An estimated 70 - 80% of the world population is affected by this syndrome. Find out more...
Adult Children Anonymous (formerly known as Adult Children of Alcoholics or ACOA) is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition program of women and men who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes.
A dysfunctional home could be described as a home in which one or more children had to start acting like a little grownup, for a variety of reasons. Maybe a death in the family of a primary caregiver, a prolonged illness, another member of the family needing extreme attention, wars, addiction, mental illness; any situation in which the child was not adequately nurtured during critical development stages. It is carried over through generations, so the cycle of hurt and inadequate parenting continue.
Adult Child Meetings We meet with each other in a mutually respectful, safe environment and acknowledge our common experiences. We discover how childhood affected us in the past and influences us in the present. We take positive action. By practicing the Twelve Steps, focusing on the solution, and accepting a loving Higher Power of our understanding, we find freedom from the past and a way to improve our lives today.
Those who attend ACA meetings embrace the difficult task of trauma work, which can often lead to an exciting journey to the Inner Child or True Self.
Along with sponsorship, we encourage informed counseling to help the adult child accomplish the greatest level of emotional healing from a challenging or dysfunctional upbringing.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to recover from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family. ACA is a deeply therapeutic program that emphasizes taking care of the self and re-parenting one's own wounded inner child with love. As cited in the ACA Red Book Solution... We go from "hurting, to healing, to helping." The focal point across the board is not to diminish nor sulk in how "sick" or "defected" we are. Rather, ACA's aim is to build oneself up,assuming personal responsibility while equivocally standing up for ones immovable right to deserve a healthful life and achieve it. The collective stance is not to wallow in victim-hood but to move into the practical application of seeing family dysfunction as a generational affliction and a pattern that can be healed. As a fellowship and through the support of ACA's literature, sponsors and peers, the fellow comes to learn that even the most wounded of them, was someone's son or daughter. The crux of the community and its mindfulness comes through with honest accounts of struggles and sincere compassion towards these.
We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.
We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
We became addicted to excitement.
We confuse love and pity and tend to "love" people we can "pity" and "rescue."
We have "stuffed" our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).
We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.
Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.
Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.
Aknowledgement: Some of the definitions and descriptions are copied from the web: http://www.adultchildren.org/
What Clients Are Saying
“A short cut to sanity. I can't recommend her highly enough." “I have grown a lot and learned new ways of getting through problems.” “A lot of the work has been about self-exploration and the realization that I have a voice. How to set boundaries, and build self-confidence. " “I highly recommend Louise to anyone ‘stuck’ in their lives, who wants to live mindfully and free of 'self-love deficit disorder', or co-dependency." “Louise has helped me gain sight of who I am and has helped me to build the self-esteem and confidence as well as place boundaries in place “ “I was amazed at how deep a bit of unbiased, authentic nurturing could take me into my soul and where I could go and STILL BE SAFE!”