Many clients I work with have issues in the area of codependency, boundaries, and perfectionism. These issues are often interrelated, but may occur independent of one another.
Codependency was first identified in research on families of alcoholics. The term codependence is now used to refer to any unhealthy dependence within a relationship. Common characteristics include placing the wants and needs of others first, perfectionism, insecurity, lack of boundaries, and need for (or relinquishment of) control.
Boundary problems can be encountered in many different ways, too many to list here. Some clues that you may need stronger boundaries are an inability to say no or ask for help, a tendency to absorb others’ feelings as your own, or sharing too much information too quickly or not sharing information at all. Developing healthier boundaries takes time, but it can lead to improved self esteem and increased intimacy in relationships.
Perfectionism is present more and more in our culture due in large part to increasingly high expectations we have for ourselves and our children. It is particularly an issue for mothers in this age of Martha Stewart and parenting experts. Men also often find it hard to live up to societal expectations that demand nothing less than the best. While perfectionists may appear to be strong and capable, many of them are driven by insecurity — and that kind of fuel is mentally draining. Aiming for a 0% margin of error will make achieving your goals extremely difficult, if not impossible. If you find that you are so busy trying to keep up with all the things on your “to do” list and you can’t give yourself a break to enjoy the good things in your life, you may be struggling with perfectionism.
All of these issues invariably affect one’s quality of life. If they sound familiar to you, I can help. With my expertise and your strengths, we can work collaboratively toward improving the quality of your life.