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For those who feel their identity has been lost along the road to winning others' approval, author and licensed clinical psychologist David Hawkins has a map. In his latest book, he suggests how to address co-dependency in individuals, families, and churches.

"Many of us try to lose ourselves for the sake of others and then, feeling exhausted and depleted, feel angry and guilty when we try to replenish ourselves in some meager way," Hawkins writes. Co-dependents, he says, need others to need them; they cling to rigid beliefs in order to control their world. They deny their feelings and are terrified of getting hurt.

Hawkins examines the relationship of church members to the church, incorporating his experiences and exploring healthy boundaries. "The gospel does not call us to be workaholics, weary and depressed because we are unrested, overworked, and malnourished," he writes.

Quoting liberally from sources ranging from Scripture to Henri Nouwen, Annie Dillard, and Mister Rogers, Hawkins shares examples from families he has counseled and suggests ideas for change. Most importantly, he shows that when we let go of our co-dependency, we are available to let God work in and through our lives.

Related Elsewhere:

When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You is available from and other book retailers.

More information is available from the publisher.

Dr. David Hawkins's InCourage Ministry has more information about Hawkins, his books, and other resources.

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In the Magazine

August 2004

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