Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
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The New Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy, LLC

The New Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy, LLC, is located at 675 Route 72 E, Manahawkin, NJ 08050,
Telephone (609)709-2043 and (609) 494-0009.

Driving directions: Take Mill Creek Road South, just off Route 72 E After about 400 feet, turn right into the office complex of Mill Creek Commons.Then, immedately turn right again and go past the Lyceum II Gym. Continue on to the Prudential Zack Building,which will be the only building on your right. We are the last office at the end.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Are You an Adult Child of an Alcoholic? You are DIFFERENT!

Many people grow up with an alcoholic parent and try to make their way in the world, not even realizing that they are different from those around them. While the following list is not a diagnosis, worthy of inclusion in the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, many adult children of alcoholics can identify with all or part of it once they see the list in print. It can function as a helpful road map for guiding and planning their life in ways that can correct for some of the deficiencies it points to, while serving as a guide for turning some of these weaknesses into strong points.  However, not every adult child of an alcoholic conforms to all of the following traits. If you do fit one or more DSM diagnoses, the traits on the following list will deviate to a greater or lesser degree from your actual personality.

According to Tony A's list, many adult children of alcoholics can:

Become isolated
Fear people and authority figures
Become approval seekers
Be frightened of angry people
Be terrified of personal criticism
Become alcoholics, marry them or both
View life as a victim
Have an overwhelming sense of responsibility
Be concerned more with others than themselves
Feel guilty when they stand up for themselves
Become addicted to excitement
Confuse love and pity
'Love' people who need rescuing
Stuff their feelings
Lose the ability to feel
Have low self-esteem
Judge themselves harshly
Become terrified of abandonment
Do anything to hold on to a relationship
Become "para-alcoholics" without drinking
Become reactors instead of actors

The Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization used his list as the basis of their six-item identification list,

1. We had come to feel isolated, and uneasy with other people, especially authority figures. To protect ourselves, we became people pleasers, even though we lost our own identities in the process. All the same we would mistake any personal criticism as a threat.

2. We either became alcoholics ourselves, married them, or both. Failing that, we found other compulsive personalities, such as a workaholic, to fulfill our sick need for abandonment. 

3. We lived life from the standpoint of victims. Having an over developed sense of responsibility, we preferred to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. We got guilt feelings when we trusted ourselves, giving in to others. We became reactors rather than actors, letting others take the initiative. 

4. We were dependent personalities, terrified of abandonment, willing to do almost anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to be abandoned emotionally. We keep choosing insecure relationships because they matched our childhood relationship with alcoholic or dysfunctional parents. 

5. These symptoms of the family disease of alcoholism or other dysfunction made us 'co-victims,' those who take on the characteristics of the disease without necessarily ever taking a drink. We learned to keep our feelings down as children and keep them buried as adults. As a result of this conditioning, we often confuse love with pity, tending to love those we could rescue. 

6. Even more self-defeating, we became addicted to excitement in all of our affairs, preferring constant upset to workable solutions. 

Here is a list of articles which provide more information on growing up in an alocholic home.

Scroll down for a list of some of the most popular sites on this Blog. 
Below this list are the most recent Blog entries. 
For an easily accessible list of all Blog postings, see the list entitled, "Blog Archive" in the column at the right of this page.


The Blog contains many other examples of experience as an art form, for the enhancement of human potential, the ennoblement of the human spirit, and the fulfillment of human existence.

See also the following print sources:

Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form. .New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Press).

Gibbons, D. E., & Cavallaro, L (2013).. Exploring alternate universes: And learning what they can teach us. Amazon Kindle E-Books. (Note: It is not necessary to own a Kindle reader to download this e-book, as the Kindle app may be downloaded free of charge to a standard desktop or laptop computer and to most cell phones.)

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. in S. J. Lynn, J. W. Rhue, & I. Kirsch (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 267-291.

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