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"My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease" A Child's View: Living with Addiction Paperback – September 1, 1997


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"My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease" A Child's View: Living with Addiction + An Elephant In the Living Room The Children's Book + Understanding Addiction and Recovery Through a Child's Eyes: Hope, Help, and Healing for Families
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Mac Publishing; 3rd Revised edition (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0910223238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0910223232
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Many years ago when Dr. Black was a counselor in an alcohol and drug treatment program, she asked a six-year-old daughter of a man in treatment for his addiction if she knew why her father was in this program. The girl paused and then with confidence said, "My Dad loves me, but my Dad has a disease." In spite of her father's addiction she knew her father loved her.

This is a message all young people need to be able to believe. Unfortunately when people are addicted they often lose the ability to act in loving ways toward those they love.

Growing up in an addicted family usually means living by the rule: It is not all right to talk about the drinking or using in your family. Working through the loneliness, fear, and frustration by expressing feelings is what this book is all about. This workbook gives children the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings and to better understand addiction.

From the Author

My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has a Disease was originaly written as a result of my work with young people who had a parent in treatment for their alcoholism. These children were learning at a very young age that is was not safe for them to openly talk about their family experiences. Art therapy was a wonderful tool in which to not only share feelings but to problem solve, lessen denial, and to put words to that which was so confusing.

After many years and thousands of children using this workbook, it has been revised to address the fact that today, if a child lives with addiction, it may very well be to other drugs, not just alcohol. I have rewritten some parts and added new pictures making it possible for more children of addiction to experience their own recovery process.

The basic premise of this book is that chemical dependency is a disease. The addict is a sick person, not a bad person. This disease affects not only the addicted person but those who love that person as well. Having been raised in an alcoholic family myself, by the age of six I shared the feelings of loneliness, fear and frustration of my family. This is a book that will help the "others" affected by chemical dependency to become well.

There is hope for the addicted person and those affected by their addiction. We, the children, do not have to remain confused and silent.


More About the Author

Claudia Black, M.S.W., Ph.D. is a renowned addictions and codependency expert, author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. Since the 1970s Dr. Black's work has encompassed the impact of addiction on young and adult children. She has offered models of intervention and treatment related to family violence, multi-addictions, relapse, anger, depression and women's issues. Dr. Black designs and presents training workshops and seminars to professional audiences in the field of family service, mental health, addiction and correctional services. Claudia is currently the Senior Clinical and Family Services Advisor for the Las Vegas Recovery Center. She serves on the Advisory Board for the National Association of Children of Alcoholics, and the Advisory Council of the Moyer Foundation. A schedule of Claudia's events are on her website claudiablack.com

Claudia is the author of It Will Never Happen To Me, Changing Course, My Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has A Disease, Repeat After Me, It's Never Too Late To Have A Happy Childhood, Relapse Toolkit, A Hole in the Sidewalk, Depression Strategies, Straight Talk, The Stamp Game, Family Strategies, Anger Strategies, Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets, The Truth Begins With You and her newest title, Intimate Treason: Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction. She has produced seven audio CDs addressing issues of addiction and recovery. They are A Time for Healing, Putting the Past Behind, Triggers, Emotional Baggage, Trauma in the Addicted Family, Imageries and Letting Go Imageries. And, she has over 20 DVDs for professionals to use working with families and clients.


Dr. Black has been a keynote speaker on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. Her workshops have been presented to an extraordinarily wide array of audiences including military academies, prison systems, medical schools, and extensive mental health and addiction programs. Claudia has extensive multi-cultural experiences working with agencies and audiences in Japan, Brazil, Australia, Scotland, Iceland, Germany, England and Canada. Many of her books and videos have been translated and published abroad. Dr. Black is the recipient of numerous national awards including the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington School of Social Work.


Claudia resides in the Pacific Northwest.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book was recommended to me by a therapist.
victoria rothschild
I am better able to comfort her and explain things when I have a drawing to refer to.
GARDEN GIRL
This is a great workbook to use with children to explain addiction.
Eileen McLoughlin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sonny G on December 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I received this book when I was a teenager. At the time, my mother was married to a drug addict and one of the counselors at the treatment program recommended it. Also, those many years ago, it only applied to alcoholics. I found it to be a very, very helpful book. Seeing my own experiences through the eyes of much younger children really helped me to understand what I was going through and not feel alone. I am so happy to see that it has been updated to include drug addiction and mothers. I know this book will continue to make a valuable impact on the lives of many children.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. Tafel Shuster on August 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A rare find. While most other publications are geared to teenagers or adults living with addicted parents, this book offers younger children's perspectives. It combines young children's artwork and observations about the problems they have to cope with along with a helpful guide/workbook to help explain this disease. Reading through this with a 6 year old was an amazing experience. In the first chapter, she was able to recognize the signs and understand that others are going through the same experiences. I wish there were more books like this.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn M. W. Barrett on May 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of the only resources I could find to aid in my work with children of addicts. It is easy to use and gives a good structure for addressing issues of addictions from a childs point of view.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By GARDEN GIRL on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 7 yr old that has been dealing with her father's pill to heroin addiction that along the way broke her home and caused visitation disinterest to now abandonment altogether. I felt this workbook might offer something helpful that hadn't yet been brought up by myself or her counselor. I have worked alongside the counselors to keep things at an age appropriate level. I liked the fact the illustrations were by children dealing with addiction. It reinforced the "we are not the only ones." comfort. We did some of the workbook together, She did some alone, her counselor is going over some parts with her. Let's face it, no book, counselor, movie is going to ease our child's pain. We are powerless to protect them from this all encompassing disease, but I really feel every little bit helps them. Getting to fill in their own drawings and feelings can be a comfort. It was worth the money to let her voice her concerns, memories and not so often spoken fears. The topics covered really can prompt a subconscous thought we might not have known how to draw out of the child. I like that I'm able to get an idea of what she really is thinking. I was suprised at things and occurances she remembered or knew that I had no clue she was holding inside. I feel this workbook gave her another outlet, and unexpected and unadvertised, it has been an eye opener and resource for me. I am better able to comfort her and explain things when I have a drawing to refer to. Great for the child AND the parent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda D. Merritt on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Book is a bit in depth for younger children (4-6). Illustrations and problem solving situations are good but not for the age group I had intended to use it for. Will keep the book as it may be a good read later down the road. The book relates to "diseases" which include drug, alcohol, etc. Again - a good book with illustrations and problem solving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luanna Armstrong on April 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was well written in language that can be understood by a child. It deals with a very difficult subject in a sensitive but realistic manner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Bowyer on January 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has really helped my five year old understand what is going on. It has helped her in so many ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill Gentilin on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Recommended by a psychiatrist. Meets the needs of my grandchild who is living with this problem. Well written and easy to use.
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