to create your own best life, whether others change or not. Call me today!

— Cheryl Deaner, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco,

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 in ,

I work with a lot of clients that tend to put others before themselves and participate in relationships with unhealthy boundaries.

— Paige Towers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Seansea, IL

Are you tired of feeling drained by the people who you love? Self care is so important and usually at the bottom of your to do list. I can help you balance your priorities so they make sense.

— Sandy Demopoulos, Clinical Social Worker in White Plains, NY

I really enjoy working with clients who have a hard time saying "no". As we look into the makings of the pattern of "external compliance and internal defiance", clients begin to learn how to work with the Fear, Obligation and Guilt (F.O.G.) that comes with codependent behavior. I love helping clients dive into the personal beliefs about why we can't say "no", and unraveling those beliefs so we can decide for ourselves what is important and what isn't. Watching clients feel the weight of emotional, mental and physical responsibility dissolve, and witnessing their empowerment and personal freedom never gets old! It may take some time to work with the underlying factors that contribute to people pleasing, but its possible to begin to prioritize yourself without guilt. Its been work I have done personally and work I have seen professionally. Finding your voice, your preferences and your confidence is life changing!

— Vicki Smith, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA

Often times my clients accept responsibility for others' feelings and behaviors, leaving the feeling drained, guilty, and resentful. I help my clients identify areas of overfunctioning in relationships, develop a strong self-concept, implement boundaries, and learn how to nurture & care for themselves. Though they are scared and fearful at first, my clients love learning to empower themselves and how to love others without it being at the expense of themselves.

— Cynthia Goeller, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in ,