chapter  12
18 Pages

Creative Approaches to Shame and Guilt: Helping the Adult Child of an Alcoholic

WithPatricia S. Potter-Efron

This chapter focuses on the treatment of shame and guilt with adult children of alcoholics. It provides an "adult child" as an adult who has experienced long-term stress in his or her family of origin related to the chemical dependency of the parents or grandparents, and who is having difficulty maintaining optimum functioning in his or her present life. The chapter discusses general conditions important to dealing with therapeutic issues of shame and guilt. It explains into two categories: methods for dealing with shame and techniques for dealing with guilt. The chapter explores guilt as a feeling response to violation of one's own values and societal values which have been internalized. It suggests that certain creative techniques for the treatment of the shamed person are useful in dealing with profound shame experiences. These methods are: mirror work; use of stuffed animals and dolls; use of concrete objects; clay work; and drawing and visualization.