Co-Dependency Definition and Treatment At Banbury Lodge

Your addiction has undoubtedly had a negative impact on your own life, but it is likely that the people you love have also been affected. In fact, some of your loved ones may now be suffering from a condition known as co-dependency. Thankfully, you and those you love can get the help needed to overcome here at Banbury Lodge. Our therapists have expertise and experience in treating co-dependency and are ready and willing to help you and your family members get your lives back on track.

What is Co-Dependency?

A co-dependent relationship is common between an addict and other members of his or her family. It exists when one person begins to put the needs of the other above those of him or herself. You may not have realised that your loved ones have been reacting to your illness by changing their own behaviour, but this is likely what has happened without anyone even being aware.

The natural reaction of your family members may have been to try to help you get better when they realised you were ill. However, as time went by, they may have started to alter their own behaviours in response to yours. This typically results in them developing their own dependency; but instead of being dependent on a chemical substance, they have become dependent on you instead.

Their lives have begun to revolve around yours, and in a bid to try to cope with your unpredictable life, they have begun changing the way they act and behave. This is what co-dependency is.

Are My Loved Ones Co-Dependent?

The family dynamic can alter dramatically when addiction becomes an issue. Subtle changes in your behaviour in the early days may not have been noticeable, but as your addiction progressed, the way in which your loved ones acted will have changed in response.

As your own life started to swing ever-more out of control, the lives of everyone around you were undoubtedly affected. Nevertheless, it is only usually with a closer inspection that the issue of co-dependency becomes apparent. Think about how your loved ones have been acting and whether they might be considered co-dependent and in need of help. The following questions might help to make your situation clearer:

  • Does your loved one spend most of his or her time worrying about you and what you are doing?
  • Does your loved one neglect his or her own wellbeing in favour of helping you?
  • Is your loved one constantly worrying about you and to the point of obsession?
  • Does your loved one find it difficult to say ‘no’ to you?
  • Does your loved one make excuses to others for your behaviour?
  • Does your loved one do things that he or she would rather not, just to please you?
  • Has your loved one begun withdrawing from social situations because of your illness?
  • Does your loved one blame his or her own self for your illness?

It is often only when you sit down to analyse your own situation and that of a loved one that you will realise the extent of the harm your addiction has caused. If you believe that someone you love has developed co-dependency, or if you are worried about yourself, please get in touch with us here at Banbury Lodge.

How Will Co-Dependency Affect My Family?

It is natural for your family members to want to help you when they realise you are in trouble. Parents, siblings, spouses, and children all tend to spring into action when they believe that they can help a loved one struggling with addiction.

There are many different forms that co-dependency can take but the one thing that is common is the fact that addiction tends to make a liar out of everyone. Family members often lie for their addicted loved ones, and this may be to hide their own embarrassment, guilt, or shame about the situation as well as to protect their addicted loved one.

The consequences of the addiction will be covered up and hidden from the outside world and the family unit will often close ranks to keep outsiders in the dark about what is really going on. This can be damaging to everyone involved because it can lead to feelings and emotions being suppressed. With nobody talking about what is going on within the family and with no action being taken the problems intensify and everyone becomes affected.

What often happens when co-dependency occurs within a family is that some members will unwittingly begin enabling the addict to continue with his or her addictive behaviour. By not addressing the issues head-on and by not holding the addict to account, the problem continues.

Well-meaning family members often make it easier for the addict to continue abusing mood-altering chemicals. They may believe they are helping by providing money or paying bills, for example, but what they are actually doing is allowing the addict to ignore his or her responsibilities.

Can You Help My Family to Overcome Co-Dependency?

As part of our treatment programme here at Banbury Lodge, we will work hard to involve your family members in your recovery. A part of our family recovery programme will be addressing any co-dependency issues within your family unit.

We know that addiction can have a massive impact on what were once healthy relationships, but without everyone getting involved in the recovery process, it may be difficult to get things back on track.

While our main focus is on helping you to get well again and to learn how to live a substance-free life, we understand that helping every member of your family to deal with underlying issues is an essential part of recovery for everyone.

Your family members will be invited to take part in various counselling sessions to help them deal with the issues that have caused the massive changes in their behaviour. These sessions may be on a one-to-one basis with your counsellor or in a group setting with you and other members of your family.

The aim of treating co-dependency is to identify negative thought processes and behaviours and to analyse how these behaviours are affecting your loved one’s health and happiness as well as those of other members of the family.

The goal of treatment for your co-dependent family members is to help them replace their maladaptive behaviours with more positive alternatives. With effective treatment, you and your family members can move on to a happier and healthier life together once your treatment programme comes to an end.

How Can We Avoid Co-Dependency in the Future?

When you return to independent sober living, it will be a challenging time for everyone. You will need to focus on your new substance-free life and how to maintain it; your family members will need to learn how to put themselves first to avoid becoming dependent on you and your life once more.

Breaking unhealthy patterns is a part of your rehabilitation programme and you will be taught various coping skills to ensure you avoid a return to these behaviours in the future. It is important that you and your family members work hard to maintain sobriety. Staying sober is the key to keeping your life on the right track.

It is also important to be aware of subtle changes in behaviour so that any hint of a return to old ways can be addressed as quickly as possible. At Banbury Lodge, our therapists can help you to recognise cues and triggers, which will help you to spot the signs of an impending relapse before it happens.

What Treatments Do You Use for Co-Dependency?

We have a range of treatments that we use in the treatment of co-dependency. Because it is a behavioural problem, we utilise talking therapies such as individual counselling, group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and dialectical behavioural therapy.

Our therapists will work closely with you and your family members to deal with any underlying issues that caused the addiction. We have a team of experts with experience in helping families make a positive transition from rehabilitation to independent sober life, and we want to help you too.

Please contact us today for more information about how we can help you and a co-dependent loved one to overcome your addiction once and for all.

close help
Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0808 163 9632
CQC Report
Corona Virus SymbolUKAT Group centres will continue to follow health and safety precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our clinics.