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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Working with your inner child, address emotional triggers, gain insights into thought patterns and behaviors that are routed in fear. Reclaim your sense of safety, stability and joy, make choices for yourself that are motivated from self care and let go of people pleasing and guilt.

— Anne Rodic, Counselor in Pittsford, NY

Often the byproduct of the environment we grew up in, recognizing how the patterns and behaviors that once provided us safety no longer serve us is one of the first steps to breaking this pattern. Slowly, we can start to alter these responses to the point that they are no longer our reflexive response. This often goes hand in hand with working on self worth.

— David Cogdell, Licensed Professional Counselor

Co-dependency is so absolutely destructive in our lives. In my 20+ years of my own co-dependency recovery and helping others navigate through co-dependence, I am confident that understanding the roots of your codependency, how it impacts your relationships on a daily basis and finding recovery, might be the most impactful work that you can do as an adult.

— Kellie Rice, Psychologist in Chicago, IL

Knowing one's own desires, thoughts, and feelings is not a skill that all of us are taught in childhood. Therapy is a place to explore your truth in a kind, safe and empathic environment. Paying close attention to your emotional life will lead to a better understanding of yourself in relation to others. Becoming curious about your internal landscape will lead to a stronger sense of self.

— Jessica Heinfeld, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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

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, Counselor in Tempe, AZ

All of us deserve to have healthy, satisfying romantic relationships. Unfortunately for those of us who never had good role models for these kinds of relationships, we end up in patterns of codependency, which can cause a lot of pain. Therapy can be very useful for healing codependency.

— Paley Burlin, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Seattle, WA

Codependency is getting needs met by meeting the needs of others. While this may not sound so bad at first, this pattern has the potential to cause wreckage in our personal experience in relationships, our career, etc. Counseling around codependent behaviors focuses on identifying my clients needs and supporting my client in getting their own needs met.

— Suzanne Cooper, Licensed Professional Counselor in Littleton, CO

Anxiety keeps you hiding. Although, sometimes, you honestly don't know what you want. It just feels best to you when everyone around you is content, first. You often think about how you can make things better for other people because it makes you feel good. It's hard to think about doing things just for you; to make a plan around something you want for yourself. These thought habits are not bad and they helped you through your childhood, but it's ok to know your actual desires & plan for them.

— Randi Kofsky, Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA

Codependency means so much more than enabling with someone you love and today this idea has expanded to include adults who may or may not have lived with an addict. Codependency can more accurately be defined as the tendency to put others needs before your own; accommodating to others to such a degree that you tend to discount or ignore your own feelings, desires and basic needs.

— Gary Alexander, Therapist in Vancouver, WA

Highly-Sensitive, Empath, People-Pleaser are all labels describing personality traits that will keep you stuck living your life as a victim. If you relate to this characterization, it's time to untangle yourself from the past that formed this way of being. With gentle, compassionate nudging, together, we will give voice to the part of yourself that is dying to be heard.

— Cynthia Eddings, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA

Have you been feeling anxious, depressed, or find that you have a hard time saying no to people? Do you find that you often end up feeling like you need to help or fix a loved one's problems? Do you struggle with boundaries, people pleasing and unbalanced relationships? You don't have to do this alone. Having a therapist that's experienced in codependency treatment will support you in addressing underlying issues that have been keeping you stuck.

— Jennifer Leupp, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Long Beach, CA

I have worked on and developed codependency groups, primarily for women. Many people struggle with codependency, and sometimes just don't know what it's called. They are often seen struggling to say no to people, over extended themselves, and feeling that they give and give and no one ever returns the favor.

— rachel hayes, Counselor in wellington, CO

This is the hidden epidemic of our time. Codependency is the mistaken belief that we are responsible for other people's emotions. We were taught as children that because we were bad we 'made' our parents angry. Our only point of reference as children for who we are is the reflection we see in our caregivers - so very quickly we take on the emotional issues of our caregivers without knowing it. Then we develop adaptive coping skills to survive childhood, which then lead to our adult issues.

— Matt Anderson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Edmond, OK

Do you have trouble with people pleasing? Always focusing on external issues or everyone else’s issues which leads to you ignoring your own needs or being able to care for yourself? I can help! We will work together to understand your relationships throughout your life to understand what led you to this place and work to chip away to build healthy boundaries and how to learn or relearn how to care for your own needs and wants.

— Emmily Weldon, Counselor in Port St. Lucie, FL

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

— Kirsten Cannon, Counselor in Memphis, TN

I am trained in and utilize Pia Mellody's "Developmental Immaturity" model of codependency treatment, known as Post Induction Therapy.

— Aly Dearborn, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

If you are a people pleaser or put others needs above your own there's a good chance that you are struggling with codependent behavior. Codependents put all of their energy into taking care of others often at their own expense and with little in return. This kind of behavior is also common in relationships where domestic violence is involved. I am a recovering codependent and I can help you to identify some of these behaviors and work towards being more assertive.

— Christine Cuhaciyan, Counselor in Seattle, WA