Item description for Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome: A Step By Step Guide To Discovery And Recovery by Wayne Kritsberg...
Overview A guide for adults raised in an alcoholic home draws on the innovative Family Integration System to help alleviate the potential problems caused by alcohol abuse and to enhance the quality of life
Publishers Description More than 28 million Americans grew up in alcoholic families. They bear a painful legacy of confusion, fear, anger and hurt--and they are at shockingly high risk of marrying an alcoholic or becoming alcoholics themselves. In this authoritative book, Wayne Kritsberg shows how to recognize--and remedy--the long-term effects of the dysfunctional, alcoholic family. His proven techniques, based on extensive clinical experience using the Family Integration System offer REAL help and REAL hope for adult children of alcoholics--and those they love.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.9" Width: 4.18" Height: 0.47" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 1988
ISBN 0553272799 ISBN13 9780553272796
Availability 0 units.
More About Wayne Kritsberg
Kritsberg is a therapist and author. Wayne is widely recognized as a pioneer in the treatment of survivors of trauma.
Wayne Kritsberg currently resides in Olympia, in the state of Washington. Wayne Kritsberg was born in 1942.
Reviews - What do customers think about Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome: A Step By Step Guide To Discovery And Recovery?
Useful tool for understanding emotions Dec 24, 2008
If you read only the first half of the book, and learn nothing more than the potential effects of growing up in an alcoholic family, or even a family who may be abstinent, but was affected by alcoholism and addition in past generations, it will be well worth your time.
This book has been a real eye opener for me, as an adult child of an alcoholic, who then went on to marry an alcoholic, thus bringing this syndrome into another generation. I can see where some of my seemingly uncontrollable emotions come from, and better understand the numbness I also experience, that seems to be so divorced from the uncontrollable fear of abandonment and grief that has often captured me.
This book has helped me understand more about my emotions in a few days than years of al-anon and therapy have. Don't get me wrong, Al-anon and Therapy both have their place, and I will continue to use both in my quest for recovery, this is just another tool, another viewpoint, which I am finding extremely helpful, even over 20 years after the book was written.
Mindfulness with a PTSD framework for understanding suffering Feb 26, 2007
Bradshaw, Black, Woititz and others in the self-help recovery field tend to focus on identity and intimacy issues and other aspects of the integrated "self," seeking integration and autonomy.
Indeed, Timmon Cermac (sp?) attempted to convince the American Psychiatric Association to revise their Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM) to include "Co-Dependency Personality Disorder," along the lines of the Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorders of the self.
Kritsberg, having the soul of the Buddha and knowing that once the "self" is discovered it must be ultimately set free, sent from the nest, as a dichotomizing, rather than unifying social construction -- an illusion of separateness from the Universe -- keeps all this in mind while taking a more practical, measured, grounded approach, a spiritual and cognitive approach perhaps neglected by his peers. Instead of upon the subjective, disordered "self," he focuses upon the adverse effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (DSM anxiety disorder) experienced within the "dysfunctional family" -- those life events that have the ultimate capacity to scare a soul right out of its body. Call it "dissociation," as would a psychiatrist, or "chronic shock syndrome," as Kritsberg does, but the effects of childhood trauma, just as effectively as the trauma of war, can leave a person struggling for control and lapsing in and out of those periods "out of sight/out of mind/out of body," the extent of which only those who have experienced the war in the family can know and relate to.
For this understanding of family stress and trauma, Kritsberg was a pioneer in the field of recovery at the time of The ACA Syndrome's writing, a notable field that now includes at the more science-based level, neuro-biological research on addiction itself, as well as, for example, the work at Duke University in the area of "amygdale hijack," a pop-term for the structure of the brain involved in anxiety disorders such as PTSD and related as well to the "dopamine circuit," which metaconsciously attempts addictive chemical relief of its perceived affective sufferings through the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Another such researcher in the field of neuro-pharmacology, Carlton Erickson, of the University of Texas, is pioneering research into the areas of the brain that malfunction under stress and genetic bad luck.
As a therapist, Kritsberg understood this component of neuro-biologically driven anxiety [he has a degree in engineering as well as a masters in counseling & guidance], while many of his peers in the self-help field, most notably Bradshaw himself, unfortunately continued to relapse in their struggles to overcome "toxic shame" in a noble but ironic effort to "fix" all that was *wrong* with "them-selves." Some have perceived this obsession with the self-in-recovery as the wounded narcissistic attempts of the "blind leading the blind."
This is not to demean the genre of self-help related to self-psychology or to imply that Bradshaw's and others' "self-styled" contributions came to naught, if you'll pardon the pun. Bradshaw's work on Shame and the family has enormous value for those in recovery as well as future potential for continuing advances in the field where identity and disorders of the self present as obstacles to recovery. Nevertheless, keep in mind regarding the overpowering weight of shame that was his focus, Bradshaw is, after all, a recovering religionist.
The noble "struggle for intimacy" [cf. Woititz] certainly continues to have valuable appeal for those willing to enter a lifelong struggle to "self-actualize." But I think that Kritsberg was the only one at the time to recognize the universal, existential elements of suffering involved in dysfunctional family dynamics, and to promote meditation as a means to develop mindfulness of the cognitive and affective inner-life from which the addict maladaptively tries to escape through self-medication. With the development of insight through meditation and mindfulness then comes the development of compassionate esteem for self and others. Paradoxically, rather than willing the self into integrated existence, as many in the self-help community have unwittingly attempted to accomplish as if competing to earn yet another medal for the chest of hero child so many of us play, the "wounded inner child" in Kritsberg's model is let-go-of in a more compassionate, less authoritarian manner of spiritual and psychological nurturance.
The exercises in his book invigorate this process of coming into awareness -- of waking up to the child within and accepting the parental responsibilities required beyond mere survival. His approach is one of fatherly compassion without the unconsciously rigid or subtly authoritarian constraints that bound many of the self-actualizers within their own unrecognized middle class value systems.
He is a gifted practitioner, as well, of the value and utility of symbols and of both verbal and non-verbal (body) language. He is a respecter of myth and its narrative power, of archetypes and ritual for the role they play in providing and strengthening faith and meaning in the life of recovery of our birthright to pristine sentience. All this he accomplished from an intuitive level that sometimes escapes the academic minded therapist. Sometimes accused by the nihilist of being a charlatan, I found him to be quite the adept of a post-post modern shamanism informed by Eastern thinking.
Kritsberg's book is a classic in the recovery genre and for this, and to Wayne, I bow in personal gratitude. Namaste.
5-stars, Skippy, but you'll have to actually practice the discipline in order to "get it." Or, you can drop acid and throw down handfuls of Xanax for the rest of your life. After all, you do have a choice (when sober).
-cliffhammond, MEd, LCDC [the letters are so you'll believe me when I tell ya]
One of the Best on This Subject Jun 8, 2005
I've given out many copies of this book over the years. It's been the source of profound insight for people coming out of dysfunctional family systems. The first part of the book on "Discovery" seems especially helpful, some of the tecniques in the last "Recovery" part of the book will help some but not all. A "one size fits all" approach will have it's limitations, but this book has been the most useful in shedding light on this pervasive problrem so many have to deal with.
A therapist's viewpoint Feb 16, 2005
I refer to this book constantly. First read it in 1987. It provides and excellent tool for educating clients from alcoholic/dysfunctional families. The chapter on chronic shock is particularly enlightening. ACOAs reading it usually have an "aha" experience that leads to understanding and goes a long way toward problem resolution and new coping techniques.
Key to a mystery Apr 15, 2002
This book solved a painful problem for me. It helped me first to see beyond my abstinent parents to my grandparents' alcohol problems. Next it suggested that my father could leave the alcohol, but bring an intense behavior pattern from that context.
Finally, the classic "silence, denial, isolation, rigidity" matched exactly the symptoms that developed around the apparently unrelated situation of a paralyzing medical injury to my mother. To see this coming from my father unlocked my own personal history.
I read Kritsberg after both my parents were dead, but it has allowed me to begin dissolving my inherited patterns, revisiting my parents' lives with greater compassion, and feeling hope.
Seriously overgeneralizes Feb 4, 2001
To Kritsberg, every alcoholic family is the same. Mine was/is completely different, and I mean completely: instead of a rule of silence, there was unceasing discussion of the problem, etc. By which I don't mean no one should read the book: if the rules of silence, rigidity, isolation and denial seem to fit the patterns your family had, then this book will have something to say to you, but if not, it will be a complete waste of time, since it sees nothing outside of those boundaries.