Codependency

This complex and new-ish concept in the field of psychology is aptly defined by one of the matriarchs of coda treatment as “giving more than you want to, and then feeling resentful”. This constellation of symptoms called codependency emerged in the early treatment of alcoholism, referring to the partners of the alcoholics who shared similar emotional and behavior issues. This area of identifying codependency still applies, but has expanded to define (and relieve!) so much more. It can also be conceived as a difficulty setting functional boundaries with loved ones and even the world at large. If you picture setting a fence around a property (a boundary) you have to first find out where that property is, where it begins and where it ends. So much of the this work is around discovering who you are, what you need and want, owning that, taking responsibility for that and then learning to communicate it with firm yet respectful….you guessed it: boundaries. Many people fear that if they begin setting boundaries that they will become unlovable or isolated, but the truth is well captured by my own mentor: “boundaries are not only what separate us, but also where we meet”. One final definition, or identifying concept, I might add is a question: do you find that you attempt to meet you own needs by first meeting others needs and then expecting them to meet yours? Do you find its just not working, that your needs are chronically unmet? If the answer is yes, you might get relief from coda treatment. People who struggle with codependency are also some of my favorite people, they are the people who’s biggest problem is that they care too much! There are so many strengths to work with when working with codependency because, as with most characteristics, our strengths are also our weaknesses. My approach does not intend to take that love and care away, only to give more flexibility and choice while strengthening the personal center core.