Accepting online therapy clients from the Orchard Park/Buffalo area and throughout New York State. In person therapy available in Rochester, NY.

Codependency (Anxious Attachment) Therapy​

Is Codependency Or An Anxious Attachment Style Controlling Your Life?

Do you lose yourself in relationships? Have a hard time setting boundaries and limits with people in your life? Struggle with abandonment issues? Do you take responsibility for the choices of your loved ones?

Codependency is about over-functioning in someone else’s life but under-functioning in your own. In the codependent relationship, one person is doing the bulk of the caring, and often ends up losing themselves in the process. Conversely, in a healthy relationship, the give-and-take is relatively balanced and equal.

Codependent individuals rely heavily on others to define themselves and their worth. This reliance often leads to feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem. Those with codependent tendencies tend to avoid personal growth and independence. This is because it makes them vulnerable to abandonment. Further, they may become overly dependent on someone else to make them feel safe and secure, such as a spouse, family member, friend, therapist, or religious leader.

Codependent relationships can exist in a range of circumstances but are common among families where stress or dysfunction — such as substance abuse disorders or trauma — are present.

Fortunately, I am a therapist who specializes in treating codependency. With my experience, understanding, compassion, and knowledge, we can work together to help you feel better and more in control of your life.

Why Do People Get Into Codependent Relationships? 

To understand how codependent relationships form, it’s important to know the characteristics of people who are predisposed to getting into them. Codependent tendencies often trace back to childhood. This is when we start to develop patterns in how we connect with people, or what psychologists call “attachment styles”. Attachment styles are developed during childhood but can have a huge impact and influence on the ways we relate to others as adults.

Identifying your attachment style can make you more aware of how you behave in relationships. It can help you address unhealthy codependent patterns of behavior. Part of determining how to stop codependency is recognizing these patterns in your life. And when you’re more conscious of how you behave, it will be easier for you to change. Finding your attachment style can also help you identify triggers for codependent behavior.

There are three types of attachment styles that have been researched:

  • Secure (healthy)
  • Anxious (unhealthy)
  • Avoidant (unhealthy)

Anxious attachment styles are frequently linked to codependency. They are characterized by a concern that others will not reciprocate one’s desire for intimacy. Those who are anxiously attached may have not had their core needs met in childhood. This is generally caused when a child learns that their caregiver or parent is unreliable and the parent does not consistently provide responsive care towards their needs. They may have even been abandoned by a parent. And as a result, they can be clingy, afraid of abandonment (even when there is no real threat), and preoccupied with thoughts of their partner.

The Anxiously Attached In Relationships 

You have a strong desire for closeness and are able to experience intimacy. However, to maintain a positive connection, you give up your needs to please and accommodate your partner. And because you don’t get your needs met, you become unhappy and resentful. You’re preoccupied with the relationship and highly attuned to your partner, worrying that he or she wants less closeness. Further, you often take things personally with a negative twist. You engage in catastrophic thinking. And you are primed to be hyperresponsive to stressful situations.

Additionally, to alleviate your anxiety, you may play games or manipulate your partner to get attention and reassurance by withdrawing, acting out emotionally, not returning calls, provoking jealousy, or by threatening to leave. You may also become jealous of his or her attention to others and call or text frequently, even when asked not to.

Codependency Treatment Offers You The Support And Guidance You Need To Regain Control Of Your Life

Talk therapy can provide a safe and compassionate space where you can understand your needs at more depth. An opportunity to think about how you respond to others and why you may at times value the needs of others above your own. In our sessions, you and I will explore the roots of your codependent behaviors and find new ways of relating in the world.  We will work together to help you build healthier relationships and develop a secure attachment style. Additionally, you will learn how to stop seeking external validation and begin loving your authentic self. You have always been worthy of being seen and being heard.

Become A More Confident And Empowered Version of You

Getting treatment for codependency can help you develop healthier, more balanced relationships. If you're ready to break free from the chains of codependency and/or an anxious attachment style, I would be honored to help you find healing and change.

To get started, you can email me, use the contact form or call (585) 615-6985 for a free, 15-20 minute phone consultation.