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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
In the article, via applying the concept of sustainable development, two models of co-dependent behavior of members of alcoholic families are considered. Sustainable development is understood as a process of change, in which the development, orientation, behavior of a person and their psychological changes are coordinated with each other and strengthen the present and future potential of the person to meet his/her needs and aspirations. The first model shows the emergence of a “mania” – a structure of codependency, which is pathological and is characteristic of most families of alcoholics. In the second model, the adaptive circle of codependence is described, which, when it is formed, helps to realize the problem of co-dependence of the alcoholic’s family members and resolution of this problem. It is emphasized that consideration of the phenomenon of codependence from a new socio-psychological point of view in the perspective of sustainable development will eventually improve the quality of life of co-dependent members of alcoholic families. For families of alcoholics the phenomenon of codependence is typical, i.e., the type of interpersonal relationships, when the whole life of the people that surround an alcoholic is concentrated on him. Co-dependent family members tend to focus on the external environment, which means focusing on external assessments, taking care of the impression made in other people. Self-distrust, blurred image of the future of alcoholic spouses lead to hyper-involvement and the desire to control all spheres of family life. The internal psychological mechanism of developing codependence is the development of certain patterns of behavior of the company of a person suffering from alcoholism, oriented, as a rule, to “salvation”. In the alcoholic’s family, there’s negative feedback. Everyone is trying to preserve the existing situation, afraid of any changes. Thus there emerges a so-called “mania” – a structure of codependence. The willingness of co-dependent members of the alcoholic family to change, to live and develop “sustainably” leads to awareness of the problem of codependence and getting rid of it. Awareness of the “mania”, that is, the structure of one’s behavior by a member of the alcoholic family with the help of a practicing psychologist, social or medical worker, will be a step towards getting out of the “vicious cycle” of codependence.
alcoholism, family members of alcoholics, co-dependency, sustainable development, mania structure of co-dependency, adaptive ring of co-dependency