The best sources of codependency support include exploration of and education about the causes of dysfunctional relationships and codependent behavior. There is an abundance of support available for people seeking codependency help. Codependent counseling, online and offline support groups and self-help resources are all great tools for individuals who are interested in changing codependent behavior.
Many therapists specialize in codependency counseling. A professional counselor is trained to help the individual identify destructive cognitive and behavioral patterns that facilitate codependency. Counseling might be the most efficient source of codependency support, but it is often the most expensive. People on a budget can take advantage of more than one source of codependency support to cut the cost of counseling and expedite the recovery process.
Online codependency support groups facilitate location-independent recovery. These support groups can be found by a simple Internet search. Members are encouraged to reach out to each other via forums and chat rooms. Information about codependency is shared, as are individual experiences and questions about the recovery process.
Twelve-step support groups such as Codependents Anonymous (CoDA) and Al-Anon/Alateen can be great sources of codependency support. CoDA and Al-Anon/Alateen are off-shoot support groups from the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program. The primary reason these support groups were founded was to help codependent friends and family of alcoholics and drug addicts. CoDA and Al-Anon/Alateen are not limited to addiction-related codependency. Anyone seeking codependency support is welcome.
Self-help literature is widely available as a source for codependency support. Topics range from general information on codependency, such as causes and symptoms, to recovery tools such as setting boundaries and improving self-esteem. Self-help books are most effective when used in addition to counseling or support groups.
Talking and journaling are great, free sources of codependency support. Specifically, talking to supportive friends and family about the recovery process can help a person heal and change codependent behavior. Journaling is a secure and private method of addressing codependent behavior and relationships. Keeping a journal can help the individual reconnect with himself or herself and establish a more conscious and respectful relationship to his or her needs and preferences.
Codependency develops as a survival mechanism for children from dysfunctional families. As the children grow into codependent adults, they seek out relationships that benefit from the destructive behaviors learned in childhood. Individuals recovering from codependency often find it to be a very painful process, and it is important that they have plenty of support.