Mede-afhanklikheid en identiteit : 'n pastorale studie
Steenkamp, Anna Magrietha
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Co-dependency is an addiction that has not yet been well-researched and established in South Africa. This concept indicates a person's predisposition to put the dependent family member's needs above that of himself and to do so to such an extent that his own preferences, dislikes, feelings and desires are disregarded or ignored. The co-dependent's opinion and self-image largely depend on the extent to which he is able to satisfy the other person, care for him or solve his problems. The aim of the study is to determine the relationship between the identity of the person and his co-dependency and to accompany the person pastorally toward the restoration of his identity. Research done in the auxiliary sciences indicates that identity-forming is a process that stretches over several years. When a person experiences that he belongs to others, is valuable and has potential, it is possible for that person to develop optimally and associate in a mature and responsible way with himself, his fellow-man and his environment. However, when these experiences are not internalised under the pressure that the dependent family member places on the co-dependent, a negative view of the self is integrated and the person is unable to bind meaningfully with God, himself, others and his environment. An "I" deprivation occurs and the person chooses to use co-dependent thinking and acting patterns to deploy himself meaningfully in societal regard. As a result of the co-dependent's intense need for security, love and acceptance, he drives himself to the outmost in an attempt to attain it. The person becomes caught in a downward spiral of dependency where he is always attempting to obtain control. An empirical survey with five (5) participants has indicated the co-dependent's interaction with his life space. It was found that these persons are inclined to internalise negative thinking and acting patterns under the pressure that is put on them. A basis-theoretical study of Scriptural perspectives has indicated that man was created in God's image, that this identity was distorted by man's sin, and that the person could by virtue of the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost be guided towards restoration of his identity. Practice-theoretical guidelines for the pastoral guidance of the co-dependent were established based on the meta- and basis theory.
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