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Ryan, W.P. (1991). Treatment Issues with Adult Children of Alcoholics. Psychoanal. Psychol., 8(1):69-82.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 8(1):69-82

Treatment Issues with Adult Children of Alcoholics

William P. Ryan, Ph.D.

Much is being learned about the treatment of adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) from the areas of self-help psychology, the psychology of addictive families, and group psychotherapy. There is a dearth of material in the psychoanalytic literature. Yet it seems vital for psychoanalysis to contribute the powerful insights it has to offer in understanding in greater depth the character formation and treatment of ACOAs. This article attempts to contribute in the ara of treatment strategies. Two cardinal strategies have been selected for elaboration in this article. One is the process of working through the denial and shame. The other is the focus on the parents as inadequate objects for emotional supplies, and the working through of the inner sadness of the resultant deprivation.

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