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Old 12-25-2009, 04:29 PM
LadyMacbeth LadyMacbeth is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Oregon
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Speak up on the differences between healthy and dysfunctional dependence, please.[/QUOTE]

Oh, lots to be said. I suppose it can be summed up in the difference, discussed by Ainsworth and others, between "secure attachment," and "anxious attachment" and "dismissive" attachment styles, as well as "disorganized attachment." Wiki has a nice overview at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory

Overall, I believe that "healthy" is a balance between allowing oneself to need another, as well as having a full and healthy sense of independence in a balanced way. In other words, equally valuing attachment and individuation as core internal needs. So...a "healthy dependence" has a balance of both, an "unhealthy dependence" would involve either focusing on individuality/individuation at the expense of connecting deeply with others (eg being disconnected, nonemotive, unaware of emotions, etc) *or* focusing on attachment/connection at the expense of the self (eg staying in an abusive or controlling relationship out of fear of losing the loved other.)

Of course lots more could be said...
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