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Adult Children of Alcoholics
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Adult Children of Alcoholics

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  1,686 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Ten years ago, Janet Woititz broke new ground in our understanding of what it is to be an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. Today she re-examines the movement and its inclusion of Adult Children from various dysfunctional family backgrounds who share the same characteristics. After more than ten years of working with ACoAs she shares the recovery hints that she has found to wor ...more
Paperback, Expanded, 135 pages
Published November 1st 1990 by Health Communications (first published January 1st 1987)
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Beth Fisher
I never considered being the Adult Child of an Alcoholic to really have had any impact on me so I was somewhat amazed to recognize a lot of the components of my early home life in this book; the broken promises, the estrangement from friends, the lack of sense of self. I learned that things that I do to this day have roots in my past; having difficulty following a project from beginning to end, judging myself without mercy, difficulty having fun, taking myself very seriously, difficulty with int ...more
Lisa
May 08, 2008 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: therapists, adult children of alcoholics
This is a must-read for anyone who grew up in a family where addiction was an issue. It is so important to begin to understand the effects of that family system on one's sense of self and on one's relationships. It is a book I recommend to all of my clients when they have grown up in this kind of environment.
James
Feb 28, 2008 James rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who grew up with parents whose parenting abilities were impaired for whatever reason
A groundbreaking and lifesaving book! Janet Woititz spoke to a lot of people who thought that no one else had their emotional challenges and helped them see that they weren't crazy and it wasn't hopeless. Without bashing alcoholic parents who were doing the best they could, she helps people understand some life skills and people skills that their role models just weren't able to teach them very well. Given that somewhere over 10% of Americans have had serious drinking problems in past and presen ...more
Smiley
Dec 29, 2008 Smiley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone touched by alcoholism.
I learned to understand why I've made some of the choices that I've made and how my personality formed the way that it did. Be careful NOT to let this book serve as an excuse for dysfunction, but, as a way to understand it and to liberate yourself from it! It was very eye-opening as I saw parts of myself on many of the pages. We can't change our past but we can ruin a perfectly good future if we don't learn from it!
Danielle Petrovich
This book was excellent at making the distinction between blaming your parents for everything and using your past and how your parents treated you (and may still treat you) as a framework to understand different behaviors and reactions you have in the present.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has alcoholism in their family. I could have done without the poetry, but the real life examples were good. It was refreshing to have so many aspects described so articulately. I think that i
...more
Susan
Mar 09, 2010 Susan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Adult Children of Alcoholics
Recommended to Susan by: Heather VanDeBoe
This book seemed to be written about ME. After I finished it, I felt sort of exposed but also liberated knowing that I wasn't the only person with these traits or issues. It's encouraged me to look into Al-Anon meetings and also consider seeing a therapist to help me overcome some of these traits and help myself recover.
Denise
Very short book and a necessary read for those mentioned in the title. I thought the author must have been following me! :)
Tania
This book offers an excellent overview and introduction to the impact of growing up in a family where one or both parents abuse alcohol. It is a terrific resource for counselors or individuals alike. The book gives readers excellent information to help them make changes in their lives. The vignettes give the book a more personal feel. It doesn't come across like a dry, academic textbook. I found that the information made sense and was quite useful. It helped me grow and come to terms with some t ...more
Jamila
I read this book for my own personal research into the subject for a little self awareness and maybe for some answers. The book has a broad spectrum of experiences to create a point of relation for a lot of people and provides useful information about dealing in a proactive manner.

This did help me open my eyes to a lot of the ways I was dealing and approaching life. It helped me recognize my own behaviors and why I kept getting into unhealthy relationships, didn’t understand “normal, “why my lif
...more
Jessica Oban
I read this on recommendation by my therapist and, to tell you the truth, it was kind of hard to read emotionally. My "father" did drugs and alcohol when I was little, but when he stopped, the verbal and mental abuse came. I was never good enough. He screamed at me, called me names, and made me so afraid of even making a single move because it wasn't right in his eyes. He tried to ground my brother so that he didn't have to go to the school's open house.

All of what I felt in my childhood, were
...more
Jessica
In some ways, the characteristics listed were so spot-on they made me laugh. In some ways, they seemed more representative of my sisters or friends who are ACOAs than of me. We all internalize things a little differently, I guess.

Anyway, the descriptions -- particularly when the author explained why it made sense that someone would respond in a dysfunctional way to a dysfunctional situation -- were generally helpful.

Some of the follow up stuff still has me a bit dubious, though. To get love, tel
...more
Natalie
Oct 10, 2011 Natalie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Natalie by: Michella Jones
Shelves: self-help
Makes you think, 'wow, so someone else feels like or has been through this, too?'
It's a good read, I think, to enlighten you to actually how your attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs have been formed and encouraging that the negative ones can actually be changed. While it offers no straight-forward step-by-step solutions, it's not intended to, but it does give you insight on options and suggestions to take you in the right direction of healing and moving forward with your life.
Rachel
I grew up in a dysfunctional family with a mother who self-medicates with alcohol and a father who conquered a drug addiction when I was young. Living in this kind of environment has had a major effect on my sense of self and the way I approach relationships. So much of this book has hit home with me that I pulled out a red pen and started highlighting what applied to me, adding my own commentary to the margins. I recommend it to anyone who grew up in an alcoholic family.
Joseph
i can understand why people like this book.

it was informative, but a bit simple. the author used "you" quite frequently which was a bit condescending. i did like how she was able to break things down into categories. some of the clinical examples were nice. but i find that clinical examples are strange from someone who is an Ed.D.

overall, though, i thought it could have been better.


Aurelien
A good book outlining some of the most striking and common features of ACoA. It was a very interesting read as, it also gives clues and explanations regarding why such features are prevalent among most ACoA. Is there a need to change, though? The author rightly insists several times: it's not about self-pity and making excuses (I am so, so and so because of my childhood etc.) but, understanding why, as ACoA we are the way we are and, then, make our own choices accordingly. I give it only a three ...more
Deborah Day
This is my long time favorate book for any Adult Children of Alcoholics. Almost every ACOA I have worked with relates to the book. Easy to understand. The author introduces you to how being raised in an alcholic system has a current effect on your life. A good first look into this issues.
Patricia
"Are You an Adult Child of an Alcoholic?" This book is recommended to anyone who's life is touched by alcoholism either in one's immediate family or extended family. A real eye-opener describing behavioral and relationship patterns by those affected by alcoholics and disfunctional family dynamics.
Monica Skeens
Definatley a good read especially for those who are Adult Children of Alcoholics, It helped me to understand myself, my ex husband and my step daugther and hopefully I am on the road to recovery as well as I hope and pray I can help my Step daughter to get through this as well.
Julie
Validating, telling, emotionally disturbing and enlightening at the same time. A must-read for all Adult Children of Alcoholics, Parent/Alcoholics, and anyone who deals with these people at home or in the workplace. I plan to read this one again.
Arthur "AJ"
ACOA provides some of the best guides to healing from alcoholic homes and dysfunctional families. Great stuff! Suggest that you do the exercises in one of their groups so you don't feel so ashamed and isolated.
Crystal
A very insightful book, not just for adult children of alcoholics but also for anyone raised in a dysfunctional family. I really liked they way it was written, as if she's earnestly speaking to you, as a person.
April
Aug 05, 2009 April rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jackson
Recommended to April by: Linda
I think this book is amazing. I don't think that I have ever come across as self help book that I would call a page turner and yet I tore through this one. I underlined something on literally every page.
Lindsey
Very insightful, I would recommend it for anyone who grew up with an alcoholic parent. No matter how severe the alcoholism, this will help you understand the defensive strategies you developed as a child.
Olivia
This book has changed my life forever. Highly, highly recommended. Even if you grew up in a non-alcoholic household, but one whereas you grew up with a mentally-ill parent, this will be helpful.
julia
I learned that I fit this to a T and it was kind of depressing and then not so bad since it gave me the tools to not only recognize what was going on but to get rid of it all.
Kayla
This is such a wonderful book. It took me only two days to read it. I now understand a lot more about why I do certain things. This book is a real eye opener.
Aramos
I am curently reading this book and all I can say is WOW!! I recommend this book to every single adult who grew up with an alcoholic parent.
Marisa
I am glad I read this and even happier that I finished it. This was not a fun read. On to something more seductive.
Akilah
Does what it says it will do -- shows how living with an alcoholic family member affects present personality traits.
Danielle
Lots of insight into personality traits. If you are one I highly recommend this book. Easy read/short.
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