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Together We Heal: A Real-Life Portrait of Recovery in Group Therapy for Adult Children of Alcoholics

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363 pages5 hours

Summary

Recovery is a process, not an event.

Gain insight into that process through the unique approach of Together We Heal: A Real-Life Portrait of Recovery in Group Therapy.

Many adult lives are affected by the loss of their childhood. For some, as with the participants in Together We Heal, these losses were generated by chemical dependency in the family. Although written primarily for adult children of alcoholics, most of the issues broached are relevant for anyone who grew up in a high-stress family. Whatever the deprivation, the problems are typically similar: relationships, self-esteem, sexual behavior, work, trust, and parenting. Many, in an effort to feel and function better, seek counseling.

In their absorbing book, Birke, a real-life therapist, and Mayer, a former member of Birke's group therapy, welcome readers into the enlightening world of group therapy. Together We Heal chronicles the journey of a diverse group of adult children of alcoholics gutsy enough to bare their souls-- about their relationships, insecurities, jobs, and the alcoholism and distress in the families they grew up in-- and work through the issues they soon learn are not theirs alone. Both readers looking for advice for issues addressed in the book, including alcoholism, family stresses, and relationships and those intrigued by group psychotherapy will be enthralled from the first session they "attend."

A page-turner "self-help novel,” each chapter covers a meeting for the group. Each character embodies many of the issues adult children of alcoholics battle. Ranging from a 20-year old child of an alcoholic dealing with his own addictions to a 50-year old addictions counselor battling his own demons, each participant offers a story which readers will relate to. Birke's guiding presence as group leader reassures the participants and informs readers of the therapy practices being utilized. Co-author Mayer broadens the book's perspective allowing readers to experience the true growth of attending group therapy. Through both perspectives, readers will learn about how parents’ alcoholism impacts children and how growing up in a dysfunctional family affects people as parents and spouses.
If you've ever made progress in therapy, you will recognize both the problems and the progress: more confidence and less self-consciousness, breaking self-defeating habits and patterns, and much more. If you have never been to therapy, now you’ll know what it is; and maybe you’ll recognize that, you may be missing out on what could be the most rewarding and transforming experience of your life.

Praise for Together We Heal: A Real-Life Portrait of Group Therapy

"Although Together We Heal is written primarily for the ACOA, it is full of valuable information for therapists. For the therapist wishing to recommend a starting point to a patient beginning to come to terms with family alcoholism, it is an excellent resource."
Carole J. Brown, M.S.W.

"Reading Together We Heal, I felt a part of this ACOA group’s experience. I laughed and cried with them as they shared their stories. The way the book is written, the reader 'becomes one with it.' It reminded me of Irvin Yalom’s book, Love’s Executioner.
Together We Heal is not just another book about recovery; it is an experience. I t helped me feel encouraged and supported.
Together We Heal joins the ranks of significant recovery literature of the 1990’s."
Julie S, Ft. Wayne, Indiana

"This book has been helpful in providing an accurate description of what happens in an ACOA therapy group. Clients often have myths and misconceptions about the nature of group therapy which can act as a barrier to their joining a group. Together We Heal helped my clients make an informed decision about group treatment by offering a realistic view of the group therapy process and minimized their fears."
Judith C. Casey, MSW, LICSW
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Boston University Sch

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