The dance of the codependents

Ixande  Rehab Cape Town, South Africa, has one of the best codependency treatment programmes available. Often described as an intricate dance between two partners, codependency is an emotional or relationship disorder that affects the individual’s ability to engage in and maintain healthy relationships. In many cases codependency and other addictive behaviours including alcoholism and drug abuse, go hand in hand

The term codependency can literally be explained as somebody who is “co dependent”. The term was originally coined during the study of the effects of alcoholism or substance abuse on other members of the family unit. For example, if the father in the family is an alcoholic, the wife and children in this family are likely to become codependent. They are not dependent directly on the alcohol or substance, but they learn to modify their own behaviours as direct result of the afflicted family member. In many cases the mother in an alcoholic family will become the enabler, the person who without realizing continues to enable the alcoholic father. The children in this dysfunctional family, may assume certain dysfunctional roles, often referred to as “the hero”, “the scapegoat”, “the lost child” and “the joker”. These roles or learned behaviours are a direct consequence of the father’s alcoholism and in essence a coping mechanism. Many children of alcoholic parents or parents who abuse drugs will grow up into adults with strong codependent tendencies. Here are few characteristics of a codependent:

  • They think they can take care of themselves without any help from others
  • They tend to mask pain in various ways such as anger or humor
  • They will put aside their own interests in order to do what others prefer
  • Codependents are unable to identify or ask for what they need and want
  • They have to feel needed in order to have a relationship with others
  • Codependents will suppress their feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable
  • They value others’ approval of their thinking, feelings, and behavior over their own
  • Codependents have trouble setting healthy priorities and boundaries
  • They are hypervigilant regarding the feelings of others and take on those feelings

Ixande is a rehab South Africa that caters for a variety of addictive behaviours, including codependency. Besides catering for the codependent, Ixande also treats those that suffer from alcohol addiction, drug addiction, sex addiction and gambling addiction. Because the codependent has often grown up in a dysfunctional family where alcoholism or drug addiction has played a role in how their own behavior has developed, it is extremely beneficial for the codependent to share the therapeutic environment with alcoholics and addicts. The group therapy sessions provide valuable insights into their own behaviours and rescuer/caretaker tendencies.

Codependents will very often get into a relationship where they assume a caretaker role. This allows them to put the needs and wants of their partner before their own. Whilst this appears to be very unselfish, it is actually all about the codependents’ deep seated need to feel needed. This is why they are often attracted to those people who seem to need looking after. In many cases the cycle is repeated and a codependent will subconsciously choose an alcoholic or drug dependent partner that they can take care of and enmesh with. A self-defeating triangle develops, sometimes referred to as the Karpman Codependency Triangle. The more the codependent tries to rescue their partner, the more the partner will retreat or pull away. The codependent feels resentful and unappreciated which is the exact opposite of what they are after. It’s clear to see why these codependent relationships are often likened to a form of dancing, with the never ending push-pull dynamic that exists, and how each “dance” partner is so familiar with the others’ dance move, that the dance analogy is a very apt description.

Scotswood helping you take those first steps

After finishing either a twenty eight day program or a longer period of rehabilitation in one of the many facilities in Cape Town, patients are often daunted by the prospect of having to reintegrate into society and carry on from where some of them may have left their lives in tatters. This is a common problem that faces these people trying to better themselves. Scotswood Retreat is a relatively new but motivated outfit that offers the opportunity for sober living in Cape Town, providing a supportive, substance free environment for those on the road to recovery.

sober living cape town

Scotswood sober house tackles the issues that recovering addicts need to deal with when leaving the rehabilitation center or treatment facility where they have completed their first part of their recovery journey. The Scotswood team are an experienced group of people with first hand knowledge of the difficulties faced by those on the recovery path. The team work hard to provide healthy, safe, sober and nurturing environment for their clients. The team is managed by founder and owner, Julia Finnis-Bedford. Julia has had to deal with the effects of people suffering from addiction in her own life, and was motivated to launch the Scotswood Retreat after realizing how difficult it is for people leaving the safety of their treatment centers, to find a healthy sober living environment.

The problem is that while in these rehabilitation centers, patients are almost completely isolated from any external factors that may distract them from their recovery process. Some might argue that they are perhaps shielded to much and it does them a disservice when the time does come to reintegrate back into society. It’s quite normal for these patients to have no access to social media, mobile phones or internet. Visitation is on a strictly controlled basis. So when the time does come for them to leave, they are suddenly bombarded by old triggers for the first time since their admission, putting their recovery to the test. Seeing old friends that they may have used drugs or alcohol with, going past old places where they may have abused substances, or even stressful circumstances, can all lead to a potential relapse.

Scotswood is the perfect way to make that transition from the very sheltered environment of a rehabilitation center to a more healthy lifestyle. Scotswood offer an assortment of facilities and amenities, including cooked dinners six nights of the week, off street parking for residents, Wifi access, and a gorgeous swimming pool. There are some criteria applicants are required to meet before being allowed to commence their stay at Scotswood, these include working a twelve step program, meeting regularly with their sponsor and attending recovery meetings.

Why do we dance ?

Human beings have been dancing since the beginning of time, but have you ever stopped to wonder why we do it ? Just what is it that makes people want to get up and start tapping their feet and shaking their butts ? The answer is not as simple as you may think. People dance mostly because of the way it makes them feel. Next time you see people dancing, just take a look and see if you can see anybody who is not smiling. Dancing is also a great way to meet new people without having to make too much conversation at first. It’s also a great way to stay in shape, keep fit and have fun at the same time. Research shows that dancing increases the endorphin levels in your body which in turn relieves stress.

swing dance

Dancing has evolved over the years, and like fashion, there is always something new, hot and popular. In the fifties, it was Bebop, Rock n Roll, The Twist, Cha Cha Cha and The Jitterbug. The sixties gave us The Twist, The Jerk, The Hokey Pokey, The Mashed Potato and other equally strange names. The 70’s are most famous for Disco, but there were several other popular dances too, like The Hustle, The Bump and The Funky Chicken. Michael Jackson had a strong influence on the eighties with his famous “Moonwalk”, which stands out among other styles like Breakdancing, The Robot and the Michael Jackson Lambada. The 90’s gave us Krumping, The Macarena, Vogue (inspired by pop-star Madonna) and the infamous “Cabbage Patch”.

Since the year 2000 we’ve had numerous dance crazes come and go, some which stand out are “Popping and Locking”, The Dougie, Cat Daddy and the infamous Gangnam Style. The Gangnam Style dance is a perfect example of how a single person’s idea or dance can become an overnight global sensation. “Gangnam Style” is a song released by South Korean artist, Psy, in 2012. The music video went viral on Youtube and became the first Youtube video to reach one billion views !

Gangnam dance

Dancing is fun, keeps you fit, relieves stress and may even lead you to meeting your next romantic partner. The popularity of dancing has led to thousands of dance schools and studios opening all over the world. A simple Google search will give you hundreds of results for dance lessons in your vicinity, city or country. You are guaranteed to find a studio offering classes in Tango, Salsa, Flamenco, Ceroc or even Ballroom. Ceroc has become increasing popular particularly with beginners, because its’ one of the easiest dances to learn, with simple moves and not much complicated footwork. Even a shy or self conscious beginner can quickly learn 3 or 4 moves which they can then use in freestyle Ceroc dancing. Because Ceroc incorporates elements from other dance styles like Jazz, Funk, Salsa, Swing and Rock n Roll, it can easily be danced to a variety of different music.

Ceroc dance classes are friendly, relaxed environments where the focus is on giving you the skills to dance “freestyle”, that  is choose 3 or 4 basic moves you like and then go with them. This approach makes it very easy for newcomers to get a quick feel for the dance , thereby feeling part of the whole group too. Ceroc Dance has fluidity to it, that wont leave you stuck with specific dance routines that can only be danced to certain music with certain people in certain places. Ceroc is more of a dance “life-skill” which can be relied on at anytime in your social life.

Healthy Entertainment

I think what gives Ceroc it’s appeal is that it is so easy to move from a complete noob at the start of your first lesson, to being someone capable of mixing up the 3 or 4 moves the’ve just learned, and pulling off some exciting freestyle moves and combinations with the more experienced dancers, before their first lesson is even over! We recently attended a Ceroc Dance Class in Centurion, South Africa, for a night of fun and socializing. The social class started at 7:30pm on Monday evening and was hosted by Ceroc connoisseurs Ruaan and Janie. We had a really great evening, enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and playful tone that the class held. Ruaan and Janie work from the Centurion Studio of Ceroc Dance South Africa (, all relevant info can be found on their website, including class times, dates and fees.

If dancing makes us happy, keeps us healthy and fit, relieves stress and leads to making new friends……why are we all not dancing as much as we possibly can ?

All the best, and keep on dancing !