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Chapter 12: Keep Your Agreements

Workbook Chapter Twelve

Keep Your Agreements


Self-Assessment Tools:


A Self-Inventory: Typical Characteristics Of Co-dependent People

Barry K. Weinhold, PhD


Directions: Place a number from 1 to 4 in the space before each question to indicate the degree of your response. 


Key: 1 = Never, 2 = Occasionally, 3 = Frequently,4 = Almost always


( ) I tend to assume responsibility for others’ feelings and/or behavior.

( ) I have difficulty in identifying my feelings—happy, angry, scared, sad or excited.

( ) I have difficulty in expressing my feelings.

( )  I am afraid or worry how others may respond to my feelings or behavior.

(  )  I minimize problems and deny or alter truth about the feelings or behavior of others.

(  )  I have difficult in forming or maintaining close relationships.

(  )  I am afraid of rejection.

(  )  I am a perfectionist and judge myself harshly.

(  )  I have difficult in making decisions.

(  )  I tend to be reactive to others rather than to act on my own.

(  )  I tend to put other people’s wants and needs first.

(  ) I tend to value the opinion of others more than my own.

(  )  My feelings of worth come from outside myself, through the opinions of other people or from activities that validate my worth. 

(  )  I find it difficult to be vulnerable and ask for help.

(  )  I try to always be in control or, the opposite, avoid never being in a position of responsibility.

(  )  I am extremely loyal to others, even when that loyalty is unjustified.

(  ) I tend to view situations with “all or none” thinking.

(  )  I have a high tolerance for inconsistency and mixed messages.

(  )  I have emotional crises and chaos in my life.

(  )  I seek out relationships in which I feel “needed” and attempt to keep it that way.

___ Total Score

Scoring: Add the numbers to get a total score. Use the following ranges to help interpret your level of co-dependency:

60-80 - A very high degree of co-dependent behavior patterns

40-59 - A high degree of co-dependent behavior patterns

30-39 - Some degree of co-dependent and/or counter-dependent behavior  patterns

20-29 - A few co-dependent and/or a high degree of counter-dependent  behavior patterns


Case Example:


Mary, age 38, chose me to be her therapist. In the Betterhelp referral system they have the profiles of all their therapists. People who sign up for Betterhelp can read these profiles and choose who they think they want to work with. If someone chooses me, I have to take them as a client.


Mary put it this way, “We never seemed to get to the root of my problems and I thought it was my fault.” She added, “When I read your profile, I knew that you would help me get to the root of my problems.” And the root we did.  I had her take some of my self-assessment tools and began going over each item where she scored high using my 4-step process. She is  able to find things she can do now to finish what she left unfinished in her rather chaotic childhood. 


She had an alcoholic mother, with a mental illness, probably a borderline personality disorder. Mary said she was constantly afraid of her mother.  She beat Mary with a belt. She was very unsteady, always angry at someone or something. She never felt safe. When she was about 2 she fell in to a woodstove and got burned. She swallowed a penny and almost choked. 


Her mother would smack you across her face, pull her hair, and choked her repeatedly. Her father divorced her mother when Mary was 16. Her worst memories of her mother were when she would go to bars and bring home guys to sleep with her. This happened repeatedly.


Through our work on looking at what she missed and how she could finish it now, Mary saw that she needed to set boundaries with others and get her voice back. Recently she said to me, “I never liked myself. Now it is nice to like myself.”


Other Resources:


Novels: “Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austin

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