Mental Health Providers.
Since AL-ANON's inception in 1951, the mental health community and AL-ANON have been working together. In a recent AL-ANON survey, nearly half of its members reported receiving professional counseling either prior to or since joining AL-ANON, and many came as a result of psychological counseling.
As a member of the mental health community, you can be of particular help to individuals affected by someone else's drinking. Usually when people affected by alcoholism in their family seek psychotherapy, they are unaware that alcoholism is a main contributor to their problems. A young child of an alcoholic may be referred owing to difficulty in concentrating on school work, school phobias, or psychosomatic symptoms. The adolescent may exhibit behavior problems, such as perfectionism. or alcohol or drug abuse. The adult child of an alcoholic or spouse may initially seek treatment owing to depression or anxiety. In addition to providing emotional support, you can help by identifying alcoholism as a family disease and by suggesting that your client seek help through the AL-ANON/ALATEEN program.
Patricia O'Gorman, Ph.D., a psychologist who specializes in treating families of alcoholics, describes the way AL-ANON works:
The three major obstacles family members need to overcome in order to progress, are dealt with in AL-ANON:
These materials are adapted and reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA
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