Counselling Services

What is Codependency?

You may have heard this term being used yet do you have a definition? There are several descriptions because it encompasses a wide variety of compulsive behaviours. Co-dependency is how one individual in a relationship reacts to the behaviours of their partner in an effort to control their partner and to make their relationship work. You may even compromise your own integrity for the other. You may have allowed another person’s behaviour affect how you act because you are trying to control their compulsive behaviour either by caretaking or helping them, and you may not even be aware you are doing this. You take their behaviour personally, as if it was directed intentionally toward you, and you make it mean something about you.

For example, if he/she really loved me she/he would quit drinking, overeating, gambling, smoking, doing drugs, being promiscuous. Co-dependency is created by sustained oppressive rules and practices during formative years that prevent freedom of open expression, which is re-enforced by strict rules, so that essentially, you have no freedom to “BE” who you really are. You may engage in many self-defeating behaviours that limit your ability to participate in loving and healthy relationships. You seek your own self-worth and value from something or someone outside of yourself. On my About page, I describe what my formative years were like and how they were the perfect conditions for developing co-dependency.

“When we depend on another person to behave differently, so that we can feel better…we’re depending on an addict, not to be an addict, so we can feel okay. That makes us co-dependent. A co-dependent is somebody who depends on somebody else, who is dependent on an addictive behavior. The problem isn’t their addiction; it’s our co-dependence.” – Gabor Maté

“Without Frances’ patience, warmth and care I would not have been able to show up with as much courage and confidence as I have this past year. The support I felt with her allowed me to experience several eye-opening moments, which means so much to me. ” – Sahar

What Exactly Are Codependent Traits?

Can you identify what you’re feeling? Are you lost?

Overwhelmed and scared? Are you having difficulty making a decision? Have you been placing the needs of others above your own?

Do you feel safe to stand up for yourself?

If someone you are close to is angry, do you think it is your fault.

Do you constantly try to make sure people like you? By people-pleasing?

Are you the person who sees a problem and think you have to fix it, even if it has nothing to do with you?

Are you a perfectionist?

Are you experiencing conflict in your relationships?

Do you engage in recurring negative behaviour patterns always ending in the same result?

These are only some of the traits exhibited by the codependent and in this place, it may be difficult to turn your life around with help. You may recognize some of these traits in yourself and your family members.

Your Next Step Can Create Hope and Change

Regardless of your current life circumstance often a part of us still has a deep desire to create healthy relationships, feel proud of our accomplishments and, want to learn new skills to handle life challenges with ease and confidence.

If we only knew how!! The best way is to reach out and ask for the help you want.

I support clients to bridge that gap by guiding you to developing the skills to create that mindset, and to make the changes necessary to claim better and more positive outcomes in your relationships moving forward.

I would love to help you.

Book your FREE 15-minute consultation with Frances. OR, for returning clients, click below to access my schedule.

Learn more about Frances and why she does what she does.

Check out Frances’ rates and flexible session availability.