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Issues and Goals in the Treatment of Dependent Personality Disorder (Codependence, or Codependency)

VIDEO PRESENTATION 31st World Psychiatrists and Psychologists Meet, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 2019

There is great confusion regarding the terms co-dependent, counter-dependent, and dependent. Before we proceed to study the Dependent Personality Disorder in our next article, we would do well to clarify these terms.

(“Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited” by Sam Vaknin – Click on this link to purchase the print book, e-books, or 3 DVDs with 16 hours of video lectures on narcissists, psychopaths, and abuse in relationships:



  • MrTheomighty1

    So just like narcissism can be cured so too can codependency, but people who have people pleasers syndrome know they have a condition, can the same be said about people who have narcissistic personality disorder?? What I'm saying is is if one parent out of the two parents has narcissism and they raise an only child how will the child know if he/she has a disorder because to them their up bringing will be the norm, so if a narc child could heal and a person who has codependency heals both sets of children would be classed as dependant and the world would be a much better place to live and relationships would be all ok and normal.. so how does a single adult child raised by a narc mother heal when she can't be reasoned with

  • Angela Falsetta

    TYSM, Dr. Sam! Familiar with the Cluster C PDS in work and my own life! Not on the level you just opened up for me, however! Duly enhanced! This education is the only way to live again!! Again, thank you and will be in touch when I can for session with you! ALL THE BEST! To you and Lydija! THIS IS AN AMAZING VIDEO from you, Dr.Sam!
    I am afraid Codependents fit much of the criteria of narc mindsets, tactics and behaviors! OMG!! This is VALUABLE INFO!
    I am fitting Counter Dependent Category in many ways, Dr, SAM!! Not all the way. I hope I am wrong! And if I am a Narc to some degree..It is not the curse I once thought it was and would even be understandable as to why I have some traits!. I do not think I am a narc, however. Well, I have, I think, too much empathy so I am not sure here! Empathy plagues me! Best to know the truth and face it! Thereby address it and treat…and begin recovery as best it can be! Thank you again!

  • Tera Balke

    It’s a nice analysis, thanks to Sam for a sincere interest and input in this subject. I always compare what Sam sais with facts and it does match. Especially the fact that narcissist and dependent individuals can come from the same family. I’m dependant type who has too easy intuitive attachment to people while my brother is an open narcissist. We have broken families and almost no communication. What my idea is, that after traumatic childhood empaths or co dependant people do not choose a person who will love them. Deep inside most empaths agree they “felt” it’s not gonna work but still made a relationship with narcissist. So they chosen to be hurted. Why they want such relationship? The mind of codependent person wants to bring him back to childhood trauma and teach him how to pass it in a healthy way, unfortunately codependent ppl sometimes don’t swim out of it unless they have genuine interest what happening with them. Narcissists cannot exist without codependent people like black cannot be black if you don’t have white. If you want to eliminate Narcissism, you have to cope with codependency. I also found a very strong truth about the interesting triangle when two narcissists or one narcissist and one codependent find a third scapegoat in order to keep their pair connected. Interesting fact is, if you take away their scapegoat, their relationship starts falling apart. Very interesting.

  • Rhonda O Oc

    This was very helpful since we want to understand what is wrong with us. Felt their was a problem but now I know all codependents are not the same. I hope you do more videos on this subject because you really made this simplified of what seemed so complicated.

  • Mara Dobervich

    Good descriptions of types of codependents. I have never heard of the different subtypes and surprisingly it isn't talked about very much in places like CODA. You'd think it would be helpful to think about.
    I feel like I am somewhat of a combination of the 4 of them, which i'm sure most people are.

    Do you feel like positive affirmations geared individually towards codependency issues (that i'm actually willing to believe) are helpful in healing it ? ("I am capable, worthy etc.") Do you think there is another and more effective activity that can be included in therapy ?

  • WomanInTheArena

    Thank you for clarifying this! I never identified fully with the generalised description of co-dependent. Today because of your video I learned that I am a situational co-dependent. How can I overcome this tendency? Or is there no hope? I worry same pattern of choosing wrong partners will happen again and again. Which is why I have been on my own for 3 years. I cannot stand going through the same thing again. Your advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  • Sat Sang

    Situational co-dependency. Brilliant! Finally I understand. You described it perfectly. How does one correct this in ones self is the question. It is a very different sub type. I also have PTSD acquired during the discard by a malignant narcissist. The therapist I’ve seen have no clue regarding situational co-dependency or the inner workings and ultimately the destruction perpetrated by a malignant narcissist. It’s problematic.

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