The concept of healthy detachment described perfectly in the book Codepedent No More: Stop controlling others and start caring for yourself is by far one of my favorite tools in work with individuals or couples.

This is hard work and a concept that takes a lifetime to practice but it can change lives and relationships for the better, I have lived it personally and seen it many times in my therapy office.

Here is a small section of the book:

Ideally, detachment is releasing, or detaching from, a person or problem WITH love.  We mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically disengage ourselves from unhealthy (and frequently painful) entanglements with another person’s life and responsibilities , and from problems we cannot solve.

Detachment is based on the premise that each person is responsible for himself, that we can’t solve problems that aren’t ours to solve, and that worrying doensn’t help.  We adopt a policy of keeping our hands off other people’s responsibilities and tend to our own instead.  We allow people to be who they are.  We give them the freedom to be responsible and to grow.  And we give ourselves that same freedom.  We live our own lives to the best of our ability.  We strive to ascertain what it is we can change and what we cannot change.  Then we stop trying to change things and people we can’t.  We do what we can to solve a problem and we have done what we couple, we learn to live with that problem.  and we try to love happily-focusing heroically on what is good in our lives today, and feeling grateful for that.

Detaching does not mean we don’t care.  It means we learn to love, care, and be involved without going crazy.


Good stuff huh?


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