Melody Beattie

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Melody Lynn Beattie
Born (1948-07-02)2 July 1948
St. Paul, Minnesota
Education High School
Alma mater Minnehaha Academy
Genre Self-help books
Subject Relationships
Notable works Codependent No More

Melody Beattie is an American author of self-help books on codependent relationships.

Education and career[edit]

Beattie graduated from high school with honors. She began drinking at age 12, was a full-blown alcoholic by age 13, and a junkie by 18[1]

Beattie authored 18 other books including Codependent No More, Beyond Codependency, The Language of Letting Go and Make Miracles in Forty Days: Turning What You Have into What You Want, published in 2010. Several of her books have been published in other languages.

In 1991, Beattie and her daughter, Nichole, were devastated by the death of 12-year-old son Shane, who died in a skiing accident.[citation needed]


Beattie was a popularizer of science along with Janet G. Woititz and Robin Norwood regarding the work of psychiatrist Timmen L. Cermak, author of Diagnosing and Treating Co-Dependence.[2]

  • Janet G. Woitit's Adult Children of Alcoholics had come out in 1983 and sold two million copies while being on the New York Times best seller list for forty-eight weeks.[2]
  • Robin Norwood's Women Who Love Too Much, 1985, sold two and a half million copies and spawned Twelve Step groups across the country for women "addicted" to men.[2]
  • Melody Beattie popularized the concept of codependency in 1986 with the book Codependent No More which sold eight million copies.[3]

All three contributed to the general emergence of the idea that addiction to a person (who was addicted to a substance or a behavioral process) was a possibility.[citation needed]

Codependent No More was publilshed by the Hazelden Foundation[4]

Beattie's early works also served as the first the Big Book for a 12-Step program called Co-Dependents Anonymous. Although "CoDA" now has a conference-approved (official) '"the Big Book" of its own, Beattie's works continue to be central texts in some CoDA meetings.[5]


  1. ^ Beattie, Melody. "About author". Retrieved August 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Travis, Trish (2009). The Language of the Heart, A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-8078-3319-3. 
  3. ^ J. S. Rice, A Disease of One's Own (1998) p. 2
  4. ^ Taking Care of Herself - TIME
  5. ^ Co-dependent no more celebrates 20th anniversary. | Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly (, 2007)