Codependency Counseling in Columbia, SC—Therapists
A sign of healthy friendships and families is that people offer each other help and support. No one is self-sustaining, and most of the time, family and friends are happy to help out in times of need. But these healthy, interdependent relationships can quickly turn harmful and codependent when one person feels responsible for others. If it seems that you’ve become codependent with someone, as though you’re helping too frequently or in counterproductive ways, mental health professionals can help.
Can offering support actually be harmful? Consider Pamela’s situation:
Pamela is a kind, caring individual. She has a sixth sense and just knows what people need before they ask. Often, Pamela will take care of those needs before she is even asked. Pamela loves her husband, and they have been together for decades. She knows their marriage can survive anything. In fact, Pamela’s husband has gambled away tens of thousands of dollars throughout their marriage. Pamela has always been able to make up the difference through cancelling trips or working more hours. She tells herself that every marriage has problems, and this is normal. Besides, Pamela believes it is her job to hold the family together. If she didn’t, who would?
Pamela undoubtedly feels deep love for her family and husband, but have her actions helped? Although done with the best of intentions, Pamela may actually be harming herself and her husband, and she may be codependent.
Many people shield their loved one from the fallout of their irresponsible choices or sacrifice their own mental, emotional, or financial health to fulfill their loved one’s needs or wants. These behaviors may cause hurt, even though they seem helpful, and they may be codependent.
Thriveworks Codependency Counselors in Columbia, SC offer therapy for codependency because many people struggle to know when, where, and how to help without hurting themselves or their loved one. (803) 477-3736
Characteristics of Codependent People
Codependent people value other people’s thoughts, needs, and actions above their own in a destructive way. In the process, they can enable other people’s poor behavior and harm themselves. They often seek out relationships with people who have addictions or a history of irresponsible behavior. Fixing someone else is a way for codependent people to combat their own insecurity, passivity, and shame. Instead of addressing their own problems, they try to prove they are worthy and competent through focusing on other people’s problems. The only problem: it never works.
People who struggle with codependency may sacrifice their own physical or mental health to help another person, and they often expect their loved one to acknowledge their sacrifice, which rarely happens. Codependents can swing back and forth between wanting to help and feeling resentment for having helped.
Signs of a Codependent Relationship
Codependent behavior can be found in all kinds of relationships—friends, spouses, coworkers, parents, and more. Knowing the difference between an unhealthy codependent relationship and a healthy interdependent relationship can be tricky. The following may be signs of a codependent relationship. If one person…
- Protects the other from the natural fallout of addictive or irresponsible behavior.
- Fears retribution if they stop shielding the other from their irresponsible choices.
- Feels unappreciated, resentful, or angry for helping the other.
- Will not end the relationship even though they have experienced emotional or physical harm.
- Refuses to set limits or boundaries.
- Prioritizes the other’s financial, physical, and emotional needs above their own.
- Minimizes or denies the other’s problems.
- Is overprotective of the other.
- Has trouble expressing their thoughts, emotions, and needs.
Escaping Codependent Behaviors
Admitting that your actions have harmed yourself or someone you love can be difficult, but taking responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions can lead to personal growth. Many people need guidance as they learn how to grow out of their codependent tendencies. Codependency therapy cannot do the work for you, but it may guide the process.
Through therapy, codependents may be empowered to make necessary changes, such as…
- Start being present with loved ones (healthy) and stop fixing them (unhealthy).
- Examine life events, beliefs, and behaviors that helped the codependent behavior form.
- Address past traumas and adjust unhealthy coping mechanisms.
- Say, “no” more, and mean “yes,” when you say it.
- Value your financial, emotional, and physical well-being.
- Build relationships upon mutual respect, not a need to be needed.
Is it time to work on you? Thriveworks Codependency Therapy in Columbia, SC is here to help you understand the dynamics of your relationships and learn how to set healthy boundaries in your life. Our Codependency Counselors are licensed and have years of training and experience with helping people improve their lives. We offer day, evening, and weekend appointments. There’s never a waitlist for therapy. Plus, we accept most major medical insurance, so getting codependency support may be more affordable than you thought. Call to today to schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Codependency Counselor in Columbia! (803) 477-3736