The concept of codependency came into vogue during the 1970s and 1980s. It was used in reference to people who were in an unhealthy relationships with alcoholics/addicts, and who were observed to be excessively dependent on (i.e. regularly preoccupied with) the alcoholic/addict. This excessive preoccupation with the alcoholic/addict often came at the expense of self-care: people’s lives were in chaos, and they did not know what to do or how to change things for the better.
Over time it became clear that the thinking, behavioral and relational patterns exhibited by such people were also exhibited by many others who were not in any relationships with alcoholics/addicts, or in any relationships at all. Thus, the concept of codependency began to be used to refer to:
Patterns of thinking, behavior and relating to others that get in the way of forming and maintaining healthy and mutually satisfying relationships.
What are some of these patterns?
|Patterns of CONTROL||Patterns of COMPLIANCE|
codependents anonymousSome people (though definitely not all) who see me in therapy in NYC for codependency also attend meetings of NYC Codependents Anonymous where the only requirement for membership is "a desire to develop healthier relationships with yourself and others."
dependency: a misunderstood conceptPeople often think it's healthy to say: "I don’t want to be dependent on anyone or anything." Actually, human beings must depend on all sorts of people, processes and institutions in order to live life.
What’s not constructive for us is when we drift toward the extremes of excessive dependency (preoccupation and obsession)—or—anti-dependency (isolation). The goal we need to shoot for in relationships and in life is healthy dependency (i.e. inter-dependency).
am I a codependent?The question of "am I a codependent" can be misleading and lead to unnecessary confusion.
A more helpful question to ask yourself is:
Am I exhibiting patterns of codependency that are preventing me from forming and maintaining the relationships that I want—with others and with myself?
If the answer is yes, the good news is that you can seek therapy in NYC for codependency and begin to change non-constructive patterns of thinking, behaving and relating to others while replacing them with constructive patterns that will help you to form and maintain healthy and mutually satisfying relationships.
resourcesSome people who see me for therapy in NYC for codependency have read one or more of the following:
- Codependent No More – Melody Beattie
- Facing Codependence – Pia Melody
- Healing the Shame That Binds You – John Bradshaw
- Understanding Codependency – Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse & Joseph Cruse
Chris Kingman | Therapy
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