Valerie Brown is offering a support program designed to help women who are taking on the issues of others and losing sight of their own lives.
Overcoming Codependency begins at the Archway Counselling offices, 883 Prince St., beginning in March.
“Codependency takes place when we try to manage someone else’s needs without meeting our own needs,” said Brown, a therapist with Archway Counselling Association. “I see a lot of this in clients. The nurturing part comes out with children and partners. With partners a lot of it comes from substance abuse.”
Codependent people may cover for an alcoholic or abusive partner, or a child who causes trouble. They take steps to prevent the other person from suffering the consequences of what they’ve done, but this enables that person to continue with the negative behaviour.
A codependent may be caring for someone with mental or physical health problems but in doing so, they encourage the other person to continue to act more helplessly.
“It’s about healthy boundaries and saying ‘no’,” said Brown. “It can break your heart but it’s better for everyone.”
There are steps that help both people in a relationship become healthier and stronger.
Those who take part in the Overcoming Codependency group will be provided with a book, Codependents Guide to the Twelve Steps.
Meetings will be held Thursdays from 6-7:30 p.m. from March 14 to June 13.
There is no cost, but space is limited. To register, contact Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902-893-3991 by March 7.