Children of Alcoholism: The Struggle for Self and Intimacy in Adult Life

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In this sensitive and richly rewarding book Barbara L. Wood, a clinician with many years' experience working with adult children of the chemically dependent, gives clinicians informed and practical advice on how to treat the damaged self of these individuals. She offers strategies for intervention, along with step-by-step principles that tell the therapist how best to create an environment to help patients.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Neatly packaged, intelligently written, and intensely interesting. . . .Drawing on her training and personal experiences, Wood has written a book about development of the essence of oneself, impediments to fulfillment of personal needs, and encouragement of more satisying forms of self-expression. Her insightful vignettes illustrate both the rationale and application of the strategies she suggests and explain her terapeutic mistakes. Regardless of one's theoretical alliances and level of treatment expertise, this book can be used to enhance conceptualization of psychopathology, reevalaute the emotional climate fostered in the therapeutic situation, and refine processes for encouraging patient confidence, creativity, and positive affect. Compelling from intellectual and emotional standpoints, this compact volume is highly recoommeded to a general clinical readership."

-Contemporary Psychology

"Informed and practical advice on how to successfully treat adult children of alcoholics. The author, a clinician with many years of experience working with adult children of the chemically dependent, uses object relations theory and Heinz Kohut's self psychology to explore the underlying reasons for these patients' dangerously low self-esteem."

-EAP Digest

Library Journal
Wood is concerned with the trauma experienced by children raised in an alcoholic home and the impact of this early trauma on their psychological development and adult adjustment. As she notes, children of alcoholics often adopt the same self-destructive patterns of alcoholism as their parents. Consequently they suffer from feelings of emptiness, futility, and hopelessness. Wood writes within a psychodynamic framework that attempts to address these problems by dredging up events from the past. Other factors under serious consideration by the medical community todayincluding genetic predisposition and biological basesare ignored. The overall appeal of her work is thus limited to those of a similar theoretical persuasion. Barbara J. Powell, Kansas City Veteran's Administration Medical Ctr., Mo.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814792223
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1989
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 182
  • Product dimensions: 0.42 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara L. Wood, a counseling psychologist is cofounder of Bethesda Psychological Center, a clinic specializing in the treatment of compulsive disorders, including alcoholism and other chemical dependencies as well as problems associated with co-dependency. She is also on the adjunct faculty of the University of Maryland and lectures widely on her work.

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