You are the most supportive, kindest, and most helpful person you know. And, you are loyal, dependable, and ready to offer a shoulder to cry on. You are organized, practical, and strategic, which is why everyone comes to you with their problems. Further, you have been praised and celebrated for these wonderful qualities you have, and that’s precisely how codependency gets you! It uses your positive qualities against you to keep you stuck in one-sided relationships.
Relationships shouldn’t be this hard! Relationships shouldn’t leave you feeling lost, hopeless, and drained. You shouldn’t have to feel like, “if I just do one more thing, it will finally get better, I will finally be happy in this relationship.”
Codependency is over-investing in relationships where it is one-sided. Further, codependency is always worrying about the other person. It is about putting their needs before yours. Ultimately, codependency is a relationship addiction.
Are you over-functioning in your relationships, meaning you do more than you are asked? Have you noticed that you doing more than your share? Do relationships leave you draining? Does it feel like you always give more than the others? Are you the “fixer”?
Ultimately, codependency is taking care of other people. It involves sacrificing your needs to try to meet the needs of others. You seek external validation instead of relying on your self-trust and self-validation. The focus is always outside of yourself. What you can do for others become “proof” of your worthiness. You think, “if I can just have the perfect relationship, then my life will be great. I will have everything I need and want, and I will be enough.”
Codependency can show up not just in couples‘ relationships but in other places too. It can be in family relationships with parents and siblings, social relationships ranging from best friends to neighbors, or in your workplace or academia. It doesn’t discriminate against age, social status, or ethnicity.
When you think of codependency, you might think, “I just have to learn to change my relationship with other people. I just have to learn to say no.” While this is true, and overcoming codependency requires you to have better and healthier boundaries with others, this is not where we are going to start!
At our Woodland Hills, CA-based therapy practice, the journey to overcoming codependency starts with YOU! It starts with you understanding yourself and improving your relationship with yourself. In treatment, you will learn to put yourself first. This will feel awkward, maybe even guilt-inducing. That’s because you are not used to it. Think about how in dangerous situations, you can’t help others with their oxygen masks until you put on your own. Similarly, in therapy, we are going to start with securing your self-love, self-acceptance, and self-worth before anything else.
In taking care of you, one of our goals will be to help you work through your feelings and identify your needs. You have spent years focusing and attending to other’s needs and wants. It’s possible that you have tried so hard to make sure everyone around you is happy that you don’t even remember the last time checked in with yourself. As you learn to actually feel your feelings, you will learn to hold them non-judgmentally and compassionately. You will learn the skills for self-advocacy and self-protection, too.
A major part of repairing and strengthening the relationship you have with yourself is working through the past. This means that you will process early life experiences that may be to blame for current behaviors. Codependency doesn’t happen overnight. We are shaped by our past and it is our job to understand it in order to reshape our futures.
If you grew up with your emotions being ignored or punished, it may have led to codependency. If the adults around you made their emotions the top priority and made you feel responsible to care for them, you learned to cope. By using people-pleasing skills and forming codependency to deal with your situations, you learned some bad habits. These types of unhealthy family environments wrongly taught you that your emotions didn’t matter or were worth attending to.
Maybe you learned to hide your needs and feelings in your childhood. And now, in adulthood, you find it hard to leave bad situations until they are completely unbearable. You fear that being honest or vulnerable will push people away. As a child, codependent behaviors can be necessary for survival. But, in adulthood, the behaviors are not as adaptive. Codependency prevents you from developing stable, safe, and loving relationships. While working with a therapist for codependency, you will learn healthy relationship skills. We will discuss secure attachment vs. codependency and supporting vs. rescuing others. Additionally, we will explore loving vs. toxic relationships.
Your therapy goals and outcome will always be tailored to your individual needs and situation. At our therapy practice in Los Angeles, CA your therapist for codependency will have some core outcomes to work towards.
First and foremost, our goal is to help you better understand what drives your codependency. You will ask yourself the hard questions, such as “What am I getting out of this? What is the pay off being the rescuer or being needed all the time?” This is because what you don’t know, you can’t change. There are many life events, life transitions, people, and situations that all played a role in your current situation. By uncovering the triggers to your codependency, you will gain insight, clarity, and awareness.
Another important goal of therapy for codependency is developing self-love and forgiveness. When we are healing from our past and make changes for the better, we are often disappointed in ourselves for the decisions we have made. You might quickly blame yourself and say, “Why did I let that go on for so long? How could I be so stupid or blind?” If you bring along self-loathing and self-blame, then this won’t be a real and sustainable change. A therapist for codependency is here to help you grow and change with self-compassion.
In therapy, you will address the unhealthy and disordered boundaries that have left you mentally and emotionally drained. People pleasing and codependency go hand in hand. So, you learn to set healthier boundaries with others. Overcoming codependency does not mean you let go of positive qualities about yourself. It also doesn’t mean you don’t get to be supportive or a be a good listener. Recovery from codependency does mean you learn to assert your needs and set those boundaries unapologetically.
The therapy process starts with a free 20-minute consultation. You will have the opportunity to elaborate on your current experiences that you wish to address with your therapist. Then, you will learn more about our approach to therapy and cost.
During the first 2-3 sessions, we will go through the intake process. During this, your therapist will gather all the necessary information to create a strong treatment plan for you. This comprehensive intake evaluation will help you and your therapist discuss the underlying factors that get in the way of reaching your fullest potential. This process is necessary to tailor a successful anxiety treatment plan for your individual needs.
Ongoing sessions are designed to deepen your relationship with yourself and others. The goal of therapy is not to remove all obstacles and guarantee no future mistakes. Instead, the goal is to give you the tools and insight to help you navigate what life throws your way. After therapy for codependency, you will have the peace and strength to go through life with more authentic, supportive, and safe relationships.
Our therapists use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which are both evidence-based treatments for codependency therapy. Each of these modalities has unique qualities and focus while complimentary for an effective outcome.
When you struggle with codependency, you also deal with negative and unhealthy self-talk. We utilize CBT for codependency treatment to help you uncover unhealthy, negative, or rigid thoughts, attitudes, and belief systems. Over the years, you may have come to develop unhealthy belief systems that say “I have to take care of everything and everyone,” “I need to help him/her,” “I need to fix this first, and then everything will get better.” The fundamental principle of CBT proposes that our thoughts affect our emotions, which in turn affect our behaviors.
In CBT, you will identify these underlying unhealthy belief systems that reinforced your codependent behaviors and patterns. Once we identify these unhealthy thought patterns, our goal will be to find ways to challenge and reframe them. We will also explore behavioral changes to support your new way of thinking, including but not limited to assertive communication, setting firm boundaries, ending relationships, saying no, making time for self-care.
MBSR teaches mindfulness and body awareness techniques. These skills help you better regulate and manage your emotions. Mindfulness will teach you ways to pause, observe and be non-judgmental of your inner experiences. By bringing awareness to the present moment, you can learn ways to be more accepting and grateful.
DBT successfully combines the principles of CBT and mindfulness to teach you better ways to regulate your emotions, set healthy boundaries, have strong communication skills, and tolerate stressful situations. This approach will introduce you to how opposite things can coexist, such as acceptance and change. While learning to accept things the way they are, you can work towards changing the aspect of yourself that is not helping you.
Codependency treatment is a fee-for-service program. Our practice accepts all major forms of payment. Please find more information about payment and insurance here.
Our therapists for codependency have a strong desire to make sure you maintain maximum privacy. And we want to provide you with the highest level of care possible without constraints from managed care. So, our therapists are out-of-network providers for all insurance panels. Therefore, we are not affiliated with any insurance panel. Many PPO plans may reimburse for anxiety treatment in full or in part. And unfortunately, HMO, Medi-Cal, and Medicare insurances do not reimburse, as they require that you see someone on their panel.
Our private practice counseling office is conveniently located at 20501 Ventura Blvd, Suite 395, Woodland Hills, CA 91364. We provide both in-person appointments and online sessions. Please be advised, you must be fully vaccinated for in-person appointments.
Although our practice is located in Los Angeles, we can work with anyone in the state of California using online therapy. This includes but is not limited to Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Tarzana, Encino, and further surrounding communities. Another option for codependency treatment is our online anxiety support group for women in their 20s and 30s.
Right now, codependency may be holding you back from living for yourself. With the help of a therapist, you can break free from people-pleasing and codependent behaviors. With support, you’ll build more peaceful and joyous relationships.
Contact us to start codependency therapy in-person or online at our counseling practice in the Los Angeles, CA area. After you reach out, one of our staff members will get back to you no later than 24 hours to schedule a free phone consultation.
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