What is Codependency? | Counseling | Therapy

Codependency Therapy in Philadelphia Ocean City Mechanicsville

What is codependency: Therapy in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville image

Center for Growth / Codependency Therapy in Philadelphia, Santa Fe, Ocean City, Mechanicsville: Codependency

This tip is to provide you with the typical characteristics of people who struggle with codependency, a brief history of the term codependent, and a small check list to help you assess your own level of codependency.

The term Codependency refers to specific patterns and traits, including avoidance or unawareness of your own feelings, unawareness of your own needs, as well as a constant desire and effort to meet the needs of others prior to meeting your own needs first. Many people who struggle with codependency not only are “people please-rs,” but have taken this idea to an extreme. This extreme version of people pleasing includes false beliefs like, “If I’m the perfect wife, the father, the friend, then he/she will be happy, and than I will be lovable or everything will be okay. By being good enough, I can make the future work smoothly.” ”If I could make my spouse happy more, our problems would be solved.”

Power is a major aspect of behaviors for people who struggle with codependency. Overtime codependents have learned a false belief that they have a lot of power over people, and they have the ability to control others emotions. Whether it is the belief that, “If I’m around the house more, my dad will be less depressed.” or “If I spend more time with my sister, she won’t try to commit suicide again.” This idea is false. We are all individuals, and in the end our choices are our own, they are not determined by a loved one’s actions. We can only be responsible for our own choices. We do not have the power to control the actions other people choose to take.

We all make small sacrifices to help out a loved one from time to time, and we all like coming to the rescue for friends and coworkers when we can, but the question to ask yourself is: “What is the frequency that I am rescuing my lover, friend, child, co-worker and are my efforts denying that person the ability to experience natural consequences and to learn from his or her actions?” Additionally, “To what lengths am I trying to rescue or please?” When you give more than your share in a relationship without your needs being unmet, this can lead to you living an unmanageable life. Unmanageability may include a neglected career, poor relationships with children, financial debt, unpaid bills, lack of identity, poor health, neglecting spiritual need, the list goes on. Over time, the person who has over-given feels like a martyr because they have sacrificed themselves for the other or they may feel resentful towards the person that they have tried to “protect” because the cost has been so high and now their actions are not being appreciated in the way that they had hoped it would be.

Just like everyone is different, so is a person’s level of codependency. Codependency is about one’s behaviors and beliefs that typically revolve around other people, with an attempt to avoid or mask our pain.

Brief History of Codependence

The term codependency originated in the 1970‘s through the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) movement. The more typical example of someone who is codependent is the husband who refuses to leave his alcoholic wife (regardless of the negative consequences that have occurred), based on the belief that if just tries harder to make his wife happy, she will achieve and maintain sobriety, and he will be fulfilled. Today, the term has moved beyond the realm of a spouse of an alcoholic and not refers to anyone who usually thinks in terms of the other person. Codependency means: putting the other person’s needs, thoughts, opinions and desires over their own basic needs, thoughts, opinions and desires. Thus the person usually focuses all of their energy onto ‘fixing’ the other person. Now that the term codependency has a name and a description of patterns, identifying a person who struggles with codependency is easier to recognize and treat. Codependency is not just a problem limited to families and relationships with alcohol and substance abuse issues, but effects a much wider range of people.

Codependency can be a complicated concept to truly grasp the first time around. If you are still wondering how, and if, codependency effects you, please read the following list to take inventory of your behaviors.

Questions created at Center for Growth / Codependency Therapy in Philadelphia to ask yourself:

  • I often give to others more than I give to myself.
  • I have neglected my own career (family, friends, health etc) due to my focus of, and efforts to meet the needs of others.
  • I have jeopardized my self-care and/or safety out of loyalty to others.
  • I struggle to ask others for help.
  • Giving help is easy.
  • I give my own time or advice, even when I haven’t been asked.
  • I feel more in control when I am giving help than when I am receiving help.
  • I struggle to identify what I am feeling.
  • I don’t usually share my real feelings with others.
  • I avoid or downplay my emotions.
  • I hide my own emotions or views in order to go along with someone else.
  • I am insecure.
  • I struggle to commit to my own personal goals out of fear.
  • I struggle to make my own decisions.
  • I rely on other peoples opinions to make my own opinion.
  • I find it easy to make decisions for others.
  • I believe I can control how others feel.
  • Helping others meet their needs gives me a sense of power and control.
  • If you are still questioning your behaviors and how your relate to others, it will be beneficial to explore this further, which may mean to explore where your behaviors and your beliefs are rooted. Such behaviors and beliefs typically stem from childhood, where there was likely unhealthy family system. To look at your past is an essential part of addressing your current behaviors and what exactly is preventing healthy relationships. As you explore your childhood you will begin to identify in specific ways how you were affected by your relationships with your parents, and assess the feelings you around your memories.
  • As you explore your friendships, keep aware of your patterns of codependency and how they translate into these relationships. Reflect on your friendships, explore the reciprocity of your friendships. Ask yourself, as I give to my friends and invest in these relationships, am I getting my needs met as well?
  • As you explore your dating history, can you identify your current patterns and behaviors demonstrated in your past as well? Can you identify the consequences for your codependent behavior with your former partner? For example, you were so focused on keeping your parent happy, or address their depression, that you stop practicing your own self-care. Are you able to identify and advocate for your needs? It is common for individuals struggling with codependency to focus on others’ needs, that they lack awareness of their own needs.
  • Once you have gone back to your past in this way, you can begin to recognize how your past relationships are connected, or are similar to your present relationships. After reviewing the above list of characteristics, If you connected to most of the items listed, or you are curious about some of the answers you may struggle with codependency.

Steps you can take at home to help you develop coping skills to overcome codependency:

You can call our therapists who specialize in treating codependency directly by finding their phone numbers on their profile page, or you can bypass the wait time and schedule directly online. If you prefer talking to a therapist first, you may call (215) 922-LOVE (5683) ext 100 to be connected with our intake department. Lastly, you can call our Director, “Alex” Caroline Robboy, CAS, MSW, LCSW at (267) 324–9564 to discuss your particular situation. For your convenience, we have five physical therapy offices and can also provide counseling and therapy virtually.

Therapy Services Offered in Philadelphia, Ocean City, Mechanicsville, Santa Fe:

For fun, we decided to see how a computer would answer the question "What is Codependency". Here is the computer generated response:

Codependency is a pattern of behavior in which an individual is excessively emotionally or psychologically focused on another person, often to the point of neglecting their own needs and well-being. This can happen in a variety of relationships, including romantic relationships, familial relationships, and friendships.

Codependency can manifest in a number of ways, including:

  • Difficulty setting and maintaining healthy boundaries
  • Low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty expressing feelings and needs
  • Enabling or rescuing others at the expense of one's own well-being
  • Difficulty recognizing or accepting emotionally unhealthy behavior in others
  • A need for control and manipulation
  • A tendency to put others’ needs before one’s own

Codependency can be harmful to both the individual who is codependent and the person they are codependent on. It can lead to feelings of resentment, frustration, and a lack of fulfillment in the relationship.

If you suspect that you might be codependent, it's important to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you understand the dynamics of your relationships and teach you healthy coping mechanisms to change your patterns of behavior.

It's important to understand that breaking the pattern of codependency can be a long and difficult process, it may take time and effort but with the right support, it is possible to learn to take care of yourself and build healthier relationships.

Codependency treatment in philadelphia pa, ocean city nj. mechanicsville va

Codependency treatment in Philadelphia, PA, Ocean City, NJ, and Mechanicsville, VA can take many forms, and different types of treatment may be more appropriate for different individuals. Some common forms of treatment for codependency include:

  1. Individual therapy: A therapist or counselor can work with you to understand the dynamics of your relationships, identify patterns of codependency, and teach you healthy coping mechanisms to change your patterns of behavior.
  2. Group therapy: Group therapy can be a valuable tool for individuals struggling with codependency, as it provides a supportive and understanding environment where individuals can share their experiences and learn from others who are also dealing with similar issues.
  3. 12-step programs: 12-step programs such as Codependents Anonymous (CoDA) provide a structured program and support group for individuals working to overcome codependency.
  4. Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapy can help to teach individuals how to recognize and change unhealthy patterns of behavior and thought.
  5. Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed by a psychiatrist or physician to manage symptoms related to codependency such as anxiety and depression.

It's important to keep in mind that the type of treatment that's right for you will depend on your specific needs and symptoms, so it's best to consult with a therapist or counselor to determine the best course of treatment. You can find treatment options by searching online for "codependency treatment in Philadelphia", "codependency treatment in Ocean City" or "codependency treatment in Mechanicsville" and you'll find multiple options of therapists or clinics that provide treatment for codependency. You can also check with your insurance provider, they may have a list of covered providers in your area.

InPerson Therapy & Virtual Counseling: Child, Teens, Adults, Couples, Family Therapy and Support Groups. Anxiety, OCD, Panic Attack Therapy, Depression Therapy, FND Therapy, Grief Therapy, Neurodiversity Counseling, Sex Therapy, Trauma Therapy: Therapy in Providence RI, Philadelphia PA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM, Mechanicsville VA