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).

“What Is the Impact of Living In Brokenness?”
UNDERSTAND the impact of my suffering.

Overcoming Codependency – Step 3 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Memorize: Psalm 55:12-14 (ESV), “For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together, within God’s house we walked in the throng.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Psalm” – God knew we would need words to express the pain of hardship and betrayal in close relationships.
  • “Not an enemy” – This multiplies the pain. Hence David repeats it twice. Love leaves us more vulnerable to pain.
  • “Then I could hide” – When dysfunction occurs at home it feels impossible to “get away.” Rest is hard to find.
  • “My familiar friend” – Codependent relational styles usually require closeness and familiarity before they manifest.
  • “Used to… together” – Time invested in the relationship, even if unhealthily, becomes something to be grieved.

Teaching Notes

“Many women do not realize the different ways that an abuser has been harming them until they are out and away from his grip of power and control (p. 41)… The pattern starts at its center, which is the abuser himself. He puts his wants and whims first and foremost. And while the abuser’s life revolves around what he wants, the life of the abused revolves around the abuser (p. 42).” Justin and Lindsey Holcomb in Is It My Fault?

“Sin-shame is something we bring on ourselves; victimization-shame is done to us. Everyone has the experience of sin-shame, but not everyone has this shame intensified by victimization shame (p. 26)… Victimization-shame usually intensifies pre-existing sin-shame (p. 27).” Ed Welch in When People Are Big and God Is Small

“God did not intend for people to continuously depend on other people for their well-being. As we mature, he wants us to depend upon him. Certainly God uses individuals to meet many of our needs, but no person can meet all our needs all the time. When we believe that we always need a particular someone, we put that person in God’s position in our lives. Replacing God with a person will destroy us (p. 32).” Leslie Vernick in The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

“‘Enabling’ refers to anything you do that reinforces or increases the likelihood of your loved one’s substance using behavior, or any other behavior you don’t want to support (p. 183)… A screaming fight might also be enabling as it could give him all the reason he needs to justify smoking more pot (p. 184).” Foote, Wilkens, Koskane and Higgs in Beyond Addiction

“All codependent behaviors make sense if traced to their origins. The behaviors associated with codependency – from controlling to caretaking – are behaviors that saved our lives when we didn’t know what else to do (p. 9-10).” Melody Beattie in The New Codependency

“People-pleasers can mistake ‘niceness’ for love… People-pleasers can also mistake ‘yes’ for love (p. 214).” Ed Welch in When People Are Big and God Is Small

“One problem with masks and walls is that, though their purpose is to protect you from hurt, they hurt you even more because they don’t allow relationships (p. 26).” Ed Welch in What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?