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How to Heal From Codependency

by | Jan 11, 2021 | RELATIONSHIPS, TRAUMA

A woman learning how to heal from codependency.

Living in a codependent relationship of any kind makes life imbalanced. Whether you’re codependent with another individual or you have an addiction issue, it’s tough to unwind the net that the comfort of dependency has created, but in this article, you will learn some ideas on how to heal from codependency, addressing both relationships with other people and dependent relationships to drugs or alcohol.

Hopefully, you can use the information below to inform your path toward healing.

How to Heal from Codependency

Codependency in relationships can occur in a number of ways, for a number of reasons. Most of us just know vaguely what it looks like in others.

We see two individuals who can’t do much without each other, have some toxic attitudes toward the other person and seem to find supreme worth in the other, whether that’s expressed through admiration or a desperate need for validation.

A codependent relationship is one that might appear to be very loving as well. Some of the traits of codependency mirror those of healthy relationships, except that the source of these behaviors comes from insecurities instead of care and affection.

When it happens to us, though, codependency might not feel like it looks. It might not feel like anything is wrong from your point of view, because there are so many ways to justify toxic behavior from a partner.

Maybe you have suffered abuse from your partner but believe that they can still change. Codependency is riddled with childhood and personal imbalances that play their way into our adult relationships.

But what is the source of these imbalances and how can we start to form them into healthier personality traits?

Identifying the Source

Moving on with your life after codependency requires that you address the issues that contributed to it in the first place. If you don’t start to untie those knots, there’s no telling whether or not you’ll fall right back into the same situations.

A dependency on drugs or individuals tends to stem from a perceived lack of something from childhood or dysfunction in your family system. It could also stem from a psychic imbalance caused by trauma or mental health concerns.

In a lot of cases, these issues stem from a person’s relationships with their parents or family members. We seek out what we didn’t get from our parents in our adult partners. Additionally, we seek to repair the damages in our early childhood through behaviors that worked then.

Recreating Trauma

For example, a child of divorce might be a great mediator. Their powers of balancing the scales might have helped their parents stay amicable toward one another. That said, the divorce might have left scars too deep and ugly to consciously acknowledge.

That individual might date toxic people in hopes that they can change or repair them. They’ll use the same tools to smooth over issues and get back to a normal state, one which they’d like to have had in childhood.

Even though this relationship partner is toxic and provides no comfort, the individual will strive to unconsciously fix their parents’ struggle through the partnership with a toxic individual.

When we’re trying to accomplish these impossible subconscious goals, we can become very permissive. An insult here, emotional abuse or physical assault there, maybe even some isolation from friends and family to boot. These things don’t strike us as awful red flags.

The example above is just one situation that’s common. There’s no limit to the nuances of childhood trauma and psychological imbalances that lead us to allow toxic relationships.

We simply need to acknowledge that there are reasons for the way that we handle relationships, and those patterns won’t change unless we get the help we need to change them.

Counseling and Therapeutic Practices on How To Heal From Codependency

Understand that how to heal from codependency varies from person to person. The road to recovery, in this case, is to dig down and work with others to identify the sources of your maladaptive behavior.

We should all strive to find love and understand what a healthy relationship is. It’s impossible to do this if we’re not in positions within ourselves to seek and accept the better parts of human relationships.

To find the better part of ourselves, we sometimes need a critical eye listening to our struggles to point out the things that we can’t allow ourselves to see. That means counseling of some kind.

There are different forms of counseling, and not all methods work for everyone. The fact is, though, that a professional who is trained in trauma and childhood development issues will absolutely have some insight that could send you in a different direction.

We tend not to see our early experiences as ones that could affect us the way they do. This is partly because we repress those tough experiences in addition to the fact that many of us aren’t aware that our adult relationships tend to mirror our childhood ones.

Additionally, there may be some traumas lingering in your mind that are dictating your relationship choices. Trauma is complex and needs to be handled with care.

If your traumas are causing you to freeze, suffer, and strain your relationships, there are a number of paths you can take to recovery. Counseling can absolutely help in identifying and fleshing out issues.

One thing to keep in mind is that trauma tends to linger in the body. A trauma response will almost always manifest in bodily fear and discomfort. One excellent way to address that issue is through trama-sensitive yoga.

Consider taking a look at the Revive & Thrive program to address your trauma and see if it can be treated through yoga.

Need More Mental & Spiritual Insight?

Figuring out how to heal from codependency can be a long, difficult process. We’re here to help you work through it, though. It’s always best to have comforting resources to guide you along your way.

Explore our site for more ideas and tips on how to improve your relationships, mind, and sense of wellbeing.

Modern Intimacy is a group therapy practice, founded by renowned Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri. This inclusive blog is designed to provide a wealth of information and resources for mental health, relationships, and sexuality. Subscribe today to get the latest information from our expert contributors from all around the world.


Author Bio

Dr. Kate Balestrieri is a Licensed Psychologist (CA, FL, IL + NY), Certified Sex Therapist, Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, and PACT III trained Couples Therapist. She is the Founder of Modern Intimacy. Follow her on TikTok and IG @drkatebalestrieri and the Modern Intimacy team on IG @themodernintimacy.



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