What is Codependency?
Codependency is a type of unhealthy relationship where one person feels the need to help another person, to support them, to be the rescuer. It is a pattern of relating when you worry about the other person more than you worry about yourself. If you are codependent, your need to “help” goes beyond normal helping, because your real motive may be to get the person to accept you or like you. Codependency is when we do things for other people that they could and should do for themselves. You know you are being codependent in your relationships when: you tolerate mistreatment from others, when you don’t feel worthy to get support and love just for being you, you think other people’s behavior is related to who you are, when you don’t really know how you feel about things yourself.
- struggle with relationships and feel that you must give to others in order to be accepted by them?
- worry about what other people think of you?
- want to be “in control” of your relationships?
- get upset or angry when others don’t recognize you?
- like it when others confide in you, or depend on you?
- find yourself attracted to people who need you?
Codependency is very widespread and like all patterns of behavior, it can be mild, moderate or severe. Most women in a patriarchal culture are raised to be somewhat codependent—to worry about other’s feelings before their own, to seek connection to others at the exclusion of asserting their needs, to be good caretakers. Psychotherapy can help you find your way back to yourself, to get in touch with your real needs, to reclaim your personal power, to express yourself without worry of losing other’s love. Sometimes it is necessary to find the roots of your codependency by exploring childhood patterns. Other times it is only necessary to learn some new coping tools such as getting in touch with your feelings, boundary setting, assertive communication, and getting support. We work on both levels in psychotherapy. You have an authentic self waiting to be expressed.