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ACA Therapist Near Me

ACA Therapist

ACA Informed Therapy

It’s no secret that growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional family is never easy. You may know this to be true both from your experiences growing up, and the ongoing challenges of trying to “keep the peace” in your family.

What’s most important to realize is that these difficulties aren’t your fault. And you don’t deserve any of the struggles or burdens weighing you down as a result of this upbringing.

Most importantly of all, there’s always the hope for—and the possibility of—positive change. When you work through the ACA program with the help of an experienced ACA therapist, you unlock the ability to enjoy and benefit from all the amazing things life has in store for you.

What an Alcoholic and/or Dysfunctional Family System Looks Like

In an alcoholic or dysfunctional family system, you’re likely to see perfectionistic, painfully rigid rules and practices or complete neglect whether it be emotionally and or physically. You may also experience the opposite end of the spectrum—an upbringing free of boundaries, with loose and ever-changing rules.

And in some cases, an alcoholic/dysfunctional family system will swing between these two extremes.

As a result, you didn’t grow up with the strong foundation that consistent, present, and emotionally stable parents typically provide. As you move into your teen and adult years, you may notice that old survival traits learned in childhood such as isolation, people pleasing, perfectionism and avoidance crop up in your day to day life. Adult children are adults or teens that react to life situations from a place of unprocessed trauma, and may exhibit childlike reactions or thinking when triggered. Additionally, the culture of secrecy many adult children grow up in often makes them feel like they can’t talk to anyone about their problems either.

Ultimately, you may feel stuck between the way you want to behave and react and protecting yourself with old coping mechanisms that helped you survive your childhood but aren’t serving you anymore. Adult children can become hypervigilant, always scanning their environment for any threat and attuning themselves to the most unstable people in a room in order to try and keep themselves safe. They can also get stuck in unhealthy relationship patterns, where they either cling to unhealthy people or shut others out completely. This is an attempt to avoid painful abandonment feelings, but is ultimately a self-fulfilling prophecy field by fear; and often leaving you feeling more alone than ever.

You aren’t the problem. You’re just trying to make progress in life by using a set of tools and beliefs that, frankly, don’t serve you. These old outdated survival mechanisms are the problem.

When you work with an ACA therapist, you’ll learn to give yourself all the things your parents never could or never did—things you’ve always deserved, and still do. Wellness is your birthright, and we’re here to help you reclaim it.

Am I an Adult Child?

When you grow up in this difficult environment, you’re very likely to experience specific challenges. Do you identify with any of these traits? If so you might be an ACA.

The “Laundry List”: 14 Traits of an Adult Child

  1. You feel isolated and afraid of people in general, especially authority figures.
  2. You’re an approval-seeker who’s lost your true identity.
  3. You find angry people and criticism frightening.
  4. You’ve become an alcoholic, married one, or found a compulsion—such as being a workaholic—to “fix” your feelings of abandonment.
  5. You see life through the eyes of a victim, which impacts your romantic and platonic relationships.
  6. You feel highly responsible and find it easier to focus on other people’s lives, rather than your own.
  7. You feel guilty when you set and enforce personal boundaries.
  8. You feel addicted to excitement.
  9. You struggle to separate love and pity, and tend to only “love” people who you can rescue.
  10. You’ve buried the emotions stemming from your traumatic childhood, and instead feel numb inside.
  11. You harshly judge yourself and struggle with low self-esteem.
  12. You’re so terrified of abandonment that you’ll do anything to avoid that pain, even if the relationship is objectively unhealthy.
  13. Because alcoholism is a family disease, you’ve taken on the characteristics of an alcoholic despite not being one. (Para-alcoholism)
  14. You’re overly reactive, as opposed to proactive or someone who thinks ahead.

If the traits above sound familiar, joining the ACA program, getting an ACA sponsor, and working with an ACA therapist could positively change your life in ways you can’t yet imagine.

What is ACA?

ACA stands for Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional families, which is a 12-step program focused on helping people who are children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families.

The ACA program involves meetings and working through the outlined 12 steps with support from other members and a sponsor.

This program is meant to be spiritual rather than religious. While the second step in the program is believing that a higher Power can restore you to wellness, this Power can be God or any spiritual force that resonates with you.

Every ACA meeting is autonomous, meaning that each one has its own personality and processes. It’s best to try at least 6 meetings before deciding that ACA isn’t a good fit for you! These meetings are designed to be safe space where you can feel safe sharing your experiences, strengths, and hopes.

But if you’re not feeling ready to share, no one will force you—you can attend simply to offer understanding and compassion to other members or just check it out.

How ACA Therapy Works

Once you’ve done an online search for “ACA therapist near me” and scheduled your first session, it’s normal to feel a bit nervous. The exact path your therapy will take depends quite a bit on your own needs and goals.

That said, here’s what you can expect when you work with one of our ACA therapists:

  1. Your first session will be focused on getting to know you on a deep level. What you’re struggling with now, what your goals are with therapy, and what you’ve tried before are all topics we’ll cover.
  2. Because ACA therapy works in lockstep with the ACA program, we’ll talk about your progress and experiences with ACA meetings thus far.
  3. Using this information, your therapist will tailor each session using proven modalities and practices. This goes much further than the basic talk therapy you might be familiar with—brainspotting, IFS, and AEDP are just a few examples of techniques we specialize in. IFS pairs nicely with some of the reparenting and inner child work you will do in ACA.
  4. Over time, we keep working together to help you become your own loving parent. You’ll free yourself from the shame, blame, and guilt you’ve carried all this time.
  5. As you heal, you and your therapist may eventually decide that you no longer need regularly scheduled sessions. You can then transition into making appointments for check-ins as needed, and start living the life you’ve always deserved.

Effectiveness of ACA Therapy

It’s no secret that having an alcoholic or dysfunctional parent takes a toll on you, both in the short-term and long-term. Studies demonstrate a significant difference in the mental health of adults who grew up in these situations.

But more importantly, you have the power to heal and live the peaceful life you deserve.

You see, one great thing about the ACA program is that it’s not bound to any one discipline, technique, or modality of therapy. As your ACA therapist, we’ll tailor each session based on your needs, goals, and progress.

And this means we can leverage the most effective modalities for you. We focus on seeing and hearing you, rather than sticking you with a generic label.

For example, our counselors specialize in many techniques, such as somatic therapy. And somatic therapy is proven to be highly effective for releasing trauma, even if you have a formal PTSD diagnosis.

AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) is another proven, highly effective modality that’s focused on transformation, healing, and reclaiming wellness. While this is a relatively new option in the world of mental health, studies show improvements made through AEDP have long-term staying power—even post-treatment.

If you’re ready to learn more, you don’t need to Google “ACA therapist near me.” You’ve already found one! Just call us at (917) 781-0041 to book your free consultation.

Insurance and Costs for Seeing an ACA Therapist

Since we’re in the US, we understand that the financial factor of counseling is important to address. That’s why we’re dedicated to working with insurance providers as seamlessly as possible. We have several options: In Network, Out of Network, Self pay and even sliding scale (based on availability).

If we are in-network with your insurance company, you will just pay your copay.

For insurance companies in which we are an out-of-network provider, we submit claims on your behalf, so you don’t have to worry about the paperwork. In most cases, out-of-network benefits cover 30 – 60% of each session’s cost.

Of course, we accept out-of-pocket / cash payments too. If you’ll be paying this way, we’ll collaborate with you privately to determine your pricing!

When you choose us as your ACA therapist, we believe it’s really not about the price.

What’s important here is that we 100% believe in the effectiveness and quality of our services. We know better than anyone that just “talking things out” isn’t enough, and we’re focused on giving you results you can feel on both a mental and physical level. You deserve to experience relief, see real change, and have it last!

Questions Frequently Asked About ACA Therapy

What age group do you typically work with?

We provide ACA-informed therapy to both teens and adults who are children of alcoholics and dysfunctional families.

And no matter how new or experienced you are with your ACA program, we’re here to help. Becoming your own loving parent is rarely easy.

But when you combine the powerful framework of the program with expert, custom-tailored help from an ACA therapist? Finding this freedom and reclaiming your wellness becomes a far more manageable journey.

If you’re a teen or adult who’s grown up with an alcoholic or dysfunctional parent, contact us now or call (917) 781-0041. Also check out to find a local or zoom ACA meeting.

How do you ensure confidentiality in sessions, especially with minors?

We ensure confidentiality in our ACA therapy sessions—especially with minors—by adhering to federal and local laws regarding minors’ rights to confidential health care.

In the state of New York, where we’re based, the law dictates that we may not release medical information to any third parties, including parents and law enforcement, without consent from the minor beforehand.

Plus, every member of our team—from your ACA therapist to our administrative staff—is familiar with patient confidentiality and HIPAA. As our patient, you don’t have to worry about your confidentiality being compromised or your parent(s) getting ahold of information they might use against you.

How would you describe your therapeutic style or approach?

Our therapeutic style or approach is, in a word, holistic. Many of us became mental health professionals because we’ve dealt with our own mental health challenges throughout life—and we’ve been disappointed by the ineffectiveness of just “talking through things” in counseling.

That’s why our practice is so focused on somatic interventions, which release these traumatic burdens from both your body and mind. We look at and listen to you as a whole person, not as a diagnosis who needs one specific type of therapy.

Are you ready to learn more about what to expect after choosing us as your ACA therapist? contact Holistic Mental Health Counseling Services now or call (917) 781-0041.

Wellness is your birthright, and we’re here to support you in experiencing all the wonderful things life has in store for you.