Codependency

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!

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists

 

All of us deserve to have healthy, satisfying romantic relationships. Unfortunately for those of us who never had good role models for these kinds of relationships, we end up in patterns of codependency, which can cause a lot of pain. Therapy can be very useful for healing codependency.

— Paley Burlin, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Seattle, WA

Knowing one's own desires, thoughts, and feelings is not a skill that all of us are taught in childhood. Therapy is a place to explore your truth in a kind, safe and empathic environment. Paying close attention to your emotional life will lead to a better understanding of yourself in relation to others. Becoming curious about your internal landscape will lead to a stronger sense of self.

— Jessica Heinfeld, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
 

Highly-Sensitive, Empath, People-Pleaser are all labels describing personality traits that will keep you stuck living your life as a victim. If you are relating to this characterization, it's time to untangle yourself from the past that formed this way of being. With gentle compassionate nudging, together we will give voice to the part of yourself that is dying to be heard.

— Cynthia Eddings, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA

I am trained in Pia Mellody's 5 Core Areas of the Self as a treatment model for codependency. These areas are: Boundaries, Self-love, Self-care, Owning your reality (thoughts, feelings, & needs), & Expressing your reality moderately (without shutting down or anger outbursts).

— Kirstin Carl, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Encino, CA
 

If you are a people pleaser or put others needs above your own there's a good chance that you are struggling with codependent behavior. Codependents put all of their energy into taking care of others often at their own expense and with little in return. This kind of behavior is also common in relationships where domestic violence is involved. I am a recovering codependent and I can help you to identify some of these behaviors and work towards being more assertive.

— Christine Cuhaciyan, Counselor in Seattle, WA

Codependency stems from many factors, and likely can be traced back to experiences in your past. Together we will explore your learned behaviors and thoughts that contribute to your choices that keep you stuck in unhealthy relationships. It all starts with self-love and compassion.

— Kesha Martin, Counselor in San Antonio, TX
 

Working with your inner child, address emotional triggers, gain insights into thought patterns and behaviors that are routed in fear. Reclaim your sense of safety, stability and joy, make choices for yourself that are motivated from self care and let go of people pleasing and guilt.

— Anne Rodic, Counselor in Pittsford, NY

Codependency is often tied to the relationships that we have with addicts in our lives. Codependency is often defined as behaviors that enable behaviors we wish to see the end of but it often comes from a place of love, care and concern for others. The problem is that love, care and concern can result in giving too much to others. My goal in helping clients who struggle with codependency is to help them establish healthy boundaries so they can be supportive without overwhelming themselves.

— Aaron Bachler, Counselor in Tempe, AZ
 

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

Codependency involves sacrificing your needs for the needs of other people in your life. It's when there's a shift in focus from you to others. Codependency occurs in unhealthy and unbalanced relationships and you may feel like to need to save others. Codependency counseling can help you develop healthy boundaries in relationships, learn strategies to increase you individual self-esteem and autonomy and build coping mechanisms for separation and individuation.

— Daria Stepanian, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
 

Codependency involves sacrificing your needs to try and meet the needs of other people in your life. It involves an extreme shift from you to other people and your thoughts and actions revolve around the people in your life. Codependency often appears in unhealthy and unbalanced relationships. Through therapy, we work on developing healthy boundaries in relationships, strategies to increase your self-esteem and autonomy, and learn coping mechanisms for separation and individuation.

— Daria Stepanian, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Working with substance use disorders for the past decade the two go hand and hand. Recognizing how experiences from childhood have resulted in maladaptive coping mechanisms, negative core beliefs, and the process of healing and replacing with healthy boundaries, effective communication, changed thought processes, resulting in increased self-esteem and self-worth.

— Denae Arnold, Licensed Professional Counselor in Wheatridge, CO
 

This is the hidden epidemic of our time. Codependency is the mistaken belief that we are responsible for other people's emotions. We were taught as children that because we were bad we 'made' our parents angry. Our only point of reference as children for who we are is the reflection we see in our caregivers - so very quickly we take on the emotional issues of our caregivers without knowing it. Then we develop adaptive coping skills to survive childhood, which then lead to our adult issues.

— Matt Anderson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Edmond, OK

Often the byproduct of the environment we grew up in, recognizing how the patterns and behaviors that once provided us safety no longer serve us is one of the first steps to breaking this pattern. Slowly, we can start to alter these responses to the point that they are no longer our reflexive response. This often goes hand in hand with working on self worth.

— David Cogdell, Licensed Professional Counselor
 

Codependency means so much more than enabling with someone you love and today this idea has expanded to include adults who may or may not have lived with an addict. Codependency can more accurately be defined as the tendency to put others needs before your own; accommodating to others to such a degree that you tend to discount or ignore your own feelings, desires and basic needs.

— Gary Alexander, Therapist in Vancouver, WA

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 often tied to the relationships that we have with addicts in our lives. Codependency is often defined as behaviors that enable behaviors we wish to see the end of but it often comes from a place of love, care and concern for others. The problem is that love, care and concern can result in giving too much to others. My goal in helping clients who struggle with codependency is to help them establish healthy boundaries so they can be supportive without overwhelming themselves.

— Aaron Bachler, Counselor in Tempe, AZ

Working with your inner child, address emotional triggers, gain insights into thought patterns and behaviors that are routed in fear. Reclaim your sense of safety, stability and joy, make choices for yourself that are motivated from self care and let go of people pleasing and guilt.

— Anne Rodic, Counselor in Pittsford, NY
 

Codependency is getting needs met by meeting the needs of others. While this may not sound so bad at first, this pattern has the potential to cause wreckage in our personal experience in relationships, our career, etc. Counseling around codependent behaviors focuses on identifying my clients needs and supporting my client in getting their own needs met.

— Suzanne Cooper, Licensed Professional Counselor in Littleton, CO