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Diagnosing and Treating Codependence: A Guide for Professionals Who Work with Chemical Dependents, Their Spouses, and Children [Paperback]

Timmen L Cermak M.D.
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Sept. 15 1998 Professional Series
With so many definitions of co-dependence in use, it can be hard to tell which is most valid. Dr. Cermark clarifies this crucial issue by providing five clear diagnostic criteria corresponding directly to accepted psychiatric and psychological concepts. Written for physicians, teachers, counsellors, and other professionals, this concise and highly readable guide describes novel methods of treatment that extend far beyond current approaches.

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About the Author

Is in private practice of psychiatry and addiction psychiatry, San Francisco and Marin County.Medical director and psychiatric consultant, Henry Ohlhoff Programs, SF, CA - 30-day residential, day treatment, 6-month halfway house and full range of outpatient chemical dependence services.Murray Hill Communications - consultant to Recoveryconnection.com, a recovery-oriented websiteB.A., Philosophy, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OHM.D., Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OhioCertifications:Diploma, American Board of Psychiatry and NeurologyCertificate of Added Qualification in Addiction PsychiatryCertified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine

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4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Clinicians Jan. 8 2003
Format:Paperback
Dr. Cermak presents the subject of Co-Dependence in an intriguing manner. From his introduction with a recap of the Narcissus and Echo tale to his treatment regimen, and especially including his diagnostic criteria, his work is well thought out and presented. I highly recommend this book for anyone who works with chemically dependent clients or their families.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Aug. 12 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Very easy and straight forward read. Extremely helpful. Everyone dealing with this problem should get something from it. Give it a shot you've got nothing to loose :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE FIRST PSYCHIATRIC ANALYSES OF CO-DEPENDENCE June 3 2013
By Steven H. Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Dr. Timmen Cermack is a psychiatrist in Mill Valley, CA, who specializes in Addiction; he has also written books such as A Time to Heal: The Road to Recovery for Adult Children of Alcoholics, Marijuana What's a Parent to Believe, etc.

He wrote in the Preface of this 1986 book, "Co-dependence is both a legitimate psychological concept and important human disorder... It is time to define co-dependence at a level of sophistication at least equal to standards set forth in the DSM-III: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders... Once we establish scientific validity and reliability for the concept, more professionals will take it seriously and we can advance our understanding of this major source of distress. A definitive work on co-dependence is not yet possible. What IS possible at this point is to develop a more complete framework for understanding... than has been available so far... That is the goal of this book." (Pg. vii)

He observes, "The concept of co-dependence outlined herein assumes that chemical dependence is at least a fourfold disease. We are accustomed to thinking of it as having three facets---physical, emotional/psychological, and spiritual... But chemical dependence is also a FAMILY disease in the most profound sense of the word. Sooner of later, everyone around the sick person 'catches' it in one form or another." (Pg. viii) Later, he summarizes, "This book poses a single question: whether co-dependence meets the same standards for a personality disorder that ALREADY apply to the current categories." (Pg. 101)

He defines the term: "Co-dependence is a recognizable pattern of personality traits, predictably found within most members of chemically dependent families, which are capable of creating sufficient dysfunction to warrant diagnosis of Mixed Personality Disorder in DSM III." (Pg. 1) He adds, "[DSM III] gives therapists a way to communicate, it provides diagnostic criteria for research, and it affords a means for individual clients to interface with health resource providers." (Pg. 7)

He suggests, "whether co-dependence is seen as a disease or not depends ... on how one defines a diesase. Nonpsychotic Psychological Disorders are generally PATTERNS of maladaptive behavior which lie outside an individual's conscious ability to control (e.g., phobias, depression, personality disorders). In this broad sense, co-dependence can be seen as a true disease..." (Pg. 35)

He says, "The rediscovery of one's spirituality can lead to the deep characterological change that is essential to recovery from codependence. But because my intent is to help professionals to do better THERAPY with co-dependents, I have restricted my comments to the means by which psychotherapy can promote such change with or without the assistance of spiritual efforts on the part of the client... indeed, those therapists who take spirituality into account are probably more effective practitioners as a result." (Pg. 68)

This book will be of great help to anyone interested in Co-dependence, and related "Recovery" issues.
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Clinicians Jan. 8 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dr. Cermak presents the subject of Co-Dependence in an intriguing manner. From his introduction with a recap of the Narcissus and Echo tale to his treatment regimen, and especially including his diagnostic criteria, his work is well thought out and presented. I highly recommend this book for anyone who works with chemically dependent clients or their families.
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE FIRST PSYCHIATRIC ANALYSES OF CO-DEPENDENCE June 3 2013
By Steven H. Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Dr. Timmen Cermack is a psychiatrist in Mill Valley, CA, who specializes in Addiction; he has also written books such as A Time to Heal: The Road to Recovery for Adult Children of Alcoholics, Marijuana What's a Parent to Believe, etc.

He wrote in the Preface of this 1986 book, "Co-dependence is both a legitimate psychological concept and important human disorder... It is time to define co-dependence at a level of sophistication at least equal to standards set forth in the DSM-III: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders... Once we establish scientific validity and reliability for the concept, more professionals will take it seriously and we can advance our understanding of this major source of distress. A definitive work on co-dependence is not yet possible. What IS possible at this point is to develop a more complete framework for understanding... than has been available so far... That is the goal of this book." (Pg. vii)

He observes, "The concept of co-dependence outlined herein assumes that chemical dependence is at least a fourfold disease. We are accustomed to thinking of it as having three facets---physical, emotional/psychological, and spiritual... But chemical dependence is also a FAMILY disease in the most profound sense of the word. Sooner of later, everyone around the sick person 'catches' it in one form or another." (Pg. viii) Later, he summarizes, "This book poses a single question: whether co-dependence meets the same standards for a personality disorder that ALREADY apply to the current categories." (Pg. 101)

He defines the term: "Co-dependence is a recognizable pattern of personality traits, predictably found within most members of chemically dependent families, which are capable of creating sufficient dysfunction to warrant diagnosis of Mixed Personality Disorder in DSM III." (Pg. 1) He adds, "[DSM III] gives therapists a way to communicate, it provides diagnostic criteria for research, and it affords a means for individual clients to interface with health resource providers." (Pg. 7)

He suggests, "whether co-dependence is seen as a disease or not depends ... on how one defines a diesase. Nonpsychotic Psychological Disorders are generally PATTERNS of maladaptive behavior which lie outside an individual's conscious ability to control (e.g., phobias, depression, personality disorders). In this broad sense, co-dependence can be seen as a true disease..." (Pg. 35)

He says, "The rediscovery of one's spirituality can lead to the deep characterological change that is essential to recovery from codependence. But because my intent is to help professionals to do better THERAPY with co-dependents, I have restricted my comments to the means by which psychotherapy can promote such change with or without the assistance of spiritual efforts on the part of the client... indeed, those therapists who take spirituality into account are probably more effective practitioners as a result." (Pg. 68)

This book will be of great help to anyone interested in Co-dependence, and related "Recovery" issues.
5.0 out of 5 stars Codependency book Jan. 15 2011
By Amy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent tool to use as a reference guide for treating the drug and alcohol clientele and their families. It reads more like a textbook, so I recommend it for a counselors ( psychiatrist, psychologist or therapists) manual only, not for clientele or families to read. It seems to be very helpful in understanding all aspects of codependency and how to apply treatment that will aid in facilitating change within the individual and families. It has concrete information to use as a guide as well as ideas to suggest that the professionals revising the DSM-TR that perhaps this diagnosis may need to be included in the manual as an adjunct reference in the future.
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