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Digital Seminar

The Adult Child of Addiction

Reverberations of Trauma in the Addictive Family

Claudia Black, PhD
2 Hours 01 Minutes
Audio and Video
Mar 22, 2024
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


When people think of trauma, they often think of acute, dramatic situations, such as a natural disaster. Yet for children raised with substance use disorders, the disaster is within their family system. In this workshop, you’ll explore the experiences of adult children of alcoholics and the implications for the clinical setting. You'll also understand how to work with the emotional dysregulation and traumatic responses that adverse child experiences, emotional abandonment, and blatant abuses can fuel throughout life. We’ll learn: 

  • How to recognize and assess adult children of addiction (ACA) or adult children of alcoholics (ACoA) 
  • How treatment of this type of trauma is different from that of single-incident traumatic stress 
  • How to help adult children of addiction and alcoholism recover from the reverberations of past trauma 


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 2.25 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Claudia Black, PhD's Profile

Claudia Black, PhD Related seminars and products

Claudia Black, PhD, 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. She is the Sr. Editorial Advisor for Central Recovery Press and serves as Senior Clinical and Family Services Provider for 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.

Dr. Black is the recipient of numerous national awards, including the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Washington School of Social Work.

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.

Claudia is the author of Depression StrategiesIt Will Never Happen To MeChanging CourseMy Dad Loves Me, My Dad Has A DiseaseRepeat After MeIt’s Never Too Late to Have A Happy ChildhoodRelapse Toolkit, A Hole in the SidewalkStraight TalkThe Stamp GameFamily StrategiesAnger Strategies and her newest title Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies and Secrets. She has produced several audio CDs and over twenty DVDs. All of Claudia's materials are available from her website,

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Claudia Black is the Clinical Architect of the Claudia Black Center for Young Adults, a Senior Fellow, and an Addiction and Trauma Program Specialist at The Meadows Treatment Center. She receives royalties as a published author. Claudia Black receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Claudia Black serves as an advisory board member for the National Association for Children of Addiction and serves on the advisory council for the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.

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  1. Describe the concept of adult child and its relevancy to frequently presented clinical issues. 
  2. Identify how the trauma responses to flight, fight and freeze become acted out in the family impacted by substance use disorders. 
  3. Delineate the impact of single-incident and chronic traumas in the addicted family. 
  4. Describe techniques to facilitate healing for adult children of addiction. 


  • The history of the phrase ‘adult child’ 
  • The key ways family dynamics impact child development  
  • The traumatic-stress response as fuel for depression, addictive disorders and other self-defeating behaviours
  • Working with single-incident, chronic, and complex traumas in the addicted family 
  • The seven-step healing process for adult children of addiction 
  • Risks and limitations of the research 

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Counsellors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counsellors
  • Social Workers

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