books on codependency

Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist: Essential Tools for Improving or Leaving Narcissistic and Abusive Relationships Buy a PDF

If you’re in an abusive relationship and either don’t want to leave or are having difficulty doing so, Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist is for you. It’s unique among voices that exhort leaving a narcissist. It is insightful, researched, and empathetic and offers hope and help for loved ones to restore their self-esteem and rebalance a narcissistic relationship. It includes Essential Tools for Improving and Leaving and provides an in-depth analysis of the relationship, how to make changes, and how to assess its prognosis. It will help you leave if that’s what you choose.

This workbook is packed with healing exercises and checklists to enlighten and motivate you. It suggests lists of actions, including a strategic, step-by-step plan with scripts to confront abuse and get your needs met. Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist will help you reclaim yourself and improve your relationship.  You will be able to:

  • Recognize the red flags when dating a narcissist and know what to do
  • Discover the diagnosis, type, and deep motivations of a narcissist
  • Identify narcissistic behavior and know how to handle it
  • Understand your role and attraction to a narcissist
  • Regain your autonomy and self-esteem
  • Rebalance the power in the relationship
  • Learn how to confront abuse effectively
  • Assess your relationship and whether to stay or leave
  • Prepare to leave

“Darlene Lancer understands the DNA of people with narcissistic personality disorder, including their relationships. Her clinical credentials and personal experience make this a book that is not to be missed if you have a partner with NPD, whether you’re staying in the relationship or leaving.” ~ Randi Kreger, Author of Stop Walking on Eggshells

“Darlene Lancer’s book will help you regain your sense of self and restore your right to believe in yourself again. It will help you make sense of the nonsensical experiences you have experienced with someone you believe may have either been a narcissist or possessed high narcissistic traits. ~ Lisa A. Romano Life Coach and Author of The Codependency Manifesto

“Darlene Lancer’s expertise on narcissism and its impact on relationships is unequalled. She understands the differences in our brains, and has insight that all could benefit from.” ~ Hackie Reitman, M.D.,

“Darlene Lancer has created a “must have” manual for those who suffer from the nasty habit of getting into bed with a narcissist. This book will enlighten you about the subtle and seductive methods that have been used to reel you in, and will provide you with the concrete steps to make you narcissist-proof moving forward, liberating you to finally create the mutually loving relationship you long for.” ~ Katherine Woodward Thomas, NYT Bestselling Author of Calling in “The One

“Lancer is not only a scholar of codependency and narcissism, she’s been a victim of narcissism and healed from it. I’m grateful for her expertise and personal wisdom and highly recommend her books to my clients.” ~ Jean ‘Shayna’ Lester, LMFT, Prison Chaplain, Spiritual Director, Teacher of Ethics & Sacred Therapy

“I am extremely impressed with this book and highly recommend it to anyone who has a narcissist in their life. Lancer takes the courageous and enlightened perspective that even a relationship with a narcissist can be improved. Instead of demonizing narcissists, Lancer focuses on changing the relationship dynamics, offering hope and healing for anyone dealing with a narcissist.” ~ Beverly Engel, Author of Escaping Emotional Abuse: Healing from the Shame You Don’t Deserve

“Lancer has written an insightful and comprehensive book that is transformative for loved ones of narcissists. Like her books on shame and codependency, she remarkably breaks down deep psychological concepts into empathetic and practical strategies for anyone wanting to improve their relationship and/or decide whether to leave.” ~ Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Author of Love Smacked and host of The Fix Podcast

 Already Gone By February 23, 2023
This book is a must read for anyone living with a narcissistic mate. I knew my codependent self was an issue in my marriage but did not know how to set boundaries with him. I am happy, at peace and free now. This book also helps me be able to respond to him. Thank you

A Must Have Book – HIGHLY recommend! By Tracy A. Malone June 14, 2022
When it comes to helping people understand narcissistic behaviors, Lancer has cracked the code!  Have you ever wondered why you became a target? Darlene not only explains the why but also how to heal. As a narcissistic abuse coach, I have read many books on this very topic but the way Lancer takes the layperson by the hand through the dating process, the challenges of loving a narcissist, how to communicate with a narcissist if you are unable to leave, to successfully leaving and then healing from the abuse is nothing short of expert.

Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist includes so many thought-provoking and helpful lists that prompt the reader to reflect on the relationship itself as it relates to their own historical relationship patterns. I felt like I was in a therapy session as Darlene sat across the room asking pointed questions. Her techniques are revolutionary – I have yet to ever see anything like this in print. It is nothing short of genius! This is a go-to book that I will suggest to all my clients. She didn’t miss a thing. I LOVE IT!!

Opened my eyes By Rhi UK February 27, 2023

This book…grabbed me by both arms and dragged me out of denial. I was finally able to see not just my relationship, but myself for what is real…it has changed my life in so many ways. It helped me let go of the life I wished that I had and helped me gain clarity and a truth that I had been avoiding for many years. I used this book alongside other books from the same author as well as with support from a therapist.

 Extremely helpful book for personal growth. By Traveler April 28, 2022
Lancer has done a deep dive into identifying the different types of narcissists, what attracts you to these types of individuals, understanding your own needs, and growing and disentangling yourself from this type of codependency. I needed Lancer’s insights to understand my own attraction to narcissistic men as a way to work out childhood issues with an overbearing parent. Lancer’s book lays out a map for understanding them as well as making qualitative, real lasting changes. This book isn’t just for those in an intimate love relationship, but anyone who has a parent, sibling or partner that displays narcissistic tendencies which entangle and confuse you. I highly recommend!

 Important information By M. Gormley May 1, 2022
One can get lost in the black cloud a narcissist places over your head and can take over your life. Trying to straighten it out or get away from it can feel like getting an ocean liner to make a sharp U turn. You can’t. It’s a tough process and this book provides the chance to correct the situation and sets up a plan or guide that leads to removal of the cloud and some sunshine….finally. It might very well save lives.

Very insightful and extremely helpful! By Barbara Keeler May 3, 2022
Very insightful and extremely helpful!

Empowering and Insightful By L.T. March 23, 2023
A must-read for anyone who has been in a relationship with a narcissist. What I particularly appreciated about this book is that it doesn’t just focus on leaving the relationship, but also provides guidance for those who choose to stay and try to improve the relationship. [It’s] an incredibly valuable resource, empowering, validating, and provides concrete tools for healing and moving forward. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their relationship or leave a toxic one behind.

A Must Read. By Lisa Frederiksen May 6, 2022
Darlene Lancer’s latest book is a MUST read. She explains narcissism, including causes, types and identifying behaviors. She helps one understand what being in a relationship (as a child, spouse, friend or significant other) with a narcissist does to a person. As importantly, she provides a roadmap of practicable suggestions to help one re-establish their physical and emotional health and quality of life, whether they choose to stay in the relationship or move on. – Lisa Frederiksen, author of the 10th Anniversary Edition If You Loved Me, You’d Stop! and founder of Breaking the Cycles.

Highly Recommended. By Sue Finnerty May 4, 2022
A great book! Have been a follower of Darlene Lancer for many years and this book does not disappoint. I have read many books on this subject and this would rate as one of the best. So easy to read and digest with lots of tips along the way. Also references to her previous books which I found helpful. A great addition to my toolbox.


Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

A nationally recognized author and codependency expert examines the roots of shame and its connection with codependent relationships. Learn how to heal from their destructive hold by implementing eight steps that will empower the real you, and lead to healthier relationships.
Shame: the torment you feel when you’re exposed, humiliated, or rejected; the feeling of not being good enough. It’s a deeply painful and universal emotion, yet is not frequently discussed. For some, shame lurks in the unconscious, undermining self-esteem, destroying confidence, and leading to codependency. These codependent relationships—where we overlook our own needs and desires as we try to care for, protect, or please another—often cover up abuse, addiction, or other harmful behaviors. Shame and codependency feed off one another, making us feel stuck, never able to let go, move on, and become the true self we were meant to be.

In Conquering Shame and Codependency, Darlene Lancer sheds new light on shame: how codependents’ feelings and beliefs about shame affect their identity, their behavior, and how shame can corrode relationships, destroying trust and love. She then provides eight steps to heal from shame, learn to love yourself, and develop healthy relationships.

Best Codependency Book Out There! November 28, 2016, By Madcat1776
One of the best books on codependency out there, in my opinion. If you are seeking understanding about codependency, or understanding yourself or a loved one, this book has everything you need. Highly recommended!

That was the best Kindle purchase I’ve ever made July 21, 2016 By Amazon Customer
It’s like the author looked into my soul and wrote a book about me. I just finished chapter 2 and have already written 27 pages of notes…This book is giving me a bit of hope as I can relate to every single word it says. I had no idea people experienced what I experience daily. It’s a sense of comfort that I can’t describe, realizing that I’m not crazy or a different breed of human. Tears are streaming down my face because I can’t thank the author enough for this “gift” she has given me – validation for everything I have been feeling all my 38 years of life.

LOVE IT, January 15, 2015 By Gina
This book is a life changer!! It is spot on!! I have read other books on codependency, but I have to say this is one of the best. Love Love Love it!!

Five Stars, July 22, 2015 By Janine Eganon
Top notch reading. The most helpful book I have read on the subject of Codependency. Ms Lancer’s writing style is clear and concise and her book is full of insights into the workings of the codependent mind. It has given me answers to questions I have had for most of my life and, in so doing, has brought about a lot of positive changes for me. I feel validated and understood and overwhelmingly relieved to learn that I’m not crazy after all.

Ms Lancer’s book shines a light on the path towards freeing ourselves from the dark places in our minds and all those self-defeating behaviors that trip us up and lead us back into the labyrinth of shame. I do not exaggerate when I say that this one book has taught me more about myself … who I am and why … and the ways in which shame has affected every aspect of my life than anything else I have read. It has given me hope and inspired a better future for myself. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who is genuinely interested in becoming the best version of yourself that you can be.

Insightful and practical ways to overcome shame, October 12, 2014 by Steve Heller
Great book. I’ve read Brene Brown’s work, which is research based and good and Darlene Lancers’ book offers so much more insight and practical guidance mined from her years of experience as a therapist. If you want to have healthier relationships and live a happier life, this book is a great tool!

A Life Changing Liberating Book April 21, 2015 By Chartered Psychologist (England)
I recently found this brilliant book by Darlene Lancer and quickly realized it is probably the best ‘self-help’ book I have ever read, recommended or used (over a period of 40 years as a Psychologist). Both content and process are spot on and it is also a very readable and useful book.This is a life changing book which everyone should read. This is likely to be the best money you have ever spent.

I just started reading Conquering Shame and Codependency, July 31, 2014 by TG
I just started reading Conquering Shame and Codependency and I already feel so relieved. The explanation of the shame piece was a real epiphany! I’ve been on a path of recovery for the past 20+ years but this book has the missing information that I have been looking for. Thank you for writing it.

At last a book about being truly human August 11, 2015, By Anonymous
I have found that since reading this book that it has finally cast a spotlight on the quagmire of my deepest beliefs about myself and how I can truly start to honor myself and challenge these crippling beliefs. I’ve found that I am much more open to my therapy sessions and I actually feel a sense of hope. I can not recommend this book highly enough. Each page is filled with wisdom. I feel armed to really Have the knowledge and tools to start to live my life from a much more healthier place. Some one give this lady a Nobel piece prize because I can sense the inner conflict in my life beginning to subside. Thank you so much Ms. Lancer

From A Codependent Author and Fan, July 24, 2014 By Lisa A. Romano
As Darlene breaks the concepts down, the reader begins to soften its hate towards the innocent Self–and in so doing, Darlene is able to send her healing intent directly to the heart of her reader right where the healing journey must begin.


Codependency for Dummies

Codependency for Dummies is the most comprehensive book on the topic to date. It describes the history, symptoms, causes, and relationship dynamics of codependency and provides self-assessment questionnaires. The majority of the book is devoted to healing and lays out a clear plan for recovery with exercises, practical advice, and helpful daily reminders to help you know, honor, protect, and express yourself. It clarifies deep psychological dynamics that underlie codependency, yet is written in a conversational style that’s easily understandable by everyone. You will learn:

  • How to raise your self-esteem
  • The difference between care-giving and codependent care-taking
  • The difference between healthy and dysfunctional families
  • How to set boundaries
  • How to separate responsibility for yourself and for others
  • How to overcome guilt and resentment

Sept. 17, 2016, By Mary
The best book on codependency that I have read.

July 31, 2016, By Kendra
Best book I’ve read on codependency. It really broke it down and explained it to me without making me feel like a horrible person for being a codependent.

Great book. I enjoyed this book better than Melody… June 18, 2018 By Cynthia Somers
Great book. I enjoyed this book better than Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More.

The definitive book on codependency June 29, 2016, By Sal
Amazing book. This is the definitive book on codependency. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to make their relationships stronger, deeper, more intimate, more fun, and last longer.

Truly Changed My Life, November 29, 2015, By Amberla Tepe
For me, this is the self-help book to end them all. This book has truly changed my life. I bought one for my sister and one for my mother. Codependent No More is good too but I like this one better.

Great for codependents February 2, 2016, By Angie Amazon Addict
Love this book!! I literally bought 10 to hand out to friends/family!

The best book on Codependency I have read, and I have read them all. Highly recommend it, August 3, 2014, By Ginni Schmidt
Best book on Codependency I have read and trust me I have read them all. Great source of information and solution. I highly recommend it to anyone suffering from this debilitating behavior.

Amazing book on all accounts, December 4, 2014 By Mark Walker
Amazing book on all accounts. Just finished and already the changes to all aspects of my life are truly dramatic, and that’s just by merely being aware of what’s really been going on over the years, and then taking a few baby steps in the right direction. For those of you who have spent the years reading one self-help book after another and never really finding lasting solutions, I’d recommend you give this book a go as you just might be surprised that it applies to you like no other.

Total blessing, August 26, 2013 By KatyManna
Darlene is so in depth with her explanations and yet, she makes it so easy to understand and apply to my own life. It speaks to me so clearly. This is my favorite book on codependency recovery without question.

An eye opener of a book!, 22 May 2013 By Beverley Cosgrove –
This is a superb ‘must read’ for anyone that thinks they may be a codependent, for anyone who does or has lived with an alcoholic and for those wanting to escape damaging patterns of behavior. This book, which I read in one sitting and is now underlined and highlighted to an inch of its life, has made me a stronger person, who can now take the first steps in recovering from codependency. Highly recommended!

Simply Wonderful, September 18, 2013 By Andrew
Just finished your Codependency For Dummies. It was brilliant! Your work is an absolute godsend. As if it was written for me! Thank you so much for your work, it is truly transformative. Every day I thank you for your insight and capacity to communicate.

The Ultimate Book on Codependency! 11 August 2016 By John
Terrific book on codependency. I will say this is the best book that I have read on the subject. The author is very sincere and gives an incredible insight into codependency and great ideas on how to overcome it.


10 Steps to Self-Esteem: The Ultimate Guide to Stop Self-Criticism Buy a PDF

From 30 years of experience working to empower individuals, Darlene Lancer has written the ultimate guide to overcoming self-criticism – the single biggest destroyer of self-esteem. 10 Steps to Self-Esteem is both comprehensive and concise, outlined in an easy form to remember, both 1-10 and A-J. This 27-page ebook packs powerful, practical suggestions and self-esteem building exercises in each step that you can do on your own. It will help you build self-awareness, discipline your mind, change your beliefs, develop self-forgiveness and self-acceptance, and improve your happiness.

If you prefer to listen or would like an audio-visual companion to the ebook that also covers the cause and symptoms of high and low self-esteem for self-assessment, with actionable steps you can apply, buy the webinar, as well HOW TO RAISE YOUR SELF-ESTEEM Buy a Webinar

Concise, clear, effective June 30, 2016 By Zaxxy (UK)
I’ve done a ton of self help reading and this book packs a lot of the essentials for building self esteem without making you read hundreds of pages. I’d heavily recommend getting two of her other books I’ve read Codependency For Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency.

A Must-Have Easy Guide, September 14, By Traveler (Cody, WY USA) –
This is the absolute best guide I’ve read to deal with self-criticism. No wading through lots of text that doesn’t solve the problem, great exercises that really work, something for every type of individual depending upon how you best learn tools and techniques. They’re fun and use all aspects of your mind. Lancer uses writing, voice, drawing, acting; some are analytical, and others use imagery. The book is laid it out numerically and alphabetically, so that it’s easy to remember. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to raise their self-esteem.

This book is sheer brilliance Aug. 30, 2014, by da2014
This book is sheer brilliance. I am struggling with accepting love from others, and this book is exactly what I was looking for. The ideas for identifying and changing self-talk are unique and powerful. Be prepared for positive changes!!

Effective insights, reminders, and a practical path to self-esteem August 6, 2014 By a customer
I highly recommend this book. Potential benefits include healthier relationships, success in business, and improved emotional health. It goes without saying that following Darlene Lancer’s Ten Steps to Self-Esteem will increase self-esteem. It offers a minimum of theory and explanation with a maximum of practical steps. For me, however, the book’s value went beyond that.
The idea of treating a self-critic as another person, turning an adversary into a friend and coach, was a new idea for me. So was recognizing a self critic as potentially a well-intentioned entity that needed understanding and compassion. I think the most important aspect of Lancer’s advice for dealing with a self-critic is to evaluate the critic’s criticism. What I learned from Lancer is that rhymes “integrate the brain’s right and left hemispheres to enhance holistic brain function.” I also learned that adding memory can “stimulate emotion and evoke alpha and theta non-ordinary brain waves that increase memory and learning.” Thanks to the author for the insights, reminders, and a practical path to self-esteem.


How to Speak Your Mind – Become Assertive and Set Limits Buy a PDF

120x160Can you say no? Do you say what you think, express how you feel, and ask for what you want? How you speak immediately conveys your self-esteem. Whether in parenting, in a relationship, or in business, assertive communication enhances your effectiveness, confidence, and personal and professional success. Conflict is a big source of stress. You’ll learn new techniques for standing up to abuse and managing conflict and communication problems. Being assertive and setting boundaries and limits actually reduce stress and build self-esteem, while benefiting your career, relationships, and sense of well-being.

How to Speak Your Mind is an assertiveness training handbook that explains what it means to be assertive and how to achieve it. It details all of the elements of assertive and nonverbal communication. The steps to become assertive are laid out, as well as common mistakes to avoid. Once you learn assertiveness, you’re ready to set boundaries with people. You’ll understand the meaning of limits and how to determine your bottom line. You’ll be able to verbalize your boundaries and know the secret to making them effective.

If you prefer to listen or would like an audio-visual companion to this ebook with role-play exercises, buy the webinar seminar, as well: HOW TO BE ASSERTIVE Buy a Webinar

“This webinar was impactful and life-changing helpful in big and small ways for me…And the biggest gain (HUGE!) is that by speaking up, setting limits, and learning to find compromises, my self-esteem has improved tenfold. Basically I learned to honor myself by asserting my rights.” Molly

Boundaries August 9, 2016 By Soupysayles
I have never read a better book about boundaries. I learned how boundaries was associated with assertiveness & better self-esteem & self-love.

A Quick “Must Read” April 12, 2013 By Dan Perdue
A very clear and easy to understand guide to understanding how to communicate and set boundaries for yourself. This short read skips the fluff of many other self-help books and gets to the point. This is a must-read guide for anyone who has struggled with authentic communication or is working through a history of codependency. Follow the manageable steps to being assertive with your communication and setting limits on how others treat you. Eye-opening.

Awesome Read! May 7, 2017 By Sheila Ward
Wonderful book. So easy to understand. I put it into practice immediately. So empowering. Wonderful results. Will improve your well-being tremendously if you put it into practice, in your life.

Very good, January 4, 2016 By MidwestMomon
She’s really good. The advice here was something I could not only relate to, but actually use in daily life at work and get results. It was so good I bought more of her work.

Insightful Content on Becoming Assertive, August 24, 2013 By Ivan
I purchased this book to gain a better understanding of being assertive, and the price and reviews were exactly what I was seeking. In the past, I was an aggressive communicator, but in an effort to become a better person (kaizen) I vowed to change. However, without a planned approach … I’ve recently become passive-aggressive which has affected the way I communicate, the author is on target with her results to situations. I believe the material in this book will help me create a framework for being a more assertive communicator. Good weekend read.


Dealing with a Narcissist – 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People   Buy a PDF

Codependency author and expert Darlene Lancer explains the narcissist’s mind and motives and the personality of their partners. Dealing with a Narcissist reveals the unconscious forces driving their mutual attraction and relationship dynamics and sheds light on the damaging impact narcissists have on their partners and children. This is also a workbook with strategies that can improve your self-esteem, help you maintain your self-respect, and set boundaries in relationships with addicts, narcissists, or emotionally abusive people.

If you were at first charmed by a narcissist, you soon had to contend with self-centeredness, defensiveness, and escalating criticisms and demands. Trying to satisfy them can feel impossible, and neither stops abuse, nor produces genuine caring and reciprocity. You end up frustrated and hurt that your feelings and needs are dismissed or ignored. Steadily, your self-esteem, confidence, trust, and independence decline in the relationship, as you give up more of yourself. Whether you want to improve your relationship or are ambivalent about staying or leaving, Dealing with a Narcissist – 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries provides clarity and tools to handle interactions with difficult people. You’ll strengthen your self-esteem and gain the ability to set boundaries and communicate effectively. Eight steps are recommended with specific exercises and techniques, which are applicable to any relationship with a difficult person—whether passive-aggressive, controlling, abusive, manipulative, or with a borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.

Read more on narcissistic relationships. Listen to interviews about the book here and here.
Get the Narcissist Quit Kit that includes this and 2 other ebooks, a Self-Love Meditation, and 4 bonus files.

Great read October 22, 2018 By Mac Geek
Powerful tool for learning how to effectively and safely deal with a narcissist.

This book has helped me improve a marriage May 17, 2018, By Amazon Customer
This book has helped me improve a marriage that I thought was doomed. I am able to interact with my husband without triggering his narcissism, while still getting my needs met. Our relationship has become much more loving.

This book was an eye-opener regarding some relationships I have and has given me…a healthier approach and attitude towards these persons and… an understanding of what they are going through. I would recommend this book wholeheartedly.

Very helpful. May 18, 2017 By Amazon Customer
This book came in hand when everything was falling apart. I was emotionally destroyed and having no idea how to deal with that! Highly recommend it!

Five Stars Let the healing begin, April 18, 2021 By Dennis
This book is truly an eye-opener and a lifesaver. The author examines your part in unknowingly contributing to the relationship dynamics. The book offers meaningful and thought-provoking suggestions to empower you to deal, in a realistic manner with the narcissist. I would give the book 10 stars if I could. Buy the book and start healing.

Awesome book May 12, 2016 By Kathleen N.
Excellent book if you have a narcissist in your life and you don’t know what to do. This book helped me to finally understand what I was dealing with in a close personal relationship and that I wasn’t going crazy, that the person’s perception of relating to others is off and solely self-centered. It was a relief to get some understanding and realize that I can’t help this person communicate more effectively or relate to others in a “normal” way.

Fantastic, Informative Read! July 11, 2016 By Laura Stamps
Darlene Lancer not only defines narcissism in this easy-to-use book, but she also covers the various forms of emotional abuse, how to set firm boundaries, and how to effectively deal with the narcissists in your life. Regain your self-esteem, self-worth, and learn how to love yourself again. Grab this book. It’s a treasure!

An Eye-Opener! February 3, 2017 By Joanna Rose
I have read many of Darlene Lancer’s books already and this is another incredibly helpful book that opened my eyes even further as a recovering codependent who was in an abusive relationship with a drug addict.


“I’m not Perfect – I’m only Human” – How to Beat Perfectionism Buy a PDF

Perfectionism can be a blessing or a curse. When it helps us, it lifts our mood, and we can achieve significant accomplishments. But perpetually seeking an illusion can have serious consequences. It can become a painful, inescapable trap. Its self-sabotaging side effects undermine our goals and creativity and spill over onto our co-workers and loved ones, damaging our relationships. At worse, it can be dehumanizing and compromise our ability to feel love and experience joy.

Fortunately, it’s possible to beat perfectionism! Learn about types of perfectionists, both positive and negative, myths they hold, and how their relationships are affected. Other disorders are distinguished. Psychological, genetic, and environmental causes of perfectionism are explained with examples of symptoms, thoughts, and behaviors. Ten chapters provide steps and exercises to create change and find self-acceptance. Take a personality test and get parenting tips to avoid passing on perfectionism. Listen here and here to interviews about the book.

Not being perfect never felt so good March 22, 2022, By Will Barfield
I’ve been working my way through this fantastic book on perfectionism and it’s been a godsend. I find the exercises peppered throughout to be insightful and invaluable. Doing them as you progress in the book makes a major difference in what you get out of it. That’s been my experience, at least. It’s also helped a lot with my self-esteem and has re-framed my perception of many things in my life. Couldn’t recommend this book highly enough.

A detailed and practical guide to change July 14, 2017, By Traveler
This ebook is a practical guide for all struggling with perfectionism and wanting to change. The first half of the book goes into depth identifying exactly what is perfectionism. Lancer separates fact from fiction, looks at causes, and breaks down the different types of perfectionism in relationships.

The second half of the book is what most people will dig into for practical change. The author guides the reader on a journey to self-analyze his or her own personal roadblocks—areas where their perfectionism causes inflexibility and unrealistic high standards. Negative thinking patterns are flushed out for self-inspection through carefully crafted questions. Circular thought patterns are revealed. Once these exercises are complete, the reader can embark on practical changes. The author gives examples, such as showing up five minutes late for an appointment, or parking your car crookedly—whatever gets your goat, begin small. But change is dependent on the previous self-inspection steps. There is help with decision making (sometimes a real bind for a perfectionist), enjoying activities, sharing with others, and self-acceptance and self-compassion. Lastly, the appendix includes a personality test and tips for parenting. This is a very detailed and useful self-help guide for those struggling with the angst of trying to be perfect, and the constant self-criticism that comes along with never reaching that goal.

Helped me with codependency and excessive checking April 17, 2021, By Amazon Customer
This book was what was most important in propelling me toward the later stage of recovery from codependency. I learned that checking too much was a symptom of a bigger problem, which is perfectionism. This book and its exercises helped me to not only discover that I was a perfectionist, but also to discover what drove my perfectionism, which were feelings of shame I had never noticed before.

Freedom from Guilt and Blame – Finding Self-Forgiveness Buy a PDF

Self-forgiveness, overcoming guiltGuilt can be an unrelenting source of pain, keeping us stuck in the past and preventing us from being present and loving ourselves and others. Guilt may simmer in our unconscious, or we may condemn ourselves–not once, but over and over. Either way, toxic guilt is insidious and destructive and can sabotage our goals and relationships. It lowers our self-esteem and makes us easy targets for blame and manipulation. Unresolved guilt can cause anger and resentment, not only at ourselves, but also toward others. On the other hand, recovery from guilt encourages us to get along with others, improve ourselves, and build self-esteem. Even if what we did was wrong, we can still find self-forgiveness. Freedom from Guilt and Blame provides a step-by-step workbook for healing guilt and finding self-forgiveness and self-compassion.

Self-forgiveness is self-essential to self-worth. Yet, for many of us, self-acceptance remains elusive due to toxic guilt – sometimes for a lifetime. Freedom from Guilt and Blame is designed to free you from guilt’s grip. It will help you sort out healthy from toxic guilt and distinguish it from other emotions, such as shame and regret. You’re guided to review and assess your values, motives, responsibilities, actions, and beliefs, and understand the negative impact of perfectionism and codependency. To overcome guilt, three methods are set forth in detail: cognitive, self-compassion, and spiritual. Applying these specific self-healing techniques and exercises will generate self-acceptance and self-forgiveness.

Listen to an interview about the book.

Book Review of Freedom from Guilt and Blame by Patricia Hamilton at Patricia’s Wisdom:

“Lots of gems are found in this self-help text and they are well explained and defined. If I were still working as a counselor, I would have a number of copies of this book to share with clients and students.

“Lancer, a lawyer turned Family Therapist has a way with words that is helpful and easy to understand. Her definitions of guilt, blame, shame, anger, and self-esteem are worth the price of ownership. Then she takes her precise definitions and uses anecdotal evidence to show their outcome and manifestations. One does not need to guess how guilt plays out in their own relationships and actions because of her precise explanations. The definitions and examples are accompanied by exercises that allow the reader to fully participate in their own understanding and in changing behaviors that are not leading to healthy outcomes. The exercises on self-forgiveness are most helpful in removing sticking points and letting go.

“A very helpful book to read, reference, and keep handy. Good ideas and exercises for starting a successful New Year and making changes in one’s life and behaviors.”

An Effective Guide By Anonymouse May 4, 2022
(It) provides a clear and methodical way to understand, approach and process the challenging thoughts and feelings that surround guilt and blame, which would otherwise continue to live rent-free in my mind and body. Through answering the questions thoroughly and honestly, I gained insight and self-compassion that gave me a new perspective on my difficult feelings and provided a path toward healing and understanding.

Freedom from Guilt and Blame September 12, 2015, By Jim Scarborough
Another wonderful book by Darlene.

An Effective Guide May 4, 2022 By Anonymouse
This reading provides a clear and methodical way to understand, approach and process the challenging thoughts and feelings that surround guilt and blame, which would otherwise continue to live rent free in my mind and body. Through answering the questions thoroughly and honestly, I gained insight and self-compassion that gave me new perspective on my difficult feelings and provided a path towards healing and understanding. I’ll keep coming back to this for tools and techniques to gain clarity whenever I feel the effects of guilt and blame becoming overwhelming in my life.

I wish I had this book when I was a practicing social worker July 24, 2020 By Diane
The author presents an assortment of examples on how to understand and then deal with negative behavior. I found myself using some of these examples when I could not get to sleep last night!

Darlene knows her stuff 26 July 2017 By Peter Charad (UK)
Respect, admire and recommend her books to all my clients.

Very helpful therapy in a book 21 October 2016 By Wildheart (UK)
Having read many self-help books over 3 decades in trying to deal with shame, guilt, and feeling responsible for others all my life, I feel like I have finally found the one book that will actually make a difference in my life. Darlene not only explains where these feelings come from and how we internalize them, she includes questions throughout the book that encourage the reader to examine and question whether their old patterns of thought and behavior serve to help or hurt their life’s journey and relationship with others. I also found the analogies she uses in explaining the points she makes very helpful. These examples demonstrate and support a deeper understanding of our often unconscious motives and behaviors. Her writing is very succinct – not a word is wasted, and the points are driven home without a lot of psychobabble. I highly recommend this and her other books, including Codependency for Dummies, Conquering Shame & Codependency, and Spiritual Transformation in the 12 Steps.

Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps Buy a PDF


The Twelve Steps of Twelve-Step programs can be used to attain spiritual transformation and unshackle the true self from the constraints of the ego. Incorporating concepts of Carl Jung, Spiritual Transformation in the Twelve Steps is a workbook that provides exercises and an in-depth, psycho-spiritual analysis of how each step is designed to be practiced to achieve this spiritual awakening whether or not you believe in God. It describes a powerful process of personal transformation anyone can use, but is particularly oriented to those in addiction and codependency recovery.

The Twelve Steps are based upon universal principles, which provide an effective model for living. “Working the steps” not only frees you of addiction, but also a holds the promise of a personality transformation, attested to by thousands of members of Twelve-Step programs. Renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung had a major influence on the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson. Jung believed that each person has a personal journey of transformation to enable expression of his or her innate potential. Jung felt that this transformation involved replacing the ego with the larger Self as the driving force of one’s life and that spirit replacing spirits could cure alcoholism.

Great Book Feb. 7, 2017 By Sam
This book has been very helpful for me, it is the best recovery guidebook I have read so far. You can tell it was written from the heart from someone who knows what they are talking about. There are lots of great insights and valuable wisdom that will help recovering people.

A Must-Have! Feb. 3, 2016 By Joanne Rose
This book is an absolute must-have! It is beautifully written and applies to codependents too. I found it very comforting and it’s a helpful guide to return to.

Don’t Live Without It 29 August 2016 By Robbie (UK)
Very well presented, with all of the reasons behind the steps. Well worth having as your resource manual.

Five Stars September 2, 2017 By LK717
An incredible companion to my 12 step work, especially as someone without a formal or institutionalized religious background.

An Indispensable Guide June 16, 2015, By ConstantReaderNYC
After reading Spiritual Transformation in the 12 Steps I am eager to apply the teachings to my own life as well as rely on this book as a research reference. I appreciate how throughout the book Lancer incorporates Jungian theory, which has the effect of deepening reader understanding of the foundation of each of the 12 steps. But make no mistake this book succeeds in being easily readable and relatable. One of the book’s greatest achievements is that it includes help for codependent individuals page after page. The book is practical to the core. At the end of each step Lancer provides a list of questions, each of which is a great jumping off point for greater self-inquiry and discovery. Among the many pieces of advice, making amends to oneself has great personal resonance. As the book is a veritable treasure trove of healthy recommendations, there is a lot in here for everyone.

Yet another achievement of the book is that it also fits within the spiritual philosophy of Easterners such as Swami Vivekananda (referred to in Step 2) and the teachings of western spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle (referenced in different steps). As an avid reader of spirituality based books (esp. Ram Dass, Swami Yogananda, and Gangaji), this aspect of Lancer’s book is particularly appealing to me.

Lastly, one of books greatest surprises further deepened my trust in Lancer. I learned that she understands the 12 steps not only as a clinician, but because she has worked the 12 steps in her work with Al-Anon. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning a method of personal transformation. Even seasoned 12 steppers can benefit from this book. Reading it was itself an act of purification. 5 out of 5 stars.


Breakup Recovery Buy a MP3

Breakups can be severely painful. Love stimulates such powerful and pleasurable neuro-chemicals that rejection can feel like withdrawal from a drug. It can compel us to engage in obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior, even in animals. Rejection and breakups are especially hard for codependents, who generally already have low self-esteem. This MP3 audio seminar can help you distinguish normal grief from codependency and discover the hidden reasons why breakups can be so difficult to get over. Identify the pitfalls that apply to you and how unconscious shame and past trauma amplify suffering. Find out if you’re stuck in a Cycle of Abandonment and how to heal.

A+ guidance March 28, 2019 By Dwight Hasbrouck

This was a very enlightening talk and I recognized patterns in myself that were causing my own suffering – still suffering after a breakup 3 years ago.  It was uncanny to hear Darlene describe behavior patterns and see how it was almost a blow-by-blow accurate depiction of my relationship with my ex. Excellent talk A+.

This has been life-changing Feb. 2, 2017 By Kuma Rajaratne
“Thank you so much for this audio. Listening to this gave me profound insight into my own experiences and suffering. I love how you explain things so clearly. Your work has allowed me to grow and learn so much about myself – and this has been life-changing. As always, your work never fails to amaze me. Thank you.”

An eye-opener, very enriching August 13, 2018 By Lucja
So grateful I ordered this audio; I listened to it several times already and each time I discover new, invaluable insights about myself. An eye-opener, very enriching, thought provoking and transformative. Thank you Darlene.

How to Raise Your Self-Esteem Buy a Webinar


Self-esteem is key to success in work, and enjoyment of life and relationships. It affects our thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and how we handle life’s challenges. Low self-esteem underlies addiction, anxiety, depression, codependency, abuse, intimacy problems, and codependency. Our self-esteem is usually determined by the time we’re in our teens, but there are specific things we can do to raise it. Because it is the result of learning, we can learn to have healthier self-esteem.

Consider self-empowerment to be self-esteem in action. This webinar defines and describes self-esteem both high and low, as well as its sources. It discusses clues and symptoms, so you can assess your own and identify beliefs and behaviors you want to change and how to implement them. Twelve crucial steps to build self-esteem and self-love are detailed with actionable tips and exercises you can immediately put into practice.

Simply brilliant! June 2, 2019 By A Deeper Look
“This is an extremely powerful and beneficial presentation on self-esteem. Simply brilliant!”

Codependency Recovery Daily Reflections Buy a PDF

Codependency Recovery Daily Reflections is a codependency daily reader for anyone in addiction recovery or healing from codependency, abuse, or low self-esteem. It’s jam-packed with valuable information, daily reminders, and links to quality articles that will keep your personal transformation on track as you build self-esteem and practice the suggested recovery tools. Inspirational quotes, self-help exercises, and probing insights that heighten self-awareness are provided to further your growth.

Codependency Recovery contains the best posts from three years of Facebook’s CodependencyRecovery page shared by thousands of fans. Followers from world over attest that reading these posts have opened their eyes and helped them turn their lives around to recover from codependency. 365 entries contain words and images hand-crafted by codependency and relationship expert Darlene Lancer.

Five Stars October 27, 2014 By Amazon Customer
Very encouraging daily reflections.

Five Stars By Rosie Reyes on Scribd
It shows me the things that are difficult for me to see, in a soft way, so there isn’t resistance to read or learn. I really appreciated the words.

Self-Love Meditation Buy a MP3

A major goal of recovery from addiction and codependency is changing how we think about ourselves, how we talk to ourselves, and how we feel toward ourselves, and how we treat ourselves. Developing self-love and self-compassion not only increase our self-worth, but also calms us in times of stress and soothes us when we feel overwhelmed, anxious, afraid, guilty, lonely, sad, angry, and hurt. Yet, cultivating compassion and self-love can be baffling and challenging when we haven’t had a nurturing parent or role model, especially if we’re hard on ourselves due to toxic shame. Practicing this audio meditation can help you manage difficult emotions and develop an attitude of tenderness, acceptance, and self-love and compassion toward yourself.

August 23, 2023 By Lisa
Very powerful.  I have been listening to it in the morning and at night. Love it!

Nov. 25, 2021 By William
This self-love meditation helped me to open up and see myself in a whole new and healthier light. Very grateful to have it.

June 27, 2020 By Fanny
Thank you Darlene. I am listening to Your meditation daily and it is helping me relax and ease my anxiety. ?❤️

August 13, 2018 By Lucja
Tender, loving, serene, transformative…..coming home with myself…. Very inspired by your deeply intuitive work.

July 15, 2018 By Janine
I really like this meditation – I haven’t done one like this before, and I think it has been very healing for me. It’s helping me to experience some feelings that I’ve been pushing down.

July 12, 2018 by Andy
As ever, some great work. Very touching. Thank you Darlene

June 6, 2018 By Carlana
Great meditation, so loving, peaceful and releasing ❤️❤️❤️ Very helpful, I love it

Soul-Alignment Meditation Buy a MP3

candel-soul-alignmentRecovery from codependency is also a process of soul alignment. In recovery, you recover your “Lost Self,” a Self who wants to escape past conditioning and unhealthy dependence on other people.

Your soul is calling for change. It yearns to fully express itself and live authentically, not from fear. This is a process of individuation, becoming an “I” that is separate and not codependent on others. In learning to honor, express, and love your true Self, gradually your beliefs, words, thoughts, and actions become congruent, and you come into alignment with your soul. Your life changes, and you feel the passion and freedom to fulfill your dreams.

This 30-minute meditation set to stirring music leads you in this process. It’s a guided visualization that begins with your breath and progressive relaxation. You are shown how to open your heart, acknowledge and love yourself, and become one with divine energy. You will be inspired to live a soul-centered life and encouraged to uncover and change what stands in your way. Repeated listening sessions are recommended, followed by journaling about feelings that arise and questions that are posed in the meditation. To deepen self-love and compassion, listen to the Self-Love Meditation.

August 27, 2021 by Janée M.
Soothing and gently guided. I started to see a violet point of light … pour a soft purple light onto me from above… it almost appeared to be a spinning tunnel. It was a lovely experience and I awoke relaxed.

Free Meditations

Meditation for Peace and Safety
By Trudy Goodman




Gratitude Meditation
By Linda Hall



Ho’oponopono Forgiveness Meditation
(to forgive self and others)




Recovery Meditation Exercises
By Darlene Lancer



Clearing the Mind
By Jack Kornfield




Peace and Relaxation
By Carol Robin




Darlene Lancer is an affiliate Amazon advertiser and receives fees for linking to

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