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Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.Licensed Marriage/Family TherapistLicensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor405-707-9600/ peggyferguson@peggyferguson.com

Family Dynamics of Addiction and Recovery Articles

Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage/Family Therapist
Licensed Alcohol/Drug Counselor

Articles on Family Dynamics of Addiction and Recovery

To access the articles, just click on the title of the article. It will open in a separate word document that can be saved to your computer and/or printed off.  All articles are copyrighted.  We welcome you to use them for your own information and to share them with others as long as you cite my authorship, provide website information/link, and do not edit them.

Table of Contents

The Basics Of Family Dynamics of Addiction and Recovery

New: For the Parents of Kids with Substance Abuse Issues

"Let's Get Them Sober" as a Starting Place For Family Members of Alcoholics/Addicts

Survival Roles Develop Within The Families of Alcoholics and Addicts

There Really is Such a Thing As A Healthy Family

Help and Support for the Spouse of the Alcoholic - Is Your Spouse's Alcoholism Killing You?

What is Codependency?

Addiction and Recovery:  Transition into Recovery Not So Simple

Addiction as Disease Does Not Equal "Get out of Jail Free"

Family Addiction Takes a Toll on the Self Concept of Non-addicted Family Members

Addicts:  Feeling Like You Have to Keep Them From Using

Learning to Let Go Of The Illusion Of Control

Let Your Family Member Recover From Addiction: How the Family Is In The Way

Boundaries, Bottom Lines, and Threats: Knowing the Difference Can Empower Family Member Recovery

When the Alcoholic/Addict is Your Spouse

How Can I Tell If My Partner Is Serious About Recovery

Help and Support for the Spouse of the Alcoholic - Is Your Spouse's Alcoholism Killing You?

When the Alcoholic/Addict is Your Child

New:  Adolescent Addiction in the Family:  Changing Up Patterns

Adolescent Substance Abuse:  Correctly Identifying The Problem To Correct It

New: Perspective of Parents Of Young People In Relapse

Deciding What To Do About An Adult Child's Addiction

What To Do When Your Child Relapses Just After Treatment

When You Are the Addicted Person In Recovery In Your Family



For the Parents of Kids with Substance Abuse Issues

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

You don't just wake up one day and your child has a drug problem.  Most parents engage in denial that enables them to not see that the problems that their child is having points to drug use, abuse, or addiction.  No parent wants to believe that his/her child is using drugs, much less that their child is addicted to drugs.  Even when confronted with reports from friends, neighbors, teachers, or other people, parents often refuse to entertain the possibility.  It often takes several such reports from outsiders for parents to consider the possibility that their child has a problem with drugs. 

Once parents do correctly identify the problem, they have to tackle another major hurdle in deciding together what to do.  Some parents prefer to do nothing, believing that their child will "grow out of it".  Parents often believe that they are the appropriate kind of help for their child, believing that they can talk them out it, love them through it, or punish them into submission.  They may try to send their child to a relative out of the community, preferring to believe that their child has been unduly influenced by his/her friends, and that a change in locale will solve the problem.  Parents typically try a wide variety of "solutions" that do not work and delay the child's getting the appropriate kind of help for the problem.  Parents, trying for months and years, with "home treatments" ultimately get frustrated and angry and many give up on their child before that child ever has a real opportunity for recovery. To read the rest of this article, follow this link:  For the Parents of Kids with Substance Abuse Issues

Parenting in Recovery 

By Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D.

We have known for a long time that growing up in an alcoholic home negatively affects the children in a multitude of ways. Clinical observations and decades of research reveal a wide array of types of damage to children from parental addiction. It is also generally assumed that parental recovery and sobriety is good for the emotional and mental health of the children. Yet, there seems to be an expectation that the children are magically transformed by the mere fact of parental sobriety.

Therapists and researchers working with families in recovery know that the children do not recover in a passive way. Early recovery has been described as a traumatic experience for the family and the children. The addicted parent often enters treatment and recovery in response to one more crisis, sometimes a catastrophic one. The crisis itself may be a devastating crisis for the other spouse and the children as well. They may be expected to deal with that crisis with very little assistance from the non-drinking parent or family members. This neglect, already set in place by circumstances of active addiction where they were left to fend for themselves, may persist into early recovery, where they are still neglected by absent parents focusing on their own individual recoveries.  To read the rest of the article, follow this link:  Parenting in Recovery


9 Brief SAMHSA Videos on Families In Recovery


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My ebooks and other informational/educational products are available
for purchase on my Services Provided page.

Copyright: Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., 116 W. 7th, Suite 211, Stillwater, OK 74074, phone 405-707-9600, fax 405-707-9601, email peggyferguson@hotmail.com, http://www.peggyferguson..com

Serving Stillwater (74074, 74075, 74076), Perry (73077), Perkins (74059), Cushing (74023), Pawnee (74058), Guthrie (73044), Ponca City (74601, 74602, 74604), Morrison (73061), and other local communities.

Providing services for Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Chemical Dependency, Sex Addiction, Mental Health Issues, Depression, Anxiety, Stress Management, Addiction Recovery, Drug Abuse, Spouse of sex addict, Relapse prevention, Drug cravings, Family Business Issues, Couple Money Issues, Co-dependency, Adult Children of Alcoholism Issues, Cross-addiction, Co-occurring disorders, marital family therapy, marriage family counseling, step-parenting, step-family issues, couple money issues, grief, mid-life issues, infidelity.  Providing individual, group, marriage, family, and couples sessions.  Providing professional supervision and training and consultation services.





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