If you have experienced family alcoholism, addiction, mental illness, abuse, trauma and dysfunction as a child, you may identify yourself as an ACA or ACoA – Adult Children of Alcoholics. (The term also applies to other family difficulty and dysfunction.) Many ACA’s benefit from counseling along with peer support, especially counseling from a therapist trained, experienced and familiar with ACA issues and 12-Step work/fellowships (the “Anonymous” programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, etc.). This specialized type of counseling provides an opportunity to work on your childhood experiences as they continue to affect you as an adult. Many ACA’s deal with addiction recovery and after some time, find that doing ACA work helps to get to the “core” of their issues – because the ACA issues came before the addictive behavior.
Working with a counselor who understands ACA issues is very important for safe, supportive and effective counseling to occur. The client and counselor frequently work on such issues as trauma, abuse, PTSD, codependence, addiction, inner child issues and various types of dissociation.
Traits that frequently occur in ACA’s (according to ACA literature at adultchildren.org) are:
- Uncomfortable with people, angry people, authority figures, personal criticism
- Approval-seeking, dependent upon others
- Developing addictions and/or being in relationships with those with other addicts
- Abandonment and victimization issues
- Overly responsible, overly concerned with others, seeking people to rescue
- Guilt when advocating for oneself, self-judgment, low self-esteem
- Seeking excitement
- Stuffing feelings, difficulty with feeling or expressing feelings
- Reacting vs. acting
I have many years of professional experience working with those affected by these issues as well as personal recovery experience (alcoholism, nicotine, family dysfunction). If you find these traits seem to describe you and you wish to talk with someone who understands, please call or text me at 630.263.8888. All services are conveniently provided by telephone for you from anywhere in the United States. Help is only a phone call away !!