In my years of practice I know one thing for certain: patients who have outside support heal faster, improve their interpersonal relationships, and are more productive in their lives. Sometimes that support comes from family, a spouse, or loved one. Sometimes from a psychotherapist or a coach. I want to give a shout out to a 12-step program that does a deep dive psychologically and has helped transform the lives of a number of patients. It is called Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA). They have meetings around the country. Since meetings cost one or two dollars to attend, getting help becomes very affordable. Check their website for meetings near you. They also have phone-based meetings, though the in-person meetings have been most helpful to my patients.
I have told patients that doing ACA recovery work can help them address their tendency accommodate to people in their live who are erratic and/or dysfunctional. Alcoholism in one’s family isn’t a requirement to participate in ACA.
Here’s an excerpt from their website adultchildren.org which describes what they do:
“Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA)/Dysfunctional Families is a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition program of men and women who grew up in dysfunctional homes.
We meet to share our experience of growing up in an environment where abuse, neglect and trauma infected us. This affects us today and influences how we deal with all aspects of our lives.
ACA provides a safe, nonjudgmental environment that allows us to grieve our childhoods and conduct an honest inventory of ourselves and our family—so we may (i) identify and heal core trauma, (ii) experience freedom from shame and abandonment, and (iii) become our own loving parents.”
The ACA DC Metro chapter has its own website:https://www.dc-aca.org/
The national ACA website is: Adultchildren.org