Recovering from Codependency in Alexandria, VA—Counseling and Therapy
When you needed help the last time, who did you call? Most likely, it was a friend or a family member because that’s what loved ones do. They lend each other a hand. Offering and receiving support are important parts of healthy relationships. But is there ever a point when too much help becomes unhealthy? Yes. Helping too much or too often may be causing more harm than benefits, and it is called codependency.
Think about Jenna’s story. Most people describe Jenna as sweet, kind, and selfless. She loves her family so much, and seeing her loved ones happy is the best feeling she has ever had. Jenna would do anything to keep her family together, and she has. Jenna’s husband, Will, has a hard time holding down a job. He’s smart and capable, but he also drinks a lot. Jenna has spent tens of thousands of dollars on treatment for Will. She is their only income most of the time, and the family has gone into debt for several of his programs. Will improves for a season each time, but he never sticks with recovery long-term. Jenna tells herself that a lot of wives have it worse… taking care of him is her responsibility… if she did not help him, who would?
Without a doubt, Jenna loves Will. But are her feelings of affection translating into actions that benefit herself, her family, and her husband? Most likely, no. In reality, Jenna maybe causing more harm, and her actions may display codependency.
Codependent behavior shields others from the natural consequences of their behavior or sacrifices one’s own well-being to prioritize other people’s needs and wants. Often, codependent behavior enables an addiction or irresponsible behavior.
Thriveworks Alexandria offers therapy for people who want to recover from their codependent behaviors. Knowing when, where, and how to help without enabling is difficult. Many people struggle with codependency. but learning to prioritize one’s own well-being and establish appropriate boundaries is possible.
What Are Codependent Behaviors?
Whether consciously or not, codependent people often choose to form relationships with other who are vulnerable or needy. Many times, they have an addiction or history of irresponsibility. Codependents then compensate for their loved one or attempt to fix them in some way. In the process, codependent people usually sacrifice their own self-care and feel resentment when their care is not received or acknowledged.
Insecurity, shame, and passivity often plague codependent people and feeds their behaviors. Fixing, helping, or compensating for others becomes a way of proving they are accepted, loved, and competent. Unfortunately, this strategy never works. Personal healing does not come through fixing or compensating for another person.
Codependent people often are in situations where they give more and more; their loved one presumes upon them more and more; they compensate more and more. Without intervention, the cycle leads to more and more resentment.
Because codependent behaviors at first seem nice and caring, it is important to delineate between healthy and unhealthy ways of helping. The following are signs of unhealthy, enabling, and codependent behaviors:
- Denial: Even though they focus upon others, serious relational and mental health problems plague codependent people. However, they often minimize or deny their own issues.
- Low self-esteem: Codependent people often feel deep shame, inadequacy, and incompetency. These may motive their care for others, as a way to prove their worth.
- Communication challenges: Speaking openly about their true thoughts, needs, and feelings is often difficult for codependents, especially if they think these will upset or offend a loved one.
- Dependency: “I want you to want me. I need you to need me…” are famous lyrics that capture the codependent attitude perfectly. Confusing the feelings of being loved and being needed is a common mistake that codependents make.
- Caretaking: Taking care of others often becomes a core aspect of a codependent’s identity. Codependent people may pride themselves on being able to anticipate their loved one’s needs and take care of them.
- People-pleasing tendencies: When their loved ones feel anger, boredom, or frustration, codependent people often feel responsible. They often work to make sure their loved ones feel happy.
- No/weak boundaries: What is the recipe for stress? When your mouth says, “yes,” but your heart says, “no.” Codependents have a hard time setting a limit or saying no. They have no or weak boundaries.
Codependency Recovery at Thriveworks Alexandria, VA
Did some of the attitudes and behaviors of codependent people resonate with you? Have you struggled with codependency? You are not the only one. Many people engage in codependent behavior, and many people have learned healthier behavior patterns. Thriveworks Alexandria has helped many codependent people, and we offer therapy for codependency recovery.
When you call our office, know that we have evening and weekend appointments available. We work with most major insurance providers. New clients may even see their therapist the day after their call.
Do not wait for healthier relationships. Call Thriveworks today.