The Dysfunction of the Family Tree

When I work with an alcoholic or drug addict it is obvious to me that everyone hanging from the Family Tree played his or her part in the creation of the lone wolf black sheep. The whole toxic environment which spawned the addict is overlaid with blame and shame. In You’re Not Who You Think You Are, I build a solid case for how all members of the family are involved in the dysfunction that caused the compulsive and obsessive one to dive head-first into his addiction.

Physical Sobriety

Physical sobriety only comes after the addict looks at himself and cleans up his past to make his future better. I have been in recovery more than 34 years myself and I was able to take my own inventory but was guided by a smart sponsor not to take the responsibility for my father’s alcoholism, my mother’s self-righteous blaming or for how my siblings might use me as a scapegoat for their own bad-boy or bad-girl behavior.


I believe that the broad brush serves as an important devise to corral the whole tribe to take responsibility for how the alcoholic or drug addict–or over-eater, shopaholic, womanizer-manizer–was acting out what everyone else might be feeling but that their religion or coffee klatch or good old boys’ club might frown upon. Any treatment center worth its salt has a Family Weekend to let all members of the inner-sanity see how they played a part in the breakdown of the peace and serenity into unbearable insanity.

The Rooms

Some individuals and their families never find the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous or are lucky enough to find a therapist who will call everyone in the family out about who did what to whom and how to change their lives to restore calm along the fault lines of their lives.

Call us for a free consultation to see if we are the right program to ease your family’s suffering. Call or email Albert at (928) 301-0780.

Read more about our signature 5 Day Sedona Intensive.

–Albert Gaulden, founding director, The Sedona Intensive and author of Signs and Wonders and You’re Not Who You Think You Are. (928) 301-0780