“I think Prodependence is the best book I have ever read from the family systems perspective to understanding addiction. I love that it helps point out the FUNCTION of the addiction in the individual and its impact on the system. It is an insightful read for most of the addicts I work with, It also helps facililtate the exploration of muliple addictions so we can identify all of the addictive/unhealthy coping strategies that impact the family, not just sex. For the partner, I think a book from a non sex-addiction lens really helps them to separate the sex from the addiction and more easily let go of the personalization of the sex addiction. I feel like it makes it easier for them to understand the presence of the addiction from the perspective of the function the addiction serves in the addict’s life rather than a direct result of them not being desirable enough or _____ enough. The other benefit of assigning it to partners is that it isn’t generally as triggering as other betrayal trauma literature. The third advantage of learning about Prodependence for partners is that it is a validating, supportive and necessary reframe on Codependency and the toxic shame some partners may experience when that term is applied in insensitive and uninformed ways.”
— Heather Putney, Ph.D., LMFT, CSAT, EMDR, Clinical Director, Untethered Therapy Group, 10.20.20
I wanted to share with you what I received in reading Dr. Weiss’s book on Prodependence. Up to that point, all I had been reading and hearing was about was co-dependency and how I played a part in my husband’s betrayal. knowingly or otherwise. It seemed that due to my family of origin, I had chosen him because I was codependent from my childhood. It made me feel like damaged goods before I even said, “I do”. It was a shaming, confusing, and demeaning feeling on top of already feeling dejected and depressed. I felt that it was my fault!
In reading Dr. Weiss’ book, I felt validated and free of that shame. It felt like he was talking directly to me! His straightforward description of being “prodependent” allowed me to separate myself from my husband’s choices and addictive behavior. His blunt and clear description of addiction and its origins for the addict gave me an epiphany. I realized that the only thing I did was to “love much” and that wasn’t a bad thing! I had done nothing wrong. I did not have to feel guilty for having been a good, supportive, and faithful spouse. I was not damaged goods. My family of origin was not perfect, but pretty sound, and I realized that all I had brought to my marriage was love and a willingness to honor my marriage at all times. My husband’s addiction and choices were his to own.
I also appreciated how he took all codependent descriptions and addressed them positively with prodependent statements. I read that table often. Each time I do, I feel affirmed. I needed to read his book in my journey of healing from my husband’s betrayals. It helped me to recognize, I was the victim of my husband’s addiction, not the cause. I felt heard and cared for in his writing. It was very important for me to read his words and regain esteem and worth that had been lost.
I hope more people will read his book so as to bolster their confidence, self-love and esteem. As I told you, if I ever meet Dr. Weiss, I will give him a bear hug for it. He is a friend to those betrayed and addicts alike. His book promotes healing and hope. I am very grateful that you shared it with me! I have purchased my own copy so as to read it again from time to time when I feel myself slipping into a negative and dark place. I can be prodependent and productively move forward regardless of my husband’s choices or actions.
Thank you again for sharing Dr. Weiss’s gift of Prodependence!”
“I read “Prodependence”, as you suggested. It really helped to ground me. It helped me to remember that (husband) is really an addict and relapse is a big part of addiction as is deceit. The deceit is just so hard for me to make peace with. That and the realization that I have been so happy in my relationship and confident that he was sober and trust worthy. That is just so hard to reconcile.”
“Prodependence is recommended (maybe even required) reading for all recovering addicts, all spouses and family members of addicts, and all therapists who work with addicts and family members of addicts.”
—I Love Recovery Cafe
“In his book Prodependence, Moving Beyond Codependency, Robert Weiss, PhD, LCSW offers a provocative and new approach to working with caregivers of addicts that is useful and strength based. Dr. Weiss succinctly challenges, and in this writer’s opinion rightly so, the Codependent movement… Dr Weiss’s book is well outlined, comprehensive and appropriate for those entering the addiction field, as well as for those of us who have been in the mental health field for many years and wish to re-examine and learn about other addiction models of treatment.”
“Removing codependence and addiction from the list of diseases that afflict humankind and seeing their cause as responses to overwhelming life conditions rehumanizes those who suffer—both addicts and those who love them. This approach rightly acknowledges them as co-participants in the human journey rather than objects of analysis and treatment. In Prodependence, Robert Weiss has not only created a new term but has also boldly challenged the cultural practice of negatively labeling those in service to others. He shows that by doing so, we devalue their selfless efforts and amplify their suffering. This groundbreaking book is a call to awaken from the old way of thinking to find new and positive methods. We recommend it to all mental health providers and to those whose mental health will improve by reading it.”
—Harville Hendrix, PhD, and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD, coauthors of Getting the Love You Want and The Space Between
“At last, a therapist who understands the power of love. Bravo, Robert Weiss! Rather than judging the caregivers of addicts as codependents with pathologies of their own, Weiss recognizes them as normal, mentally healthy men and women with a deep and unconditional love for their addicted partner or family member. He celebrates emotional dependence, offering nonjudgmental support and guidance for navigating the difficult landscape of relationship with an addict. By coming from a positive perspective, his concepts offer hope instead of despair for those living in crisis. And as a bonus, it’s a fascinating read about the evolution of the recovery movement, and the importance of human kindness and connection in healing.”
—Helen Fisher, PhD, bestselling author of Why We Love, Anatomy of Love, and Why Him? Why Her?
“Rob Weiss is a clinical pioneer and innovator. In Prodependence, he takes issue with the codependence model and replaces it with an attachment-based perspective that is less pathologizing and stigmatizing of an individual or a family’s love for an addicted relative. Weiss’ work and speculation based on his clinical experience moves the field forward and provides clinicians who work with addictions a lot of “food for thought.”
—Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, author, Healing the Incest Wound and Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders (co-authored with Dr. Julian Ford)
“Prodependence provides a refreshing, empathetic, and practical approach to understanding partners and families of addicts, and how best to help them learn how to handle their difficult situation. Avoiding the classic split between the trauma and codependency models, Weiss uses the framework of attachment theory to avoid blaming partners and pathologizing their behavior. Instead, he validates and reframes their efforts and provides techniques to help them heal, improve their selfcare, set appropriate boundaries for their own behavior, and deal with their challenges. This beautifully written book is must-reading for all those who love an addict, as well as all mental health professionals.”
—Jennifer Schneider, MD, author of Back from Betrayal: Recovering from the Trauma of Infidelity
“First there was codependence, then there was the trauma model. Now we have prodependence—the evolution of empowerment for partners, families, and others affected by the addiction or illness of someone they love. Bravo, Rob Weiss, for crossing the next frontier in addiction/attachment-systems theory and extending us an invitation and detailed map of how to join him there. With fresh ideas and crisp writing, Weiss distills decades of experience into a compassionate call to action. There is a new and better way to support those whose lives are affected by an addict, and it’s called prodependence.”
—Staci Sprout, LICSW, CSAT, author of Naked in Public: A Memoir of Recovery from Sex Addiction and Other Temporary Insanities
“Rob Weiss has assessed the addiction treatment landscape with a keen eye and extensive clinical experience and proposed a new framework which will advance our clinical understanding of addiction. In this new book, he reconceptualizes the nature of relationships between addicts and the people who love them. He notes that the concept of codependence has fallen short both in terms of specificity and accurately capturing the intentions and actions of persons affected by addiction. In this important book, he proposes a new model based on attachment theory that promises to rewrite our approach to the care and treatment of those in relationships with addicts.”
—David Fawcett, PhD, author of Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery
“Robert Weiss’ “Prodependence” is a must read for those who are wanting to learn about the fine dance between dependence and autonomy and more importantly becoming our best selves in relationship with others. So often you hear people downplaying the role of attachments for an illusory, hyper-masculine attitude of self-sufficiency and doing-it-alone approach to life. With wisdom and compassion, Robert offers a paradigm-shifting book that shows us how to love and be loved, and in turn, change the world for the better.”
“In Prodependence, Weiss presents a research-based social and psychological understanding of human interdependence, accepting and even celebrating human connection in ways that are healthy and life-affirming for each person. In this way, prodependence presents a new paradigm for useful and healthy support, offering an evolved prism through which they can examine, evaluate, and improve not just relationships affected by addiction, but relationships in general..”
—The Phoenix Spirit