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Books on Codependency

Updated: May 17





Facing Codependence by Pia Mellody


This is the book helps to identify WHERE this behavior started (childhood), WHY the behavior persists, the SYMPTOMS, and solid solutions for goal setting towards a life that is not governed by the dysfunctional coping mechanism. Central to her theory is that the codependent needs to heal from trauma inflicted in childhood. This book is a Tell IT LIKE IT IS format and not for the faint of heart.

CODEPENDENT NO MORE by Melody Beattie

This is the book that brought codependency awareness mainstream. Melody Beattie is a household name in addiction and codependency circles. Codependent No More catapulted her into the spotlight shortly after this book was released in the 1980’s. It remains a staple today, a foundational reading for anyone looking to understand the addiction of codependency.

BOUNDARIES: WHEN TO SAY YES, HOW TO SAY NO TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

With 4,000 Amazon reviews (averaging 4.5 stars) and a New York Times Bestseller, this book is the authority on boundaries, and a must-read for anyone learning to set new ones. Drs. Cloud and Townsend explain how boundaries are the personal property lines that define who you are and who you are not, in all areas of your life. I highly recommend this book if you want a crash course on personal boundaries.

CONQUERING SHAME AND CODEPENDENCY by Darlene Lancer, MFT

Well researched and logically broken down, this book explains the concept of toxic shame and why it’s often the root cause of codependency. Darlene Lancer is a practicing therapist, speaker and author of other popular books such as Codependency for Dummies. This is highly recommended if you want a solid grasp on what causes codependency.

THE ACOA TRAUMA SYNDROME by Dr. Tian Dayton, PhD

This book explains the concept of Adult Children of Alcoholics, and how childhood trauma often leads to painful adult relationships. Author, speaker and psychodrama consultant, Dr. Tian Dayton does an excellent job discussing what happens in the nervous system as a result of trauma, how we use process addictions to cope, and ways to heal from trauma. You’ll have “light bulb” all throughout the book, and can use this book to make better sense of your life if you experienced childhood trauma, whether pronounced or subtle.

DON’T FEED THE DUCKS: OVERCOMING UNHEALTHY HELPING IN YOUR LIFE & RELATIONSHIPS by John Raven

This book is perfect for those who are at the beginning stages of accepting that they may in fact be codependent. It uses creative illustrations and metaphors to move the frame of mind from “How can I fix this person?” to “Is my heart in the right place to begin with?” It moves through a lot of the initial common questions many codependents have, explaining things such as why negative reward systems and feedback loops keep us stuck in unhealthy patterns even though we want to get better. John Raven is a practicing professional counselor, drawing from personal experience to craft this quick, easy and insightful read.

HOW TO DO NO CONTACT LIKE A BOSS by Kim Saeed

This book is geared toward women (or men) who are in an abusive relationship and looking to get out. It sticks to the facts, without much fluff, to provide the down and dirty of how to get out, and what to expect once you leave. This book should be a prerequisite to leaving a bad relationship. It will open your eyes to the reality of what you’re getting into.


THE FOUR AGREEMENTS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO PERSONAL FREEDOM (A TOLTEC WISDOM BOOK) by Don Miguel Ruiz

This book is perfect for those who are at the beginning stages of accepting that they may in fact be codependent. It uses creative illustrations and metaphors to move the frame of mind from “How can I fix this person?” to “Is my heart in the right place to begin with?” It moves through a lot of the initial common questions many codependents have, explaining things such as why negative reward systems and feedback loops keep us stuck in unhealthy patterns even though we want to get better. John Raven is a practicing professional counselor, drawing from personal and professional experience to craft this quick, easy and insightful read.

CODEPENDENCY 101: BASICS OF ADDICTION, GRIEF AND RECOVERY by Jennifer S. Walker

Codependency 101 is a quick and easy read (72 pages) with 4 sections: 1) What Is Codependency, 2) The Relationship Between Codependency & Addiction, 3) Understanding The Grief Process, and 4) The Codependency Recovery Process. The book is interlaced with Jennifer’s personal stories of codependency during and after a 5-year relationship with an abusive, drug-addicted man.

THE DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY SKILLS WORKBOOK: PRACTICAL DBT EXERCISES FOR LEARNING MINDFULNESS, INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS, EMOTION REGULATION & DISTRESS TOLERANCE by Matthew McKay, PhD, Jeffrey C. Wood, PsyD & Jeffrey Brantley, MD

Based on Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a modified form a cognitive behavior originally develop to treat borderline personality disorder, this workbook guides readers through a series of useful exercises. The exercises are fantastic for codependency recovery, and the book can be used in conjunction with by or in conjunction with a therapist or professional counselor.





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