Codependency refers to maladaptive behaviors that occur because of excessive caretaking, concern and taking care of others’ needs without concern for self. This type of behavior will eventually cause resentment in the person caretaking because their own needs are not being met and this is when interventions may be needed. Codependency may be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns and is often present when one person or more in the family have addictions.
Awareness of codependency might be the first step to working with this problem either individually or within a group such as a 12 step group. Emotional work, self esteem work (how we feel about ourselves), boundaries(setting limits to care for ourselves), trust of self and others and changing a pattern of lack of self care to greater self care are often areas for help with counselling. Art Therapy(group or individual work), EMDR, Hypnosis, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (in groups or individually) are methods of working through these patterns.