Jim’s wife is an alcoholic. Jim not only takes care of the children when his wife is unable, he also supports her financially since she is unable to maintain employment. He constantly makes excuses for her when she is unable or unwilling to join their friends for a gathering. His behavior is problematic because it allows his wife to continue with her destructive habits while also perpetuating his belief that being needed by others at the cost of ignoring his own needs is the best way to receive love.
At Thriveworks Austin, we have helped many patients through codependency and dependency counseling. Because codependency often manifests through caring for others, it can be difficult to see it as a problem. After all, aren’t we supposed to care for those we love?
Caring for loved ones is appropriate, but when approval from those loved ones is the only way you know to receive love, the assistance you give can overwhelm your need to care for yourself.
Codependency Personality Disorder Therapy – Counselors in Austin
In a healthy relationship, each partner is able to rely on the other for help and support. That’s a huge part of why we enter into relationships, after all—to find someone who understands us on a deeper level and is willing to be there when needed. And of course, it’s natural to feel good when we’re needed by others. But, in a codependent relationship, at least one partner “…needs to be needed if they’re to feel okay about themselves” (Seltzer). In Jim’s case, his self-esteem is all wrapped up in how much his wife needs him. To make matters worse, he is enabling her alcoholism, preventing her from ever hitting “rock bottom” and thus preventing her from getting better. (While not every codependent relationship involves addiction or enabling, it is a frequent occurrence.)
Codependency is a personality disorder that can be helped with counseling. While some level of dependency between loved ones is normal, when it becomes unbalanced it can lead to larger problems.
If you are suffering from codependency, you might recognize some of the below signs:
- Are you the type of person who feels that you need to look after the needs of someone else all the time?
- Do you always have low self-esteem and a feeling of low self-worth?
- Are you aware that many relationships have signs of some form of dependency and one relationship in your life might go well beyond regular forms of dependency?
If any of the above questions resonate with you, codependency counseling might very well be the solution you need. Thriveworks Austin counselors understand how conflicted you may feel. While you want to be healthy, you also struggle with the idea of your loved ones getting along without the amount of assistance you’ve been providing. If you don’t help them, you may worry they will withdraw their love. Thriveworks Austin counseling is here to help. We’ve worked with clients in many situations, including those struggling with codependency. All it takes is one phone call to get on the road to recovery. We’re waiting to help you immediately.
Where Can You Go from Here?
As we have already established, a great many relationships in the world today feature some degree of dependency. However, when this dependency becomes codependency, it turns into a psychological disorder which can make things significantly darker for the sufferer.
People who need codependency counseling will very likely find that they are in a relationship where they simply cannot function without receiving validation from the other person. They will likely show signs of low self-esteem, and their entire existence may seem centered upon this other person. That other person could be a parent who themselves has a problems with addiction or dependency, a friend who allows others to fulfill most of their emotional and physical needs, or a spouse who allows the codependent partner to care for them to the point of a problem.
In counseling for codependency, Thriveworks Austin therapists work with patients to determine what underlying beliefs are manifesting in the person’s relationship behaviors. Often, experiences with parents or close caregivers in childhood are influencing the person’s behavior today. Once those experiences are addressed and processed, the person may begin to detach from unhealthy relationships by learning to set appropriate boundaries—something else your codependency counselor will be able to assist with.
Professional Help When You Need it
If this article resonates with you, if it struck a chord deep inside, let this be your first step toward a healthier life. You can enjoy relationships in a healthy way, and we are here to help.
Thriveworks Austin counselors have helped many patients with codependency and we can help you too. We are trained professionals experienced in treating patients with this and many other disorders. If you are not living your optimum life, if you feel your value depends on another’s validation, contact us. You are valuable, and we want to help you see it.
If you would like to discuss this matter further get in touch with us today and arrange that important first session. You will not regret it.
Thriveworks Austin Counseling for Codependency
Thriveworks Austin counselors understand how difficult it is when your feelings of self-worth become tied up in another person’s validation of you. We also know how concerning those feelings are. If you feel you are in a codependent situation, reach out to us. We want to help you feel better—and we know you can. You just need a little help. We don’t keep a waiting list, and we can usually see new clients within 24 hours. We are available to help you when you’re ready.
Seltzer, Leon F. PhD. “Codependent or Simply Dependent: What’s the Big Difference?” December, 2014. PsychologyToday.com.