Codependency is a pattern of excessively giving up your own needs to try to help someone else. Often, codependency involves trying to help the other person because you believe your own happiness or security is dependent on that other person.
Codependency can begin early in life, with an alcoholic, abusive, or absent parent. It is also a pattern that partners of alcoholics/addicts can fall into.
On the other hand, giving up your own needs for others can sometimes lead you to start using addictive substances or behaviors. For example, someone might be so focused on meeting their children's needs and taking care of their family that they neglect their own needs, which leads them to turn to alcohol, shopping, or something else in order to cope.
How Therapy Can Help With Codependency
In therapy, you can develop a stronger sense of yourself. When you feel strong and secure in yourself, then you can help others and be in relationship with others in a way that allows everyone to get his or her needs met. Also, you can be more discerning about who you want to try to help.
EMDR can help you resolve any traumatic memories that contribute to codependency. With cognitive behavioral therapy, you can explore and challenge disruptive thoughts. Mindfulness and hypnosis can help you find ways to feel calmer and more grounded, which can help you deal with triggering situations.
In addition to therapy, a support group might be helpful. Al-Anon & Alateen (ncwsa.org) and Adult Children of Alcoholics (adultchildren.org) are self-help groups that provide support for families and friends of alcoholics. Nar-Anon (nar-anon.org) groups provide support for families and friends of addicts.
Therapy Office in Sunnyvale
My office is in Sunnyvale, California on Wolfe Rd., near El Camino Real (also close to Santa Clara, Cupertino, and Mountain View). Parking is easy; there is a large parking lot.
1021 S. Wolfe Rd., Suite 255
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
I am a therapist/counselor in Sunnyvale, California. I work with adults, teenagers, and children. (LMFT Lic. # LMFT40414)
Please visit my therapy home page for more information about me.