Codependency – What is it?
Codependency is a term used for people who have a tendency to be involved in dysfunctional relationships. They set up negative patterns where the needs and behaviours of their loved ones are more important than their own. As you might expect, codependent patterns increase levels of stress, frustration, irritation, anger and anxiety.
Codependency – Difficulty in Early Childhood
According to Weinhold & Weinhold “codependency is a failure to complete one or more of the important developmental tasks of early childhood. Individuals who do not complete a variety of stages and processes become developmentally delayed at a personal level. This prevents them from creating not only healthy couple, family relationships but also healthy organisations, cultures and nation-states.
Sympthoms of Codependency
Common symptoms of codependency are:
- Feeling trapped in abusive, controlling relationships
- Having low self-esteem
- Needing approval /support from others in order to feel good about yourself
- Feeling powerless to change destructive relationships
- Needing some other outside stimulation to distract from your feelings e.g. alcohol, food, work, sex etc.
- Feeling like a martyr, helpless, using guilt to manipulate
- Being a people pleaser
- Having poor or weak boundaries
- Inability to experience true intimacy and love
- Lack of trust, perfectionism, operating in the extremes
- Caretaking, obsession
- Depression, compulsive lying, compulsive talking
- Controlling others through manipulation, threatening, coerciveness and/or constant advice giving…”
People who are codependent often also fear abandonment and rejection. But what they don’t realise is that they actually abandon and reject themselves.
It IS possible to heal codependency. We first need to heal our relationship with ourselves. When I began healing my own codependent tendencies, I found that a lot of my difficulties stemmed from childhood. I began healing there.
Now whenever my clients want to become free from codependent patterns, I use a similar process. We typically release challenges from their past – either through Regression or the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), we also change emotions and behaviours by using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). If my clients are really committed to change their lives, at the end of our time together I usually suggest they go on to heal their primitive reflexes, as I did. All of this is deep, inner work, however using this combination of tools will help make lasting change and is a very empowering process.
Being in-dependent is all about strengthening and healing you. It is not about changing anyone else.
Freedom of Codependency
When clients are free from codependent behaviours they begin to take responsibility for their actions, feelings, behaviours and life. They meet their own needs. They are able to say no and set appropriate boundaries. They have self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-belief and self-love. They feel IN – dependence instead of CO-dependence.
One client recently wrote to me saying:
“I had a feeling this way of change was for me. I need to let you know that since our session yesterday something in me has shifted. I don’t know what – but I feel alive! I have this most beautiful feeling of peace and for that I thank you most sincerely”.
To free yourself from your codependent tendencies contact Michelle A. Hardwick for a consultation either in person in the UK: Phone – 07857369619 or in Ireland: Phone – 0871492338. Alternatively contact Michelle here to book your consultation via Skype.
Breaking Free of the Codependent Trap Weinhold & Weinhold