What is Codependency?

Tamara Low

Emotional Freedom Guide, Writer, Planet Advocate.

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Faulty Programming and Emotional Wounds

According to Jason Breyer, Codependency is “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.”

Stacy Hoch describes Codependency as an image disorder built on the idea and belief that ‘you should be more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of you and the idea that “I” do not exist without other’s validation.’ As a result, we often try to vicariously fill our inner voids and wounds by filling others.

How is Codependency Created?

Codependency is created by our attachment trauma, according to Ross Rosenburg. We NEED to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers during the first three years of life. This allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others.

Stacy Hoch says, ‘a Codependent Empath can be created when a child is responsible for empath-ing the parent. The empathic baby or child responds to the needs of the parent and has learned that it is literally what they have to do to survive.’ She feels that being an Empath is a precursor to being Codependent; and that someone who does not have to empathize with their parent (in this way) does not. 

Early Attachment to Parents and Caregivers

Suppose we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc. In that case, the natural attachment process is disrupted, causing trauma, resulting in profound and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until it’s dealt with).

Elaine Aron writes, “about half of all infants are raised by adequate parents, and thus become what is called “securely attached” children. The other approximately fifty percent develop an insecure attachment (anxious or avoidant)”. 

Early Attachment and Codependency and Narcissism Development 

Stacy Hock speaks of ‘attachment issues’ halting the Codependent and the Narcissist development. She refers to them as ‘the flip side of the coin.’ Whereas the Codependent “gives” to feel worthy, and the Narcissist “takes” to feel worthy.” Both have deep inner wounds that need tending to and are deficient in self-love. Ross Rosenburg calls Codependency “Self-Love Deficit Disorder.” 

She says, for the sake of others, the Codependent harms themselves, and Narcissist harms other people for the sake of themselves.

**Please see ‘How Codependency Impacts Us’.

Healing Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs:

Codependency is learned and programmed and resides deep within our being. It is multifaceted and complex, though NOT who we are. If left unchecked, the pattern of Codependency may be passed from one generation to the next.

The Messages we SHOULD have received as children:

The messages that we SHOULD have received from our parent(s) or caregivers were loving, kind, patient, and nurturing in nature, which built our sense of self, self-esteem and self-worth, but that did not happen for various reasons. 

We learned to try to get our needs met by ‘saving’ others and being no trouble, self-less, and invisible. We may repeatedly try to prove that we are worthy and worth loving and continually hit the same roadblocks.

Finally comes the realization, knowing, and understanding that this is not working; it is dysfunctional, and it does not serve us to try and work out other people’s things for them, to put others’ needs before our own, please people, and to flip ourselves inside out to try and make relationships with toxic people work!

How Can We Heal These Faulty Beliefs?

Addressing Codependency programming is an internal clean-up job that no one can do (or fix) for us! Its energetic hold is strong. 

Our attachment trauma needs to be addressed and inner child work (I encourage you to seek those specializing in these areas). We need to become aware of the deep unconscious beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts that keep us stuck in this energetic pattern. I believe this is the level where Energy Psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) shines!!

There are many wonderful ways, tools, techniques, books, online videos, classes, therapies, therapists, modalities, support groups, etc., available to help us learn and understand Codependency and heal its deep and many layers. 

My passion is to offer energetic and educational support to others on their wholeness journey, with the ultimate goal of reacquainting with our TRUE selves, nature, frequency, voice, health, and inner peace!

Reach out and schedule your free 15-minute call today or email tamara@earth-path.com

See the follow-up article to this one, “Healing and Understanding Codependency” and “How Codependency Impacts Us”.

Related Articles:


*Energy Therapies, such as EFT and Pranic Healing, is not a substitute for professional medical, psychological or psychiatric care. 


  • Aron, Ph.D., Elaine N.. The Highly Sensitive Person. Citadel Press. K
  • Becker, Richard. Codependent: no more narcissistic abuse and gaslighting. A guide to handle a narcissist, cure codependency, stop controlling others, and start caring for yourself. For Highly Sensitive People. Kindle Edition. 
  • Breyer, Jason. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills. Kindle Edition. 
  • Forward, Susan. Mothers Who Can’t Love (pp. 146-147). Harper. Kindle Edition.
  • Gallo, Fred. Energy Tapping for Trauma (p. 5, 54). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.
  • Hoch, Stacy. The Empath, the Codependent and the Narcissist: Who’s What? YouTube.
  • Northrup, Christiane. Dodging Energy Vampires (p. 128). Hay House. Kindle Edition. 
  • Romano, Lisa. The Breakthrough Life Coach. YouTube.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap. Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019.  

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Earth Path Healing

Transforming our Feelings and Emotions


I am passionate about combining our love of Earth with the love and care of ourselves/Spirit selves through honouring and embracing the wisdom of our emotions and feelings.

Emotions and body sensations are our greatest teachers and allies. They are constantly speaking to us, guiding us, and letting us know when we are or are not in harmony with our Spirit/True Selves.

In my experience, healing and growth bring us closer to ourselves and our Spirit and closer to peace, kindness, each other, and our Earth home.

I invite you to BE Curious about what our feelings and thoughts are communicating.

EFT Tapping and Picture tapping help us to understand our inner world, make peace with the difficulties and hear our deepest yearnings.

EFT Tapping helps us gently explore and uncover our inner voice and body’s guidance, wisdom, and direction, the places within us that need & desire to be heard, expressed, and given a voice!

Through a series of pictures, Picture Tapping helps us to resolve an issue by tapping on the images and the title of the picture, not the feelings, emotions and sensations directly. The practitioner does not need to know what the person is tapping on but guides the process through the images and colours to find a resolution.

Pranic Healing is a no-touch energy healing we can also do from a distance. Like our emotions, our energy system through our chakras holds so much wisdom as they are connected to our physical, mental and emotional health.

Our major chakras have corresponding physiological functions, and we can clear the energy and density of what does not serve us, bringing peace and balance.

I HONOUR your feelings, whatever they are. They are valuable and important. Whether it be processing ecological and climate emotions, internal difficulties, or challenges- whatever holds us back from the freedom, purpose and expression of our True Selves! 

 With Love,