My Life As A Border Collie
Why did you write My Life as a Border Collie?
Codependency has been a personal and professional interest of mine since 1988. Having now worked as a mental health and substance abuse counselor for 35 years and having lived with my border collie, Daisy for sixteen of those years, I realized that Daisy and I share many characteristics that we use to define codependency. I also realized that I had a number of Tales to tell about these characteristics as well as many Lessons I have learned about how to value the strengths of these characteristics and yet not let them go so far as to cause problems for my self and others.
As the book evolved and as I presented material from my first book, Disentangle: When You’ve Lost Your Self in Someone Else, I decided to not only write these Tales and Lessons but also to weave throughout the book some my understandings of codependency developed through both my teaching as well as my study of professional research on this important topic.
What makes this book unique?
No one has ever written a book about codependency and border collies. And though this may sound whimsical, it is not. Granted I offer endearing stories about both Daisy and me, but within and around those stories is plenty of information that goes well beyond simply saying what codependency is.
The book emphasizes seeing codependency behaviorally, looking at not just characteristics but at the behaviors that support each characteristic. This behavioral focus enables the reader to better access self-understanding and to make healthy changes.
The book also offers the reader several practical models for understanding codependency. One of those models is the continuum, and I use this model throughout the book, inviting the reader to see how a particular codependent feature can begin as useful and/or positive and how, as we move down the continuum of that characteristic/behavior, we can become just too much for our self and/or for others.
Learning how to pay attention to our self within this continuum context and how to intervene on our own behalf pour into the multiple and specific Lessons Learned offered in each of the twelve chapters on the characteristics.
Who is your target audience?
My Life as a Border Collie: Freedom from Codependency is for both the general public as well as professionals.
Anyone who has an interest in codependency can benefit by this book. If they are new to the topic, they will be able to understand the material and learn ways to make healthy changes for themselves. If the reader has been doing recovery work for their codependency, they will benefit by the unique ways I talk about this topic which invites the use of the continuum in self-awareness and self-interventions.
Professionals helping individuals with codependent behaviors can also benefit by this book, both in terms of increasing their understanding of this topic as well as offering very concrete information to their clients to help them reach their treatment goals.
Additionally, the Lessons Learned in each chapter are good for simply anyone who is living an overextended life and who wishes to learn additional ways to find that balance that we each seek for our own mental health.