Melody Beattie

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Melody Lynn Beattie
Born(1948-07-02)2 July 1948
St. Paul, Minnesota
EducationHigh School
Alma materMinnehaha Academy
GenreSelf-help books
Notable worksCodependent No More

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

Education and career[edit]

Born Melody Vaillancourt in Minneapolis, 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.


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 published 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". Archived from the original on August 12, 2015. 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)

External links[edit]