Monday, May 12, 2008

The Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous* and More

1. We admitted we were powerless over others —that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other codependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

* The Twelve Steps reprinted for adaptation with permission of
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Passage is taken from the "big book" of CoDependents Anonymous, pg.25-26.


What is Codependency?

These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. They may be particularly helpful to newcomers as they begin to understand co-dependency and may aid those who have been in recovery awhile in determining what traits still need attention and transformation.


—Codependents have difficulty identifying what they are feeling.

—They minimize, alter or deny how they truly feel.

—They perceive themselves as completely unselfish and dedicated to the wellbeing of others.


—Codependents have difficulty making decisions.

—They judge everything they think, say or do harshly, as never "good enough".

—They do not ask others to meet their needs or desires.

—They value others’ approval of their thinking, feelings and behaviors over their own.

—They do not perceive themselves as lovable or worthwhile persons.


—Codependents compromise their own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger.

—They are very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.

—They are extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.

—They value others’ opinions and feelings more than their own and are often afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of their own.

—They put aside their own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.

—They accept sex when they want love.


—Codependents believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.

—They attempt to convince others of what they "should" think and how they "truly" feel.

—They become resentful when others will not let them help them.

—They freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.

—They lavish gifts and favors on those they care about.

—They use sex to gain approval and acceptance.

—They have to be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.

Passage is taken from the "big book" of CoDependents Anonymous, pg.4-6.

Official CoDA Website

Co-Dependents Anonymous Big Book
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Facing Codependence by Pia Mellody
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Codependents' Guide to the 12 Steps
by Melody Beattie

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How to stop controlling others and start caring for yourself.

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Codependent No More
by Melody Beattie
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Beyond Codependency
by Melody Beattie
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