Below is a video from the presentation of “Overcoming Codependency.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

“I’m Tired of All the Drama… Exhausted!”
PREPARE yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually to face your suffering.

Overcoming Codependency – Step 1 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Memorize: John 2:23-25 (ESV), “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “In Jerusalem at Passover” – Like you, Jesus made difficult relational decisions in real places and at specific times.
  • “Many believed” – Not every good thing that happened around Jesus was a sign for him to let his guard down.
  • “Did not entrust himself” – Jesus, who was perfect, did not trust everyone; he trusted wisely, not absolutely.
  • “Knew all people” – Part of Jesus’ hesitancy to trust was based upon his personal knowledge of who he was with.
  • “What was in man” – Part of Jesus’ hesitancy to trust was based upon the general human condition – sin.

Teaching Notes

“Isn’t that what we’ve been taught? If we do the right thing, then our marriage will get better (p. 8)… I find that Christians are often confused on what ‘dying to self’ really involves. Sometimes we act like martyrs within our marriages, suffering under all kinds of inappropriate and sometimes abusive behavior, thinking that this means dying to self. It is never wise or godly to sacrifice our self in order to give our spouse more license to sin (gamble, abuse drugs, abuse us or our children, etc.)… Dying to self means that we let go (or die to) our old, immature, and sinful ways and grow to become what God has made us to be – like him. Therefore, like him, we are called to sacrifice our lives for the good of another (p. 155).” Leslie Vernick in How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong

“People who are destructive should lose the privilege of your fellowship. That does not mean that you have to turn your back on the person in question. Step back while facing forward, inviting that person to change so that reconciliation may be possible (p. 167).” Leslie Vernick in The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

“Taking care of yourself is a skill you can’t afford to ignore (p. 10)… Your emotional resilience, physical health, social supports, and perspective on change can contribute to this. First, you will be setting an example. Second, you need internal resources to do what is most helpful for your loved one (p. 11)… Typically people experience a shrinking social support network as the problem takes over… We cannot overstate the importance of social support and enjoyment independent of the status of the substance problem you’re dealing with (p. 275).” Foote, Wilkens, Koskane and Higgs in Beyond Addiction

“Ultimately, whether or not your drinker achieves lasting sobriety, your journey with us will give you the skills and tools to enhance your own quality of life. Hence, in a best-case-scenario, the two of you will achieve peace together and worst-case-scenario is that you will have done everything possible and be able to move on and take care of your own life. In either case, your future looks brighter (p. 5).” Robert Meyers and Brenda Wolfe in Get Your Loved One Sober

“Codependency is about normal behaviors taken too far. It’s about crossing lines (p. 5)… Blaming ourselves is a survival skill. It helps us feel in control when life doesn’t make sense and being abused doesn’t make any sense at all… Controlling and taking care of others – the entire package of codependent behaviors – become survival tools, living skills that we think will keep us safe (p. 2).” Melody Beattie in The New Codependency

“I always warn my clients that even if their marriage fails and they no longer live with their spouse, they will always have to live with themselves. Therefore, it is crucial to their long-term well-being that they conduct themselves in such a way that they will have no regrets (p. 185).” Leslie Vernick in How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong