Self-Test for Codependency

Codependency as a disease, is often times over looked as a disease of addiction or compulsive behavior. It is sometimes difficult to separate the loving caretaker from the Codependent. However the disease of codependency can be as deadly as eating disorders, alcohol or drugs.

Answer these questions Yes or No as honestly and truthfully as possible.

1. Do you feel responsible for the actions of another person?

2. Do you repeatedly lose sleep worrying about another person?

3. Do you feel compelled or obligated to help another person, before your own obligations or needs?

4. Do you suppress thoughts or feelings about helping another, only to “explode” in anger later?

5. Do you feel rejected or angry when another person does not want your help?

6. Do you over commit yourself to groups or committees, only to feel angry about your commitment?

7. Do you go to work early and stay late because the boss “needs you”?

8. Do you stay late at work to “clean up” after your employees or co-workers?

9. Do you work long hours but do not charge your employer or client for the work you performed?

10. Do you obsessively clean the house, do laundry, cook, to please someone else?

11. Do you worry more about the kid’s, spouse, or significant other’s activities than your own?

12. Do you take on extended families, e.g. other people’s kids?

13. Do you live with or “involved with” an alcoholic, drug addict, gambler, sex addict, etc.?

14. Do feel like or have you ever been called a “Dry Drunk”?

15. Do you find yourself “enabling” another person in their addiction?

16. Do you sometimes find yourself “sabotaging” another person’s attempts at recovery?

17. Do you feel ashamed about your family or personal relationships?

18. Do you deny or hide the fact that your family may have been troubled, repressive or dysfunctional?

19. Do you find yourself unnecessarily stealing from or spying from your partner or children, e.g. bank accounts, mail, e-mail,day planners, etc.?

20. Do you easily get confused, depressed, lethargic or sick particularly after helping another person?

21. Do you go to doctors to get tranquilizers or sedatives?

22. Are you experiencing long term physical symptoms of stress, e.g. premature hair graying or rapid hair loss, varicose veins, ulcers, menstrual irregularities, etc.?

23. Do you sometimes feel that mental or physical abuse by another is your fault?

24. Do you sometimes “wish” another person were dead?

25. Do you sometimes wish both you and another person were dead?

26. Do you have thoughts of suicide?

Answering yes to Three or more of these questions may be an indication that you have a problem with Codependency. You may want to seek professional evaluation or discuss your situation with an organization such as Codependents Anonymous.

Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

I reserve a percentage of my practice for clients who pay with insurance. Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them.  Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers.  Some helpful questions you can ask them are:

•    What are my mental health benefits?
•    What is my deductible and has it been met?
•    What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
•    How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
•    How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
•    Is approval required from my primary care physician?

Are therapy sessions confidential?

Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and a psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist’s office. By law, what is discussed in therapy is privileged, namely it gives you, the client, the right to prevent the therapist from disclosing confidential information. You can expect that what you discuss in therapy sessions will not be shared with anyone unless you want me to share this information and you give your written permission to share it with specifically named individuals or organizations such as your spouse, your physician, your attorney, and other professionals. Such written permission may be revoked by you at any time. This information is what is referred to as “Informed Consent.”

There are, however, certain circumstances which would entitle me, by law, to reveal such confidential information without your consent or authorization. Such circumstances are limited to my having reason to believe that:

1.    You are actually threatening physical violence against another person, or are an actual threat to the safety of another person, I am authorized by law to notify the police and inform the intended victim;

2.    You are threatening immediate physical harm to yourself. If you intend to harm yourself, I will make every effort to enlist your cooperation in ensuring your safety. If you refuse to cooperate, I may take further action without your permission, as provided to me by law, to ensure your safety.

If I have reason to believe that a child under the age of eighteen (18) or an elderly, or a disabled person, or a dependent adult is being abused or neglected, I am obligated by law to notify the relevant state agency, such as social services. This is not a choice but an obligation.

You should also be aware that most insurance companies require you to authorize me to provide them with a clinical diagnosis. Sometimes I have to give them additional clinical information such as treatment plans or summaries, or copies of the entire record (in rare cases). This information will become part of the insurance company files and will probably be stored in a computer. Though all insurance companies claim to keep such information confidential, I have no control over what they do with it once it is in their hands. You can, of course, refuse to provide such information but, if you do so, your insurance company is unlikely to pay for your therapy sessions.

I am obligated by the ethics of my profession to keep appropriate records of the psychological services that I provide in which I note the date and time of our sessions, your reasons for seeking therapy, your progress, your diagnosis, topics we discuss, your medical, social and treatment history. I also keep in your file records I receive from other providers and copies of records or letters I send to others. Your file is at all times kept in a secure and locked location in my office.

Your records are protected under the Federal Confidentiality Regulations as well as the provision of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) and cannot be disclosed without your written consent unless otherwise provided for in the regulations.


Is Medication a substitute for therapy?

It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptoms, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to well-being.  By working with your medical doctor or psychiatrist, in addition to your therapist, you can determine what is best for you; in some cases, a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.


What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual.  In general, you can expect to discuss what is currently happening in your life and your personal history as it relates to the particular problem you are presently experiencing, and to report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session.

Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term when tackling a specific issue, or longer-term when you wish to deal with more difficult and long-lasting problems, or you desire guidance in increasing personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist, either weekly or bi-weekly. A therapy session usually lasts 45-50 minutes.

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process.  The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life.  Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, your therapist may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process – such as reading a pertinent book, keeping a diary on specific topics, keeping track of your dreams, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals.


Why do people go into therapy and do I really need therapy?

Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties on your own, you may be faced with a particularly difficult situation which makes you feel the need for help and support. Therefore, people come into therapy for many reasons. Some may be going through a major life transition (unemployment, divorce, new job, etc.) and have difficulties coping with these stressful circumstances; others seek self-exploration and personal growth. When coping skills are overwhelmed by guilt, doubt, anxiety, or despair, therapy can help. There is nothing disparaging in seeking such help from a professional when you feel you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize that they need a helping hand; that is something to be admired, not belittled. By seeking therapy and choosing to embark on this self-exploratory journey, you are showing great courage. You are taking responsibility for yourself and for your life; you are making a commitment to change the situation. Therapy usually provides support and long-lasting benefits, and gives you the tools you need to avoid old triggers; it helps to re-direct damaging patterns, and to overcome whatever challenges you face.


How can therapy help me?

A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Often it is helpful just to know that someone understands. Therapy can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or points you in the direction of a solution. It also provides support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for resolving adversities such as depression, anxiety, feelings of stagnation in one’s life, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, low self-image and creative blocks, among others. Therapy can also give significant help in furthering personal growth, increasing the capacity for harmonious interpersonal relationships, resolving family conflicts, and dealing more efficiently with the hassles of daily life. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how open you are to changing, to questioning your old beliefs and behavior patterns and to putting into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

•    Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
•    Developing skills for improving your relationships
•    Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
•    Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
•    Managing anger, grief, depression, mood swings and other emotional pressures
•    Improving communications and listening skills
•    Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
•    Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
•    Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
•    Enhancing personal growth and/or spiritual development