In an all too familiar scenario, played out in millions of homes every day, children who grow up in addictive families abide by certain rules: don't talk, don't trust, don't feel. The rigid survival roles and youthful coping behaviors they take on, such as the responsible child, the adjuster, the placater, and the acting-out child can eventually contribute to problems of depression, loneliness, and addiction in adulthood.
Dr. Black talks about:
- Why most children of addictive families are never seen by counselors or family service agencies
- Why children of addictive families often seem well-adjusted
- How the effects of living in an addictive family manifest when the child grows up
- How mental health professionals can help children whose parents are suffering from addiction
- How children of addicts can heal and embrace healthy relationships as adults
About IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME:
Children of addictive families do not often receive the help they need. After all, they usually rely on coping mechanisms that allow them to appease others, fly under the radar, or redirect attention. But, as Dr. Claudia Black asserts in the newly revised edition of her worldwide bestseller, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME: Growing Up with Addiction as Youngsters, Adolescents, and Adults, 3rd edition (a Central Recovery Press paperback, on sale December 1, 2020), if these children do not receive the care they need, they become vulnerable to addictions, abusive relationships, and mental health disorders.
In her insightful guide, Black expertly identifies common issues that children of alcoholics contend with, including neglect, unreasonable role expectations, and physical abuse. To hide these problems, families typically demand that children abide by specific rules: don't talk, don't trust, don't feel. Black asserts that to cope, children adopt various roles such as ‘the responsible child,’ ‘the adjuster,’ ‘the placater,’ and ‘the acting-out child.’ But while these roles may help them survive the trauma at home, they can eventually contribute to depression, loneliness, and addiction in adulthood.
Expanding her new edition to address addictions beyond alcohol, Black explains how the roles children take on for their survival ultimately suppress and stifle their emotional needs. And while children may vow never to resort to the same substances their parents used, many of them turn to food, exercise, shopping, work, or sex to cope with the unaddressed emotional response to growing up in the trauma of an addictive household.
Drawing on her extensive research on addiction and codependency - along with her first-hand experience working with children of addictive families - Black highlights poignant personal stories, thoughtful explanations, and helpful exercises to help readers analyze and address their own self-defeating behaviors. With her reassuring and informative approach, she offers insight, actionable advice, and hope to those affected by addiction's destructive impact.
About the Author:
Claudia Black, PhD is a world-renowned expert on addiction and codependency, best-selling author, and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. Since the 1970s, Dr. Black’s work has encompassed the impact of addiction on young and adult children. Her writings and teachings have become a standard in the field of addictions. Claudia holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Psychology from Columbia Pacific University, and a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. Claudia is the Clinical Architect of the Claudia Black Center for Young Adults, a Senior Fellow, and Addiction and Trauma Program Specialist at The Meadows Treatment Center in Arizona. She is one of the original founders and serves on the Advisory Board for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics and the Advisory Council of the Eluna Foundation and its development of Camp Mariposa, a camp for children impacted by addiction. She serves on the Advisory Board for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics and the Advisory Council of the Moyer Foundation.