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  • Codependency Relationship: A Lack of Genuine Communication!

    UPDATE: Colleen contributed to the article: 5 Red Flags That Signal Codependency, According to Therapists, written by Juliana Labianca, for Yahoo BestLife.

    One of the biggest red flags when it comes to codependency relationships is the lack of genuine conversation between the two partners. Codependents are often afraid to share their true feelings and thoughts, especially if they feel like they will be judged or rejected by the other person. This can lead to a toxic partnership where one partner feels as though he or she has no voice and is constantly being shut down.

    What is a codependent relationship?

    A codependent relationship is an imbalance in power. One partner is typically dependent on another because he or she feels inadequate without the support of the other. In some cases, one partner may feel responsible for the other’s happiness. This dynamic creates a cycle of dependency where neither party can truly function independently.

    The term codependency was coined in the 1970s by Dr. Robert Firestone. He defined it as “an emotionally unhealthy pattern of relating characterized by unresolved issues around attachment, self-worth, and boundaries.” Codependents are often described as being needy, overly concerned about what others think of them, and unable to say no. They tend to have difficulty setting healthy limits and boundaries with people who are important to them.

    The role of communication.

    In a codependency relationship, there is a lack of genuine communication in which both parties are not able to communicate freely. The problem lies in when one person tries to talk about his or her feelings, the other person tends to shut down or become defensive. It’s important to remember that this type of behavior is learned over time. Furthermore, it will take time to change these patterns of behavior. If you don’t communicate your needs and desires however you will continue to experience problems in your relationships.

    How to know if you’re in a codependent relationship.

    If you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, angry, or guilty after talking to your significant other, then you might be in a codependent relationship, according to experts. You have to be able to speak up for yourself and ask questions. When you do so, you’ll learn more about your partner’s feelings and how to better understand him or her.

    Seek professional help. 

    Codependents tend to put their own needs last. They may feel guilty if they don’t do what others want them to do. They are often afraid of being alone and need someone else to take care of them. A professional therapist can help identify codependency behaviors and teach ways to improve communication skills.


    Your therapist will help you develop healthier boundaries and set realistic expectations. Steps to improve communication with your partner include asking open-ended questions instead of yes or no questions, listening actively, and expressing your own opinions. If you believe you have a codependent relationship reach out and get the tools you need to build stronger connections with your partner.

    Get Support From A Mental Health Professional

    We offer helpThe staff at New Heights Counseling wants you to know, that help is available. Call us at (850) 757-1552 to set up an individual or couples session with one of our professional counselors who can help with your relationship concerns. Check out our staff bios on our website at meet our team. Our therapists will walk with you through the process of resolving problems, developing healthy communication skills, and creating positive changes in your life and relationship.

    Other Mental Health Services Offered At New Heights Counseling

    The staff at New Heights Counseling provides counseling for a wide variety of concerns such as couples and family problems, parenting skills, anger management, anxiety, depression, stress, grief, loss, abuse, trauma, PTSD, self-esteem, confidence, body image, eating disorders, and many more. We want to help you achieve success and live a healthier, more productive life.

    Our services are for children, adolescents, and adults and we offer in-person sessions at our Fort Walton Beach, FL location and online therapy for the state of Florida. We are located on the 2nd floor of WorkSpace Suites at 1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 1057, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Get directions here on Google Maps or visit our office location page. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM. Evenings/Weekends by appointments. Call (850)757-1552.

    Appointment Schedule (Last appointment – 4 PM)

    Person scheduling new heights counseling session on iPadSunday Closed

    Monday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Tuesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Wednesday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    Evenings/Weekends by Appointment

    Additional Resources:

    Not ready for counseling yet? Read these blogs written by New Heights Counseling therapists.

    About the Author:

    Colleen Wenner New Heights Founder Clinical DirectorColleen Wenner is the founder and clinical director of New Heights Counseling where she provides counseling services for individuals struggling with mental health issues. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Colleen is a certified supervisor in Florida as well as an EMDR trauma-certified practitioner and consultant in training. She is also licensed by the state of Virginia to provide professional counseling. Colleen is committed to providing excellent client care and services the Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville, Destin, and surrounding communities.

    Colleen has always advocated for mental health wellness and she has dedicated her entire life to promoting awareness among the public. She has been featured on a variety of podcasts such as Practice of the Practice (The #1 Podcast for counselors in private practice), Shrink Think Podcast, and The Salty Christan Podcast to name a few. She has also contributed to several articles for Yahoo Best Life, Unfinished Man, and UpJourneyColleen uses compassionate and authentic communication to help clients understand themselves better and feel more confident about their ability to improve their lives.