ACA Fellowship Text was written by anonymous ACA members providing guidance on working the 12 Step ACA program leading to recovery from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family. This book is now often referred to as the “Big Red Book”, or “BRB”.
ISBN 978-0-9789797-8-2

"Adult Child"


“The concept of Adult Child came from the Alateens who began the Hope for Adult Children of Alcoholics meeting. The original members of our fellowship, who were over eighteen years old, were adults; but as children they grew up in alcoholic homes. Adult Child also means that when confronted, we regress to a stage in our childhood.” ACA History — an interview with Tony A., 1992.


Welcome to ACA


The term “adult child” is used to describe adults who grew up in alcoholic or dysfunctional homes and who exhibit identifiable traits that reveal past abuse or neglect. The group includes adults raised in homes without the presence of alcohol or drugs. These ACA members have the trademark presence of abuse, shame, and abandonment found in alcoholic homes.


アルコホーリクあるいは機能不全の家庭で育っただけでなく、過去の虐待あるいはネグレクトを現わす識別可能な特徴(ランドリーリストのこと)を見せるという条件があることが重要であるのかも。AAにおけるheavy drinkerとreal alcoholicの違いのように。

Founded in 1978 in New York, ACA began with a group of Alateens. Alateen is a Twelve Step fellowship made up of children and teenagers of alcoholics. The Alateens were mostly 20 years old and wanted something different from what they could expect in another Twelve Step program when they moved up to that program. They were soon joined by a recovering alcoholic known as Tony A., a New York City stockbroker, who would become the primary founder of ACoA/ACA (both are acceptable usage). At the time, Tony was about 50 years old and had grown up in a violent alcoholic home.



Clinical and medical researchers have measured the causes and effects of growing up in a dysfunctional home and how such trauma continues to affect the adult. Our book offers a medical opinion on this fact in the following pages.

We believe that ACA has the potential to help the suffering adult children of the world on the magnitude that Alcoholics Anonymous brought relief to hopeless alcoholics in the 20th Century…



Our 30 years of experience has shown that adult children who attend our meetings, work the Twelve Steps, and find a Higher Power experience astonishing improvement in body, mind, and spirit. Ours is one of the few Twelve Step fellowships that embraces the difficult task of trauma work, which can often lead to an exciting journey to the Inner Child or True Self. Along with sponsorship, we encourage informed counseling to help the adult child accomplish the greatest level of emotional healing from an abusive upbringing.


スポンサーシップだけでなく、職業的カウンセラーも勧めている。→ C16 ACA and Therapy.

Our fellowship includes members who have been diagnosed with addictions, depression, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and various dissociative states. Adult children understand dissociation, codependence, obsession, and compulsion like few others. Many of our members have literally been fetched back from the gates of hell by this simple but spiritual program known as Adult Children of Alcoholics.



The question must be asked: “How does such a diverse group of addicts, codependents, and adult children create a unified fellowship and voice that can attract new members and sustain itself without fragmenting into hundreds of pieces?” One of the main answers lies in identification, the “DNA” of all Twelve Step programs. Adult children of all types identify with one another at the level of abandonment, shame, and abuse like no other group of people in the world. Each day, recovery from the effects of family dysfunction begins somewhere in the world when one adult child sits across from another sharing experience, strength, and hope. We believe that once a recovering adult child meets and shares his or her story with another adult child seeking help, that adult cannot view codependence the same again. This is a potent statement, but our experience shows that it is true.

このような疑問が生じるだろう。「アディクト、共依存症者、アダルトチルドレンという異なった人たちからなるグループが、どのようにして一つの共同体と声を作り上げ、そこに新しいメンバーを惹きつけ、何百もの断片に分裂せずに持続しているのだろうか?」 その主な答えの一つはすべての12ステッププログラムの「DNA」であるアイデンティフィケーション(同一であることの確認)にある。あらゆるタイプのアダルトチルドレンは、見捨てられ・恥・虐待というレベルにおいて、この世界の他の集団の何もまして、もう一人のアダルトチャイルドと自分を同一と見なす。毎日、世界のどこかで、一人のアダルトチャイルドが、もう一人のアダルトチャイルドの向かいに座って、経験と力と希望を分かち合うとき、機能不全家族の影響からの回復が始まっている。私たちは、回復中のアダルトチャイルドが助けを求めるもう一人のアダルトチャイルドと出会って自分のストーリーを分かち合うとき、その人に再び共依存が見られることはないと信じている。これは説得力のある一つの意見に過ぎないが、私たちの経験はこれが真実であることを示している。


The proof of identification and ACA unity can be found in ACA meetings and the immediate identification created by the reading of The Laundry List, a list of identifiable traits penned by Tony A. The Laundry List is the basis for The Problem, which is read at the beginning of most ACA meetings.


While ACA is similar to other Twelve Step programs, our emphasis on the family system and the Inner Child or True Self sets ACA apart from all other fellowships. In addition to focusing on ourselves through the Twelve Steps, we believe that the family system is open for inspection as well.


We believe that each of us is born with a True Self that is forced into hiding by dysfunctional parenting. A false self emerges that protects the hidden True Self from harm, but at a heavy price. Without help, the destructive false self is too much for most adult children to separate from.



ACA holds out hope and acceptance to the hurting adult children of the world, who can “hit a bottom” and reach out for help. Allowing the True Self to emerge in the nurturing atmosphere of ACA is a spiritual experience that awaits any adult child stepping onto the broad highway of ACA recovery.




Having been a part of the ACA movement since the mid-1970s, it is an honor and thrill to see the development of the ACA Twelve Step community and the potential growth it has as a result of this book. By the time this book is published, 30 years has passed since the naming “adult child.” I can remember seeing The Laundry List in the late 1970s as my professional work was coinciding with the development of this new Twelve Step model. It is my bias that no one deserves to live a life of fear and shame. And it is through the healing of Twelve Step work that today thousands of adult children have found an inner peace. We have stepped outside the shadow of addiction and have choices to how we live our life, versus living a family script.


While I was busy professionally creating therapy models for young and adult children of alcoholics in the mid and late 1970s, I would also be attending one of the first ACA meetings in southern California on a weekly basis. To say, “Hello, my name is Claudia B. and I am an adult child,” is and was said with pride. It is a statement that holds great meaning for not just how my growing up years would impact me but for the potential of healing and recovery. Being in those rooms with others who had been raised in similar circumstances, I knew there had never been a place more right for me.


Being in an ACA Twelve Step meeting was being in a place where without speaking I sat with others who genuinely knew me. They knew without judgment and with love how I had felt my entire life. Despite the differences in how our defenses against our pain manifested themselves, we knew we were from the same family system. Rather than to run and hide, to disconnect from each other, to rescue each other, or to control each other, we bore witness to each other’s pain and story. We honored each other with acceptance for where we were, precious children and now adults struggling with what is called our false selves. We learned to project this false self to the world in an attempt to hide our inner thoughts and feelings. The preciousness of the Inner Child was tapping from within, asking and hoping to be heard and acknowledged.



Since those early years I have witnessed the struggle and decline of meetings and now a resurgence of ACA. Never during that time would I question the validity of the naming, or the framework of understanding what it meant to be an adult child from an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional household. This book will openly discuss how ACA has met growing pains and survived.


In addition to honoring its founders, this book will present the structure of the program beginning with The Laundry List, the 14 characteristics that define the traits from which we need to heal. Other pillars of this structure can be found in chapters titled “How It Works” and “Becoming Your Own Loving Parent.” Ultimately, this text delineates the foundation of how the Twelve Steps offer an incredible path that will give the adult child choices, versus living a generational family script. In working the Twelve Steps, the reader has the opportunity to be free from carried pain and shame. This book will allow you to be accountable for choices you make as well. It will truly move you from a place of reactor to actor in life. As said in many Twelve Step programs, “It works if you work it.”

本書では、その創始者を讃えるとともに、私たちが癒す必要のある14の特性を定義したランドリーリストで始まるプログラムの構造を提示する。この構造の他の柱は、「どのように効果があるのか」と「あなた自身の愛なる親になる」の章にある。つまるところ、本書は12ステップが、どのようにしてアダルトチャイルドに、世代を超えた家族の筋書きを生きるのとは対極的な、信じられないほど素晴らしい道という選択肢を提供してくれるのかを大まかに明らかにしてくれる。この12ステップに取り組むことで、読者には、これまで抱えてきた苦痛と恥から解放される機会が与えられる。この本はあなたが責任を持ってその選択が行えるようにしてくれるだろう。その選択によってあなたは、人生においての反応者(reactor)から主体者(actor)へと変わるだろう。多くの12ステップ・プログラムで言われているとおり「あなたが取り組めば、これには効果がある(It works if you work it)」のだ。

Over the years, one of the big questions for this self-help group was whether or not it could or should include people from other types of troubled family systems. When both the therapy and self-help ACA movements began to address these issues, we understood that adult child principles could apply to other people without apparent addiction in the home. Yet to generalize the resources at that time in history would dilute this seed that was only then germinating. People who experienced alcoholism and other addictions in their family needed their own claim. To broaden the concept at that time would have aided in minimizing and discounting the impact that mood-altering substances had on the family specifically. Adult children who were just beginning to be recognized by the therapeutic community could have been pushed to near invisibility again without a specific identifier through alcoholism.



Yet it would not be long before others raised with dysfunction would claim their right to the therapy processes being offered and would find solace and direction in Twelve Step programs that were not directed specifically for them. Today with the structure of the Steps and Traditions, it is believed that the ACA program can be inclusive of others who did not have substance abuse in their family. The common denominator among adult children from a variety of dysfunctional homes is chronic loss and abandonment. What we have learned about addiction in the family is truly a gift to those raised in other types of troubled families. Whether it is due to cultural issues affecting family structure or emotional problems, to be in a family where we learn the primary dysfunctional family rules, “don’t talk, don’t trust, and don’t feel,” crushes the very spirit that allows us to thrive. This book will address how ACA met the challenge of inclusion for adult children from homes without the presence of addiction. The ACA fellowship met the challenge with openness and goodwill.


The descriptions can vary among people sitting in ACA meetings listening to the stories of others impacted by chronic loss and abandonment in their growing-up years. The descriptions vary in the source of the dysfunction, which parent was the substance abuser, and whether one is an only child or has siblings. Other factors include birth order, extended family, and community support for the child. Yet, the commonality of the adult child experience overrides any sense of separateness. And that commonality crosses borders. Personally and professionally, I have sat with adult children across the world, throughout the United States, into Western Europe, from Japan, to Iceland, Ireland, Uruguay, Brazil, and Australia. The experiences of growing up with loss and abandonment were universal. The healing that would come with having witnesses to one’s pain and an avenue in which to find choice in the present day was exhilarating.


Adult children run the gamut of functionality as adults. Many are high-powered professionals; others are in prison. And certainly some are doing both. Some have very blatant addictions; others have learned to hide them. Some have blatant depression and anxiety disorders; others have compensated in ways that hide their fear and despair. This book will help people define their bottom so that their spiral downward can be halted. When we face a bottom, recovery has a base from which to sprout.

books/study/aca_big_book.txt · 最終更新: 2021/03/16 by ragi