Codependency


Codependency is an emotional and intimacy disorder that impels sufferers to ignore their own values, needs and wants while constantly attempting to fulfill the needs of others.  Codependents are constantly seeking unconditional positive regard and esteem from others. Their sense of self-worth comes from without, not within.  The problem with this is that other-esteem is short lived and can be taken away.

As a result of childhood relational trauma including neglect, abandonment, enmeshment, and abuse, codependents will continue to engage in unhealthy relationships because of their low self-esteem.  They tend to unconsciously enter in to relationships with people who are emotionally detached, excessively needy, immoderate, immature and irresponsible. These relationships tend to be dysfunctional and abusive and can leave the codependent feeling miserable, shame-filled and hopeless.

If untreated, codependency will continue to wreak havoc in all of the codependents relationships.  Codependents may medicate their intense emotions by abusing drugs, alcohol, sex, food, work, gambling or other addictions.  Many times, it is the resulting addiction which brings the codependent in to therapy.  But, once the addictive behavior is in remission, the codependent comes to understand that it is their codependency which is fueling their addiction.  This is most evident when individuals have been sober for months and even years and still report being miserable.

Characteristics of codependency may include but are not limited to:

    • Being all-consumed with another person and placing your life on hold
    • Taking responsibility for people, tasks and situations you are not responsible for
    • Being perfect or good enough to earn and keep the respect and love of others
    • Reacting instead of acting
    • Feeling just as out of control as the addict
    • Loss of your authenticity and self-worth
    • Obsessed with trying to control, change and cure your partner

Pia Mellody at the Meadows Treatment Facility in Arizona has developed a model for the treatment of codependency called Post Induction Therapy.  PIT is an intervention designed to treat the devastating and often debilitating effects of codependency. Life is about relationships and as such, we are all codependent to some degree. However, for some, codependency makes life unbearable. Codependency treatment is about growing up, learning to re-parent ourselves and facing reality. It cannot begin to be treated, however, if you are medicating your reality through addiction. Therapy will address the core issues of codependency including self-esteem, boundaries, reality, dependency and moderation issues. Through feelings reduction work and integration of your precious inner child, you will begin to feel better and reclaim your life.  You will begin to experience your value and authenticity and form healthier relationships.  The most important relationship you will reclaim, however, is with yourself.

Phone: (860) 490-3292
Email Seth A. Weinstein

Seth A. Weinstein, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor
Specializing in Addictions, Trauma and Codependency