Is Your Codependency Hurting Your Private Therapy Practice?


Many therapists struggle with codependence without even realizing it. Due to the caring nature required to become a therapist, your codependent tendencies are likely to remain unnoticed until you start to feel unfulfilled and overworked in your private practice.

If you're not feeling empowered and fulfilled in your private practice, you are doing yourself and your clients a disservice. I want to help you change that. 

I will discuss the signs of codependence and its negative impact on your private therapy practice in today's post. I'll also share some tips on what you can do about it right now!

What is Codependency?

Among therapists, it often manifests as the need for validation and approval from clients that turn into a pattern of unhealthy behaviors.

Signs of Codependency in Your Therapy Practice

Failure to set healthy boundaries.  Codependency can lead therapists to feel as though their entire life and practice revolves around their patients. You may find yourself accomodating requests for schedule and rate changes out of fear of upsetting or losing a client, even at the expense of your own health and happiness.

Enabling patients instead of empowering them. You find yourself nurturing your clients instead of challenging them. Rather than giving them the strength to make positive changes, you're more focused on pleasing them and ensuring that they're not upset with you. You may even find that you struggle to cut ties with a patient that is clearly reluctant to make any positive changes in their life, wasting your time and theirs. 

Overwhelming dissatisfaction and guilt. No matter what you do, you feel overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated by the clients you constantly try to accommodate. You no longer feel fulfilled with your work as you're putting your client's needs above your own.

How Codependency Can Hurt Your Practice

  • You're making less money by taking on low-rate clients or by offering discounts out of guilt. 
  • Your need to please your clients instead of challenging them prevents you from providing them with adequate treatment.  
  • You're facing burnout as you continue to spread yourself thin to keep your clients happy. 
  • Your clients are beginning to gain control of your sessions. 
  • You have too many clients or clients that are not the right fit for your happiness in your practice.

What You Can do Today 

Assess where your codependent habits are within your practice and how it's impacting your work. Don't be afraid to label yourself as codependent, either. Labeling was very taboo in my training as a therapist, but once I confidently labeled this issue, I was able to make some significant changes in my practice.

Set firm boundaries. Not just for your clients but also for yourself. Determine what you want from a fulfilling private practice and identify the necessary boundaries you need to set to get there.

Things like your schedule, number of patients, and rates are essential decisions and firm boundaries that should be determined by you, not your clients. 

Take your power back by respecting your boundaries and reminding yourself that your clients need you, not the other way around.

Clarity and change don't always come easy, but I'm here to help. I've also been guilty of serving my clients at my own expense. Don't make the same mistakes I did. Book a complimentary clarity session here. We can identify the areas within your business where you can set healthy boundaries and empower you within your practice again.