The Celebrity Therapist

The Celebrity Therapist

Are you Rationalizing Someone’s Addiction?

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your copy of “Manifest Holistic Health” from Sherry’s Enrich Your Life Series. Contact Sherry at for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with Sherry Gaba”on CBS Radio.


In most situations where there is some type of addiction
everyone in the addict’s world knows there is a problem. They talk about it
amongst themselves, discuss the problems it is causing and the damage being done
to their friend, loved one or family member. They may even talk about an
intervention or suggest to the addicted person that they attend a Twelve Step
Program, seek counseling or get medical assistance. However, there may also be
some members of that group that secretly or very publically rationalize the
addictive behavior, attempt to minimize the situation or simply cover up for
the addicted person.

People that are codependent will sacrifice for the addicted
person, but their sacrifice will not bring about any positive change in the
addict’s life. This is because the sacrifice is not done in a healthy way but
rather in a way to enable or receive approval from the addicted person.  So, if the addiction is with alcohol the
codependent person may actually make a purchase of alcohol for the addict or he
or she may make excuses for the alcoholic with employers. The codependent
person may also find that to keep peace and harmony in their relationship with
the addict they have to do what they know is wrong, which in turn creates
internal stress and turmoil.


Addiction therapy and recovery needs to closely examine the
relationships of the addict in order to determine any codependency issues that
exist. The codependent person has to become aware of how his or her behaviors
are hurting the recovery and make positive changes to become a source of
strength and encouragement. If the codependent person cannot or will not make
this change then difficult decisions will have to occur. Leaving a codependent
relationship unaddressed in recovery will lead to increased risk of relapse,
which is often a direct result of the codependent persons need to return the
relationship to the status quo.

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