Many people do not recognize their co-dependent behaviors until they enter therapy for a different reason. Co-dependency refers to the overreliance of two people on each other. That overreliance can manifest as emotional, mental, or physical dependence. As part of our comprehensive approach to mental health treatment, Illumination offers therapy to address co-dependency.
If you or someone you love could benefit from a co-dependency therapy program, call Illumination Mental Health at 747.285.7504 and ask about our co-dependency counseling in Los Angeles, CA.
Co-Dependent vs. Interdependent: Are They the Same?
Co-dependent behaviors can be misinterpreted as acts of love. When a parent gives an addicted child money that they know will be spent on drugs, they might justify it by saying that giving them money is better than letting them engage in dangerous activities to get drug money.
The parent could believe their action is out of love, wanting to spare their child from the harsh consequences of their choices, but this is a classic example of co-dependency.
The child could not continue their behavior with relative comfort without the parent’s financial support. The parent is addicted to feeling needed. Both people may believe they could not function without the other.
In an interdependent relationship, people’s lives are closely intertwined, and they may go to great lengths to help one another. But they are also capable of functioning independently. People in an interdependent relationship can be honest with one another. They can say no to one another without feeling guilty or fearing that something catastrophic will happen. Instead of one giver and one taker as in co-dependent relationships, both people in an interdependent relationship give and receive equally.
Who Can Benefit from a Co-Dependency Therapy Program in Los Angeles?
People with low self-esteem and poor personal boundaries are most likely to develop co-dependent behaviors. Co-dependency comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and severities. People can build co-dependent relationships with anyone, including their child, parent, spouse, or employer. The word itself, co-dependence, suggests that unhealthy behavior goes both ways. It is a circular relationship. One person needs the other to function. One person needs to be needed.
If you recognize the following signs in your relationship, you may benefit from a co-dependency therapy program in Los Angeles, CA:
- You feel the need to save the other person
- The other person makes you feel guilty or accuses you of being selfish if you say “no” or do something for yourself.
- You believe you can change the other person’s behavior
- It’s difficult to explain your relationship to others—you have mixed feelings or can’t define it
- You experience severe anxiety when you don’t hear from them
- You call or text several times a day or go looking for them if they don’t respond
- Spending time with the other person is always a priority—you willingly cancel plans or stay home in case they contact you
- Their negative behaviors escalate if you try to set boundaries
- Asking for even the smallest favor feels like you’re asking for too much
- Your home is arranged for their comfort or taste, even if they don’t live with you
- Their comfort is more important than your own
Co-dependency does not always lead to domestic abuse, but it can indicate an abusive relationship. If you feel threatened or unsafe in your relationship, contact local social services for resources that can help. Call 911 if the danger is immediate.
Can Co-Dependent Relationships Be Changed?
Co-dependent relationships can be transformed into healthy, functional relationships if both people are willing to examine their behavior. Co-dependency counseling in Los Angeles, CA, can help. Participating in a co-dependency therapy program teaches you how to increase your self-esteem, set healthy boundaries, and have your own needs met. A therapist can provide an outside perspective that may shed light on thoughts and behaviors you didn’t realize were unhealthy.
Illumination Mental Health Provides Co-Dependency Counseling in Los Angeles, CA
Don’t let low self-esteem or misplaced shame prevent you from having the healthy, satisfying relationships you deserve. Call Illumination Mental Health today at 747.285.7504 for information about our co-dependency counseling program.