HOPE: New Choices and Recovery Strategies for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Emily Marlin

HOPE: New Choices and Recovery Strategies for Adult Children of Alcoholics

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A thorough, sympathetic psychotherapeutic guide to recovering from the trauma of having an alcoholic parent. Marlin, a psychotherapist who herself came from an alcoholic home, stresses that ""the emotional scars from growing up in families with chronic illness are frequently quite deep, and continue to be painful long after childhood."" She urges that this pain be used as a starting point: ""Pain can pave the way for change, major change."" She begins with ""Reexamining the Past,"" looking at the trauma children in alcoholic families face, and how they cope: pretending to outsiders that all is well, trying to be a perfect child in the hope that a parent will stop drinking, trying to be in control of all situations in an effort to make them bearable. Next, in ""Reforming the Present,"" she considers what psychological growth and change is necessary to overcome such a childhood, and what help is available: Marlin endorses psychotherapy and self-help groups. Finally, she discusses ""Reaffirming the Future"": how to establish new relationships as an adult with parents and family; and, of vital concern, how to raise one's own children in a healthier environment. Marlin does get entangled in the jargon of psychotherapy. But she speaks from a knowledgeable point of view, experimental and scholarly, and is able to pass on both theoretical information and practical help. For those comfortable with this model and language, her guide offers real help and comfort.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Harper & Row