CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLISM by Judith S. & Geraldine Youcha Seixas

CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Peer group support, primarily, for the offspring of alcoholic parents. Alcoholics counselor Seixas, author of books on alcoholism for children, and health writer Youcha, author of A Dangerous Pleasure: Alcoholism from the Women's Perspective, report on the case histories of more than 200 children of alcoholism, highlighting the major issues that arise. The first of their three sections, ""Living in Chaos,"" discusses the strain of keeping the alcoholic problem a secret from those outside the family, the burden of maintaining the family fantasy that everything is basically okay, and the incredible pressures that arise (and disasters that occur) around holidays. ""The changes in regular routines leave room for behavior held in check by the demands of daily life."" Seixas and Youcha then examine the persistence of these ""hangovers from childhood"": the learned behaviors, and ways of reacting, that were established in a sick situation, and how they might be changed. Among their particular areas of concern are the drinking habits of children of alcoholics (they are definitely at risk), aspects of marriage and intimacy, relationships with children, and relationships with alcoholic parents as an adult (limits of tolerance can be set, even if a parent's drinking can't be changed). Finally, there is advice on getting help: peer support groups on the AA model are highly recommended, but sound guidelines for choosing a therapist are included as well. With the extensive case studies and the prevailing upbeat tenor: a boost for those on a tough road.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1984
ISBN: 0060970200
Publisher: Crown