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What is codependence?

We found in each of our lives that codependence is a most deeply-rooted, compulsive behavior and that it is born out of our… dysfunctional family systems.

~CoDA Welcome

Codependence is a disease that affects our lives in many ways; our personal lives, work, health, and spiritual growth can all be impacted. If left untreated, it causes us to become more destructive to ourselves and others. Our behaviors and their roots can often be obstacles to maintaining healthy, nurturing relationships.

We have found these patterns of behavior fall into five major categories: denial, low self-esteem, compliance, control and avoidance.


Girl looking at her reflection in a lake of water

How do I know if I am co-dependent?

It all begins with an honest look at ourselves.

~Co-Dependents Anonymous Book

CoDA is a non-professional fellowship and offers no diagnostic criteria for codependence. We do provide a list of 55 patterns and characteristics which can help us to identify our codependent behaviors. We believe recovery begins with an honest self-diagnosis.

Answers to questions like the following can help us determine how we’ve looked to others to provide for our emotional well-being.

  • Do I control others to relieve my fears?
  • Do I let others control me for fear of their abuse or neglect?
  • Do I adapt or change my behavior for others?
  • Do I get my sense of worth as a person from others?
  • Do I avoid others in order to feel safe?

healthy relationships
recovery event

Is CoDA right for me?

The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.

~The Preamble

CoDA is a 12 Step Fellowship and peer support group. It aims to create a safe environment for those wishing recovery from dysfunctional relationships, providing anonymity and freedom from judgement or feedback. In CoDA we share our own experience, strength, and hope. We do not give advice.

Other 12 Step groups, like AA or Al-anon support people or friends of people, who have addictions such as alcohol. CoDA supports people to create healthy relationships starting with themselves, whether or not addictions exist in their lives.

The video below was produced by CoDA International. Feel free to share it with others via social media or email.

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