How Do I Know If I Need Codependency Counseling?
Codependency is a word lots of people toss around. Yet most people don’t REALLY know what it means – or how to tell if they’re codependent. This is where codependency counseling can help.
What’s the difference between being a nice, thoughtful person and a codependent person? Motivation, primarily. Motivation is the cutoff point—particularly in the context of social, romantic, and family relationships. When kindness is really manipulation; when you find yourself trying to control someone else’s feelings instead of being resposible for your own; when acts of selflessness become mutually destructive, for the giver and the recipient alike – these are all signs of codependency.
Simply put, codependency is broadly recognized as an addiction to caretaking, and the “caretaking” may involve any manner of relationship that is unhealthy—and even mutually destructive. For codependents, “our thinking is our drinking.” Codependency is marked by constant anxiety and worry about other people’s feelings, contagious moods,“your problems are my problems” – and a relentless drive to take ressponsibility for things over which you really have no control.
Why Do People Develop Codependency?
People who develop codependency tend to grow in the same soil. Their childhoods are characterized by
Abuse: Witnessing or experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
Addiction/Illness in the Family: Living with a family member who suffers from a substance or behavioral addiction, mental illness, or life-threatening disease
“Growing up too fast”: An inversion of the parent/child role, such that the child assumes the emotional responsibilities of an adult at a very young age
Stoicism: or an absence of emotion, that enables the child to survive through the trauma in a seemingly adaptive way until adulthood, when the patterns of codependency emerge
Feeling Unlovable: Being told as a child that “No one will ever love you” or being maltreated and convincing yourself that love is elusive
We offer treatment for related mental health challenges: sexual addictions, substance abuse disorders, childhood and adulthood sexual or emotional abuse, low self-esteem, and fear of abandonment
What Are The Signs & Symptoms of Codependency?
- Low Self-Esteem: This is the lifeblood of codependency—even in codependent individuals who project faux-confidence. Low self-esteem fuels a codependent individual’s fear of abandonment and misconception that love is forever out-of-reach A pattern of destructive relationships: in which the codependent individual assumes the caregiving role to emotionally draining, needy, or abusive individuals who take advantage Avoidance of healthy relationships: Spending time with “well-adjusted” people makes a codependent individual’s own unhealthy tendencies stand out in stark contrast—so the formation healthy relationships is sidestepped Responsibility & Reward: The codependent individual feels a self-martyring sense of responsibility to solve the problems of other people to his or her own person detriment; however, there is a simultaneous sense of reward in unconditionally loving even an abusive person Hurt & Self-Victimization: Despite loving people who are emotionally unavailable, codependent individuals feel profoundly hurt when they are exploited, casting themselves forever as the victim despite playing a role in their own victimization cycle
Suppressing Emotion: Codependent individuals bottle up their emotions because they fear that their honestly will lead to their desertion
Frantic attempts to avoid abandonment: A codependent person is well-intentioned, but will resort to dishonesty/manipulation to save a destructive relationship that appears to be on the brink of dissolution
Risk-taking: Many codependent individuals engage in risky behaviors (substance abuse or sexual promiscuity) to dull the pain of past abuse or to cope with current abuse
How Can Counseling & Therapy For Codependent Behavior Help Me?
Codependency is a tough pattern to break, perhaps it’s rooted in earliest life.
But though recovery can be a long road, individuals with codependency can and do recover. You can’t undo a lifetime of codependent thoughts and behaviors overnight.
Here’s how therapy and counseling for codependent behavior can help get you back on the right track. Your therapist should help you to:
Examine why you are the way that you are… and yup, this involves confronting trauma. Your therapist won’t demand that you dive headfirst into unpleasant childhood memories. Ripping away your shell before you’re ready would only do more harm than it would do good. But in due time… understanding yourself will be the key to initiating lasting change.
Fully utilize the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This involves changing how you cognitively process (fancy phrase for “think”) about your role as a caretaker—for example, do you feel as though you have an enhanced sense of responsibility to take care of a particular person… and if you do, more importantly, why do you? Questioning—and adapting—how you think about your relationships can ultimately help you modify destructive behaviors. (And although it’s easier said than done at first—the doing part will become second nature).
Learn how to regain self- (as opposed to other-) focus: When taking care of another person becomes your sole modus operandi, you neglect to take care of yourself. Your therapist will help you identify constructive ways to love yourself and to heal from codependency. These techniques could involve in-office meditation, mindfulness, or psychotherapeutic yoga, or out-of-office activities that help you reconnect with the things that you love doing
Learn how to help others constructively: Recovering from codependency doesn’t mean that you must refrain from helping other people—but it does mean that you can no longer accept your role as “doormat” or “problem-solver”. Your therapist will help you to develop healthy practices for helping others without shouldering the burden of a dead-end problem or a toxic relationship.
Meet our counselors that specialize in this issue
- by credential
- Clinical Director
- Franchise Owner
- LCDC Intern
- LMFT Supervisor
- LPC interns & LMFT associates
- LPC Supervisor
- Masters Level Interns
- Office & Support Staff
- Psychotherapeutic Yoga
- Senior Clinician
- therapy assistants
- by location
- dallas office
- fort worth office
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- plano - richardson
- reduced fee counselors
- Melanie WellsLPC, LMFT, LPC & LMFT SupervisorDallas OfficeFees: $230 per 50 min. session.Specialties: Business Partner Counseling, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Divorce & Adjustment, Last-Ditch Marital, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Relationship Issues
- Deanne MooreLPC, LMFTDallas Office$185 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Adoption & Foster Care, Blended Families, Business Partner Counseling, Christian Counseling, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Divorce & Breakups, Family Issues, Infidelity, Last-Ditch Marital, Marriage Counseling, Parental Alienation, Women's Issues
- Tristyn “Noell” LusterLPC Intern, supervised by Chris Jones, LPC-SDallas & Fort WorthFees: $95 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Abandonment Issues, Adulting, Aging Issues, Anxiety Disorders, Caring for Aging Parents, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Depression, Divorce & Breakups, Failure to Launch, Geriatric Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Newlyweds, Pre-Engagement, Pre-Marital, Young Adults in Transition
- Cori HillLPC-Intern, NCC
Supervised by Melanie Wells, LPC-SDallas & Park Cities$105 per 50 minute session (ask about reduced rates)Specialties: Abandonment Issues, Adulting, Biracial Couples, Blended Families, Business Partner Counseling, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cross-Cultural Relationships, Depression, Divorce & Breakups, Failure to Launch, Family Issues, Female Sexuality, Grief & Loss, Infidelity, Interfaith Relationships, Last-Ditch Marital, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, LGBTQ Couples, Male Sexuality, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Men's Issues, Multi-Cultural Issues, Newlyweds, Pre-Engagement, Pre-Marital, Quarter-Life Issues, Relationship Issues, Sex & Sexuality, Sex Therapy, Social Anxiety, Stress Management, Tweens & Teens, Women's Issues, Young Adults, Young Adults in Transition
- Katie HermesLPC Intern, LCDC-Intern Supervised by
Melanie Wells, LPC-S, LMFT-SDallas & Fort WorthFees: $115 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Adulting, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Divorce & Adjustment, Failure to Launch, Female Sexuality, Infidelity, Last-Ditch Marital, Newlyweds, Pre-Engagement, Pre-Marital, Women's Issues, Young Adults in Transition
- Sweta AhujaLPCDallas & Fort WorthFees: $130 for 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Adulting, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Biracial Couples, Borderline Personality, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cross-Cultural Relationships, Depression, EMDR, Families & Mental Illness, Men's Issues, Multi-Cultural Issues, Quarter-Life Issues, Relationship Issues, Schizophrenia, Women's Issues, Young Adults in Transition
- Kirsten ShafferLMFT Associate Supervised by Dr. Misti Sparks, LMFT-SDallas & Fort WorthFees: $90 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Anorexia, Behavioral Addictions, Bullimia, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Eating Disorders, Families & Mental Illness, Family Issues, Marriage Counseling
- Cortney EdwardsLPC Intern Supervised by
Chris Jones, LPC-SFort Worth Office$90 per 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Adolescents, Ayurveda & Lifestyle, Bipolar Disorder, Child Counseling, Child or Play Therapy, Childhood Abuse Recovery, Codependency Issues, Depression, Divorce & Breakups, Failure to Launch, Family Issues, Men's Issues, Mindfulness Training, Mood Disorders, New Parents, Postpartum Depression, Pregnancy Issues, Sexual Identity, Tweens & Teens, Yoga Therapy
- Jessica LatchawLPC Intern, LCDC Intern Supervised by
Chris Jones, LPC-SFort Worth Office$90 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Body Image, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cutting, Eating Disorders, Grief & Loss, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, LGBTQ Couples, New Parents, Pre-Marital, Pregnancy Issues, Self Harm, Young Adults in Transition
- Linda GrahamLPC-Intern Supervised
by Jenny Wang, LPC-SPlano/Richardson OfficeFees: $105 per 50 min sessionSpecialties: Anxiety Disorders, Christian Marriage Counseling, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Depression, Divorce & Adjustment, Infidelity, Major Depression, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Postpartum Depression, Relationship Issues, Suicidal Thoughts, Women's Issues, Young Adults, Young Adults in Transition
- Carrie CravensLCSWPlano/RichardsonFees: $130 for a 50 minute sessionSpecialties: Adolescents, Adoption & Foster Care, Anxiety Disorders, Blended Families, Child or Play Therapy, Codependency Issues, Family Issues, Kids, Teens & Tweens, Life Changing Events, Parenting, Relationship Issues, Social Anxiety, Stress Management, Tweens & Teens, Women's Issues, Young Adults in Transition