The Richmond Register

Local News

March 4, 2012

Adult Children of Alcoholics to begin meetings in Berea

BEREA — Alcoholism affects more than just the alcoholic, and a national organization is coming closer to home for those who need help.

Adult Children of Alcoholics is a group geared to help adults who, as children, grew up in a setting with an alcoholic or a family otherwise dysfunctional.

The group’s first meeting will be Saturday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 206 Chestnut Street.

“The term ‘Adult Child’ means that we respond to adult interactions with the fear and self-doubt learned as children,” said group coordinator Joan Schlesing. “This undercurrent of hidden fear can sabotage our choices and relationships. We can appear outwardly confident while living with a constant question of our worth.”

The 12-step group will meet weekly at the church and is based on the book “Adult Children of Alcoholics,” published in 2006.

“It is a comprehensive textbook which includes the steps and traditions, as well as research regarding the effects on children growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family,” Schlesing said. “The book, with its research and stories of adults who grew up in alcoholic families, has enriched the program and validated the common characteristics of those affected by the disease of alcoholism.”

ACA is an international fellowship with about 1,000 meetings in North America, Europe, Asia and around the world.

“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,” the book reads.

Adult Children of Alcoholics was founded in 1978 in New York.

“There are no ACA meetings in Berea or the surrounding area, and that’s the reason I wanted to start one,” Schlesing said. “I am an ACA and want the support myself. My hope is that those participating in the group will find support from others who know how they feel and as we share our stories we will be able to use the skills learned in the program to live more meaningful, serene and joyful lives.”

Call Schlesing at 421-1291 for more information about the free meetings or visit

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