Start Here to Learn About
If this is your first time here, welcome!
This page is a great place to start if you:
- Aren’t sure what codependency is and want to know more.
- Think you’re codependent and want to know for sure.
- Know you’re codependent and are looking for support and resources to change.
- Are looking for information to help a friend or loved one struggling with codependency.
Come in and stay for a while (or bookmark this page so you can come back later). Below you’ll find my best resources for understanding and overcoming codependency.
Let’s get acquainted
I’m Sharon Martin, a licensed psychotherapist and author specializing in codependency, people-pleasing, and perfectionism.
I created this website to share resources and support with others who struggle with self-criticism, feeling inadequate, setting boundaries, and other codependent traits.
These are issues that I’ve worked hard to overcome myself–and I’ve helped many clients do the same.
I hope the information you find here supports your journey toward emotional health and fulfilling relationships.
You can read more about me here.
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of codependency
Codependency can be a confusing term. It was originally used to describe how wives of alcoholics were negatively affected by their husbands’ drinking. Their lives revolved around their spouse’s addiction and they engaged in behaviors like people-pleasing and enabling to try to feel safe and in control.
Now we know that codependency exists in all kinds of relationships (parent-child, friends, romantic relationships) and often doesn’t involve addiction at all.
What codependents have in common is that we focus on other people and their problems, often wanting to fix or help them. We feel compelled to intervene. We worry incessantly. We put so much of our hearts, minds, and energy into others that we neglect ourselves. We deny our needs or don’t stand up for ourselves. We often grow resentful and feel unappreciated. We become depleted because we don’t prioritize self-care and have one-sided relationships where we give but don’t receive.
Codependency is rooted in a lack of self-worth. Caretaking and helping give us a sense of purpose; we feel needed and worthwhile when focusing on others. Most of us started caretaking during childhood.
We fear abandonment and rejection, which would prove that we truly are inadequate. And although we’re smart, capable people, we often stay in unfulfilling or abusive relationships because on some level we don’t think we deserve better and we don’t know how to let go of our need to fix and control others.
Read more about codependency
- Free videos about many aspects of codependency are available on my YouTube channel.
Join my newsletter
I create new content regularly, so the best way to stay up-to-date is to subscribe to my email list.
When you do that, you’ll also get access to my private resource library that has over 30 free tools, articles, meditations, worksheets, and more!
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Therapy & Support
Therapy and support are important parts of codependency recovery for most people.
- Therapy. There are a number of ways to find a therapist. You can use an online directory such as PsychologyToday.com, TherapyDen.com, or TraumaTherapistNetwork.com. You can also conduct your own search online. However, it’s important to note that U.S. therapists are licensed independently by each state. So, you need to find a therapist who is licensed to practice in the state where you reside (even if you are using telehealth). You can also ask your physician, clergy, or a trusted friend for a referral. If you intend to use health insurance to pay for therapy, you can also locate a provider through your insurance plan directory (ask the person responsible for benefits in your HR department for assistance, if needed). For low cost counseling, try Open Path Collective or look for a non-profit counseling center in your area.
- Support groups. Many 12-step groups are appropriate for people struggling with codependency. They include Codependent’s Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families, and Al-Anon. 12-step meetings are free and available in many locations, including online and telephone meetings.