Helping you heal the pain of a dysfunctional upbringing – and develop healthier relationships.
ACA stands for Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional families.
It’s a 12 Step Fellowship designed to help adults who grew up in abusive or boundaryless settings – often with at least one addict or compulsive codependent for a parent (often both!) – to recover from their codependent tendencies, improve their esteem, stop overreacting to things they can’t control, take ownership of their decisions, and ultimately create a happier and healthier life for themselves.
What is an Adult Child?
Typically, Adult Children are people who grew up not having healthy boundaries and values modelled to them. So as adults, they act in ways that people who had that balance might find extreme or disturbing.
Often, the ACA (sometimes called ACoA) can end up mimicking the parents who caused them such discomfort, and develop their own faulty coping mechanisms in the form of child-like emotional over-reactions, substance abuse issues, impulse control problems, and addictive/abusive relationships where they don’t feel able to speak their full truth.
The ACA Laundry List.
It’s very, very common for an ACA to grow up hyper-vigilant, overly sensitive to criticism, and prone to flitting between compulsive people-pleasing and acts of incredible selfishness. Such is the impact of growing up in a home where at different times they may have had to flip between caring for and rescuing an addict parent, and protecting themselves from that parent’s abusive tendencies.
In fact, so common are the various traits of most ACAs that the fellowship presents them in The Laundry list – a set of two lists which together give the character traits an ACA is likely to model. (If you’re an ACoA or think you might be, give it a look – you’re sure to find it eye-opening).
A powerful programme.
Because of it’s very nature, there is a lot of crossover between ACoA and fellowships like Al-Anon and SLAA. Often they treat the same core insecurity and compulsive coping mechanisms in slightly different ways. However, the ACoA programme is known for going especially deep into the formative traumas that helped cause much of the unhealthy relating that ACoAs experience in adulthood. In that way, it may be arguably the best 12 Step accompaniment of the lot for someone who is exploring their issues with a therapist or coach, and truly seeking to resolve their childhood hurts.
This is a very deep and powerful programme, and not for the faint of heart. But those ‘Travellers’ who choose to take the journey with ACA UK – or its international counterparts – are likely to find a transformative and life-changing level of recovery, buoyed by the sponsorship model, and the anonymous fellowship of people who have all been there too, in their own way.
Think you might be an ACoA? Visit the website to find out more and see the meeting list.
All the best,
Get started with ACA:
- Visit the ACA website: ACA UK | Worldwide
- See ACA Meetings: UK | Worldwide
- Buy ACA literature on Amazon UK | US
- Understand The Problem
- Explore The Laundry List
- Read what happened when I recommended ACA UK to a friend (Update: less than a year on he’s out of trauma and giving service as the secretary of his local group!)
Credit for post header image: The ACA UK fellowship header image.
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