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How To Transition From Codependency To Interdependency

Codependency can feel like you're constantly prioritising your partner's needs over your own, almost like an emotional one-way street. It's a term that was first used in the context of addiction, but it’s now recognised to occur in various relationships and essentially describes unhealthy and dysfunctional relationship dynamics. To some extent, individuals with codependency problems depend on others to validate their self-worth and self-esteem.

Many people, particularly women, find themselves in codependent relationships without initially realising it. This often stems from societal expectations and traditional roles, where they feel compelled to be the caregiver or the anchor that holds everything together. Childhood experiences and upbringing can significantly influence these patterns and arly relationships often mold our perception and approach to love and commitment later in life. This type of relationship dynamic is common in families with alcoholics, addicts, or those struggling with mental health issues. It can also stem from relational trauma and is sometimes considered a delayed stress reaction.

Women may often find themselves in a role of a caregiver or the stabilising force, which might lead to the overlooking of their own needs and desires. This might be evident in them prioritising their partner's needs, wants, or issues above their own, struggling to decline requests or to set boundaries, remaining in emotionally exhausting relationships, or bearing the burden of their partner's emotional well-being.

Recognising the Symptoms

Identifying codependency can be challenging, as its symptoms often mirror what many consider to be just caring or being deeply in love. However, there are key signs to look out for:

  • Difficulty making decisions without your partner’s input.

  • Low self-esteem, often looking for validation.

  • Fears of abandonment or an intense need for approval.

  • Neglecting your own needs or interests.

  • Constantly seeking to rescue or fix problems for your partner.

  • Feeling trapped in the relationship but fearing to leave.

Healing through Therapy

Acknowledging codependent tendencies is the first step toward healing. Various forms of therapy can provide effective pathways to recovery:

  1. Psychotherapy - This traditional talk therapy can help uncover the roots of codependent behaviours, often tracing them back to childhood patterns or past relationships. It provides a safe space to understand these dynamics, learn healthy boundaries, and develop stronger self-esteem.

  2. Somatic Trauma Therapy - Somatic experiencing helps individuals reconnect with their body's wisdom to move past trauma. For those whose codependency is rooted in past traumatic experiences, this form of therapy can be particularly effective, helping to address the physical manifestations of emotional pain and fostering a deeper connection with one’s self.

  3. Hypnotherapy - Hypnotherapy can be a powerful tool in addressing the subconscious beliefs that contribute to codependent behaviours. By accessing the subconscious mind, it can help to reframe self-limiting beliefs, enhance self-esteem, and encourage a sense of independence.

Embracing Your Journey

Overcoming codependency is a journey, not a destination. It requires patience, self-compassion, and often, a bit of help from professionals. Recognising the signs and seeking support is a courageous first step toward reclaiming your independence, well-being, and ultimately, the healthy, balanced relationships you deserve.


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