If You Are Codependent, Please Read

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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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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 4 Comments

  1. Marty

    In America, for me after a decade of therapy, I can not remember codependency ever be mentioned.

    Being abused as a child, co dependency is part of PTSD.

    I agree wholeheartedly that constant vigilance is needed or we fall back into bad habits.

    After integrated no mist if my triggers, ptsd came back into my life.

    Now I see the inner critic has always been behind my suffering.

    Unworthiness springs from my inner critic

    Thanks for the insight.

    Running a mindfulness group and a blog, I did not set boundaries and became to involved a few times.

    I have a weakness for getting to involved.

    1. Hi Marty. As codependency is not a recognized disorder (not in the DSM), many therapists do not believe it exists or is a symptom of something that can be diagnosed.

      1. Marty

        I know

        My inner critic has been the power of my codependency

        It is such a part of childhood abuse

        DSM and therapy is just a vehicle to set a schedule and get paid

        It has nothing to do with healing

        In America there is no data on who heals or how long does it take

        No data which therapy is best

        I come across many people with serious ptsd issues undiagnosed

      2. Marty

        I was impressed with the podcast I think her name was Jane

        It was Obvious how
        Much more she understood and how much she healed

        Wish more therapists would share actual examples like her

        Thank you for this