ACoA - Adult Children of Alcoholics - what is it and treatment

What is ACoA syndrome?


DDA is an abbreviation for Adult Children of Alcoholics. This term refers to people raised in families in which one or both parents were addicted to alcohol. 


Pathological upbringing conditions shape defensive features that impede functioning in adult life in ACoA people . The child of an alcoholic tries not to be conspicuous and subordinate to the rules prevailing in the family - it is a way to survive in an environment where parents cannot be relied on. From an early age, man learns to suppress emotions and pretend that there is no pathological situation. He does it like his parents, trying to hide alcoholism from neighbors, family and friends.  


People with ACoA syndrome struggle with a wide range of difficult emotions, such as:  


  • constant threat,
  • poor self-esteem,
  • reduced concentration,
  • far-reaching self-criticism,
  • need for control,
  • fear of closeness,
  • distrust,
  • feeling shame,
  • constant anxiety.


Another problem is the lack of a strong identity and appropriate behavioral patterns resulting from upbringing in alcoholic families. Children often take over the roles that parents should play, so they are able to focus on understanding their own needs only at the age of 30-40 years.


ACoA treatment


Adult children of alcoholics are able to overcome difficulties with the help of ACoA group therapy. The goal of treatment is to equip ACoA people with the social skills necessary to build a family. 


During therapy, ACoA people have the opportunity to understand and cope with the fact that they did not have adequate childhood, re-establish relationships with parents, organize their personal lives and plan the future.  


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