Unraveling Codependency: A Comprehensive Guide to Breaking Free

Unraveling Codependency: A Comprehensive Guide to Breaking Free

Codependency is a multifaceted and often misunderstood concept that can have a profound impact on your personal and professional life. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide to understanding codependency, unraveling its complexities, and breaking free from its grip. In our journey at iMentalHealth counselling Services in St. Albert, Alberta, we’ve seen firsthand how codependency can affect individuals and relationships, and we’re here to help.

Understanding Codependency

Codependency is a behavior that manifests in a relationship and can be seen when one person enables another person’s addiction, poor Mental Health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. It’s often rooted in childhood experiences and is typically passed down from generation to generation. This pattern can lead to a cycle of resentment, anger, and disappointment, affecting not only the individual but also their relationships.  Codependent partners are often the givers and helpers in the relationship so it doesnt look all that bad; however, it is often rooted in a place of insecurity within them selves from bad relationships in the past.

Recognizing codependency can be challenging as it often masks itself in various symptoms such as low self-esteem, people-pleasing behaviors, poor boundaries, reactivity, caretaking, control, dysfunctional communication, obsessions, dependency, denial, problems with intimacy, and painful emotions. These symptoms can have serious effects on an individual’s mental health, leading to conditions such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

The Cycle of Codependency

Codependency often becomes a cycle, with the codependent person continually seeking approval and validation from the person they’re dependent on. This cycle is often perpetuated by denial, with the codependent person refusing to acknowledge the problem. This denial can further exacerbate mental health issues, leading to conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Breaking Free from Codependency: Why It’s Necessary

Breaking free from codependency is crucial for your mental health and overall well-being. Overcoming codependency can lead to improved self-esteem, healthier relationships, and a greater sense of self-worth. If not addressed, codependency can lead to serious mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it’s essential to seek help and start the journey towards recovery.

Comprehensive Codependency Guide: Understanding the Journey to Recovery

Recovery from codependency often involves several stages, including denial, awareness, acceptance, and recovery. Self-awareness and acceptance are crucial in the recovery process, as they allow you to recognize your codependent behaviors and accept your need for change. Setting boundaries and practicing self-care are also essential in the recovery process, helping you to prioritize your own needs and well-being.

How to Unravel Codependency: Practical Steps

Unraveling codependency involves identifying and acknowledging your codependent behaviors, seeking professional help, building a support network, and developing healthy coping mechanisms. Professional help, such as therapy and counseling, can provide you with the tools and strategies you need to overcome codependency. Building a support network of friends, family, and support groups can also provide you with the encouragement and support you need during your recovery journey.

Codependency Unraveling Strategies: Tools and Techniques

Various strategies can aid in overcoming codependency. Cognitive-behavioral strategies can help you to change your thought patterns and behaviors, while mindfulness and meditation techniques can help you to stay present and focused. Assertiveness training can help you to express your needs and boundaries effectively, and self-compassion exercises can help you to treat yourself with kindness and understanding.

Overcoming Codependency: Maintaining Progress

Recognizing and celebrating your progress is an important part of the recovery process. It’s also important to be prepared for setbacks and relapses, and to develop resilience and self-efficacy to help you get back on track. Continuing to practice self-care and boundary setting can also help you to maintain your progress and prevent relapse.

Effective Ways to Break Free from Codependency: Tips and Advice

Managing triggers, maintaining healthy relationships, and focusing on self-improvement and personal growth can all help you to break free from codependency. It’s also important to seek help when you need it and to be patient with yourself during your recovery journey.

Codependency Recovery Guide: Resources for Further Help

There are many resources available to help you on your recovery journey, including books, online resources, support groups, and counseling services. At iMentalHealth Counselling Services, we offer a range of psychological services including individual counselling, couples counselling, and free counselling for those in need. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it, and remember that recovery is a journey, not a destination.


Unraveling codependency can be a challenging but rewarding journey. With understanding, patience, and the right tools and strategies, you can break free from codependency and live a healthier, happier life. Remember, you’re not alone in your journey. There are many resources available to help you, and there are many people who understand what you’re going through and are ready to offer their support.

Call to Action

If you’re struggling with codependency, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Whether it’s through a support group, a counselor, or a trusted friend, there are people who want to help you on your journey to recovery. At iMentalHealth Counselling Services, we’re ready to support you. Contact us at (780) 893-9091 or admin@imentalhealth.ca.

Remember, there’s no shame in seeking help. You’re taking a brave step towards a healthier, happier you.

Written by Geordy, a Registered Psychologist and Director of iMentalhealth. This content may include research and ideas from others and may not always reflect exactly what we will do with each person. Each person is unique so we strive to work with each person with a client-centered focus.


If you’re in need of someone to talk to please book an appointment below. We are here to help. 

Geordy Murphy

MA Registered Provisional Psychologist

Registered Provisional Psychologist. EMDR and Gottman training. I work with individuals, and couples.