ERIC Number: ED254785
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
The COA Therapist: When the Family Hero Turns Pro.
Wood, Barbara L.
To defend against the instability and dishonesty of his family life, the child of an alcoholic parent may adopt the role of the hero--a highly conforming, highly achieving "good child" who seeks to redeem his family and himself through his accomplishments. Children of alcoholics adhere to their childhood roles as adults and may even create an adult environment that reinforces those roles. A family hero may choose to become a therapist working with chemically dependent or co-dependent clients. These heroic therapists often bring a great capacity for empathy to their work with chemically dependent individuals and families, and the therapists' will to restore can become the basis for hope, compassion, courage, and perseverance. However, this will to restore may also operate as a compulsive, destructive force. In order to accomplish the goals of therapy, therapists who are also family heroes must examine their own reactions to the emergence of deep feelings and contend with the will to restore, which may divert therapy from its beneficial course and reproduce the inhibiting conditions of the alcoholic home. (NRB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Adult Children