Episode 45: Codependence – Can You be Addicted to a Person?

In this episode, Steve leads the charge on discussing the ill-defined, commonly flung about term “codependence”. What it is, what it means, and what to do about it.

This episode was edited by DamJankostovski.


  • Codependence:  theory that attempts to explain imbalanced relationships where one person enables another person’s self-destructive behavior such as addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.
  • Sociology: a social science that focuses on society, human social behavior, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and aspects of culture associated with everyday life.
  • Psychology: the scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts.
  • Social Psychology: the scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the presence of others and the internalized social norms that humans are influenced by, even when alone.
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) – a publication by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for the classification of mental disorders using a common language and standard criteria.
  • Narcissism as Addiction to Esteem (Baumeister PDF)
  • Codependent No More – Melody Beattie
  • Episode 39 – Motivational Interviewing
  • The Video on Fat People Mentioned – Very cherrypicked, clearly more conservative ideological bend, but the end had some useful intervention suggestions.
  • Daoism – either a school of philosophical thought or to a religion; both share ideas and concepts of Chinese origin and emphasize living in harmony with the Tao.
  • When Does Helping Become Enabling? (Steve’s Post)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder: also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD), is a personality disorder characterized by a long-term pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships, distorted sense of self, and strong emotional reactions.
  • Positive Psychology: the scientific study of what makes life most worth living, focusing on both individual and societal well-being. It studies “positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions…it aims to improve quality of life.”
  • Behaviorism: a systematic approach to understanding the behavior of humans and other animals. It assumes that behavior is either a reflex evoked by the pairing of certain antecedent stimuli in the environment, or a consequence of that individual’s history, including especially reinforcement and punishment contingencies, together with the individual’s current motivational state and controlling stimuli.
  • Dr. Tori Olds Video that Steve Mentions
  • The Lived Experience of Codependency: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
  • Qualitative Research: relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires (on which participants write descriptively), focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, documents, case studies, and artifacts.
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) Model: An integrative approach to therapy that combines systems thinking with the view that the mind is made up of relatively discrete subpersonalities, each with its own unique viewpoint and qualities.
  • The Addicted Family
  • Grey Rocking: Picture a grey rock: Unremarkable, forgettable, and similar to countless others scattered nearby. Even the most enthusiastic collector probably wouldn’t have a lot to say about this rock.
  • Episode 44: Self-Handicapping
  • Episode 16: Emotional Maturity

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