6 Defining Characteristics of Codependency

6 Defining Symptoms of Codependency

  We use the term codependency rather loosely these days. It’s great that more people are familiar with codependency, but if it’s going to help us understand ourselves in a meaningful way, we need to be clear about the symptoms of codependency. In a nutshell, people who identify as codependent usually play the role of “rescuer” in a relationship with […]

Shouldn't I be over my painful childhood by now?

Shouldn’t I Be Over My Painful Childhood by Now?

  “Why is my childhood still affecting me? Shouldn’t I be over it by now?” Amy, aged 37, asked me at her first therapy session. “I feel like I’m complaining,” she said ashamedly. “I’m sure other people have bigger problems — real problems. I feel silly coming to therapy to talk about getting over painful childhood experiences from twenty years […]

Codependent Thinking: What it is and how to change it

Codependent Thinking: What It Is and How to Reframe It

What is codependent thinking? Codependency refers to an unhealthy relationship dynamic where one person is focused on taking care of, fixing, or controlling the other to the extent that he neglects his own needs. The relationship becomes enmeshed – there aren’t clear boundaries or a sense of being separate, unique, independent people. Codependency is built on low self-worth – feelings […]

How to create a self-love practice

Why You Need a Self-Love Practice (and How to Get Started)

What is self-love? There’s a lot of talk these days about self-love. It sounds great, but what does it actually mean? How do we love ourselves – and why does it matter? Self-love means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing. Self-love encompasses not only how you treat yourself but […]

How to Set Boundaries Without Being Mean

How to Set Boundaries Without Being Mean

Do you ever feel like it’s mean or selfish to set boundaries? Do you feel guilty — like you’re doing something wrong — when you set boundaries? If so, read on to learn how to set boundaries without being mean and without the guilt and icky feeling that your needs don’t matter. What are boundaries? Boundaries create physical and emotional […]

Let go of Good Girl Syndrome and people-pleasing #goodgirl #peoplepleasing #perfectionist #ACA

Why Being a “Good Girl” Isn’t Always a Good Thing

Let go of good girl syndrome, perfectionism, and people-pleasing and rediscover yourself! Be a good girl. Do as your told. Don’t talk back. Wait your turn. Don’t make trouble. Just sit here and be quiet. Smile and look happy. Don’t make your father angry. Where are your manners? How many times have you been told to be “good girl” or […]

Highly Sensitive People and Perfectionism #HSP #perfectionist

Highly Sensitive People and Perfectionism

Growing up as a highly sensitive person (HSP), I often felt flawed, inferior, and overwhelmed. I was told I was too sensitive and quiet, that I should speak up more, and make more friends. Like many HSPs, I was anxious at school because of the overstimulating noise, bright fluorescent lights, crowded hallways, and pressure to be like everyone else. I […]

We Repeat What We Don't Repair #dysfunctionalfamily #codependency #trauma #sanjose #counseling

We Repeat What We Don’t Repair

Do you seem to repeat the same dysfunctional relationship patterns – even though they leave you frustrated and hurt? Why do some people end up in one codependent relationship after another? Why does a woman with an emotionally distant mother repeat the same pattern with her own children? Why do so many adult children of alcoholics marry alcoholics? And why […]