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Co-dependence_ healing the human condition _ the new by Charles L. Whitfield

By Charles L. Whitfield

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The fellowship of Al-Anon also was founded around this time19,20. And it was also during this decade that humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow was exploring the dimensions of mentally healthy people299,408,409. He observed that the definition of mental health during the 1950s was related to conformity to community standards, a viewpoint that we might describe today as being potentially dangerous and co-dependent. During the 1950s and into the 1960s, more people contributed to the theories of human interaction, including Ackerman, Bateson, Bell, Jackson, Haley, Lida, Weakland and Watzlawick265.

In the mid to late 1970s the field began to broaden. In 1979 NIAAA sponsored the first national conference on children of alcoholics473. In this year Brown and colleagues began the first therapy group for adult children of alcoholics, in Palo Alto, California146. From 1977 to 1980 the first ACoA self-help meetings began5,17,615. In about 1980 residential chemical dependence treatment facilities began to add a family treatment component as part of their total treatment of the individual. In 1983 the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) was founded by many of the pioneers who are now still active in the field.

The victim admits and expresses self-pity"no one understands" them. They often whine while telling their story of woe. Although they may toy with getting help, they rarely commit or follow 6. through. They admittedly run from taking responsibility for selfimprovement. They often lure rescuers, fixers and helping professionals to try to help them, so they can shame or otherwise punish them for not really helping. " Victims admit that they are losers, and ask others to feel sorry for them377. Until they begin to take responsibility for being victims, their prognosis with any therapeutic assistance is poor at worst and guarded at best.

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