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Licensed   Family Therapy : Adult Children Of Acoholics      - Chris Massman, LMFT

Licensed  Family Therapy: Adult Children Of Acoholics    - Chris Massman, LMFT

Adult Children Of Alcoholics

Licensed family therapy helps families suffering from alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease which affects every member in the family. Developing children from alcoholic families are constantly walking on egg shells.  Consistency and knowing what to expect on a daily basis is nonexistent.  The focus in the family is the primary caretaker’s disease of alcoholism.  The children’s developing needs go unnoticed which causes the child to feel shame and anxiety. An alcoholic family is an interconnected system in which members have various roles to balance an unbalanced dysfunctional system.  These roles often include self-defeating behaviors. Due to this constant case of chaos children take on roles to survive. According to Jane Middleton-Moz& Lorie L. Dwinell. 1986, adaptive survival roles include:


Rebel/Scapegoat/Acting-Out Child


Adjuster/Withdrawn or Lost Child

Often adult children of alcoholics or addicts grow up to become alcoholics themselves or marry alcoholics.  Although growing up in an alcoholic family is unbearable, the behaviors one needed to adapt to survive this type of environment become familiar.  These learned survival behaviors interfere with the ability to maintain satisfying healthy relationships as adults. Licensed family therapy helps to correct these survival behaviors. Dr. Claudia Black, a renowned lecturer, author and trainer states that children from alcoholic families learn three family rules:

1)      Don’t talk (to anyone about anything going on at home)

2)      Don’t trust (yourself or anyone else)

3)      Don’t feel (because feelings can’t be understood or trusted)

If you would like more information on adult children of alcoholics, or licensed family therapy, please feel free to come in and discuss the role alcoholism played or plays in your family of origin and life.  We can speak about how your survival role has impacted you in your relationships and work.  How have you been impacted physically and emotionally?  I look forward to speaking with you.