Codependency

Christian Counseling Sets You Free from Codependency

San Diego Christian Counseling is the perfect place to find freedom from codependent relationships. Codependency is a growing problem – and if you spend your time doing everything you can to please your partner or constantly look to other people for validation and your self-worth, you could be experiencing codependency. Breaking free from the cycle of codependency is possible – with the support of a Christian counselor in San Diego.

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Contact Trish at reception
(424) 361-6198

Codependency is a term that you may have heard frequently without really understanding what it means. It’s commonly associated with relationships in which one partner struggles with alcoholism or substance addictions, or situations where someone is addicted to being in a relationship. However, codependency is actually much more complex than its common associations – and it can be difficult to define codependent relationships.

Barry and Janae Weinhold have described codependency as a relationship in which two “half persons [are] attempting to create one whole person” (2008, p. xii). Another definition of codependency is relationships where one person has an unhealthy attachment to their partner, so much so that their entire identity is dependent on the other person.

Johnson describes this as “when someone becomes so preoccupied with someone else that they neglect themselves” (2004, p. 387). A person experiencing codependency, therefore, is unable to feel happy outside of a relationship with another person. They look to their partner for approval and validation, and their entire self-worth is dependent on someone else. In many senses, this is like an addiction, and codependent people use relationships in much the same way as an alcoholic uses alcohol.

Codependency makes a person completely reliant on someone else – emotionally, physically and psychologically. It’s a harmful cycle that you may feel trapped in and unable to escape – but Christian counseling can help you to understand the reasons for your codependency and enable you to break free of the toxic patterns of behavior.

Get Connected With a Christian Counselor
Contact Trish at reception
424-361-6198

There are a variety of different symptoms that are associated with codependency. Codependency traits are not limited to romantic relationships, but rather can affect every kind of relationship. You may not have all of the codependency symptoms or signs of codependency, as the symptoms can vary from person to person.

However, the common symptoms of codependency include:

  • Poor self-esteem
  • A need to please other people regardless of the cost
  • Difficulties with saying “no”
  • Taking things personally
  • A strong fear of rejection
  • Anxiety about being abandoned
  • Constantly worrying about relationship issues
  • Finding it difficult or impossible to get out of toxic relationships
  • Hypersensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of other people
  • Wanting to control other people’s behavior
  • Wanting to “fix” other people
  • Difficulties with setting personal boundaries
  • Experiencing anxiety and depression

When you’re in a codependent relationship, you may not always recognize the problem. In fact, denying that you have issues with codependency is a common problem that keeps you trapped in the cycle of codependent relationships.

In addition to the symptoms that we’ve already highlighted, there are patterns of behavior that may indicate that you’re in a codependent relationship:

  • You spend a lot of time obsessing about the person or relationship
  • You’re always going the extra mile out of a desperate need to please your partner
  • You’re always seeking approval from your partner
  • You’re always trying to put things right when anything goes wrong for your partner
  • You neglect your own needs in order to meet the needs of the other person
  • You’ll do absolutely anything to ensure the relationship doesn’t end
  • You ignore unhealthy or toxic behavior from your partner, preferring to put up with the behavior rather than risking losing the relationship

Codependency exists on a kind of spectrum, with varying degrees of severity. In some cases, codependency is milder and doesn’t have such a detrimental effect on your life. However, if you notice these signs of codependency, you will benefit from Christian counseling in San Diego to help you break free of cycles of codependency.

  • Are you frequently sacrificing your own needs out of a desperate attempt to please your partner?
  • Are you unable to say no when your partner asks you to do something that you don’t have time to do?
  • Are you constantly anxious about what other people think about you?
  • Are you ignoring your partner’s addictions to drugs or alcohol, or keeping quiet about their abusive behavior towards you, because of a fear of abandonment?
  • Are you constantly seeking your partner’s approval, and, if you don’t get it, do you spiral into feelings of worthlessness?

Since codependency isn’t a mental illness as such, but rather patterns of harmful behavior, the primary treatment options for codependency are psychological. The best treatment for codependency involves working with a trained therapist to set healthy boundaries and promote healthy thought patterns.

In therapy, your counselor may use behavioral therapies to challenge the way that you think, and also explore the underlying roots of codependent behavior. Because codependency can be rooted in childhood experiences, your therapist will want to explore these experiences and help you to process them.

One of the goals of codependency treatment is to build self-esteem and help you to develop a sense of identity that is not dependent on another person. You will be taught self-care and self-love techniques that can build your independence and break the cycle of codependency.

Types of psychological treatments helpful for codependency include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Marriage counseling

Working with a Christian counselor is San Diego can help you on the road to recovery from codependency. In addition to the psychological treatments for codependency such as psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy, therapists at San Diego Christian Counseling bring a Christian perspective to the healing process.

Understanding your identity in Christ and embracing other Christian truths is an important part of recovery from codependency.

For example, Christian counseling in San Diego will teach you that:

  • God’s opinion matters more than anyone else’s:

    Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10

  • You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God

    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.– Psalm 139:14

  • God has a purpose for your life that is not dependent on someone else

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

  • God loves you more than anyone else ever could

    I have loved you with an everlasting love. – Jeremiah 31:3

When you work with a Christian counselor in San Diego, your therapist will help you to better recognize the signs of codependency and to understand the roots of your codependent traits. The purpose of Christian counseling is to help you to break free of unhealthy behavior and discover a more fulfilled, purposeful life.

Your counselor at San Diego Christian Counseling will help you to embrace the love that God has for you and give you the skills you need to understand that your value and self-worth comes from God, not from other people. You’ll learn how to look to God for approval instead of your partner.

Recovery from codependency is possible and it is not as difficult as you might imagine. Christian counseling in San Diego will give you confidence, help you to set boundaries and enable you to engage in healthy, fulfilling relationships. It will, of course, take time, but with the help of a Christian counselor in San Diego, you can experience the life that God has purposed for you to enjoy.

References:

Johnson, S. (2004). Therapist’s Guide to Clinical Interventions. San Diego: Academic Press.
Weinhold, B. & Weinhold, J. (2008). Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap. Novato: Stillpoint Publishing.

Get Connected With a Christian Counselor
Contact Trish at reception
424-361-6198