State of Mind with Debra Sloss
State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Healing from Dysfunctional Families with the ACA 12-Step Program

Episode #52: Many people grow up in alcoholic or dysfunctional families. The adverse experiences that result can continue to cause mental and physical health effects well into adulthood. In this episode, we discuss an array of ways to heal from such experiences, including participation in the 12- step program Adult Children of Alcoholics & Other Dysfunctional Families, commonly referred to as ACA. Joining us are ACA program participants Bill Trimpi and Birch Curryto discuss their childhoods, the lasting mental impacts of those experiences, and how these individuals found support and growth in the 12-step ACA Program. Community member Patrice Vecchione tenderly describes her confusion and heartbreak of growing up with a mother with an alcohol addiction.

Broadcasts 3/5/23 & 3/13/23

Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production, Lisa Herendeen for advance research and Leslie Nielsen for “In Your Voice” Coordination and Patrice Vecchione for story coaching. And thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.

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* Indicates Santa Cruz local

*Monterey Bay Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional FamiliesIncludes a tool for finding meetings in the Monterey Bay Area as well as links to all the 12-Step ACA resources and literature.

Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization Contains more ACA information, literature and volunteer and organization information.
Phone: 310-534-1815

*Santa Cruz Dance Church –  A Community of Spirit. DJ’d freestyle dance that starts with slow warmup inner-journey music, revving up to a rockin’ boogie. Every Sunday 9-11:30 AM at The 418 Project.

Adult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Families (i.e. The Big Red Book or BRB) ACA fellowship text, written by anonymous ACA members providing guidance on working the 12-Step ACA program supporting recovery from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family. The book is now often referred to as the “Big Red Book” or “BRB.”

Twelve Steps of Adult Children – Adult Children of Alcoholic/Dysfunctional Families steps workbook.

Zen Master Raven: Sayings and Doings of a Wise Bird by Robert Aitken (2002)

The Healing Self: A Revolutionary New Plan to Supercharge Your Immunity and Stay Well for Life by Deepak Chopra M.D., Rudolph E. Tanzi Ph.D., et al. (2020) – This book closely examines how we can best manage chronic stress and inflammation, which are immerging as the primary detriments of well-being. Moreover, Chopra and Tanzi turn their attention to a host of chronic disorders such as hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s Disease, known to take years and sometimes decades to develop before the first symptoms appear.

Bill’s Recommended Resources
Websites of some of the additional teachers and teachings Bill describes as having played an important role in his healing journey:

Leonard Jacobson – Teacher with focus on presence and inner child work.

Adnan Sarhan Sufi FoundationSufi master and teacher Adnan Sarhan is known as a master of various traditions of scholarship, meditative sciences, physical exercise, mystical dance and music.

Institute for Transpersonal StudiesSkill-based programs, events and private consultations that help people heal, develop inner strength and maximize personal and professional potential.

Bentinho MassaroSpiritual leader and coach with an emphasis on principles of freedom.