Codependency

Occasionally referred to as “relationship addiction”, codependency describes behaviors, thoughts and feelings that go beyond normal caretaking and people pleasing. While often thought of as a problem in romantic relationships, codependency can occur in many types of associations including friendship, family or work. Codependents often have low self-esteem and are disproportionately preoccupied with other people’s needs while placing a low priority on their own. People who are codependent sometimes have a strong fear of being alone or abandoned and a controlling desire to be needed. While they usually have the best of intentions, codependents take on the unhealthy and self-sacrificing role of a martyr. Codependent relationships can keep people from living their best lives. Codependency symptoms can worsen if left untreated, so it’s important to seek the help of a mental health professional.

Local experts in Codependency

Gary Alexander (he/him)

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

MFT, CADC III, NCC

Codependency can be defined as the tendency to put others needs before your own; accommodating to others to such a degree that you tend to discount or ignore your own feelings, desires and basic needs. In codependency our self-esteem depends largely on how well we please, take care of and/or solve problems for someone else (or many others). In a sense, then only really know yourself through your role with others. Moving towards greater balance between self and others is possible!

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Emalee Assenberg, MS, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Many of us were set up for codependency by our childhood dynamics and past trauma. We rely on others for a sense of worth and self approval. I am a relational therapist who specializes in helping track and change unhealthy, toxic, and limiting beliefs and patterns. I understand how trauma can affect intimacy and trust. I help people transform their relationship with self and others.

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Benita Munson

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC, CRC, CADC I

Are you co-dependent in your relationship? I can help you to identify the warning signs of a one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive relationship. Together we can rebuild your identity and self worth, weaving in self compassion and exploration of your family of origin.

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Marina Nelson, MC (she/her/hers)

Licensed Professional Counselor

Oregon LPC, Washington LMHC

I have extensive training in codependency and have facilitated family groups for people with family members in recovery as well as provided services to individuals on this topic.

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Helene Goode LPC, CADC I (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MS, CADC I

Is your world getting smaller? Do you have less time and energy for other meaningful relationships or hobbies? I will encourage and cheer you on as you redirect your life energy. We will review your priorities and values as well as examine how your choices support them. We will work on widening your circle of activities and friendships, focusing on self balance.

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Brad Creel (he/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

I have attended and facilitated three separate long-term codependent groups and meetings. I focus on male codependency and it's relationship to addictive behavior.

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Kir Rian (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

MA, MFA, LMHCA, LPC Intern

The imbalance within ourselves manifesting in codependency has to first be recognized, and then the roots of it explored. Issues of self esteem and anxiety and emotional neglect can be related, and codependent behavior affects not only ourselves and our own happiness, but also our interpersonal relationships and those around us. Often codependency is rooted in childhood, so therapeutic approaches usually involve looking at those relationships and behavior patterns, and boundaries, and control.

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Jeff Guenther (he/him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

Studying codependent relationships and personalities has always been the most interesting part of psychology to me. How people become attached in relationships and when it tips into an unhealthy or toxic attachment is what I specialize in. Much of my expertise come from studying relationships in graduate school where I obtained a masters in marriage and family therapy.

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Anne Emmett

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have successfully worked with many individuals who have historically focused more on others than themselves to their own detriment.

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Jon Fox

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

If you tend to regularly sacrifice your own needs in a relationship to meet your partners and feel resentful about this, you may be using a codependent strategy in your life. Over time, this can lead to depression, anger, anxiety, lack of self-esteem and sense of who you are. Your needs are important too. I like helping individuals and couples create more balanced and rewarding relationships.

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Kelley O'Gorman (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

MFT

I think we all have a tinge of codependency. The reason I work with is so often is many clients come from a background where codependency helped them survive. My goal is to break that habit & learn to love you.

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Stuart Malkin

Licensed Professional Counselor

MS, LPC

I work with clients to help them see how they contribute to co-dependent relationships, where they learned it, and support them to help break the cycle.

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Jenna Washburn (she / her)

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

MA: Mental Health Counseling - Specialization in Addictions

As a recovered codependent, I understand the struggles of codependency. And I also truly believe in our power to heal from it. Codependency can sometimes be hard to spot and a person can quickly fall into a codependent relationship without realizing. I offer a counseling program called Focused Therapy that helps to address issues of codependency along with skill-building techniques to cultivate awareness and eventually bring about healthy connection with others.

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Deborah Ranker (she/her)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

LCSW

Being a deeply caring and empathetic person can make it difficult to figure out how to maintain healthy boundaries in relationships and often leads to burnout and resentment. I enjoy helping people with high amounts of empathy figure out how to build confidence in themselves, maintain compassion for others, and develop the life-serving boundaries and skills needed to have thriving relationships.

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JESSICA VAN DER MERWE (She/Her)

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

LMHCA, LPC Intern

Often we find ourselves in relationships and situations where we feel used, resentful and hurt, waiting for the other person to notice our efforts and give us the love we need. It is in these relationships we often betray our own boundaries and needs in exchange for supporting the needs of others. This cycle can leave us exhausted and hopeless. I work with you to gain insight and form new patterns of relating to finally get your needs met.

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Colleen Burke-Sivers, LPC (She/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

Your kindness and generosity are positive traits, but they often get out of control to the point that no one ever seems to be considerate of you. Codependency becomes a problem when your needs are never getting met in relationships, friendships, or even with acquaintances. I will help you look at the roots of your codependent behaviors and find new ways of relating in the world.

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Sarah Blaszczak, M.A, LMFT (She, her, hers)

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

LMFT T1554

So many marginalized populations and folks who grow up with abuse or addiction in their households adapt by living life from the outside in-adjusting to what they have been told implicitly and explicitly to be for other people in order to access love and resource. This also happens to be a symptom of codependency, a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances. I can help you reorient to yourself.

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Lindsay Anderson

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

M.A., NCC, LPC-intern, MHCA

When you give so much of yourself to others, it can feel like you lose parts of yourself in the process You might find it difficult to set boundaries or voice your true inner feelings. Together, you can learn to recognize and honor your inner voice, trust your intuition, and integrate the different parts of yourself enabling you to live life more fully and authentic to who you are.

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Kimberly Dudley, LMHCA, NCC

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

Codependency is most easily identified in this way: one person carrying the majority of the weight and responsibility of the relationship in order to meet a deep need of approval and acceptance. It often leaves people feeling overwhelmed and undervalued.

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Jennifer Stratton (She/Her/Hers)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

Codependency at a basic level is a deeply personal misunderstanding of needs and boundaries with misguided attempts to connect, to receive love and to feel valued. Learning to understand oneself and one's needs can be a rich experience. Learning to develop a compassionate, loving core of self is a priority in this work. My training in Mindful Self Compassion has been a solid foundation of training for this type of work.

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Pearl Waldorf

Licensed Professional Counselor

Setting clear boundaries as adults has everything to do with how we were reflected and tended to as little ones. It's easy to mix ourselves up with others, if we were not valued for simply being our unique selves. We can't learn our own yeses and nos in a vacuum. What's exciting, is we can learn differentiation as an adult, with the guidance of a skilled attachment therapist.

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Meghan O'Connor (they/them/she/her)

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

MA, MFT

Codependency is simple by definition - It's a pattern of orienting yourself around others rather than being your own center of gravity. This creates what we call, symptoms - resentment, dissatisfaction, deadness, depression, overwhelm, bitterness, anxiety, obsession, and self-aggression. I help clients to strengthen their boundaries in relationship and cultivate more self-awareness.

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Korina Jochim

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

If you have noticed a pattern of codependency in your relationships (family, work, intimate partners) and/or have experienced harm from relationships with people who suffer from addictions or personality disorders, I can help you empower yourself to make more self-caring choices.

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Kari Carroll (she/them)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC, LMFT

We often get enmeshed with our partners and others in our lives. It's how humans survive socially. We are totally subconsciously playing out some past patterns when this happens. Let's gain some awareness, have compassion for these parts of yourself trying to get your needs met, and at your own pace help you learn to have independent thinking and feeling that is more grounded in self, which will allow for a healthier and more authentic connectivity between you and the other.

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Carewell Portland Carewell Portland/Julie Berman (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

Trouble drawing boundaries? Can't say no? It's time to put the self first and your relationships will change. Where did you learn that you are not important?

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Megan Miller (she/her)

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

LMFT, Holistic Coach

I'm finding this theme is showing up a lot in my practice these days! Codependency can mean a lot of different things- it could look like people-pleasing or perfectionistic behaviors, putting the needs of others before your own, having trouble separating your emotions from those of others, or constantly questioning yourself in your relationships. This also applies to individuals who have struggled in relationships that involved frequent manipulation and gaslighting.

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Jesse James

Professional Counselor

Certified Professional Counselor/ SUDP/Certified Grief Counselor Specialist

My expertise is that I used to be a life time ago a Co-dependent and know the whys and the hows of Co-dependency and what therapy works best for codependents. I utilize my background in CBT and my personal experiences to help guide you to being able to say no without feeling guilty and knowing its okay to set boundaries with loved ones.

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Jeremy McAllister (He/Him)

Licensed Professional Counselor

LPC

Codependency coincides with attachment trauma and ongoing struggles in intimate relationships. This shows up as automated reaction loops with partners and can often prove to be an unbreakable pattern in the absence of calm and regulated external intervention.

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Cherie Thompson (she/her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

It is difficult to watch a loved one suffer and we can end up self-sacrificing to care for them. We can find relief by learning to focus on what we can control and identifying what needs we have in the relationship. From here we can set clear boundaries and hold them leading us to relief from co-dependency.

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Jane Mayer

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

When one grows up in a family that is destabilized by the presence of alcoholism, traumatic loss, addiction, or insufficient parenting, we can adopt various strategies for relating to others that aren't healthy. These strategies leave us feeling as though we are sacrificing parts of ourselves to have love. I help people learn to relate healthily to themselves and others.

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Melinda Norman (She/Her)

Licensed Professional Counselor

Codependency has many roots which often stem from childhood abandonment or lack of development. We can work together on healing these traumas and creating new behavioral patterns which allow you to live independently of others.

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Pauline Picco

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have extensive education and experience helping clients who struggle with seeking esteem and love through things outside themselves, and who have tendencies toward controlling and enabling those in their lives who are alcoholics and addicts.

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Jules Allison (They/them)

Licensed Professional Counselor Intern

MA, LPC-Intern, CADC-R

Codependency is about putting the comfort of others over your needs due to extreme difficulty dealing with conflict, largely as a result of growing up with abusive or narcissistic families.

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Anthony Marchant

Licensed Professional Counselor

Extensive experience working with relationship dynamics and training in communication skills.

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Celine Redfield

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist

If you have difficulty with control issues, wanting things to be a certain way and needing to be perfect, you may struggle with codependency. I have worked and helped many clients to find freedom from this pattern. I helped them to feel more fulfilled in their lives by learning to concentrate on themselves instead of others.

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