The Myth of Codependency – Julie Wilson

Click on the link for this helpful piece.

The writer has a particular dislike for the word ‘co-dependency’, used in the culturally prevalent way as a term of abuse for self and/or other – and the accompanying inability to distinguish between destructive ways of behaving in relationship that arise from damage, and our deep need and want of each other, which is innate and enhancing…..As Julie puts it:-

‘What has been overlooked ….is that codependency is a fact of human life, not a pathology.’

She includes a lovely quotation from Stephen Mitchell:-

“Dependency is not a holdover from childhood; it is constitutive of desire for a real other person.” – Stephen Mitchell.  (Author of, “Can Love Last: The Fate of Romance Over Time”)

And she concludes with what our experience at this service suggests is an accurate observation:-

‘We have been taught to fear dependence on one another when it is really the INABILITY to depend on one another that often needs to be repaired in the majority of relationships.’

Feels like there is a lot here to expand upon – watch this space….

Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter


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2 Responses to The Myth of Codependency – Julie Wilson

  1. yes! and thank you so much! another thing I’ve thought so many times but not even attempted to articulate…so against the tide is the suggestion.

    • Yes….think I am beginning to develop some muscles now, from swimming against the current. Feeling inspired to write something on this theme myself. Love what she says about ‘not a pathology’ – such a powerful fear-driven cultural push inside and outside the therapy world to pathologise relationship… And such a shame, when it’s what we most need…important to voice other perspectives, which is one reason I like your blog so much. Lindsey

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