State of Mind with Debra Sloss
State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Understanding How Co-Dependence Differs from Interdependence

Episode #41: In this episode we’ll explore the complicated and often misunderstood topic of Codependency vs. Interdependency. In codependent relationships, one person does much of the giving and at the same time tries to get their own needs met by controlling the other person. While some people will recreate these same codependent patterns in many of their relationships, others may find that they have just one difficult relationship, in which establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries is challenging. This situation often arises when we have a loved one with mental health problems, substance abuse problems, or their own unskillful ways of relating that pulls us into an anxious and imbalanced pattern of relating. Joining us for this conversation are Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) member Jill and psychotherapist and recovery specialist Kat Zwick, LMFT. This conversation is not just for those who view themselves as having codependent tendencies, but for anyone who struggles with knowing what is and is not in their control. Most of us will likely encounter this challenge at some point, with some person—a child, an aging parent, a troubled friend or an intimate partner! If you are a parent, caregiver, or spouse to this person …. the odds are greater that you will wrestle with where to draw appropriate lines about who Is responsible for what. Join us as we talk about how to find greater personal well-being, even in those more challenging relationships.

Broadcast: 4/3/22

Special thanks  to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production, to Jennifer Young for research and outreach, and to Izzy Weisz for marketing. And thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.

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Co-dependents Anonymous (CoDA) World — 12-step program for those who want healthy and loving relationships. Offers information about the program, where to find meetings and resources to learn more about codependence relational patterns.

NorCal CoDA — Co-Dependents Anonymous for Northern California. Providing information about the program, working the steps and where and how to attend online meetings.

Out of the Fog — A website to help communicate with people who have personality disorders.

National Alliance for Mental Illness – Santa Cruz County Chapter — Provides free information, education classes, and support groups and does advocacy work helping those with loved ones with mental illness.

Al-Anon – Al-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. Al-Anon sees alcoholism as a family illness and that changed attitudes can aid recovery.  Al-Anon is not allied with any sect, denomination, political entity, organization, or institution; does not engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any cause. There are no dues for membership. Al-Anon is self-supporting through its own voluntary contributions.  Al-Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. Al-Anon does this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

Alateen – Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers, ages 12 to 19, whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking.  Alateen groups are sponsored by Al-Anon members who meet the current Northern California World Service Association Alateen safety requirements and have successfully completed a background check.

Al-Anon/Alateen Meetings in Santa Cruz County in English and Spanish:

Books & Articles:
Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself  by Melody Beattie (1986) — Instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests to help readers key to understanding codependency and to learn to  unlock its hold . This book can help chart a path to freedom and recovery.

Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes from, How It Sabotages Our Lives by Pia Mellody and Andrea Wells Miller (2003) — Identifies codependent thinking, emotions and behavior and provides an effective approach to recovery. Mellody sets forth five primary adult symptoms of this crippling condition, then traces their origin to emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical and sexual abuses that occur in childhood.

Breaking Free: A Recovery Workbook for Facing Codependence by Pia Mellody and Andrea Wells Miller  (1989) — A workbook that provides a step-by-step journal-keeping method for moving toward recovery from codependence. Based on such concepts as the “precious child” and the five core symptoms of codependence, along with the Twelve-Step process of recovery used by Codependents Anonymous.

Moving From Codependent to Interdependent Relationships — An article defining codependent patterns and the qualities associated with interdependent relationships published by the Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center, Nov. 29.

All Books & Audio by Pia Mellody — An authority, lecturer and educator in the fields of addictions and relationships and a leading author of books on Codependency. This website contains a full listing of her publications, audio resources, as well as some free recovery articles.

All Books by Melody Beattie — Author of the sentinel work, “Codependent No More,” which introduced the world to the term “Codependency” in 1986. This website contains a full listing of all her publications with descriptions as well as some recovery tools.

Local Counseling Resources:
Ride the Wave Recovery — Individual and Group psychotherapy for recovery from eating disorders, addictions, codependency & trauma for clients of all genders, sexualities & neurotypes. Email:, Phone: 831-275-541

DBT Mindfulness & Skills Group SeriesFor Northern California Clients
Kat Zwick’s 22-Week Group Series . This group is appropriate for people struggling with unmanageable codependency that leads to problematic behaviors against self or others. 

Family Service Agency (FSA) of the Central Coast is a dedicated underwriter of State of Mind. FSA provides resources, support, and counseling services to adults and children.  FSA believes in the power and potential of people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own creative solutions and welcomes people of diverse cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, faiths, socio-economic backgrounds.  FSA Counseling Offices offer Medi-Cal, Medicare, and low-cost, sliding scale services in both downtown Santa Cruz 831-423-9444 x200 and in Soquel 831-346-6767 x200.

Spiritual Resources Recommended by Jill
Mount Madonna Center — Yoga-based online spiritual classes at no cost

Free YouTube meditations by Ellaeenah Jadefire

Contact Guests
Jill – Is able to answer questions about Co-Dependents Anonymous or advise regarding other local resources.

Katherine (Kat) Zwick, LPCC

Interdependency Support
Girls Inc. of the Central Coast – Offers leadership and self-empowerment programs for girls ages 8 to 18 led by peers or mentors at school sites in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties.

“Behind The Scenes at SOM”
Of all of our 30+ shows this show presented the most challenge in deciding on a title.  We believe this is due to the complexities and nuances of this topic.  Below is the collection of brainstormed titles. Thank you to all our volunteers and helpers who submitted ideas!  A ponder may help elucidate more of the complexities and subtleties of this very important topic.  Enjoy!

Other Title Ideas:

    • Recovery from Codependent Patterns: The Choices We Can Make
    • Co-Dependence Recovery: The Choices We Can Make
    • The Co-Dependent Spectrum: Finding the Choices We Can Make
    • The Codependent Spectrum: Reclaiming The Choices We Can Make
    • Understanding how Co-Dependence differs from Interdependence
    • Unlocking Co-Dependence Patterns
    • Co-Dependence Patterns: Refocusing on the The Choices We Can Make
    • Journey from co-dependent to Healthy Relationships
    • From Codependency to Freedom
    • Untangling Enmeshment – The Path to Healthy Relationships
    • Making Different Relationship Choices
    • Recovering from our Codependent Patterns
    • Reclaiming our Agency: The Roadmap to Healthy or Self-Contained Relationships
    • Journey from Enmeshment to Healthy Relationships
    • Holding Space for Yourself in Your Relationships
    • Setting Healthy Relationship Boundaries
    • Relational and Independent
    • Staying Self-Connected while Connecting with Others
    • Caring for Self and Other in Relationship
    • Interdependence: Balancing Care for Self and Other in Relationships
    • Recovery from Codependent Patterns: Creating healthy boundaries
    • Recovery from Codependent Patterns: Supporting the people we love in healthy ways
    • Codependence vs. Interdependence: Creating healthy boundaries
    • Codependence vs. Interdependence: Supporting others without losing ourselves