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

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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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.

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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: 0.2 x 11 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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I was looking for a story type book to explain addiction to an 8 year old. This book is more of a workbook and I felt it was a little too busy and didn't suit my purpose. I can see where it may be beneficial in a therapy setting.
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I never write reviews, but I have to say that this book was wonderful at helping me discuss addiction with my eight year old. I have been struggling to find a way to get her to open up about how she feels about her father's drinking and our divorce. I am so grateful to have found this book!
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I have used this book numerous times as a school counselor and marriage and family therapist. I have used it with both individual children and with whole families. It really helps children and families look at addiction in a different way, work through feelings, learn how to take care of themselves, and still maintain love and concern for their addicted loved one.
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I am reading this book in therapy together with an 8 year old. The combination of children's drawings and regular text is very useful helping him to talk about being a child in a chemically dependent home.
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