The recovery process for codependency may involve participating in experiential groups, individual or group therapy and education to rediscover oneself and identify self-defeating behavior patterns, according to Mental Health America. Psychotherapy helps a codependent to improve self-care, differentiate between fixing and support, learn to set boundaries with others, and to understand how to offer assistance productively.
Codependents manifest reliance on a person, process such as gambling, or substance, claims Psych Central. They sacrifice their personal needs to meet the needs of others. The symptoms of codependency include a tendency to please others and seeking validation and approval for caring for them, fear of being alone, poor boundaries, and perfectionism. Other symptoms include low self-esteem, excessive focus on others' needs, sensitivity to criticism and a need to control others.
Codependency can develop from childhood in children who grow up with a drug-addicted or an alcoholic parent, children who undergo emotional neglect or abuse, or where there is a reversal of the parent-child role. The children are constantly required to provide care to others and over time, they learn to suppress their needs and preoccupy themselves with fulfilling the needs of others. Victims of sexual abuse may also focus on the needs of a manipulating partner at the expense of developing their sexual identity and satisfaction, reports GoodTherapy.org.
Through psychotherapy, codependents learn to offer support through encouragement and empathetic listening without seeking to fix problems for others and to set limits with others to allow them to take responsibility for their lives. The codependent also learns to care for himself and to help others without getting into unproductive personal relationships as stated by GoodTherapy.org.