In relationships, codependency is a pattern of acting where you consistently put someone else’s needs above your own. Codependent tendencies are typically a result of poor boundary-setting and unmet demands in interactions with parents and other primary carers during childhood.

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Codependency counseling

A codependent person frequently bases their identity on helping others, and they rely on other people to affirm their self-worth. To gain this approval, a codependent person may suppress their own desires or feelings. Healing from codependency and becoming a fully functioning person is the overarching objective of codependency counseling.

A therapist helps in identifying codependent tendencies, recognizing suppressed emotions, and understanding why codependency developed. Building self-esteem is an important part of recovery and with time, the drive to overcompensate is reduced. A therapist can also assist individuals in strengthening their interpersonal connections, practicing assertiveness, and acknowledging when their own needs are not being met. Through clear and honest communication, people can learn to define healthy boundaries and develop self-confidence.

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Emotional and physical side effects of codependency

Codependents often think they can ease others’ suffering and they inadvertently encourage and facilitate dangerous behavior with loved ones by the notion that they are healers. Additionally, people take part in toxic relationships to increase their sense of value and self-esteem but they are unable to retain positive dynamics in their relationships.

When codependents form relationships with abusive partners or partners with substance addiction, it can be particularly challenging and harmful. Conditions that often occur with codependency include anxiety, depression, and substance addiction as a coping mechanism, which can have major repercussions. Codependent relationship counseling helps manage co-occurring conditions while developing the skills to balance one’s needs with those of others.

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Codependent relationship counseling

Models of codependency therapy offer a precise and thorough framework to help people change for the better. One of the most well-known treatments is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) where the goal is to modify the unhelpful thought and behavior patterns that are reinforcing one’s current issues. Codependents can recognize self-defeating behaviors and rediscover themselves through in-person and online codependency counseling.

Because codependents can have a hard time opening up, online therapy offers more privacy and is effective in treating codependency problems. Therapists are skilled and trained in helping people to connect with their emotions in an effort to rebuild family dynamics and personal relationships. When identified by a mental health professional, codependency can be comprehensively treated. Therapy also helps to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other co-occurring conditions.

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The benefits of counseling for codependency

Codependence is an acquired trait. This implies that the codependent qualities that are harming relationships and general well-being can be unlearned. A mental health specialist can assist with identifying the main codependency warning indicators and resolving people-pleasing habits as well as associated mental health symptoms like guilt, worry, or depression. Counseling for codependency reestablishes one’s sense of self and their ability to set healthy boundaries.

A therapist also helps in understanding why codependent patterns developed and how these behaviors transferred to relationships.  Counseling also provides more insight by addressing childhood events that may have influenced the development of codependent coping mechanisms. Therapy offers a secure environment to acquire and practice beneficial skills, and develop the ability to tell the difference between healthy dependency and codependency.

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