3 Reasons You’ve Done Years of Talk Therapy But Still Get Into Codependent Relationships

​I’m going to ruffle some feathers here, but it’s got to be said.

One BIG REASON you’ve been processing your feelings for years in talk therapy…

But still wind up in codependent relationships with emotionally unavailable,
addicted or abusive partners…​

Or AVOID PEOPLE because you don’t trust yourself, constantly overanalyze
things or have daily anxiety…

Is because talk therapy does NOT HEAL complex trauma. (According to research). And
complex trauma is often the root cause behind codependency. ​

So WHY is talk therapy initially helpful, but often not the lasting transformation that
heals your codependent patterns?

A few key reasons:


​Retelling a story of what your Ex did to you in therapy, gives you a shot of dopamine. A
highly addictive bio-chemical.

It also re-fires and re-wires the same trauma circuits in your brain.

SO…it feels good in the moment to get it off your chest (dopamine).

But when you walk out of your therapist’s office, your deeper brain wiring is still more
or less, the same.

People with complex trauma are also more likely to struggle with daily anxiety, self-
doubt…and ignoring their intuition in favor of being “liked” by someone else.

This is because the amygdala (fight or flight center) in their brain is OVER-ACTIVE. ​On
brain scans it’s actually larger, because it’s being used MORE than necessary.

So when you talk about the past, your brain simply fires and re-wires those circuits
that KEEP YOUR fight or flight center overactive. ​

Yes, it feels good to VENT (dopamine).

But again, nothing really changes in your brain wiring.

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Talk therapy can often be too surfacy and logical.

Whereas trauma and your relationship patterns are stored deep in your body as
repressed emotions, memories and memorized emotional responses.

​And deep in your subconscious mind as “programmed” belief systems.

TWO areas that talk therapy generally doesn’t focus on.

This is primarily why you can spend many months or years “talking” about your
issues…but then walk out into life and fall right back into another dysfunctional
relationship. ​


​Nearly 80% of complex trauma cases are misdiagnosed as anxiety, depression, bipolar
disorder or borderline personality disorder.

I was speaking with a well-educated therapist recently about helping her heal her own
complex trauma and relationship patterns…

When she admitted, she herself didn’t know much about complex trauma at all. This
is coming from a licensed clinician who treats patients.

​​What DOES work for healing complex trauma that leads to codependency?

  • Using a somatic (AKA mind-body) method.
  • Daily PRACTICE and TRAINING to heal your brain and nervous system from
    trauma programming.

Somatic therapy is one of several, proven-research backed methods for specifically
healing complex trauma – The type that happens in relationships…

​And continues to DERAIL your relationships.

Somatic therapy might include meditation, body scans, guided self-inquiry with the
therapist, breathwork and trauma-sensitive yoga or exploratory movement.

These things combined create heart and brain coherence. Basically smooth, calm brain
wave frequencies. And smooth, calm feelings in your body.

Which, when practiced DAILY and consistently, rewires your brain out of trauma
programming, anxiety, self doubt and trust issues…

​​And INTO empowered living, choice-making, boundaries without guilt,
CONFIDENCE and healthy, fulfilling relationships.

This means you no longer agonize (daily) about whether something’s wrong with you.

You no longer constantly question yourself and silence your intuition because you’re
afraid of failure. ​

You wake up in peace every day. Not ruminating about your Ex.

You set boundaries quickly instead of people-pleasing and working an extra 20 hours
this week.

​You speak up during conflict and advocate for your needs when you date again, instead
of burying your head in the sand and hoping for the best.

​You BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN POTENTIAL. Instead of believing in a partner’s
potential, hoping he’ll change and losing yourself in the process.

You emanate and radiate a love for life, a love for yourself, TRUST AND

Instead of coming home to an empty house and feeling deeply lonely…and then finding
some busy-work or pouring yourself a bottle of wine to deal with it…

You feel IMMENSE GRATITUDE and appreciation for your life. And this is what
leads to healthy love in the future and ENDS your pervasive lifelong pattern of Mr.

Somatic therapy and healing complex trauma is the cornerstone of my work with clients.

​We also do deep work on creating a healthy, success-oriented mindset, communication
strategies, boundary setting, goal-getting and when she’s ready…

Dating again with confidence, ease, an open heart and MASSIVE SELF-TRUST.

If you know you need deeper work than what you’re getting in talk therapy..

If you know you’ve been in therapy for years…and that’s not translating to
healthy relationships… or it’s getting WORSE…

If you know your trauma-induced self-sabotage is holding you back in other life areas
(like your career, feeling emotionally present for your kids)…

We’re here to help you experience Codependency Recovery.

Women best positioned to see the best results from this work are: ​

  1. Successful professionally and in other life areas.
  2. Single or divorced. Not hoping to make it work with a toxic person.
  3. Prior exposure to traditional talk therapy.

Bethany Dotson is a Trauma-Sensitive Somatic Therapist and Relationship Coach

5 Responses

  1. Daryl says:

    I am a MAN & have experienced exactly what you are talking about….it sounds like your program is exactly what I need too. Can you help me break my own similar patterns? I need to do this work.

    • Hi Daryl,

      I’m happy to have a conversation with you to explore whether or not I can help you have some transformation. The best thing is is to book a free discovery call: http://www.bethanydotson.com/talk and complete the application once you book your day and time. You’ll be automatically redirected to complete the app.


  2. Stephanie R Gould says:

    Hello Bethany,
    I have had several years of talking therapy & disappointed that I am still struggling to live a happy life. I can see avoidant pattern sometimes mainly because I feel more safe alone. However, I am not interested in an intimate relationship, more on building one with myself to stop attracting toxic people in general. Also to improve energy & physical health that can be affected by past unreleased trauma. Symptoms can also be age related.
    I have began EFT to work on the somatic level & yoga, as I have come to the same conclusion as stated in your article. It seems to be slowly helping but time will tell. What is your view on this?

    • Hi Stephanie,

      EFT is a wonderful tool, but in research is not shown to heal trauma. It is technically “somatic”…however many use EFT as a way to continue avoiding their feelings. Example: feeling sad over something and then go into EFT as way to NOT feel sad or “hurry up and make the feeling go away faster.” This is essentially spiritual bypassing.

      I suggest working with a somatic therapist or coach, specifically who treats trauma. The benefit of working professionally with someone is that 1) it helps the client with trauma learn to develop a healthy relationship with someone else AND with themselves in the process. 2) a trained professional will see your “gaps” much more clearly than you can. The phrase “the inside of the pickle jar can’t read the outside label” applies here. 3) A coach specifically will help you move FORWARD whereas therapy is more about understanding your past. Hope this is helpful.

  3. Ralph Gardner says:

    ON healing trauma you must go deeper than where “Talk Therapy” can take you. Being an early childhood sexual-abuse survivor, I learned in my later years that processes like hypno, NLP and Shamanic work (Soul Retrieval) provided profound results. I became certified in hypno and NLP, and traded session work with those I trusted. For some 4-5 years, the anxiety of doubt, fear, insecurity, lack of confidence began to finally subside. Sexual trauma can be very difficult to heal dependent on when the abuse began, and for me, I only learned in the past 10 years that it began when I was about 1.5 years old; I’m not 74. If this speaks to anyone, please move forward in your therapeutic journey and find those you can speak to in helping you address whatever traumas you’ve experienced. I’m fortunate now to find myself as happy as I’ve ever been, and importantly, extremely functional, confident and secure in who I am. Wishing you all the best…

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