Compassionate Acceptance


 Glenn Bigonet, M.A.

Mental Health Counselor

Certified EFT  Therapist





Adult Children


What is an Adult Child?

The term Adult Child was originally used to describe an adult who was raised by an alcoholic parent. Such a person was described as an adult child of an alcoholic. The term adult child has been expanded to describe anyone who was raised by a highly dysfunctional parent. Adult children grew up in homes that were chaotic and often unpredictable. They often did not experience healthy boundaries and suffered from various extremes of abuse and neglect.

Life for the Adult Child

Adult children often experience themselves as being chronically unique. They have spent most of their life keeping secrets and hiding the dysfunctionality of their home. These secrets leave them feeling alone and isolated from the rest of society. They often have trouble maintaining relationships and often chose partners that neglect or abuse them in the same way their parents did. They usually have trouble setting healthy boundaries and are likely to engage in codependent patterns. They have trouble trusting people or trust others too easily. Many have great difficulty asking for help or they feel so victimized they feel unable to help themselves.

Adult children feel deep levels of shame and a sense that no one else can understand them. They often feel that they are broken beyond repair and that most of their problems are their fault. Some are overachievers but still struggle with low self-esteem; others feel as if the world is against them and there is nothing they can do right.

Many adult children feel as if they do not know what is normal to feel or what is normal behavior. They often believe in very strict rules about right or wrong, or see things as black and white. They frequently get frustrated that the world does not operate the way they believe it is supposed to. Some adult children lack basic life skills because they never had the opportunity to learn them when they were a child.

Adult Children typically have trouble managing stress and anger, and may be hypersensitive to sounds, light, odors, or touch. Others go through life feeling numb or detached from their feelings. Many adult children struggle with dissociation, PTSD, addiction, anxiety, depression, or self-harmful behavior.

My Approach to Working With Adult Children

I will work with you in partnership to help you determine how your childhood has affected you and how it is still affecting you in your life. We will work toward helping you reduce your shame while teaching you how to set appropriate boundaries and break free of any codependent patterns. I will help you to learn to express your emotions in healthy appropriate ways and provide you with tools to lower your level of stress and anxiety. This may include looking at your beliefs and expectations in life to determine which of those benefit you and which of those are hurting you in some manner. I will help you address any issues you have in your relationships as well as any issues you have around addictions, trauma, depression, or self-harmful behavior.

Copyright © 2017   Glenn Bigonet, M.A.