About
Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Darlene Lancer Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and expert on relationships and codependency. She’s the author of Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You and Codependency for Dummies and six ebooks, including: 10 Steps to Self-Esteem, How To Speak Your Mind - Become Assertive and Set Limits, Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People, and Freedom from Guilt and Blame - Finding Self-Forgiveness, available on her website, http://www.whatiscodependency.com and Amazon. Ms. Lancer has counseled individuals and couples for 28 years and coaches internationally. She’s a sought-after speaker in media and at professional conferences. Her articles appear in professional journals and Internet mental health websites, including on her own, where you can get a free copy of “14 Tips for Letting Go.” Find her on Youtube.com, Soundcloud, Twitter @darlenelancer, and at www.Facebook.com/codependencyrecovery.

Articles by Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT:

  • 6 Steps to Being Authentic
    09 Jun 2017

    Authenticity is the opposite of shame. It reveals our humanity and allows us to connect with others. Shame creates most all codependency symptoms — including hiding who we are, sacrificing our […]

  • Marriage After Sobriety
    06 May 2017

    When long-awaited sobriety finally arrives, partners expect their past relationship problems will disappear. Often, there is a “honeymoon” period when they’re on their best behavior and reaffirm their love and […]

  • What Triggers You?
    03 Apr 2017

    Getting “triggered” is an opportunity to heal and grow. The more hurts we’ve endured and the weaker our boundaries, the more reactive we are to people and events. Codependents are […]

  • Codependency is Based on Fake Facts
    01 Mar 2017

    Codependency is based on a lie. Its symptoms develop to cope with the deep, but false and painful belief — that “I’m not worthy of love and respect.” In the […]

  • Codependency Causes Anger and Resentment: 8 Tips on Anger Management
    21 Feb 2017

    Managing anger is essential to success in work and relationships. Codependents have a lot of anger they don’t know how to manage it effectively. They’re frequently partner with people who […]

  • Relationship Killers: Anger and Resentment
    18 Feb 2017

    Anger hurts. It’s a reaction to not getting what we want or need. Anger escalates to rage when we feel assaulted or threatened. It could be physical, emotional, or abstract, […]

  • The Cost of Secrets and Lies
    15 Jan 2017

    Trust is a fragile. Secrets and lies jeopardize trust and can damage us and our relationships – sometimes irreparably. We all tell “white lies.” We say “I’m fine,” when we’re […]

  • Dreams: Your Inner Guidance
    13 Dec 2016

    Dreams are far more than fantasies and wishes. They reveal inner truths, and expose incorrect conscious attitudes and resolve conflicts, providing a healing and self-regulating function. If you are inflated, […]

  • Codependency Addiction: Stages of Disease and Recovery
    05 Dec 2016

    Codependency has been referred to as “relationship addiction” or “love addiction.” The focus on others helps to alleviate our pain and inner emptiness, but in ignoring ourselves, it only grows. […]

  • Are You Dealing with a Sociopath or a Narcissist?
    13 Nov 2016

    People loosely call others narcissists, but there are nine criteria, five of which are necessary to diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The following summary diagnosis is controversial: Narcissism exists on […]

  • The Challenge of Forgiveness
    03 Sep 2016

    Forgiveness can sometimes feel impossible or even undesirable. Other times, we forgive only to be hurt again and conclude that forgiving was foolish. Both situations arise from confusion about what […]

  • Codependency, Addiction, and Emptiness
    06 Aug 2016

    Emptiness is a common feeling. There are distinct types of emptiness, but it’s psychological emptiness that underlies codependency and addiction. Whereas existential emptiness is concerned with your relationship to life, […]

  • Sons of Narcissistic Fathers
    14 Jun 2016

    Sons of narcissistic fathers are driven by lack of confidence. Raised by a self-centered, competitive, arrogant father, they feel like they can never measure up or be enough to garner […]

  • Trauma and Codependency
    23 May 2016

    You can make significant strides in overcoming codependency by developing new attitudes, skills, and behavior. But deeper recovery may involve healing trauma that usually began in childhood. Trauma can be […]

  • How Do You Forgive Yourself?
    17 May 2016

    Guilt is good. Yes! Guilt actually encourages people to have more empathy for others, to take corrective action, and to improve themselves. Self-forgiveness following guilt is self-essential to esteem, which […]

  • What is Toxic Shame?
    17 May 2016

    When shame becomes toxic, it can ruin our lives. Everyone experiences shame at one time another. It’s an emotion with physical symptoms like any other that come and go, but […]

  • Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
    17 May 2016

    Caring about someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tosses you on a roller coaster ride from being loved and lauded to abandoned and bashed. Having BPD is no picnic, either. […]

  • Can You Love Too Much?
    17 May 2016

    Conventional belief is that we can never love too much, but that isn’t always true. Sometimes, love can blind us so that we deny painful truths. We might believe broken […]

  • Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Abandonment
    17 May 2016

    If you’re discontented in a relationship or go from one to another or even remain unhappily alone, you may be caught in a worsening cycle of abandonment. People tend to […]

  • Soulmates and Unconditional Love
    17 May 2016

    Are you searching for a soulmate or unconditional love? Your quest can set you on an impossible journey to find an ideal partner. The problem is twofold: People and relationships […]

  • The Dark Side of Loneliness
    17 May 2016

    Many people, especially codependents, are haunted by inner loneliness. Twenty percent (60 million) of Americans report that loneliness is the source of their suffering. In fact, our emotional reaction to […]

  • Chronic Depression and Codependency
    17 May 2016

    Dysthymia, or chronic depression, is a common symptom of codependency; however, many codependents aren’t aware that they’re depressed. Because the symptoms are mild, most people with chronic depression wait 10 […]

  • Donald Trump and the Narcissistic Illusion of Grandiosity
    17 May 2016

    Donald Trump has grown an empire of wealth and power, but is it enough? He admits that it isn’t the money that motivates him (The Art of the Deal, 1987). […]

  • The Biggest Cause of Anxiety
    17 May 2016

    Anxiety is apprehension of experiencing fear in the future. The danger feared isn’t imminent and may not even be known or realistic. In contrast, fear is an emotional and physical […]

  • Is Your Guilt True or False?
    17 May 2016

    We all experience guilt from time to time. But many of us have a hard time letting go of it and find it difficult to forgive ourselves, even though we […]

  • Dealing with a Passive-Aggressive Partner
    17 May 2016

    Passive-aggressive people act passive but express aggression covertly. They’re basically obstructionists who try to block whatever it is you want. Their unconscious anger gets transferred onto you, and you become […]

  • Why Boundaries Don’t Work
    17 May 2016

    Has setting limits not worked? Despite your efforts, are your boundaries often ignored? It’s frustrating, to say the least, but it’s not always the other person’s fault. Here’s why and […]

  • How Insecurity Leads to Envy, Jealousy, and Shame
    17 May 2016

    Envy, jealousy, and shame are inextricably intertwined. Envy and jealousy are primal emotions that frequently overlap. They’re commonly first felt in the form of sibling rivalry and Oedipal longings. A […]

  • Are You a People-Pleaser?
    17 May 2016

    Everyone starts out in life wanting to be safe, loved, and accepted. It’s in our DNA. Some of us figure out that the best way to do this is to […]

  • Obsessions and Addiction
    17 May 2016

    This article isn’t meant to address obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is a mental disorder affecting one percent of adults. It starts in childhood and is believed to have a genetic […]

  • Substance Abuse: The Power of Acceptance
    17 May 2016

    Accepting reality enables us to live in reality. What does this mean? When life pleases us and flows in accordance with our needs and desires, we don’t think about acceptance. […]

  • Recovery from Codependency
    17 May 2016

    Codependency is often thought of as a relationship problem and considered by many to be a disease. In the past, it was applied to relationships with alcoholics and drug addicts. […]

  • 5 Tips on How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions
    17 May 2016

    Why bother to make resolutions and then feel disappointed or guilty for breaking them? Do you get excited and resolve to change, but within days or weeks lose interest and […]

  • 9 Tips to Cope with Holiday Depression
    17 May 2016

    The stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare […]

  • Codependency vs. Interdependency
    17 May 2016

    I was surprised to learn that this grove of aspen trees is actually one organism, sharing one root system. Each of us also is a community of 70 trillion cells […]

  • How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children
    17 May 2016

    Codependency causes much unhappiness. Research shows that codependency is learned in families and passed on generationally. It prevents the development of healthy, independently functioning individuals. When parents are codependent, codependency […]

  • Co-Dependency: Put the “I” in Independence
    17 May 2016

    Where is your power center? Is it in you or in other people or circumstances? Paradoxically, controlling people often believe that they don’t have control over their lives or even […]

  • How to Spot Emotional Unavailability
    17 May 2016

    If you’ve ever been in a relationship with someone emotionally unavailable, you know the pain of not being able to get close to the one you love. They’re evasive, make […]

  • Symptoms of Codependency
    17 May 2016

    Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It […]

  • Recovery Using the 12 Steps
    17 May 2016

    Most therapists do not realize that the 12 Steps are not merely an antidote for addiction, but are guidelines for nothing less than a total personality transformation. Bill Wilson, the […]

  • Are You an Enabler?
    17 May 2016

    Enabling is a term often used in the context of a relationship with an addict. It might be a drug addict or alcoholic, a gambler, or a compulsive overeater. Enablers, […]

  • 10 Tips for the Best Mothering & Self-Love
    17 May 2016

    The idea of self-love and self-nurturing baffles most people, especially codependents, who by and large received inadequate parenting. The word “nurture” comes from the Latin nutritus, meaning to suckle and […]

  • Perfectionism’s Trap: Matthew McConaughey’s Impossible Chase
    17 May 2016

    Perfectionism is an addiction, meaning we’re repeatedly unable to stop our perfectionist behaviors. Like other addictions, perfectionism varies in severity and can have negative consequences. It harms our self-esteem, makes […]

  • Picking up the Pieces After the Betrayal of Cheating
    17 May 2016

    It must be cellular: Men and women automatically feel humiliated when their partner cheats, even though they themselves have done nothing to be ashamed of. Too often, people feel embarrassed […]

  • Power, Control & Codependency
    17 May 2016

    Power exists in all relationships. Having power means to have a sense of control, to have choices and the ability to influence our environment and others. It’s a natural and […]

  • How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions: 5 Tips
    17 May 2016

    Why bother to make resolutions and then feel disappointed or guilty for breaking them? Do you get excited and resolve to change, but within days or weeks lose interest and […]

  • Understanding & Coping with the Christmas Blues
    17 May 2016

    The stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare […]

  • Affirm Your True, Authentic Self
    17 May 2016

    Every time you affirm your true, authentic self, every cell in your body cheers “Yes!” Every time you negate yourself or allow others to do so, it has negative biological […]

  • Low Self-Esteem is Learned
    17 May 2016

    Low self-esteem is learned — learned, inaccurate information that you’re in some way not enough, that you don’t matter, that your feelings are wrong, or that you don’t deserve respect. […]

  • Help for Codependents Whose Relationships are Ending
    17 May 2016

    Breaking up and rejection are especially hard for codependents. Breaking up triggers hidden grief and causes irrational guilt, anger, shame, and fear. Working through the following issues can help you […]