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It Will Never Happen to Me: Growing Up with Addiction As Youngsters, Adolescents, Adults [Paperback]

Claudia Black Ph.D.
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 8 2002
First published 20 years ago, It Will Never Happen to Me is the definitive book/workbook for adult children of alcoholics.

With her reassuring and informative approach, Claudia Black expertly identifies common issues faced by children who grew up in alcoholic families-shame, neglect, unreasonable role expectations, and physical abuse. Using narratives and profiles, she describes survival techniques characteristic of children raised in alcoholic families, including the unspoken laws of don't talk, don't trust, and don't feel. First explaining how such learned responses cause difficulties in adulthood, Black carefully guides readers in identifying self-defeating, destructive behaviors and finding a healthier, happier way to live.

Key features and benefits a proven seller by a respected recovery author contains easy-to-follow, useful exercises can be used by individuals or in a therapeutic setting

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About the Author

Claudia A. Black, M.S.W., Ph.D., is a renowned lecturer, author and trainer internationally recognized for both her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. Dr. Black's work encompasses the interest of both the professional and lay audiences; she originated a successful model of change in the 1970's that, today, is used in treatment programs worldwide. She designs and presents workshops and seminars, authors books and interactive journals, produces educational videos and consults to various healthcare programs in the United States and abroad. She is currently the Clinical Consultant of Addictive Disorders for The Meadows and a Senior Fellow for the Meadows Institute in Wickenburg, Arizona.Dr. Black is the recipient of a number of National awards including the Marty Mann Award, the 1991 SECAD Award, and the NCA's Educator of the Year. She is also the past Chairperson of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, presently serving on their Advisory Board and most recently, in celebration of Al-Anon's 50thanniversary, spoke on Capital Hill to members of Congress, constituents and representatives of various addiction and treatment organization.Black's books generate wide appeal. She is the author of It Will Never Happen To Me (two million copies sold and now in it's 2nd updated edition,) Changing Course, My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has A Disease, Repeat After Me II, It's Never Too Late To Have A Happy Childhood, The Anger Guide, Relapse Toolkit and her latest release, A Hole in the Sidewalk. Claudia has produced eighteen videos including her two latest, The History of Addiction and The Legacy of Addiction and jut released two new CDs, A Time for Healing from Abandonment and Shame and Putting the Past Behind.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Claudia Black has written extensively on the subject of Children of Alcoholics (COA) and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA). In her book 'It Will Never Happen to Me' she has combined her considerable talent for jargon free language with the words and expressions of those who have experienced life as a COA/ACOA. The result is a wonderfully insightful book that will bring clarity to a great many people.
A central theme of the book is an exploration of the roles that ACOA adopt as a means of coping with the events around them - the responsible one, the adjuster, the placater and so on. Often in childhood these roles are appropriate in that they enable the child to cope with their often traumatic experiences. However, in adulthood the over-dependency on these roles can lead to obsessions, neurosis, mental health problems amongst other issues. Furthermore, in a family where alcohol is used in an unhealthy manner the child learns to 'don't talk, don't trust and don't feel'. Claudia Black gives the reader an insight in to the possibilities that exist for the adult child to break away from the scripts that have been set for them by others. The message is 'it doesn't have to be this way'.
I was the responsible child, the hero of my family. I did well at school, was good at sports, succeeded in almost all areas. I went on the University, gained a good degree, a counselling qualification and then a Masters - as an adult I was fulfilling my script to be responsible, to achieve, to be the hero. I was also in a succession of relationships where I took on the role of carer, replicating the role that had developed in my family.
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By Kristy
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think it's imperative for anyone who has a alcoholic parent or grandparent to read this book. I did not grow up with an alcoholic parent, but my dad did (my grandfather). My dad is a wonderful man is so many ways, but I always wondered how his own dad's addictions affected him. My dad never talks about feelings and he's never said his dad's drinking affected him negatively. I truly believe my dad thinks he's fine. Since my dad doesn't recognize the pain his father's habits had on him, I decided to find out how he could have been affected myself. Turns out that, although my dad is a sweetie in his own ways, it's not easy to have a dad who never admits to hurt or weakness, and doesn't allow you to either. He's always tough and shows little affection. I believe this has hurt me. I wished I could hug my dad, hear "I love you", call him up to chat about my ups and downs, those kinds of things. But I can't because he gets awkward. After reading this book, I now see why my dad is the way he is. It has helped me understand things much better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It Will Never Happen to Me by Claudia Black April 23 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for any one who has lived in an alcoholic and emotionally abusive home. It explained the mysteries of my childhood.It Will Never Happen to Me! I bought this book from
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5.0 out of 5 stars good help April 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read it like a month ago and it changed the way I look into my life. I recommend it to all the ones who say 'It will never happen to me'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent April 13 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Highly recomend even if you just know somone who grew up with alcohol in the family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book could change your life. April 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Both of my parents were alcoholics, and when I read It Will Never Happen to Me in the 1980s it changed my life forever. Just this week I recommended it to yet another person. Most people I've given it to are afraid to read it, because it will bring back painful memories, but it is worth it. If some readers find the material in this book to be basic or familiar, they may not realize that it was the ground breaking book on this subject for a popular audience. All subsequent books for adult children of alcoholics owe a debt to Claudia Black.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars hard but rewarding read
It Will Never Happen to Me is a book about the children of alcoholics. This book was not hard to read in terms of language, but instead subject matter. Read more
Published on March 17 2001 by Melissa L. Hutchins
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent source for adult children of alcoholics.
As an adult child of an alcoholic this book woke me up. I had never participated in Al-Anon meetings and this book was a great first start. Read more
Published on March 2 2001 by TAMMY L HARRISON
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I didn't find any information in this book that was particularly enlightening. Most was basic and there was little useful mention of how these issues manifest in adulthood---or... Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2001 by mefrank
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning & accurate portrayal of life in an alcoholic family
This book is an incredibly accurate portrayal of life growing up in an alcoholic family. It discusses the profound effect alcoholism has had on my childhood, adolescents, and now,... Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2000 by Michael Sijacic
4.0 out of 5 stars A touchstone in my life
I read this book almost 10 years ago. Recommended to me by close friends, reading it was like reading a family history. The characters she mentioned were all too real. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book on the topic
This book first came to my attention more than ten years ago, when I (in my late 20's at the time) was attempting to cope with the effects a parent's alcoholism had had on me. Read more
Published on June 18 1999
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