The Best Books for Dealing with Codependency

shelved under Self-Help

At some point in our lives we may find that we feel we’re going crazy in a dysfunctional relationship – be it with our partners, our families, or our co-workers. Confused when my husband tried to murder me, I found clarity and recovery from self-help books on co-dependency. But reading alone will not help us. We must spend time doing the recommended exercises. It’s also important to find a good therapist who can help us understand our discoveries. I went on to write A Dance with the Devil: A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath to share with others that recovery is possible. Don’t just survive – thrive.


The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today's Generation

by Melody Beattie

This is a follow-up book to the next three books (below), which I used religiously as I recovered. It clears up misconceptions about codependency, identifies how codependent behavior has changed, and provides a new generation with a road map to stepping out of the victim roll forever. Each section offers an overview of a particular behavior and a series of activities pertaining to that behavior, enabling the reader to personalize her own step-by-step guide to wellness. Also included is a series of tests that allow the reader to assess the level of their codependent behavior.


Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

by Melody Beattie

Have you become so absorbed in other people’s problems that you don’t have time to identify, or solve, your own? Do you need to control events and people around you because you feel everything around and inside you is out of control? The author introduces us to the self-sabotaging behavior patterns of codependency and offers hope and guidance in this well-written book that helps us understand that letting go will set us free. This is the book that set me on the path of becoming who I am today.


Beyond Codependency: And Getting Better All the Time

by Melody Beattie

This follow-up book looks at the recovery movement and relapsing. It explores relationships: improving them, setting limits and boundaries, negotiating conflicts, and dealing with fear and commitment. It empowers the reader to know she can overcome fatal attractions.


Codependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps

by Melody Beattie

Based on AA's 12 steps, this book is a guideline for self-improvement for those who practice codependent behavior. It is written in a caring, easy-to-understand style and provides activities at the end of each chapter. I found it extremely useful during my recovery.


Recovery of Your Inner Child: The Highly Acclaimed Method for Liberating Your Inner Self

by Lucia Capacchione

Grab your crayons, scissors, poster board, construction paper, glue, molding clay, paper bags, pens, paper, and explore the inner most parts of yourself with creative and engaging exercises at the end of each engaging chapter. This book will amaze you as you discover what makes you who you are today and how your inner self can lead you through emotional growth. Amazing experience!


Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You

by Patricia Evans

Have you ever thought you were being controlled by another person? In this book the author takes a close look at the behaviors that constitute a controlling person and explores why they behave the way they do. The reader is encouraged to become a catalyst for change so she can be a stronger, happier, and more independent person.


Breaking Free of the Co-Dependency Trap

by John Bradshaw, Barry K. Weinhold Ph.D., Janae B. Weinhold Ph.D.

“This bestselling book, now is a revised edition, radically challenges the prevailing medical definition of co-dependency as a permanent, progressive, and incurable addiction. Rather, the authors identify it as the result of developmental traumas that interfered with the infant-parent bonding relationship during the first year of life.” After identifying co-dependency issues, the authors “focus on healing co-dependency, providing compelling case histories and practical activities to help readers heal early trauma and transform themselves and their primary relationships.”


Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships

by Paul Meier M.D., Dr. Frank Minirth, Dr. Robert Hemfelt

“There is no joy in doing everything for another and calling it love. Even if you believe you are making intelligent choices – It’s simpler to do it myself! He needs my help! I just want to keep the peace! If I don’t do it, no one will! – the burden of codependency will cause untold misery in your life and the lives of your family members. Is codependency at the root of your unhappiness? Let these experienced doctors walk you through their ten proven stages to recovery from codependency, introducing a new dimension: the important stage of seeing God’s unconditional love as the answer to your deepest emotional needs and your hunger for love.”


Healing the Shame that Binds You

by John Bradshaw

In this book, the author tells us that “inappropriate shame results in the breakdown of our self-esteem, the destruction of the family system and an inability to move forward with our lives…. John Bradshaw moves from the source and manifestation of toxic shame to the practical tools – affirmations, visualizations, inner voice and feeling work, guided meditations and other healing techniques – that will release the shame that bind us to our past.”