|Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself|
Author: Melody Beattie
Publisher: Hazelden (1992)
Paperback: 229 pages
Also see Diagnosing and Treating Co-Dependence
Three years on the New York Times bestseller list, CODEPENDENT NO MORE first identified attitudes, feelings, and behaviors now recognized as hallmarks of codependency. Now, sixteen years after it was originally published, this book still sells 15,000 copies a month. The book is about what it means to take responsibility for, and take care of, yourselves. Beattie explains concepts like setting boundaries, dealing with manipulation, feeling feelings, and detachment then takes it one step further. Checklists, activities, and self-tests provide concrete tasks to help readers examine the nuances of codependency in their lives.
These books will help anyone who is thinking or feeling responsible for other people, feel it is your responsibility to help other people solve their problems, feel needy people are always attracted to you, and feeling unappreciated or used; or you have weak boundaries with the people in your life; you have dependency issues; poor communication; and low self-worth- you are codependent.About the Author
Melody Beattie is an author and journalist. She has written fourteen books during the course of her 24-year writing career. Beattie has focused on codependency--the pattern of trying to control or change someone who repeatedly makes trouble for themselves and others, and who usually is manipulating and controlling others as well. The problem is often part of an addictive or depressive syndrome or both which the author understands well from her own experience.
The codependency movement may have its roots in the theories of German psychoanalyst Karen Horney. In 1941, she proposed that some people adopt what she termed a "Moving Toward" personality style to overcome their basic anxiety. Essentially, these people move toward others by gaining their approval and affection, and unconsciously control them through their dependent style. Al-Anon was formed in 1951, 16 years after Alcoholics Anonymous was founded. Al-Anon holds the view that alcoholism is a family illness and is one of the earliest recognitions of codependency.
The expansion of the meaning of codependency happened very publicly. Janet G. Woititz's Adult Children of Alcoholics had come out in 1983 and sold two million copies while being on the New York Times bestseller list for forty-eight weeks.
Robin Norwood's Women Who Love Too Much, 1985, sold two and a half million copies and spawned Twelve Step groups across the country for women "addicted" to men.
Melody Beattie further popularized the concept of codependency in 1986 with the book Codependent No More which sold eight million copies.
In 1986, Timmen Cermak, M.D. wrote Diagnosing and Treating Co-Dependence: A Guide for Professionals. In the book and an article published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Volume 18, Issue 1, 1986), Cermak argued (unsuccessfully) for the inclusion of codependency as a separate personality disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1987).
Cermak's book paved the way for a Twelve-step take-off program, called Co-Dependents Anonymous. The first Co-Dependents Anonymous meeting was held October 22, 1986.