Codependency Is A Connection Problem, Not A Disorder

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There are many of my peers who believe that codependency does not exist or is at most, a symptom of a quantifiable and recognizable disorder. Many clients will go through therapy for years without their therapist recognizing basic concepts of codependent behaviour in their actions and relationships. There are a number of reasons for this. One, codependency does not appear in the therapeutic diagnostic bible, the DSM, meaning that for some, it is evidence it doesn’t exist. Secondly, therapists are expected to include a DSM code (or the European equivalent here) in any kind of diagnosis for the insurance companies in order to get paid. You can see the dilemma. Many clients who have come to me with clear codependency, have been diagnosed with disorders they clearly don’t have. One said to me that her therapist was going to state that she was Borderline on the paperwork but wanted to reassure her she wasn’t. I wonder how often this happens.

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Dr. Nicholas Jenner, a therapist, coach, and speaker, has over 20 years of experience in the field of therapy and coaching. His specialty lies in treating codependency, a condition that is often characterized by a compulsive dependence on a partner, friend, or family member for emotional or psychological sustenance. Dr. Jenner's approach to treating codependency involves using Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, a treatment method that has gained widespread popularity in recent years. He identifies the underlying causes of codependent behavior by exploring his patients' internal "parts," or their different emotional states, to develop strategies to break free from it. Dr. Jenner has authored numerous works on the topic and offers online therapy services to assist individuals in developing healthy relationships and achieving emotional independence.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Intriguingly curious

    And for those of us that do actually have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, it confuses and stigmatizes the disorder even further, which if I’m honest, doesn’t need any more help. Nobody wishes to join the Cluster B’s if they have any choice in the matter I can assure you.

    I can see though that there is a problem, and although BPD does certainly involve Codependent traits, it is by no means simply just a Codependent problem.