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The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today's Generation Paperback – December 29, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 210 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"'Codependent' is in the dictionary because of Melody Beattie. Her book is required reading." -- Christine Stapleton, Palm Beach Post

About the Author

Melody Beattie, one of the seminal figures in the recovery movement, is the author of the international bestseller Codependent No More, which has sold over eight million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. An expert on codependency, Beattie has written fifteen books, including include Beyond Codependency, The Language of Letting Go, and The Grief Club, and lectures worldwide. She lives in Southern California. For more information visit her website at www.melodybeattie.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (December 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439102147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439102145
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melody Beattie is one of America's most beloved self-help authors and a household name in addiction and recovery circles. Her international bestselling book, Codependent No More, introduced the world to the term "codependency" in 1986. Millions of readers have trusted Melody's words of wisdom and guidance because she knows firsthand what they're going through. In her lifetime, she has survived abandonment, kidnapping, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, divorce, and the death of a child. "Beattie understands being overboard, which helps her throw bestselling lifelines to those still adrift," said Time Magazine.

Melody was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1948. Her father left home when she was a toddler, and she was raised by her mother. She was abducted by a stranger at age four. Although she was rescued the same day, the incident set the tone for a childhood of abuse, and she was sexually abused by a neighbor throughout her youth. Her mother turned a blind eye, just as she had denied the occurrence of abuse in her own past.

"My mother was a classic codependent," Melody recalls. "If she had a migraine, she wouldn't take an aspirin because she didn't do drugs. She believed in suffering." Unlike her mother, Melody was determined to self-medicate her emotional pain. Beattie began drinking at age 12, was a full-blown alcoholic by age 13, and a junkie by 18, even as she graduated from high school with honors. She ran with a crowd called "The Minnesota Mafia" who robbed pharmacies to get drugs. After several arrests, a judge mandated that she had to "go to treatment for as long as it takes or go to jail."

Melody continued to score drugs in treatment until a spiritual epiphany transformed her. "I was on the lawn smoking dope when the world turned this purplish color. Everything looked connected--like a Monet painting. It wasn't a hallucination; it was what the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous calls 'a spiritual awakening.' Until then, I'd felt entitled to use drugs. I finally realized that if I put half as much energy into doing the right thing as I had into doing wrong, I could do anything," Beattie said.

After eight months of treatment, Melody left the hospital clean and sober, ready to take on new goals: helping others get sober, and getting married and having a family of her own. She married a former alcoholic who was also a prominent and respected counselor and had two children with him. Although she had stopped drinking and using drugs, she found herself sinking in despair. She discovered that her husband wasn't sober; he'd been drinking and lying about it since before their marriage.

During her work with the spouses of addicts at a treatment center, she realized the problems that had led to her alcoholism were still there. Her pain wasn't about her husband or his drinking; it was about her. There wasn't a word for codependency yet. While Melody didn't coin the term codependency, she became passionate about the subject. What was this thing we were doing to ourselves?

Driven into the ground financially by her husband's alcoholism, Melody turned a life-long passion for writing into a career in journalism, writing about the issues that had consumed her for years. Her 24-year writing career has produced fifteen books published in twenty languages and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. She has been a frequent guest on many national television shows, including Oprah. She and her books continue to be featured regularly in national publications including Time, People, and most major periodicals around the world.

Although it almost destroyed her when her twelve-year-old son Shane died in a ski accident in 1991, eventually Melody picked up the pieces of her life again. "I wanted to die, but I kept waking up alive," she says. She began skydiving, mountain-climbing, and teaching others what she'd learned about grief.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"The New Codependency" is the newest addition to the volume of work published by Melody Beattie. She was one of the first to identify codependency as a problem and provide information on the subject to a large audience of readers. The first book she wrote, "Codependent No More", was originally published in 1987. This book does not replace that one, it just expands on the topic and adds additional insight to the problem of codependency.

If you are new to the subject and just getting familiar with it, I would definitely recommend you start with "Codependent No More". After you are further along in your journey, this book makes a lot of sense but I don't think it is the right place to start. It really builds upon the concepts presented in the first book and there is a subtlety to it that is best appreciated after having done some work in this area already.

As in all her books, I need to sit with a highlighter and use it freely. I also dog ear pages as I go for quick reference back when I need to review. I read it straight through and then went back and took some of the quizzes offered which was really helpful. After reading it once, it is definitely not going back on the book shelf. There are a lot of activities outlined to do to help the reader address and access issues he/she is dealing with. It is almost as if there is a workbook contained within its pages. I will continue to use it as a reference/workbook for many months to come, I am sure.

Anyone who has identified themselves as a codependent (or is dealing with a codependent) will benefit greatly from this book. She conveys her message is a loving, caring way versus a list of "shoulds" which is exactly what a codependent needs. A couple of my favorite passages:

"We're giving to get.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Presents a needed update on thinking regarding codependency. This book addressed many of the problems I've had with the concepts of "codependency" over the years. Activities and quizzes give reader a way to put ideas into action in their lives. Probably not for someone new to Melody Beattie's work or learning about codependency in general - start at the beginning with Codependent No More or the daily readers. A strong addition to Melody's library.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have always been a fan of Melody Beattie's work, and I have benefited enormously from it since the old days of Codependent No More. I have not been in a relationship with someone addicted, but I nevertheless recognized myself in the description of the Codependent. There were so many similarities: not being able to take care of myself, obsessing about other people, taking care of everyone's needs (apart from my own, that is), not having boundaries. I seemed to be a textbook codependent, except that I did not get involved with alcoholics. So I just went along with what she had to say and read several of her books.

The New Codependency is one of the best ones. It has all the usual qualities of her work:

*She uses an empowering tone: of course you can make it. And to be honest, when she describes her life of a former junkie, you cannot help thinking: well, if she managed to get out of this mess, Surely I can get out of mine.
*Her book is packed with examples. The fact of the matter is, I can see problems and solutions so much more easily when I read about someone else. Examples allow me to do that.
*There is a lot of practical, down to earth advice. I cannot count the number of books I've read which describe my dreadful problems, but then leave me there with a vague "well I guess you need therapy" chapter. I hate it. Don't talk to me about my issues if you are not able to offer one hint of advice on how to solve them.

In The New Codependency, Melody Beattie tackles important concepts she wrote about before (boundaries, taking care of oneself, deprivation, control...), but with a higher level of maturity . Because she does not go back to the basics, I would advise not to read this book without reading first her earlier work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Women Who Love too Much, Codependent No More, Beyond Codependency, I still felt had unsolved issues and unanswered questions. This book answered them all! My realization of its success was after months when I realized its positive super effect on me. I watched my gradual behaviour change which made me a happier person. The friends who I passed this book over also feel relieved about their unsolved and leftout issues after reading it. I advise it to everyone who feel they need to read a bit more about Codependency...
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Format: Hardcover
I was new to dealing with codependency when I got this book and another by another author. I never finished the other book, and am now reading Melody's for the 2nd time.(in 2 weeks)I don't even know where to begin on how amazing this book is. How much she helped me to understand about myself. She has a way of explaining things to you where you understand. Friends and doctors have told me the same things for years, but reading her book put it all together for me. This book helped me to see that I am ok just the way I am. To love myself. To stop hating my past and present self. I have this new amazing content peaceful feeling that I have never known before. I have my life back, and maybe for the first time ever. It feels amazing! I don't feel alone anymore. I don't feel like a crazy weirdo anymore.
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