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).

“Functionally Relating Within Dysfunction”
IDENTIFY GOALS that allow me to combat the impact of my suffering.

step 7 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Memorize: Jeremiah 17:5-8 (ESV), “Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.’” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Cursed” – Is this how you have felt? Over-relying on people leaves us vulnerable, because the best of us are sinful.
  • “Trusts in man” – This passage is not condemning all trust, but when we rely on people to be our strength and security.
  • “Shrub in the desert” – The result is that we feel perpetually depleted and completely dependent for any “water.”
  • “Blessed” – There is an alternative. This chapter is a practical picture of trusting God in long-term broken relationships.
  • “When heat comes” – Notice the blessing of wise relating does not remove the periodic season of drought and hurt.

Teaching Notes

“Antibiotics have a helpful effect on strep throat, but they didn’t cause it. You can help, but you’re not to blame for the problem and you’re not responsible for the outcome. You’re only responsible for trying in the ways that you choose to try (p. 140).” Foote, Wilkens, Koskane and Higgs in Beyond Addiction

“What often stops us from taking responsibility or ownership in a situation is that we don’t see our choices, or perhaps more truthfully we don’t like our choices (p. 134)… We learn to live differently by living differently, not by thinking about living differently (p. 126).” Leslie Vernick in The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

“The louder and angrier the borderline gets, the quieter and more composed the other person should become, thereby refusing to collaborate in aggravating the emotional atmosphere, and spotlighting the comparative outlandish intensity of the borderline’s rage (p. 129).” Jerold Kreisman and Hal Straus in I Hate You – Don’t Leave Me

“When we remember that our real enemy is Satan, we do not do good in order to get our spouse to change; we do good so that we are not overcome by evil (referencing Romans 12:21) (p. 70).” Leslie Vernick in How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong

“By tolerating what you can’t change right this second, you can avoid adding suffering to what is already painful (p. 105)… Tolerating distress when it is not really an emergency (and staying calm when it is) creates time and space to consider options and act in ways that are more likely to help (p. 110).” Foote, Wilkens, Koskane and Higgs in Beyond Addiction

“Because codependent behaviors protected us, letting go of them can feel frightening at first (p. 11).” Melody Beattie in The New Codependency

“[Forgiveness] doesn’t mean I approve of the person’s actions. It just means I simply acknowledge my feelings, stop replaying the event in my mind, and give up the idea of revenge or punishment (p. 51).” Pia Mellody in Facing Codependence

“The fear of the Lord simplifies life (p. 228).” Ed Welch in When People Are Big and God Is Small