24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2012
This is one of the most profound books I have found in dealing with codependency. Darlene uses so many great life experiences to teach us. If you are an individual who is recovering from codependency or a victim of behavior of a codependent you seriously need to buy this book. There is great insight on how to deal with these issues. Darlene opens up many doors that to me were sealed shut. I have learned to address so many things that I was not even aware of that constituted behavior of codependency. As a codependent whom is still in the recovery process I urge you to buy this book. It is probably the best investment in your future out there. Thank You Darlene for your hard work and effort and sharing your life experiences to help benefit all of those who still suffer with codependency.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Codependency for Dummies. I am surprised to be the first person reviewing this book. It is fascinating, the kind of book that is difficult to close once it is opened. I enjoyed taking the two tests in Chapter 4, but I was disappointed that no criteria accompanied the second test in order for the reader/test-taker to determine whether he was codependent.
According to the standards in Codependency for Dummies, most of the people I know are codependent to one extent or another,and most of us need to work on our codependency. The rest of us have close acquaintances who need help in this area.
The concluding paragraph in the book is "Don't Isolate" -- what useful advice! Yet we live in an isolated world. Up and down the street are single people -- some retired or working at home alone -- some without any companionship, not even a dog. Isolation is a way of life. Much of the time in our education system and in work environments we are in a society of isolation.
I agree with much of what Darlene Lancer, licensed marriage and family therapist, has to say. We really need to work on our codependence and move out of the mire of low self-esteem. I do not, however, agree with her philosophy about spirituality. She states, "Whether or not you believe in God, a spiritual practice is an excellent means of creating a deeper relationship with our Self."
The book is well organized. The Dummies approach is a good method of presenting this thorough manual of examining relationships.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
I hate to admit this.. but I grew up in a somewhat dysfunctional family where my dad have a huge temper and his anger rages affected me negatively so that I withdrew from him as a little boy. Constant anger or verbal abuse or sometimes a hit against the head really affects a small child deeply. There was always fighting in the house (verbal) between my mom and dad and that destroyed my view of what a good relationship consists of. I dearly love both my parents today and made peace with the role they play in my upbringing, but it sure affects my relationships and the outcome today. Chapter 16 is an amazing view/guideline of how a relationship should be and I could not help crying not knowing these things already (age 37).... I never saw these aspects in a relationship and did not know how important they are. My goal is to make chapter 16 my vision of life going forward and in a life long journey hope to use your book as a guide to be a more whole person and live with autonomy in a relationship. This book is very helpful and I thank you for writing this book and hope that the fruit of this will help people like me. Hopefully this will prevent them from losing (or pushing away) the most amazing person in their relationship, due to their lack of not knowing who they (I) truly are(am)....a codependent.....at least now, a recovering codependent..
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2012
A friend of mine recommended this Codependency book by Darlene Lancer, and I am glad I purchased it. I have been consultant in the area of grief and loss for 22 years and read everything pertinent on how to best assist clients to a positive outcome. I found this to be an excellent book. The author's own personal experience brings a rich understanding and compassionate style to the material. I recommend it not only for the counselor, but also to clients who are willing to accept their situation and learn the steps to emotional health.
As I worked through the book I found chapters 5-10 in "Part II: Breaking the Cycle of Codependency: Beginning Recovery" pertinent to my work:
Chapter 5: Crossing De-Nile to Recover
Chapter 6: The Process of Recovery
Chapter 7: How Did You Become Codependent?
Chapter 8: Taking Stock of Who You Are
Chapter 9: Non attachment and Acceptance
Chapter 10: Learning to Value Yourself
For me, there were many steps (that she lists) I already follow to assist those who are troubled, stuck and in denial of a particular situation. Making reference to this book, particularly Chapters 6 and 9, will clearly facilitate my sessions.
I was amazed at the thoroughness of this book and will recommend this book often to others who consult clientele on similar topics.
Rev. Nancy Matz
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I became aware of codependency in the mid-1980s as I explored the effects of my father's alcoholism on me and my siblings. I spent over three years attending ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) meetings, and learned that more than fifty percent of ACOAs will either become alcoholic or find one to take care of (codependency). Through my work, I was able to heal childhood wounds, recognize my own codependent traits, break harmful traits that led to dysfunctional patterns of relating, and create healthy boundaries.
And as the saying goes, "it takes one to know one."....Since I am no longer in denial and am in recovery, I can now spot codependency a mile away, and agree with author Darlene Lancer, "Codependency for Dummies," that "a majority of Americans are codependent." Not only is codependency expressed widely at a personal level in this country, but also at the national level with government policy.
Why? My only guess is that a comment by "Focus on the Family" founder, Dr. James Dobson, provides the clue. Dobson found that most people want to be in or from a "normal" family, but then pointed out that a "normal" (more than 80%) family in America is a dysfunctional. Chances are that most who read this review has some semblance of codependency or knows of someone who does, making this book a great primer for most Americans.
Author Lancer notes that since codependency is a learned behavior (handed down from generation to generation), it can be unlearned. "Codependency" begins with its history, symptoms, causes, and relationship dynamics, then "lays out a clear path for recovery with exercises, practical advice, and daily reminders to know, honor, protect, and express yourself."
While the each chapter of the book builds on previous chapters, it is modular allowing readers more familiar with the subject to pick and choose what they want...which is what I do. This format makes it easy for me to point friends and/or family members to specific, relevant sections tailored to their issues.
Author and lawyer Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and relationship and codependency expert. She has treated individuals and couples for over 24 years and is a consultant and workshop presenter at many addiction rehabilitation facilities. She is a frequent guest speaker on radio, a presenter at colleges & universities, and her articles have been published widely in professional and popular periodicals.You can find her blogs at Darlenelancer.com and WhatisCodependency.com. Information about her seminars and coaching packages are available on her website, whatiscodependency.com.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2014
Single most enlightening book I've read. I've always thought it was "others" - I have been in some hard relationships. One with a malignant narcissist and one with what, I think was probably a psychopath though not clinically diagnosed. I can tell you everything about each of those personality types, yet, when it came to myself, I considered myself as kind and thoughtful. What I didn't know is that I was hiding a bunch of dysfunction in my own thoughts and behavior--and actually matching their manipulation in my own way. This book has helped me so much that I cannot even begin to tell you. Just turning the focus onto myself and practicing non-attachment has changed my life considerably. I never thought I was the one with the problem, but Lancer defines codependency in such a matter of fact way that I can no longer ignore my own behavior and point the finger at others who are so much more "obviously" sick. There's typos in this book, but let's face it - they pale in comparison with the loads of information that, if you're anything like me, will change your life.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2013
What I liked best about this book was how the author took a potentially complicated topic and make it very understandable. The writing is succinct and concise. The author's experience as an attorney no doubt served her well here. She also gave very practical suggestions about dealing with codependency in your personal life. I got the feeling this wasn't just another book she churned out, but she also shared from her own personal journey.
For me, I had some major break throughs in my life as I was reading this. I have to say it is also because I am in a 12 step program at the same time. But the major insights actually came from reading this book.
I really didn't know I was codependent before reading this, but after reading some of the examples she gives, I know for sure that I am.
If you are looking for a good introductory book that also helps you take a very honest look at yourself, then I highly recommend this one!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2014
A few years ago, I realized I was Codependent, and that I had been most of my life. I started reading books on Codependency and attending Al Anon meetings. I purchased this particular book one year ago. I slowly read and absorbed each chapter. This book helped me the most. The Author has a true understanding of Codependency. It gave me hope to discover that this was a learned behavior I developed as a way to cope, and that learned behavior can be unlearned, and I can heal and learn healthier ways to navigate through the difficulties in life & relationships. I'm healing, getting better, learning to thy own self be true, and I'm starting to feel joy again (despite circumstances I have no control over). It's worth the time and effort it takes to recover from Codependency.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2012
Darlene Lancer has written the definitive book on codependency. Everything anyone ever wanted to know about this subject matter is between its covers. Since its beginning, the codependency movement has grown in strength and relevance to modern life. That is why this book makes a profound contribution. In particular, it examines not only codependent characteristics, but unlike other books on the subject, combines both analysis of relationships and intrapsychic dynamics. This book is also unique in that Lancer also distinguishes codependent traits and relationships from healthy "pleasing," caretaking, and functional relationships.
In this book, Ms Lancer describes the childhood origins of codependency, its particular symptoms and what can be done to heal it. Almost everyone has some features of this condition, and whether or not you identify as codependent, there are loads of self-improvement exercises and tips. She also gives practical advice and to where to go to seek help. Everyone, therapists, patients, or anyone else who is looking for knowledge in this field, should own a copy.
Flora Golden, Therapist
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2013
I wasn't sure this book was for me- I'm not a caregiver in any sense of the word, I don't live with an addict (aside from one brief relationship with a marijuana addict- yes, the act of smoking marijuana can be addictive). In fact, I have my own addictive tendencies. So what does it mean to be codependent? In essence, you have no real sense of self- you look to other people (or to processes like smoking, overeating, drinking alcohol etc) for love and validation, in order to heal the black hole of emptiness that is devouring you from the inside out. To be codependent is to be "Other Defined." As Lancer writes, "you silence, sometimes even to yourself, your own fellings, thoughts and values to become what you believe is expected or desired by someone else." If you have ever felt this way, then "Codependency for Dummies" is an essentially resource, one that can help guide you along the path towards self-understanding and self-healing.