Al‑Anon Works

Building Healthy Relationship With One’s Self In Al-Anon

As a family recovery coach, my radar goes up when I hear clients talking about how much someone else’s drinking is bothering them. What the drinker’s actual diagnosis is or isn’t, is not important to me. If their drinking is bothering my client, I gently begin asking questions to help me better understand just how much of a problem it is to my client. Often, these conversations lead me to put Al‑Anon on my list of recommendations for the client.

You may wonder why I want my clients to go to Al‑Anon, when I’m specially trained to help the family members of alcoholics. The short answer to that question is that Al‑Anon works.

The people who have been going to Al‑Anon meetings for a very long time have discovered the secret of living well and enjoying their own lives whether their alcoholic relatives choose sobriety or not.

The clients I’ve sent to meetings progress faster toward the coaching goals they have set, become more able to deal with other aspects of their lives more effectively, and grow happier over time, regardless of their alcoholic’s choices.

I work hand in hand with the Al‑Anon program and its Twelve Steps because Al‑Anon facilitates the re‑emergence of inner health on the outer level. Al‑Anon is the program of relationships, beginning with building a healthy relationship with one’s self. And more than anything else, those related to alcoholics need support in rebuilding a healthy relationship with themselves because that’s where family recovery begins.

Beverly A. Buncher, MA, CEC, LTPC

Family Recovery Coach

Pompano Beach, Florida

When Helping Hurts: A Lesson on Enabling

When Helping Hurts: A Lesson on Enabling.

When Helping Hurts

Helping aids progression, creates an environment of positivity, adds value to the life of another human being. Helping lifts you up, but doesn’t hold you up; it allows you to hold yourself up as best you can. Helping at its best is supportive, not controlling; strengthening, not debilitating; mobilizing, not paralyzing. When helping hurts, it is no longer helping. It is enabling.

Enabling is often disguised as helping, but it’s quite the opposite. Enabling creates a sense of powerlessness, often discouraging and de-motivating the person who needs help.

 

Little eyes, little ears

Little eyes, little ears; how violence against a mother shapes children as they grow

Children are changed by growing up with violence and abuse at home

Bad sights, sounds and experiences take many forms. A hit or slap is obvious to see. Abusive words and interactions cause invisible bruises.

Change can be sudden or change can be gradual

Violence at home can take the form of one or more traumatic incidents triggering sudden change. Or changes can occur slowly in reaction to the daily dynamics of abusive relationships, shaping a child incrementally as he or she grows.

Change can be visible or change can be inside

Some changes show in a child’s behaviour, such as crying, aggression, or disrespect to women. Violence in the home also changes how children think and feel – about themselves, their families and life in general.

Children are not passive witnesses to noise, tension and violence at home

Little eyes and little ears don’t miss much, soaking in sights and sounds. Child "witnesses" of violence and abuse are overwhelmed by intense feelings and concentrate hard on their own thoughts. They may feel confused and scared and blame themselves.

As they watch or listen, they guess what caused the "fight," imagine what might happen next, and anticipate potential consequences.

Change can be bad and change can be good

By understanding a child’s view, we can nurture positive changes: correct distorted ideas, encourage helpful coping, build good interpersonal skills, and foster management of intense emotions. And we can support mothers as they help their children heal and thrive.

A child who lives with violence is

forever changed, but not forever

"damaged." There’s a lot we can

do to make tomorrow better.

This resource draws together, in one place, information from the best and latest research for professionals and volunteers who help women and children.

Topics addressed include what children might feel, think and do during violent incidents against their mothers, roles they might adopt before, during or after incidents, strategies of coping and survival, and how violence may be experienced by children of different ages, from infancy to adolescence.

The purpose is to examine how violence against a mother can shape a child. By learning how each child as an individual was shaped by experiences in his or her home – and considering important contextual features of family life – we can devise ways to help.

‘little eyes , little ears’ how violence against a mother shapes children as they grow, by Alison Cunningham & Linda Baker the © 2007 Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System. Available at web site: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/nc-cn

Teens & Alcohol Shops

Alcohol Shops Affect Teen Drinking

Alcohol outlets lead to specific problems among youth and young adults

Alcohol research has clearly demonstrated a connection between alcohol outlets and alcohol-related problems.

A new study focuses on the effects of alcohol outlets on underage youth and young adults.

Findings show that alcohol-related injuries among underage youth and young adults are shaped by the density and types of alcohol outlets in neighbourhoods.

Prior studies have not only demonstrated a clear connection between alcohol outlets and alcohol-related problems, they have also shown that certain types of outlets are associated with different types of problem outcomes. A new study shows that a particular group, underage youth and young adults, have specific problems – injury accidents, traffic crashes, and assaults that are related to specific types of alcohol outlets – off-premise outlets, bars and restaurants.

Results will be published in the March 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

“Over the past four decades, public health researchers have come to recognize that although most drinkers safely purchase and enjoy alcohol from alcohol outlets, these places are also associated with serious alcohol-related problems among young people and adults,” said Paul J. Gruenewald, senior research scientist at the Prevention Research Center and corresponding author for the study.

“In the early studies, researchers believed associations were due to increased alcohol consumption related to higher alcohol outlet densities,” added Richard Scribner, D’Angelo Professor of Alcohol Research at the LSU School of Public Health. “However, as the research area has matured, the relations appear to be far more complex. It seems that alcohol outlets represent an important social institution within a neighbourhood. As a result, their effects are not limited to merely the consequences of the sale of alcohol.”

For this study, researchers obtained non-public hospital discharge data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, including residential zip code and patient age for all patients discharged. Ninety-nine percent of the injury records were successfully mapped to zip codes. Population demographics, place characteristics, and data related to alcohol outlets were also collected from various sources, and modelled in relation to two age groups: underage youth between 18 and 20 years of age, and of-age young adults 21 to 29 years of age.

“Greater numbers of off-premise outlets such as take-out establishments were associated with greater injuries from accidents, assaults, and traffic crashes for both underage and of-age young adults,” said Gruenewald. “But only among of-age young adults were greater number of restaurants related to traffic crash injuries and greater numbers of bars related to assault injuries. These findings confirm previous observations that drinking at bars may be a particular risk for aggression and alcohol-related assaults while drinking at restaurants may be a particular risk for drunken driving and alcohol-related traffic crashes. The findings also confirm prior studies that indicate underage risks are uniquely associated with off-premise establishments.”

“In other words,” said Scribner, “the pattern of alcohol-related injuries among underage youth and young adults is not random; their occurrence is shaped by the density and type of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood. For example, when young adults reach the minimum legal drinking age, they begin legally drinking in bars where events such as bar fights are relatively common, and more likely when the density of bars increases. A little more complex is the strong association between an increasing density of off-premise outlets such as convenience stores and liquor stores, and higher rates of all injury outcomes among both underage youth and young adults. The authors indicate this association may be related to broader social factors where the concentration of these types of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood influences the social networks of both youth and young adults by reinforcing high-risk drinking practices. Clearly this type of research can help to develop informed policy in areas where high rates of youth injuries are considered a problem.”

The key message, said both Gruenewald and Scribner, is that a neighbourhood’s alcohol environment plays a role in regulating the risks that youth and young adults will be exposed to as they mature.

“From a prevention perspective, this represents an important refocusing of priorities, away from targeting the individual to targeting the community,” said Scribner. “This is hopeful because a community-based approach that addresses the over concentration of alcohol outlets in a neighbourhood where youth injuries are a problem is relatively easy compared with interventions targeting each youth individually.”

Teen Survival Guide; Free eBook download

The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along

When my daughter became a senior in high school, I knew it wouldn’t be long before she left for college. I felt happy that she was about to start a new chapter in her life and proud of her success in getting to this point. But I also felt sad.Not only was I going to miss having my smart, funny, talkative, wildly creative daughter living at home, but I was also going to miss her wonderful friends. I wouldn’t hear what was going on in their day-to-day lives anymore, and I wouldn’t be able to help them sort things out

This book includes more than one hundred letters from teens who wrote tome for advice. (To protect the teens’ privacy, I decided not to use real names or any specific details that might identify a particular letter writer. Still, the letters and situations are absolutely real.) The letters let you find out what other teens are going through and see how their experiences are similar to your own

Maybe you’re thinking, “What makes her such an expert on relationships?”I don’t claim to be an expert (and neither does Terra!). But, just like you, I’ve had experiences that have taught me about myself and life. As a student, a teacher, a writer, a traveller, an actor, a director, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a mom, and a wife, I’ve spent years becoming comfortable with who I am and learning what it takes to get along with others. My advice is always based on what I know about healthy relationships, which are the only kind worth having.

Download the free copy of the Teen Survival Guide below.

The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along


Poll; Is recovery from alcoholism / addiction sexy?

What is your experience with people in recovery from alcoholism, addiction, codependency, and ACOA.

Were they sexy when practicing their dysfunctional behaviour?

Have they become more attractive since being in recovery?

Cast your vote in this poll.

Is recovery from alcoholism / addiction sexy?

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