Codependency can be difficult to understand, but to explain it simply, codependency is an addiction where the codependent person attaches themselves to someone else to feel better. It can be very damaging to both people and lead to a downward spiral to poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility or under-achievement.
It can take time to recognise if you are codependent, but once this is determined, the good news is that codependency is treatable and you can rediscover your authentic self again with our support.
Codependency can be defined as:
“An unhealthy relationship between two people where the codependent person (the ‘giver’), attaches themselves to another person (the ‘taker’) and sacrifices their own needs because they assume responsibility for meeting the needs of the other person. The giver feels it’s their purpose for putting the needs of the taker first but it only leads to a multitude of negative consequences, most notably, losing touch of their authentic self because they are constantly living through the taker.”
This attachment to someone else means that the codependent person disregards their own wants and needs and will often have few or no boundaries. One of the many symptoms a codependent person will experience is that their mood will flow with the other person’s mood. For example, if the person they’re attached to is angry, the codependent person will experience emotions themselves as a result. They may carry around with them a strong desire for approval from everyone else. Codependency can prevent the individual from forming healthy and nurturing relationships both with themselves and others.
Eventually, the person may feel lost in life, lose touch with their authenticity, their emotions and true self and will exhibit low self-esteem and low self-worth. This is because they are mainly focused on another person rather than themselves.
The self-destructive nature of codependency can be extremely distressing to the person’s life, but it can also be really difficult for the individual or others to recognise, let alone admit that they need help and seek treatment for it.
But we recognise codependency and with the right support, you can overcome it. Reaching out for help with codependency is a challenging step towards a beautiful and life changing journey.
Codependency has only been recognised as a condition since the 1980’s and in the earlier years, codependency was thought only to be present in relationships where one person was an alcoholic and the other wasn’t. Typically, the person without alcohol addiction forgot about their own needs because they were so busy trying to rescue the alcoholic. However, codependency now includes other types of relationships, not just those where one person is suffering with addiction.
To determine whether you are codependent requires an honest self-assessment of your attitudes, characteristics and behaviours. A very useful tool to aid your self-evaluation is the Co-Dependents Anonymous checklist of attitudes, characteristics and patterns of behaviour. You will see that the characteristics of codependency are classified into four categories: denial, low self-esteem, compliance and control.Go To The Checklist
The beginning of your recovery begins with an acceptance of a difficulty to maintain healthy relationships with yourself and others.
In residential treatment at Broadway Lodge, you will begin to find the real you again and understand how you became codependent, so that you can learn to change these behaviours and learn to trust yourself. Treatment at Broadway Lodge is person-centered and compassion focused which means your treatment journey is tailored to your individual needs. You will learn to cultivate compassion towards your own self and others which has in itself a number of wonderful benefits for your own wellbeing.
Through a range of integrated therapies personalised to your own needs, we will help you reach a place where you no longer feel the need to become so attached to another person by learning how to have healthy relationships. Your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours will be challenged and you will delve deep into your past, your fears, your thoughts and your feelings. But please be assured that throughout the process you are fully supported and understood the whole way. Our aim is for you to leave with increased positivity, a fresh outlook and improved mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Codependency is treated in the same way as other addictions at Broadway Lodge with a mixture of both group and individual sessions.
The comprehensive therapeutic schedule includes:
In therapeutic treatment you will be living in the main Broadway Lodge house with up to 26 peers who will be a constant support to you, along with our professional team. Staying as a resident at Broadway Lodge allows you to remove yourself from your usual home environment and distractions. This provides you with the time and space to fully focus on yourself and your wellbeing and to gain a solid foundation to your recovery journey.
After treatment you will have unlimited access to our weekly aftercare groups which are free of charge. Aftercare is a valuable 3-hour group session attended by other former Broadway Lodge residents and led by a counsellor. Participating in Broadway Lodge aftercare sessions will help you to stay on track with your recovery, receive support for any challenges you’re facing and to keep a connection with Broadway Lodge. Sessions are held online (using video call) which means you can continue to get our support regardless of your location in the world.
In addition, we will encourage you to continue working through the 12 Steps, to find a sponsor and regularly attend Co-dependents Anonymous meetings. We can also recommend Al-Anon and Families Anonymous meetings. These are all supportive groups that will help you to stay on track with your recovery and build a support network with others who are also on their own recovery journey from codependency.
One to One Counselling:
Rather than inpatient therapeutic treatment at a centre like Broadway Lodge, you may consider outpatient one to one counselling sessions to begin with. We offer one to one private counselling for codependency and sessions are facilitated online, using Zoom video call. To find out more about booking in for one to one counselling with us, please click here.
There is some great self-help literature about codependency to get you started or to keep yourself on track with your recovery. We would recommend ‘Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself’ by Melody Beattie.
Co-dependents Anonymous UK is a fellowship of people who have all experienced codependency and are either in recovery or want to begin their recovery journey. It is a supportive group that can help you to feel less alone and we would encourage anyone looking to recover from codependency to go to Co-dependents Anonymous meetings. The Co-Dependents Anonymous UK website has a wealth of information you can explore and you can also search for upcoming meetings you may think about attending to get support and inspiration from others.
Choosing to seek help for codependency is the first step towards a life changing journey. We are here to give you all the information you need and answer the questions you have to make the road ahead feel less daunting. We know how it feels, we’ve been there.