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Perfect Daughters: Adult Daughters of Alcoholics

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  368 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
This new edition of Perfect Daughters, a pivotal book in the ACoA movement, identifies what differentiates the adult daughters of alcoholics from other women.

When this groundbreaking book first appeared over ten years ago, Dr. Ackerman identified behavior patterns shared by daughters of alcoholics. Adult daughters of alcoholics-"perfect daughters" -operate from a base of h
Paperback, 350 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Health Communications (first published October 1st 1989)
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Danyele Read
Jan 12, 2014 Danyele Read rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a clinical therapist and adult daughter, I was both informed and deeply moved by this well documented book. Dr. Ackerman hit a home run with this one.
Jan 26, 2015 Dorota rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an extremely hard book to read, hard meaning painful. I thought it would be kind of a self-help book for me, but I don't think it really was. I definitely related to so many women mentioned in it, I read their letters and thought they could have been written by me, that's what I went through, I experienced the same pains. However, the book didn't really reveal anything to me that I didn't already know. I made peace with the past and accepted it (for the most part).
I think this book shou
Kelly Renee
Apr 17, 2013 Kelly Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very helpful for me in my own personal journey of understanding who I am and what has contributed to my development. Now that this book has helped me, I intend to use it as a resource in my future practice as a clinical mental health counselor.
Danielle Yevsa
I wish I had found this before starting my recovery six years ago. Full of wonderful advice which would help guide a woman towards recovery.
April Forker
May 02, 2012 April Forker rated it really liked it
Everything about this book screamed my name. A definite good read for anyone who is a daughter of an alcoholic/addict.
Keith Bryan
Jan 01, 2011 Keith Bryan rated it really liked it
This was an excellent book on boosting self-esteem; it was also good at motivation and self starting. It lacked, however, in giving practical advice on acting while in a destructive situation or relationship with your parent. It is focused on those who have grown up completely and moved out from the home that hurt them so much. If you have moved out and are a true adult in that sense, this book will be rather helpful, but if you are seeking advice on what to do while IN the relationship and not ...more
Jan 28, 2015 LemontreeLime rated it liked it
originally read aug 2012 - Second time reading this. A much better approach to the issue of codependence, instead of labeling every slightly nurturing aspect of communication as immediately suspect, it gives you warning signs to watch out for. I wont lie, it sucked rereading it too. You always hope you were dealing with the big awkward things of life better than you did before, and sure, maybe you really were doing alright... (I'm going to use a metaphor here that sounds odd but makes total sens ...more
Maya Aisha
Aug 06, 2016 Maya Aisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my second time reading this book. I originally read it about a decade ago.

As an adult daughter, I can't say that this book was helpful, but I can say that it was affirming. I could see myself in many of the letters that were included in the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who grew up in a household where there was alcohol addiction.
Nora Tate
Nov 18, 2015 Nora Tate rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for anyone who has grown up in an alcoholic household. It will help put you on the path to freedom and understanding. The stories that were added in to the new addition help you feel as you are not alone. I highly recommend it.
I read this book in my early 20's and it was pivotal to my understanding of human behavior within my own family. I ended up lending it to a work colleague who was struggling....and never got it back! Hopefully it guided her as it did for me.
Jul 27, 2015 Anjuli rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-my-clients
A very user-friendly guide for clients. Part three: codependently yours and part four: concerns of the day were helpful in my conceptualization of clients but was laid out in a way I felt they heard it better. I do recommend this for clients. My client particularly enjoyed the lists throughout the book.
Very eye opening. I do think we should all read this before we choose who we are going to marry. You have to give serious thought as to who you will choose to be the father of your children.
Sep 05, 2014 Jenae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: career, self-help
Very good book that helps support individuals and families living with the effects of having a parent who was an alcoholic. Many of the principles taught will be helpful to any family who has a family member struggling with an addiction. It was enlightening to see that family members need not be an alcoholic to demonstrate the effects of being stuck in the pattern of addiction patterns. The patterns get passed down through generations of family if those patterns are not brought up and looked at ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Jessica rated it it was ok
Some of this is a little touchy-feely for my tastes, but there's a lot of interesting sociological phenomenon in this book. I don't think I've processed it from an emotional stand point yet; that might take some time.
Juanita Johnson
Nov 28, 2013 Juanita Johnson rated it really liked it
Great reading for Adult Daughters. I recognized myself. But not enough about how to do the work to heal. Robert Ackerman tells you to heal, shows you the way, but in trying to stay away from too much 12 step writing, he leaves a deficit in where to actually go. All in all though, it's an excellent beginning for those who have grown up wondering why they are the way they are. Ackerman also does a good job of saying that all those skills learned as an adult daughter, also means that you are good a ...more
If you are an adult daughter who grew up in an alcoholic family, you will probably see yourself in this book. And you will probably understand your behavior more after reading it. I took a long time to read it, so I could think about each chapter and how it may or may not relate to my life.

Growing up in this kind of family often leads to isolation. You may think that no one knows "the trouble I've seen." But clearly, as this book illustrates, we "Adult Daughters" are not alone. I found this help
Heather Holmes
Dec 28, 2015 Heather Holmes rated it liked it
This book is a little outdated, but it opened my eyes to some of my own demons. As a daughter of an alcoholic father, I could relate to much of the content. I like that the author insists that there are variations to every alcoholic daughter, but there are many commonalities, too. It was an intriguing read.
Jul 22, 2011 Trish rated it it was amazing
this book was hard for me to read because it hit so close to home. I read it in undergrad when first started exploring adult children of alcoholic literature. I think I threw the book across the room a few times! I have been wanting to reread in the last couple of years but need to get up the nerve again. I recommend to any adult daughter of an alcoholic parent. It was very helpful and revealing into certain aspects of my personality and actions.
Having had multiple friends who grew up in alcoholic homes, I read this to try to understand more about their experience and what that must have been like for them. I don't know that I could rate it since I can't speak to how true this was for them, but I did feel like it helped me see some of the challenges they've had to face.
Sep 27, 2012 Jaclyn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: daughters of alcoholics
As a daughter of an alcoholic, this was a fascinating book that really spoke to me. It opened my eyes to why I act the way I do in some situations, why I am an unrelenting perfectionist and my greatest critic, why I am so people-pleasing, etc. I would definitely recommend this to any woman who grew up in an alcoholic family.
Mar 04, 2011 Bridgett rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
I related to a lot of the traits and problems described in this book, though I don't have much trouble with trust or intimacy. I thought, overall, the book was a good description of what it can be like to be female and grow up with an alcoholic parent.
Salina Gonzales Frazier
Oct 22, 2010 Salina Gonzales Frazier rated it really liked it
A little preachy and godly for my taste, but once I was able to get past that I found this book immensely helpful. I have only recently begun researching "Adult Children of Alcoholics" and this book was significant insight into my own behaviors.
Apr 28, 2011 Claire rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
More self-help.

These books seem to be more useful for the person who has grown up with an active alcoholic in the home. Although I identify with some of the characteristics, I can't identify with the reasons for the characteristics.

Jun 18, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it
I would recommend this book to any adult daughter of an alcoholic. It was recommended to me by my shrink, and really helped me understand a number of things about myself and my personality.
Feb 15, 2013 Kat rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it, adult-child
Overall it is a good book with a lot of information that an adult daughter can relate to and utilize in recovery. Towards the end it got a bit repetitive.
Sara Ann
Oct 15, 2013 Sara Ann rated it really liked it
A good read for someone just beginning to learn about the topic. Additional reading of other texts will be needed to develop a more complete understanding.
Kim Trautman
Sep 16, 2016 Kim Trautman rated it it was ok
I didn't finish this before it was due back at the library. I got through a few chapters but it wasn't resonating with me.
Kt marshmallow Marsh
Jun 11, 2007 Kt marshmallow Marsh rated it really liked it
Learning about what traits I've picked up due to my childhood environment and how to relearn healthier ways of operating.
Brad Mcdonald
Apr 04, 2013 Brad Mcdonald rated it really liked it
Very helpful for understanding how to better relate to adult daughters of alcoholics, and their experiences.
Sep 17, 2010 Ashley rated it it was amazing
This is about women who struggled with their childhoods and their parents' drinking.
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