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Counseling CEU Course

~ Define codependency
~ Identify characteristics of the codependent relationship

Why I Care/How It Impacts Recovery
~ Co-dependency can serve as an alternate addiction or distraction
~ Co-Dependents may use relationships to try to deal with depression or anxiety
~ Ultimately codependency is self-defeating because one of the few things that cannot be controlled is the will of another person.
~ Codependency describes a type of relationship in which:
~ One partner defines his or her worth or goodness based on someone else
~ The codependent person often chooses relationships in which the other person needs to be rescued, thereby making himself or herself indispensable.

Warning Signs
~ Have an excessive and unhealthy tendency to rescue and take responsibility for other people.
~ Derive a sense of purpose and boost your self-esteem through extreme self-sacrifice to satisfy the needs of others.
~ Choose to enter and stay in lengthy high-cost caretaking and rescuing relationships, despite the costs to you or others.
~ Regularly try to engineer the change of troubled, addicted, or under-functioning people whose problems are far bigger than your abilities to fix them.
~ Seem to attract low-functioning people looking for someone to take care of them so they can avoid adult responsibility or consequences, or attract people in perpetual crisis unwilling to change their lives.
~ Have a pattern of engaging in well-intentioned but ultimately unproductive unhealthy helping behaviors, such as enabling.

Co-Dependency as an Addiction
~ Tolerance
~ Need more of the same substance/activity
~ In a codependent relationship, as time passes, the codependent’s identity becomes increasingly defined by the relationship with the other person
~ Withdrawal
~ Not getting the substance, being around the person results in physical or psychological withdrawals
~ When apart from or unable to control the other person, the codependent experiences extreme anxiety and/or depression

Co-Dependency as an Addiction
~ Spending more time thinking about, engaging in or recovering from the behavior
~ Co-dependents are always hypervigilant to other peoples behavior, and obsessing about what they are or are not doing
~ Co-dependents spend large amounts of time rescuing or covering up for the other person “fixing it”
~ The codependent gets exhausted taking care of the other person, but cannot stop because they rely on the other person to tell them

Co-Dependency as an Addiction
~ Foregoing other interests in order to maintain the addiction
~ The relationship is the “drug” of choice in the codependents’ lives
~ Having that person in their life makes them feel “okay” or “whole”
~ The relationship takes the place of self-love
Co-Dependency as an Addiction
~ Continuing the addiction/relationship despite negative consequences
~ Emotional (depression, anxiety, anger, resentment)
~ Social (Loss of other friends)
~ Physical (stress-related physical issues)
~ Occupational (poor job performance)

Addicts and Codependents
~ Low self esteem
~ Depression, anxiety
~ Need to control
~ Fear of abandonment
~ Relationship comforts/numbs
~ Relationship becomes the addict’s primary focus
~ Minimizing, denying, blaming to protect the relationship
~ Stinkin’ Thinkin’

~ Have difficulty identifying what they are feeling.
~ Lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
~ Mask pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
~ Experience significant aggression/resentment and negativity
~ Have difficulty making decisions.
~ Judge what they think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.
~ Value others’ approval of their thinking, feelings, and behavior over their own.
~ Do not perceive themselves as lovable or worthwhile persons

~ Seek recognition and praise to overcome feeling less than.
~ Have difficulty admitting a mistake.
~ Need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and may even lie to look good.
~ Are unable to identify or ask for what they need and want.
~ Have trouble setting healthy priorities and boundaries.

~ Use blame and shame to control.
~ Adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
~ Use recovery jargon in an attempt to control the behavior of others.
~ Pretend to agree with others to get what they want.

~ Believe people are incapable of self-care
~ Try to convince others what to think or feel.
~ Offer unsolicited advice and direction
~ Become resentful when their help is rejected
~ Lavish gifts, favors or sexual attention on those they want to influence.
~ Demand that their needs be met by others.

~ Identify the benefits and drawbacks to the relationship AND the benefits and drawbacks to being single
~ Remember that codependency, like other addictions is used to escape, distract or avoid pain.
~ Begin self-esteem work (There are a myriad of books and worksheets available)
~ Until the person can provide self-validation, all relationships can potentially become codependent

Screening Questions and Interventions
~ 1. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
2. Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you?
3. Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem?
4. Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you?
5. Are the opinions of others more important than your own?
6. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home?
7. Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?
8. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?
9. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?
10. Have you ever felt inadequate?

Questions and Interventions
~ 11. Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake?
12. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?
13. Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake?
14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?
15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?
16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss?
17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?
18. Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked for help?
19. Do you have trouble asking for help?
20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?
CoDA Promises
~ 1. I will know a new sense of belonging. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness will disappear.
~ 2. I am no longer controlled by my fears. I overcome my fears and act with courage, integrity and dignity.
~ 3. I know a new freedom.
~ 4. I release myself from worry, guilt, and regret about my past and present. I am aware enough not to repeat it.
~ 5. I know a new love and acceptance of myself and others. I feel genuinely lovable, loving and loved.
~ 6. I learn to see myself as equal to others. My new and renewed relationships are all with equal partners.

~ 7. I am capable of developing and maintaining healthy and loving relationships. The need to control and manipulate others will disappear as I learn to trust those who are trustworthy.
~ 8. I learn that it is possible to mend – to become more loving, intimate and supportive. I have the choice of communicating with my family in a way which is safe for me and respectful of them.
~ 9. I acknowledge that I am a unique and precious creation.
~ 10. I no longer need to rely solely on others to provide my sense of worth.
~ 11. I trust a guidance I receive from my higher power and come to believe in my own capabilities.
~ 12. I gradually experience serenity, strength, and spiritual growth in my daily life.

Recovery Process
~ Have difficulty identifying what they are feeling and thinking
~ I am aware of my feelings and identify them, often in the moment.
~ Minimize, alter, or deny how they truly feel.
~ I embrace my feelings; they are valid and important.
~ Perceive themselves as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well- being of others
~ I know the difference between caring and caretaking. I recognize that caretaking others is often motivated by a need to benefit myself.

Recovery Process
~ Think they can take care of themselves without any help from others.
~ I acknowledge that I sometimes need the help of others.
~ Mask pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
~ I am aware of my painful feelings and express them appropriately.
~ Express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
~ I am able to express my feelings openly, directly, and calmly.
~ Do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom they are attracted.
~ I pursue intimate relationships only with others who want, and are able to engage in, healthy and loving relationships.
Recovery Process
~ Are extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
~ I am committed to my safety and leave situations that feel unsafe or are inconsistent with my goals.
~ Compromise their own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.
~ I maintain my own values, even if others don’t agree or become angry.
~ Put aside their own interests in order to do what others want.
~ I always consider my interests and feelings.
~ Are hypervigilant regarding the feelings of others and take on those feelings.
~ I can separate my feelings from the feelings of others. I allow myself to experience my feelings and others to be responsible for their feelings.
Recovery Process
~ Are afraid to express their beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
~ I respect my own opinions and feelings and express them appropriately.
~ Accept sexual attention when they want love.
~ My sexuality is grounded in genuine intimacy and connection.
~ Make decisions without regard to the consequences.
~ I consider possible consequences before I make decisions.
~ Give up their truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.
~ I maintain my integrity, whether others approve or not, even if it means making difficult changes in my life.

~ Judge harshly what others think, say, or do.
~ I keep an open mind and accept others as they are.
~ Avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a way to maintain distance.
~ I engage in emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy when it is healthy and appropriate for me.
~ Allow addictions to people, places, and things to distract them from achieving intimacy in relationships.
~ I mindfully develop healthy and fulfilling relationships.

~ Use indirect or evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
~ I use direct and straightforward communication to resolve conflicts and deal appropriately with confrontations.
~ Suppress their feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
~ Trust and honor my feelings and needs while recognizing my vulnerability
~ Pull people toward them, but when others get close, push them away.
~ I welcome close relationships while maintaining healthy boundaries.

~ Believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
~ I honor my emotions and share them when appropriate.
~ Withhold expressions of appreciation.
~ I freely engage in expressions of appreciation toward others.
~ Codependents generally get in relationships with addicts or others who need to be “rescued.”
~ Codependents do not feel worthy or lovable. They need someone else to validate them
~ Recovery involves
~ Developing a sense of self-worth
~ Addressing the depression and anxiety
~ Learning about and creating a network of healthy relationships