One of the reasons I work happily with codependents is that I am one myself with symptoms to a large extent worked through. However, I do have to constantly monitor my reactions to things and especially my marriage where symptoms are more likely to appear. In my work, I am different and I have found a healthy balance between helping and helping too much. This was not always the case and early in my career, I was often seen involving myself far too much. Over the years, I have learnt that the boundaries I set determine how successful the therapeutic relationship will ultimately be. In my marriage, I have to be constantly aware of my tendency to fix any real or imagined problem that I perceive to be there. This is the hardest part, standing back and allowing my wife to solve things on her own. There is a fine balance to be found but the general rule is that if she needs me, she will communicate that.
I have often said that codependency is something that needs to be managed rather than cured. It is not a disorder that can be medicated away. It is a result of childhood and relational trauma meaning that children are left with trying to form a bond and connection with adults who cannot or will not engage enough to do that, for various reasons. The child is left to overachieve and focus on a fantasy bond which follows them into adulthood with the mindset that they have to disproportionately give to get. It is a complex issue that has not been embraced by the therapy industry to a large extent but seemingly affects millions of people worldwide. People report being codependent on relationships, individuals and sometimes their work. Codependents are often workaholics who find overachieving and overwork tempting due to the fact that it brings validation from others but usually not from Self.
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