Taking Responsibility in a Codependent Relationship

You know the worst thing about living alone? When you misplace something, you have no one to blame but yourself. I was looking for my headphones the other day. I was frustrated that I couldn’t find a single pair and more frustrated I had no one to blame but me! That got me thinking about…

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The Crucial Role of Self-Care During the Stressful Holiday Season

The holiday season, with its twinkling lights, festive decorations, and joyful gatherings, often paints a picture of warmth and merriment. However, beneath the surface of this seemingly idyllic scene lies a reality that many experience—the stress and chaos that accompany the holidays. Amidst the hustle and bustle of shopping, planning, and socializing, it becomes imperative…

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Are You Helping or Enabling?

You are a caring and loving person. You have a deep-rooted desire to help and support your loved ones. However, paradoxically, sometimes helping can lead to unintended consequences that ultimately cause harm to the very people you intend to help. Then help becomes enabling. The Hazeldon foundation defines enabling as, “doing for a loved one…

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Boundary Setting – How Do I Say No and Mean It?

Saying “no” can sometimes be challenging and evoke feelings of guilt or discomfort. However, setting boundaries and learning to say “no” when necessary is essential for your well-being and personal growth and to have healthy relationships. In her book, Dare to Lead, Brene Brown lists boundary setting as one of the key elements for building…

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Are You Caught in a Drama Triangle?

When we continue to enable dysfunctional behavior, we fall prey to the Drama Triangle. Developed by Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UC, San Francisco Stephen Karman, the Drama Triangle consists of three roles, Victim, Rescuer, and Persecutor. While you might see yourself and your loved ones as a specific role, in truth, each person…

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Stop Repeating the Same Mistakes of Enabling Bad Behavior

Have you ever become frustrated because you find yourself in the same (or similar) predicament over and over with a loved one who will not change? How many times do you realize, often too late, that as careful as you thought you were being, you made choices that led you down the same old path…

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When Helping Hurts – Enabling the Addiction of Your Child

When I was a beginning therapist and working in community mental health, I witnessed an example of what happens when families fall victim to enabling the addiction of their children. One of our services to the community was to help complete the paperwork for involuntarily hospitalization for a loved one’s treatment. Two families came in…

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Codependency – When Is Enough Enough?

When we work with addiction we say that an addict won’t change until they “hit their bottom.” Waiting for this to happen can be maddening for their loved ones, especially painful for loved ones with codependency issues. As they watch the trouble that an addict creates for themselves and others, they think, “When is he/she…

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