Codependency, sometimes referred to as “relationship addiction," describes sacrificing one’s personal needs to try to meet the needs of others. Although it is often associated with romantic relationships, codependency can be experienced in all types of close relationships, including with family and friendships.  Someone who is codependent has an extreme focus outside themselves. Their thoughts and actions revolve around other people, such as a spouse or relative or they build their identity on helping or “saving” other people. Codependents typically experience feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety and insecurity in these relationships and may also experience perfectionism and control issues. Codependent symptoms can worsen if left untreated. If you are worried that you might be codependent, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s codependency experts today!

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Codependency can be a challenging thing to navigate on your own, but it is very possible to gain a more comprehensive and complete understanding of why you developed this coping mechanism in the first place. From there, we can support you to re-learn how to have your own autonomy and separate sense of self. If applicable to you, we'll also support you in learning how to discern and hold your own boundaries and connect with others in ways that are empowering for you.

— Kim Stevens, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

Co-dependency and people-pleasing go hand in hand. Often times, codependency is a symptom of a larger issue that's tied to safety and security in important relationships early on in life. I'm here to help you safely explore what's driving patterns of perfectionism, people-pleasing, and feelings of unworthiness so that you discover the freedom of living out of your most authentic, true self.

— Katie Webb, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX

If you find yourself constantly prioritizing others' needs above your own, feeling an overwhelming need for approval, or struggling to establish healthy boundaries, I'm here to help. Together, we'll navigate the intricacies of codependency, uncover its underlying roots, and develop strategies to foster independence, self-care, and healthier relationships. Your journey toward greater self-awareness and empowerment starts here.

— Emmily Weldon, Counselor in Atlanta, GA

This is a term that I don't use because I find a more accurate description of codependency is one that recognizes its roots in attachment wounds that often play out in family dynamics. Framing the boundary issues, emotional needs, relationship dynamics and control struggles that are common in co-dependency helps target the underlying and often wordless coping mechanisms and triggers that aid in treatment.

— Meira Greenfeld, Psychotherapist in Phoenix, AZ

The way that I engage with people around codependency, which is a confusing term, is that it leads us to want to control other people's emotions so that in turn, we feel better (i.e. I don't want him/her/them to be mad, so I won't say anything). Putting others' emotions and needs ahead of our own is something that is also sanctioned by society. Working on codependency doesn't mean that we start offending others either. It's a gentle journey into boundary setting and communication.

— Anya Surnitsky, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in ,

Often times if a person has a low self-esteem, they will take on a relationship and try to earn their partner’s respect through sacrificing. Although this may work in the short term, in the long term, it will leave a person unsatisfied and feeling depressed. Until a fundamental shift occurs, these types of patterns are likely to continue. I can help better understand these dynamics and challenge you to do better.

— Ben Meyer, Counselor in Tempe, AZ

I teach my clients to recognize and accept emotions they may have repressed, and help them understand why codependent patterns developed in their past and how these patterns have transferred to other relationships. You can begin to stand up for yourself, say "no," and have healthier relationships in all areas of your life.

— Lesbian Therapist-Cara Waters, Licensed Professional Counselor in , TX

Codependency is often misunderstood but if you know the feeling of white-hot resentment toward people in your life who have taken you for granted or never seem to reciprocate the time and effort you put into relationships you might have some codependent traits. I help clients dive into boundaries within relationships so they can find some peace.

— Amy Goins, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Dallas, TX

Having boundaries, saying now, and advocating for ourselves is difficult. This is especially true for highly sensitive individuals, women, and particularly sensitive women in male-dominated fields. I love supporting my clients in accessing their voice, their strength, and finding connection through differentiation.

— Devin Bard, Licensed Professional Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

If you are concerned about a loved one’s substance abuse problem, I am here for you as well. Informed by lived experience and proven addiction treatment, I offer individual and family therapy to help you protect yourself, prevent enabling your loved one, and guide you both to the necessary resources for treatment and recovery. My goal is to help you both heal together.

— Jesse Smith, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Learn how to set boundaries and establish self care strategies. For example, what do you like to do for you? Do you take better care of your car's engine ( changing the oil regularly) then you do yourself?

— Michael Ruben, Clinical Social Worker in Boston, MA

Codependency is often tied to the relationships that we have with addicts in our lives. Codependency is often defined as behaviors that enable behaviors we wish to see the end of but it often comes from a place of love, care and concern for others. The problem is that love, care and concern can result in giving too much to others. My goal in helping clients who struggle with codependency is to help them establish healthy boundaries so they can be supportive without overwhelming themselves.

— Aaron Bachler, Licensed Professional Counselor in Tempe, AZ

Codependency usually involves neglecting ourselves and our needs in order to prioritize those of others. This provides us with a way to avoid or escape our own thoughts, feelings, and problems while hyper-focusing on those of others. I help my clients work through codependency by assisting them in identifying codependent traits, behaviors, and ways of thinking while also helping clients develop a deeper understanding of how this affects their everyday lives.

— Bekah Yates, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Orlando, FL

I help clients set and maintain boundaries to establish healthy interdependence in relationships.

— Kirsten Cannon, Counselor in Memphis, TN

I specialize in working with clients who would like to address attachment wounds and address patterns, beliefs and behaviors that increase codependency. I strive to help my clients create healthy relationships with the self and others that include compassion, vulnerability, honesty and boundaries.

— Victoria Love, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Phoenix, AZ

YOUR FEELINGS MATTER. Your feelings point to your needs. You are not responsible for the feelings of others. Your natural care for others may be more fun when you are free from the impossible responsibility of managing their feelings. YOUR NEEDS MATTER. Let's take a fresh look at any obstacles to honoring your needs. Let's help you clarify your needs. Let's help you speak up for yourself in ways that work for you and also honor the needs of others.

— Carlyle Stewart, Counselor in Asheville, NC

Feel like the world is too much on your own? Leaning to heavy on others and struggling to establish boundaries? Do you need someone to hold you accountable and help you break free of toxic relationship patterns? Let me help you carve out a healthy path that feels right to you.

— Andrew Carini, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Tarpon Springs, FL