Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes from, How It Sabotages Our Lives

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Product Description

A brilliant new guide to understanding the origins of codependence and the path to recovery by a nationally recognized authority on dependency and addiction.

In this fresh new look at codependence, Pia Mellody traces the origins of this illness back to childhood, describing a whole range of emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and sexual abuses. Because of these earlier experiences, codependent adults often lack the skills necessary to lead mature lives and have satisfying relationships.

Recovery from codependence comes from clearing up the toxic feelings left over from childhood and learning to reparent oneself by intervening on the adult symptoms of codependence. Central to Mellody's concept is the idea of the "precious child" that needs healing within each adult. She creates a framework for identifying codependent behavior and describes an effective approach to recovery that includes both therapy and self-help processes. Designed to be used with her new workbook for codependents, Breaking Free, this is a powerful tool for understanding the nature of codependence.

Customer Reviews:

  • I'm finally understanding quirks about myself
    I sought counseling for depression earlier this year, and this book was recommended to me several times by my social worker. He urged me to "take it with a grain of salt," as Ms. Mellody is very much against codependency, while my counselor does not believe that all aspects of it in all cases are all bad. Until recently, I was hesitant to do any more self-exploration than I was already doing on an almost-daily basis, but since I have started to feel better, I decided to look into this codependency theory. I am only 50 or so pages into the book, but I'm finding it difficult to put down because it seems to describe me to a T in some ways that I never thought anyone else would understand. All my life I have found most of my self-satisfaction only after ensuring that I am pleasing others. When my husband and twin sister kept telling me last year that I never seemed happy (but I never felt truly unhappy), that's when I decided I needed to make a significant change in the way I was living my life. Basing your self-worth on what Ms. Mellody refers to as "others-esteem" (as opposed to self-esteem) is a vicious, exhausting circle. I think I intuitively figured this out over the last few months on my own with the help of my counselor, but it really makes sense hearing Ms. Mellody explain it, because she has been there, so I can identify with her explanations MUCH better than those provided by someone who doesn't understand what it's like to have grown up this way. I hope to convince my husband to read portions of this book, because I think it will help him to realize that my struggles are real and not so unusual after all.

    The only downside I have found so far is that nearly all of Ms. Mellody's examples are based on childhood experiences, and so she gives a lot of advice regarding functional parenting. While I would like to give a copy of this book to my sister, mother, and father (because I think my whole family suffers to some degree from this "disease") I am hoping that later on in the book, she addresses codependency in marriages, friendships, and even co-worker relationships, because that's where I seem to have the most problems at this stage in my life.

    Overall, a very valuable resource for those of us who "aim to please" but can't seem to find lasting joy for ourselves....more info

  • This book is for everyone
    This book was given to me from a friend. It was one of the best books someone could give me as a gift. So I have done the same by giving this book to friends and family. Everyone I have given this book has been touched personally. Everyone could related to the book one way or another. Pia, thank you for writing a great education book....more info
  • Thank you
    One could be extravagant about the grandior of this book. But it is simply a well written book that could change your life. It is simple and Truthful. I will open your eyes and hopefully your life to how much better it could be....more info
  • If you must understand codependency this is the book.
    I started having terrible problems with my wife, she practically shut me out of her life. She went to a therapist and was diagnosed to be codependent. Reading this book, although it's mostly intended for the codependent, helped me understand what she was going through and what she needed to recover. It has been the most painfull and heartbreaking experience in my life, but this book made me see that there is recovery for the codependent. Terribly painfull for her and for me. A long, long, long road ahead, but it whorth every step. Very informative, detailed and well written. A must if you or your spouse are going through this....more info
  • this cassette is awesome.
    this cassette will accelerate your healing. do not listen to it in the car at first because reality may scare you into a ditch. after a while leave the cassette in the car tape player and do not take it out....more info
  • How did codependence become such a catch all label?
    How did codependence become such a catch all phrase? I got this book to get a better understanding of what codependence is. However this book is not about codependence. It is a book about the effects of growing up in a dysfunctional family system. If it didn't keep trying to lump everything under the codependent label I would have no problem with the book.

    Get Codependent No More instead. It is a much better book. ...more info
  • Don't waste your time on this one
    All this book does is describe symtoms and bash parents. If you think you are codependent, there are many other excellent books on codependency which will help you with your problem....more info
  • I do not understand so much in English. Sorry.
    I am from Mexico, I speak spanish and I like to have the book "facing codependence" in spanish. Could you help me? I like to get the cassettes also. Thank you. Maybe the book is in spanish, how can I get it here, I have been looking for it but I can not find it. Please, help me! Is urgent....more info
  • Very helpful book
    I found this book extremely helpful in terms of exactly coming face to face with the destructive patterns of codependence, that make one's life painful. Its descriptions are, in my opinion, very true. I recommend this book, as well as the workbook "Breaking Free", to anyone who is dealing with codependence....more info
  • I relate to the author
    Pia Mellody writes a wonderful book. She uses her own experiences and daily trials to help you realize that you may or may not be co-dependent. She helps you view everyday life from a different perspective that can help you grow. Very helpful once my counselor suggested that I may be co-dependent, I am, and I can learn a new life for myself....more info
  • Best Book Describing CoDependency
    I couldn't put this book down after reading the first 5 pages. It described my experience so vividly. I was shocked and scared.

    This book describes why and how codependents come about. It describes the causes as well as the symptoms. Majority of it has to do with our childhood experience, especially with the caregivers.

    Unlike one reviewer, I do not think this book "bashes" the parents. Parents naturally account for most responsibilities when we were children. After we learned about these, we have to nurture the gratitute and know that our parents did the best they knew.

    The book offers excellent coverage among all of the causes, symtoms, and some recovery strategies.

    For more information on recovery, one should read Pia's newest book "Intimacy Factor" for more information, and "Breaking Free" for step by step workbook. Attending local CoDependency Anonymous (CoDA) meetings also helped me, but not as much as Pia's books.

    I've read all three of Pia's books. I am so grateful Pia would spend the time and energy to write these books. They helped me tremandeously. I highly recommend Pia's books....more info

  • Very good!
    This is a very good book explaining the root of codependence and the problems associated with it. It is very useful for people experiencing high levels of codependence. Perhaps a very painful eye-opener for those who are ready to face this type of awareness (if we are not ready, we can just deny it). However, I think that this book does not emphasize enough that codependence occurs in varying degrees. The best book that eloquently explains this as well as the process of becoming codependent and how to release ourselves from it is "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" by Toru Sato. It is an incredibly well-written book and should be read by every adult in the world!...more info
  • Discovering Your Upbringing
    This is a fantastic book to discover your upbringing between 0-17 years of age. If you were abused/neglected/confused in anyway of your upbringing - this will shed light on why you may act in the ways you do today - as an adult. I surpressed many ugly details of my childhood and totally related to why I hid my true feelings as I grew older....more info
  • A simple, unflinching introduction to a challenge for many
    Some things said simply are more powerful thanks to their simplicity. This book provides a forceful, unflinching description of how people who are raised in a dysfunctional or abusive environment often sabotage and cripple their lives. The structure of the book is straightforward. The situations Mellody discusses are often sound sadly ordinary rather than extraordinary. But the resulting emotional resonance of this book is undeniable.

    Mellody methodically dissects the disorder she calls codependency. She first explains how when working with addicted individuals as a nurse in a recovery center in Arizona she saw a repeated pattern of dysfunctional behavior in individuals and their families that went beyond the addictions for which the individuals were being treated. Her work there and her own personal development led to the conclusions in this book. (One of the wonderful aspects of the book is that when Mellody talks about codependents and their behavior) she does not speak condescendingly about "those codependents", but rather uses examples that begin with "I" or "us." This creates a powerful intimacy.

    There are four main sections to the book. The first section details what she sees as the core symptoms of codependency: difficulty experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem, difficulty setting functional boundaries, difficulty owning and expressing one's own reality, difficulty taking care of one's adult needs and wants, and difficulty behaving moderately. The second section details how dysfunctional family can push a child (whom Mellody describes as inherently valuable, vulnerable, imperfect, dependent, and immature) into codependency. The third section describes the many kinds of abuse (most of which are not obviously traumatizing on first review) that can push an individual, particularly a child toward codependency. And the last section provides a very preliminary road map to healing codependency: the first step she argues is an awareness of one's codependent state, and second step is a desire to change.

    The book addresses well struggles that are an issue for many/most people. It touches on feelings that make books like "The Prince of Tides" and Alice Miller's "The Drama of the Gifted Child" resonant for so many. Here the presentation of more clinical, but not necessarily any less moving. I have two main complaints with the book. First, I don't think the term "codependent" does justice to the broad variety of symptoms that Mellody covers. In fact, I think the title of book alone might dissuade people who otherwise benefit from reading the book. I don't have a wonderful alternative, but I think a title like "Facing Dysfunctional Behavior" or "Facing Self-sabotaging Behavior" would be more accurate. Second, as in many of the twelve-step programs, Mellody consider a "Higher Power" an element in addressing codependent behavior. In reading the book I saw no reason to bring in this concept, and doing so might limit the applicability of these insight to those who are so predisposed. A good, and surprisingly powerful, little powerful book....more info

  • Read At Your Own Risk!
    Read this book/listen to this tape at your own risk~Pia Mellody has written a book that WILL NOT allow you to continue to live in the comfortable wallow of your own misery. Easy listening/reading? No. Ms. Mellody asks hard questions, demands honesty, and shows you the true face of the person who looks back at you from the mirror-your own self. You cannot read this book or listen to the tape and then ignore the message. Mellody's words stick with you like sidewalk gum on the heel of your shoe. You gotta sit down, shut up, and pay attention to what she has to say, or suffer the uncomfortable consequences of knowing that you have chosen to turn away from the truth. If you put Ms. Mellody's philosophies into action in your own life, you WILL find the freedom to live with joy. You WILL find the path to real maturity. You WILL learn to take responsibility for yourself and your actions...and you will learn to let others take responsibility for themselves. There are hundreds of self-help books available...save your money to buy this one, and do what Pia Mellody tells you to do. It works....more info
  • A pragmatic tool for facing codependence.
    Easy to read and easy to understand, this book (and it's workbook, "Breaking Free") helped me more than four years of therapy. I've recommended it to many of my loved ones and friends. Worth buying and keeping. A bible of recovery....more info
  • It makes sense, it is easy to read, and it helps.
    If a therapist says "Maybe your Codependent", then you need to read this book. It explains codependecy in simple terms and gives lots of examples of codependency behavoir and feelings. If nothing else, it is a great book to read if you are a parent trying to raise children in a healthy , functional home. This book has done wonders for me!...more info
  • Facing Codependence. What it is, Where it Comes From, How
    This was an outstanding book for codependents. It was very informative and realistic. I felt like flying to Wickenburg AZ to thank Pia Mellody herself for the tremendous help she has been to me through her book. She helps you deal with everyday situations in a productive way... instead of chaotic.. It was easy to understand and easy to apply... thank you, Pia, you are a godsend to me and my family......more info
  • What a Revelation !!!
    After struggling 16 years in marriage, and in countless other areas, I read this book as part of a college course I took "Shedding Shame/Gaining Grace." I never knew why I did the things I did, and why I couldn't stop...This clearly and succintly revealed what I was doing and the reasons behind it. I now have a clear path of healing and restoration, and hopefully it will bring our marriage back into focus......more info
  • I heartily endorse this book!!
    It helped me undersatand the origins of my dysfunction and it wasn't my alcoholic spouse!...more info


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