Addiction has been big business for years, but as everyone who does therapy with addicts, they make terrible clients. They deny their problem, and don't want therapy. But their wives (since alcoholics are mostly men) love therapy, feel responsible for their husband's alcoholism, and thus make great clients! Thus, the codependent was born. Therapists have a huge financial incentive to characterize everyone as a codependent. Since everyone is addicted to something, then everyone is a codependent to someone.
This is the essence of Katz and Liu's thesis. They believe that the codependency movement promotes real dependency under the guise of recovery. They point out the key distinctions between self-help groups, and what they characterize as "mutual support groups." As opposed to the psychobabble of self-help groups, mutual support groups offer friendship. Like Peele, these authors blame the root of the problem on the disease model of behavior problems, especially when applied to addicts and victims. Unlike Peele, who tends to rely upon research studies regarding treatment effectiveness, these authors examine the logical inconsistencies, absurdities, paradoxes, and deceitfulness of the movement's ideology and techniques. In fact, they claim that the movement itself creates codependence. The authors don't merely criticize the movement, however. Two-thirds of their book outlines a more existential treatment program that concentrates on present behaviors, personal responsibility, and meaning. Their program is a healthy alternative to those who feel uncomfortable about the addiction and codependency models of self-help.