Some common questions about Co-Dependence...                       AM I CODEPENDENT?

Q: What is the difference between CoDA, Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA/AcoA)?

A: Al-anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics are fellowships for those who are spouses, family members or significant others of alcoholics.

CoDA is a fellowship for those who have difficulty in maintaining healthy, functional relationships with others, regardless of whether those others have alcohol, drug or other problems. Members of CoDA may also be members of these other Twelve Step fellowships.

Q: Can you recommend any books about codependence, or a therapist/hospital/treatment centre that treats codependents?

A: Those questions suggest you are really seeking recovery. CoDA is a Twelve Step programme for spiritual recovery and doesn’t endorse any other programmes or literature. You are encouraged to read CoDA booklets, pamphlets and publications like this one. You are also encouraged to listen to the stories of CoDA members in recovery at meetings or on audio cassettes from the CoDA Service Office.

Q: Do you have to believe in God to belong to CoDA?

A: No, but as we attended meetings and listened to CoDA members describe their recovery, we heard them describe a relationship with a higher power and noticed that those who maintained a regular connection with this power experienced what we sought – recovery. The form of this higher power was left for each of us to discover whether it be unconditional love, divine intelligence, God, nature, music, an image of an ocean, river or tree, or our own CoDA “home group”. The point was that in the beginning of our time in CoDA we became willing to entertain the possibility there was something that “could do for us what we could not do for ourselves”.

Q: What does recovery from Co-Dependence look like?

A: Click here to read patterns of recovery

Got a question?

    Patterns of Codependency:


  • I have difficulty in identifying what I am feeling
  • I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel
  • I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others


  • I have difficulty making decisions
  • I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never “good enough”
  • I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts
  • I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires
  • I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings and behaviour over my own
  • I do not perceive myself as lovable or worthwhile person


  • I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger
  • I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same
  • I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long
  • I value others’ opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own
  • I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want
  • I accept sex when I want love


  • I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves
  • I attempt to convince others of what they ‘should’ think and how they ‘truly’ feel
  • I become resentful when others will not let me help them
  • I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked
  • I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about
  • I use sex to gain approval and acceptance
  • I have to be ‘needed’ in order to have a relationship with others

"I am grateful for all that I am"


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