Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA)
This is some of the richest work in one’s therapy journey. You do not have to come from an alcoholic home or hugely dysfunction family in order to go to these groups. If you identify with the Laundry List (click link for info) then you have a place at ACA. ACA is a community where people can share their experiences of how they were shaped and how they healed. The term ‘Adult Child’ means learning survival skills / traits that you had to learn in order to cope from painful childhood experiences. Often, these traits have now carried over into adulthood and are becoming an obstacle to full healing, intimacy, and freedom. The reality is that you could not have done it any other way in terms of learned behavior and relating to others up until now. We did not choose our childhood experience therefore we encourage every client to be gentle to themselves as they are trying to find new ways to relate to others. What we can do is learn from our experiences and find new ways moving forward in not only relating to others, but especially in relating to ourselves.
So much of our emotional turmoil comes from unresolved grief that stays in our subconscious. Usually, we tend to take various emotional issues to close relationships in our present day not realizing that much of the energy is coming from unresolved wounds of the past. Therefore, it is our experience that grief work is paramount to having a full shift and transition to one’s healing journey.
inner child work
Most of our unresolved emotional issues come from childhood wounds. If you feel something that seems bigger than the moment then mostly likely it is historical (often, something from your childhood). The problem is we tend to not see it that way and take our emotional energy to those in present day relationships. The work is to go back and help the inner child grieve. First, we have to find our inner child again and then start a relationship with that wounded child. (Note: We know this sounds a bit strange, but this is a way to discuss our inner psyche or subconsciousness and inner child work helps name these wounded parts of self.)
If you can give room and time to grieve and do the inner child work this is the natural result. We learn to integrate and self lead. In ACA, this is when we find our inner loving parent (i.e. our soul / true self). We find the ability to be present to ourself and have space for all aspects of life that come before us (both seemingly positive and negative). We begin to have the ability to Self authority and such strength and groundedness.