Darelen Lancer, JD, LMFT - What Is Codependency

Darlene Lancer JD LMFT

I bring a wide range of professional and life experience to my practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and relationship and codependency expert. I wrote Codependency for Dummies and Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You. Over the course of 30 years, I’ve been providing self-esteem and codependency counseling and helped countless men and women recover from codependency and trauma.

Recovery involves reconnecting to, honoring, and expressing our “Self,” meaning our true, real self that has been hidden. By helping clients overcome self-defeating beliefs and behaviors, they’re able to more fully express their true Self and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

This is a process of soul alignment that strengthens your self-esteem and ability to manage emotions and boundaries. It empowers you to take more risks, live more passionately, and manifest your dreams.

In a short time, you notice changes and improvement. You gain autonomy and greater self-compassion. You become a more effective communicator and experience greater fulfillment in your marriage, relationships, and professional and personal life.

Partners learn to resolve problems, reduce conflict, improve communication, and build trust and intimacy. I’ve worked with couples who decide to marry and those that find strength and direction during divorce. While a Senior Mediator in Los Angeles Superior Court, I mediated divorce settlements and custody and visitation disputes and did premarital and domestic violence counseling.

My ability as an emotional intuitive enables me to quickly identify the source of problems and interpret your dreams. I draw on extensive personal and professional experience that can assist you in finding solutions. Change requires awareness, courage, and action. You will gain insight and be supported to take productive risks as you’re ready to do so.

I use powerful, client-centered, evidence-based techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), voice-dialogue, dream analysis, emotional freedom technique (EFT), and hypnosis. Additionally, I have training in self-psychology, Jungian therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, somatic work, and experience in 12-Step Programs.

I speak to national audiences in the media and at professional conferences. I counsel many professionals in the entertainment business, attorneys, and other industries. I’ve been an AAMFT Approved Supervisor of other therapists and previously practiced law for many years. You can read interviews about me and my journey, here, here and here.


Certified Hypnotherapist, American School of Hypnotherapy

Certified Life Coach, American University of NLP
Masters in Clinical Psychology, Antioch University
Juris Doctor, U.C.L.A. School of Law
B.A., U.C.L.A., Cum Laude, Honors Program
Phi Beta Kappa
American Jurisprudence Award


Client Comments

“Darlene is a pro at bringing the truth out of a patient. She helps you peel back the many layers of your troubles. She’s calm and serene and that feeling supplies a comfortable atmosphere to be honest without judgment.”
D.G., Los Angeles

“Darlene has an innate ability to sense what is at the root of an issue and to express those underlying factors in an approachable and hopeful way. She is an excellent listener and a gentle motivator. My relationship with my wife and my understanding of myself is forever changed as a result of our sessions.”
J.N., Santa Monica

I spent two years in therapy with Darlene and did a great deal of work with narcissistic relationships. She guided, educated, and led me through what seemed like a nightmare twilight zone of my mother’s covert malignant narcissism, all the while helping me stay on my feet as the seemingly overwhelming truth of life with my mother hit me intellectually and then emotionally. It’s thanks to the work I did with her that I’m able to imagine and plan for a new, confident life. I can’t recommend her highly enough, as an excellent and highly professional therapist with great heart.
AKAB/ Santa Monica

“Thank you for helping me break through an emotional barrier that was affecting my whole life. When I first came to you I knew what I wanted to do but didn’t know how to go about it and certainly didn’t have the proper mindset for it. I knew from our first meeting that you would be straightforward with me and any delusions that I had could be overcome. My life was in an emotional “holding pattern” and now I have made steps towards real goals and accomplishments. I have my life back and the only way I know how to thank you is let you know that I’m one of the success stories that I’m sure you strive for. Thank You!”
Dave, Santa Monica

“I appreciate greatly the guidance of Darlene, and her ability to create a comfortable and welcoming environment. Her empathy, wisdom, and intuitive ability to understand and dissect through an issue help facilitate powerful growth.  What I needed help with on the surface, soon turned to deeper wounds and false thought patterns that needed nurturing and diffusion.

Darlene, you gently and patiently guided me to a deeper more accurate understanding of myself. I don’t know where I’d be had I not made therapy a priority in my life. I am coping better because my emotions don’t rule my life anymore. I recognize them, I’m more aware of their origins and the ability to look at them separate from myself. In therapy, I learned see myself more clearly, to love and accept myself, establish my autonomy, and build confidence within myself to live a fuller more authentic life.

I gained the tools needed to accurately understand my feelings and the sources behind them. These tools have given me tremendous peace within myself and allow me to not become so rattled by life’s events. I am forever grateful.”
K.R., Los Angeles

There’s a great therapist out there and then there’s Darlene Lancer. She digs in fast and she makes you work. It’s not talk therapy. I left each session with more insight, clarity, and a game plan to live. She leaves you wanting more.
S. S.


Recent Posts

What Is Codependency? – Codependency Counseling and Self-Esteem Counseling provided by Darlene Lancer, MFT, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Santa Monica, CA, and author of Codependency for Dummies

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