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Would it be helpful to our clients if we were more aware of the possible need for early medical or neurological intervention?
Could we as psychotherapists and those of us in the helping professions be at risk of trying to get the client to fit into ‘our theory of thought’, thus causing us to overlook signs and symptoms that do not coincide with our belief systems.

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Co-dependency can be like a game – but it is people who are manipulated.Co-dependency can be like a game – but it is people who are manipulated.
So what’s going on with the client who cannot stay focussed on themself in the session but keeps referring to, or talking about, a particular someone else?

Or else there’s the client who readily discounts or dismisses their own feelings but, at the same time, is so acutely aware of the feelings of a particular other person.

There’s also the client who cannot say ‘No’ and is continuously feeling tired or resentful as they run around for other people.

These are the types of experiences therapists are encountering everyday in their practice.

However, from discussions with fellow therapists, it appears that many therapists don’t realise that such behaviours are indicative of the underlying dynamic of ‘co-dependency’ and that the condition is very pervasive. Nor do some therapists appreciate the enormous immediate benefit to the client of having this dependence identified and clarified for them.

In my experience, rapid and sustainable progress can be made in client ‘journeys' once co-dependency is identified, named and understood. However, from discussion with fellow therapists, it appears that even though the condition is actually very pervasive, it is not often recognised as such for the client.

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Co-dependents typically do not realise how dependent they are on their other ‘piece’.Co-dependents typically do not realise how dependent they are on their other ‘piece’.
The previous ‘‘thought snippet’’ suggest that the pervasiveness of co-dependency as an issue in dysfunctional relationships is not commonly recognised and named for the client. This is a huge loss because, with this clarification, clients can more readily comprehend what is happening and begin to understand how to free themselves. This ‘snippet’ seeks to address that.

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Co-dependency can leave a person living as only a shadow of their former self.Co-dependency can leave a person living as only a shadow of their former self.
The previous ‘‘thought snippets’ in this series suggests that typical client behaviours are highlighting the underlying condition of co-dependency.

This ‘‘thought snippet’’ considers co-dependency when it crosses from the realm of dysfunctionality into a full blown addiction (in my experience, this is more often than is commonly thought!). Naming and treating the co-dependency as an addiction brings huge benefits for the client as we will see below.

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Treating co-dependency as an addiction can help the co-dependent break free.Treating co-dependency as an addiction can help the co-dependent break free.
The previous ‘‘thought snippets’ in this series suggests that typical client behaviours are highlighting the underlying condition of co-dependency.

This ‘‘thought snippet’’ considers how to deal with co-dependency when it crosses from the realm of dysfunctionality into a full blown addiction (in my experience, this is more often than is commonly thought!). Following an addiction treatment programme provides the client with huge clarity about where their power actually lies and enables them to deal with relapse should it occur.

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Co-dependents and narcissists are drawn together in a game where only one of them ultimately benefits.Co-dependents and narcissists are drawn together in a game where only one of them ultimately benefits.
Previous ‘‘thought snippets’ looked at some client behaviours which caring professionals are dealing with everyday in their practice. My experience suggests that such behaviours are ‘spotlighting’ the underlying condition of co-dependency.

This ‘‘thought snippet’’ considers how co-dependents are drawn into dysfunctional relationships with a narcissist or someone who displays narcissistic behaviour. Caring professionals need to really understand this dynamic if they are to help their clients recover and free themselves from their bind of unhealthy and emotionally damaging relationships.

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When the co-dependent no longer participates in the narcissistic dance things changeWhen the co-dependent no longer participates in the narcissistic dance things change
Through this series of ‘thought snippets’, I am hoping to bring the issue of co-dependency centre stage with caring professionals. By being alert to its pervasiveness, they can offer their clients the huge benefit of early identification and, thereby, the prompt implementation of an effective recovery strategy.

This ‘thought snippet’ explores the typical characteristics of the co-dependent / narcissistic relationship. It also considers how co-dependents can survive their addictive relationships.

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When you break free from co-dependency and narcissistic relationships the world is yours!When you break free from co-dependency and narcissistic relationships the world is yours!
Through this series of ‘thought snippets’, I am hoping to bring the issue of co-dependency centre stage with caring professionals. By being alert to its pervasiveness, therapists can offer their clients the huge benefit of early identification and, thereby, the prompt implementation of an effective recovery strategy.

This ‘thought snippet’ finishes the series with the hope of recovery through therapy for current and future generations. It also provides a perspective on the realistic, although painful, prospect of relapse. Finally, it encourages therapists to consider their own personal experience and training in this area.

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