Treating Codependency is not something a doctor does to or for a ‘patient’. It is more like having diabetes. The patient has to learn how to take care of themselves every day for the rest of their lives. Recovery starts when a Codependent understands and has insight into their condition. It takes hold when they understand that they have never been victimized in their marriage. They arranged the right marriage for themselves in order to work on their unresolved childhood issues of not having enough power, not being heard, not being good enough, not being taken seriously, not getting enough attention, not being nurtured, etc. I always recommend that my new Codependent client read Melody Beattie’s classic book on the subject Codependent No More. Then I almost always strongly encourage them to join one of our Codependency Recovery groups. Group is like the gym. It is where a Codependent goes to lift weights and get stronger. I will talk more about group in a later chapter, but Group therapy rocks – it is inexpensive, weekly, powerful, fun, insight building and affirming. In my practice the wife is many times the Codependent person and she comes with her husband for couples sessions as well as attending the group sessions without him. In the couple work with a husband who is perhaps not in as much pain or in a place of having much enlightenment about his own issues the Codependent needs to come prepared to work hard at naming the issues that hurt her in the marriage. Actually bringing in a written list is a very good idea. It is a safe environment because the therapist won’t allow reactivity, control, manipulation, defensiveness, blaming, rage, massive denial or shaming to happen without it being named and quickly stopped. From an article by Mark Smith http://www.familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=278
It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’
I do not agree. The wounds remain.
In time, the mind, protecting its sanity,
covers them with scar tissue
and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone.
Suicide rates have been rising dramatically. But of special concern, as reported in The New York Times is the number of middle-aged men killing themselves: “Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and the elderly, and the surge in suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is surprising.” “It is the baby boomer group where we see the highest rates of suicide,” said the C.D.C.’s deputy director, Ileana Arias. “The boomers had great expectations for what their life might look like, but I think perhaps it hasn’t panned out that way.” The University of Virginia sociologist Brad Wilcox recently pointed out in The Atlantic that there’s a strong link between suicide and weakened social ties. It has been getting tougher for men. Brought up to believe they are the stronger sex, expected to be the primary bread-winner for their families, with corporate leaders and entrepreneurs as role models, they have been finding it difficult to sustain their expected social roles. As a result, their self-esteem has been taking a beating. Wilcox goes on: “And over the last two decades, it’s men without college degrees who have ended up most disconnected from the core institutions of work, marriage, and civil society. Guess who is most likely to kill themselves? Men without college degrees.” Ross Douthat commenting on these trends in The Times noted: “The hard question facing 21st-century America is whether this retreat from community can reverse itself, or whether an aging society dealing with structural unemployment and declining birth and marriage rates is simply destined to leave more people disconnected, anxious and alone.” And he moves away from seeing it as relevant to politics and social policy. At the very end of his piece, citing an article in The New Republic on “The Lethality of Loneliness,” he notes “one in three Americans over 45 identifies as chronically lonely.” In other words, he changes the subject: “There are public and private ways to manage this loneliness epidemic — through social workers, therapists, even pets. And the Internet, of course, promises endless forms of virtual community to replace or supplement the real.” From an article by Ken Eisold, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hidden-motives/201305/suicide-loneliness-and-the-vulnerability-men
You cannot be lonely
if you like the person
you’re alone with.
The hardest part of therapy for codependents is getting into it! Denial plays as big a role in codependency as it does in substance abuse. Since codependents are focused on the other person’s behavior, it’s easy for them to believe that their problems will be resolved when the other person changes. While it’s true that another person’s behavior can influence use, codependents have problems of their own. Letting someone else’s behavior affect you to the point that it interferes with you life is the codependent’s – not the other person’s – problem. Learning to let go of the myth that you can control another’s behavior (detach, as Al-Anon puts it) is a big step toward recovery. Building self-esteem is essential for recovering codependents. A good therapist can help you define your own identity and boost your self-worth so that you don’t need another person to create or validate you as a person. Obsession with someone else’s life becomes less appealing when your own is full and rewarding. Additionally, people who feel good about themselves are much less likely to start or stay in relationships that are abusive or otherwise unhealthy. http://www.drshirin.com/codepend.htm
Delay is the deadliest
form of denial.
C. Northcote Parkinson
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