independent advocate reducing alcohol harm


As part of the work of Silent Voices we are actively looking at models of services to recommend to deal with the trauma of growing up with PAM. We will update the resource section on an ongoing basis.

Reading List
  • Guide to Recovery A Book for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz, Julie D.Bowden
  • It will Never Happen to Me by Claudia Black
  • How to Cope with an Alcoholic Parent by Judith Seixas
  • Daily Affirmations for Children of Alcoholics, Rockelle Lerner
  • Children of Alcoholics: A survivor’s Manual by Judith Seixas & Geraldine Youcha
  • Growing in the Shadow: Children of Alcoholics by Robert J Ackerman (Editor)
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet G Woititz
  • The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Shame That Binds You by John Bradshaw
  • Second Best. My Dad and me: An incredibly honest & brave account of life with his famous father, footballing legend George Best by Calum Best
  • Will You Catch Me?: A young girl cares for her alcoholic mother by Jane Elson
  • Children Of Alcoholics: How a Parent’s Drinking Can Affect Your Life by David Stafford
  • Notes to Self: Essays by Emilie Pine
  • The ACOA Trauma Syndrome by Tian Dayton

For further useful resources with a UK focus click here.

This report from IAS, shows that parents do not have to regularly drink large amounts of alcohol for their children to notice changes in their behaviour and experience negative impacts. Having seen a parent tipsy or drunk was associated with children feeling worried as well as experiencing at least one of a range of negative impacts, including feeling less comforted than usual, facing more arguments, unpredictable parental behaviour and disrupted bedtime routines.
This is a presentation from Dr Sharon Lambert, School of Applied Psychology, UCC exploring the assessment and impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences with the PSI Early Graduate Group.

Where can Adult Children begin their journey of healing and renewal?

Despite there being a unique set of stressful circumstances for children and families coping with parental alcohol misuse, significant barriers exist to recognising this issue and to accessing both formal and informal support for those affected.

It is the case that there is no bespoke professional service available to children, young people and adults specific to their unique experiences of growing up with a parental alcohol misuse issue.

Different models of interventions and approaches are required for all three groups, which will facilitate and enable them to express their thoughts and feelings concerning the often-felt severe stress, threats and abuse from such experiences. This is why we are undertaking the ‘Silent Voices’ initiative, to highlight the need for all children and adults to be provided with accessible professional help and support which will help to build their resilience and capacity to better live out their lives and to better manage  the burden of the legacy of such experiences.


Understanding the experiences of Adult Children of Alcoholics

This research paper was carried out by UCC student Leslie Keating and explores and highlight the unique challenges that adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) face in the context of mental health and wellbeing.

The project uses some of Alcohol Action Ireland’s short stories of lived experience submitted via the ‘Silent Voices’ website, as well as interviews with 7 adults who identify as Adult Children of Alcoholics. The paper highlights themes such as toxic stress and lifelong impact across the developmental stages and concludes that given the breadth of the impact that is experienced by Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs), a timely and appropriate response is warranted and a number of recommendations have been suggested.



An online conference organised by the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Addiction Counsellors of Ireland and Alcohol Action Ireland- Rethinking Addiction: Perspectives on Individual and Family Related Harms was held on 14 Nov 2020

This was a training event for therapists.

Two members of the Silent Voices Advisory Group made presentations which are available here.

Austin Prior: Problematic Substance Use – Its impact on the Family and Its Presentation in General Counselling.

The password to view is: AP

Marion Rackard: Silent Voices Emerging – Impact of Parental Alcohol Problems on Children and Adult Children.

The password to view is: IACP

Professional Counselling and Support Services


Private Services:


Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapists.

Humanistic and integrative psychotherapy emphasizes a hopeful view of human beings and of their ability to be self-determining.  It believes that individuals are fundamentally responsible for themselves and, whilst recognising the tragic dimensions of human existence, it emphasises the ability of persons to go beyond themselves and realise their true nature. It seeks to assist people who are in crisis and/or are searching for meaning and purpose in life.

Tel. 01 284 1665


Irish Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists

Counselling / Psychotherapy, please contact the IACP referral service:

Tel. 01 230 3536


Psychological Society of Ireland

01 472 0105 (lines open Mon-Fri: 11-13.00 & 14-16.00)

Counselling Psychologists are listed.


Family Therapy Association of Ireland

Systemic Family Therapy, also known as Couple or Family Therapy, is a means of intervention that attempts to understand and address human beings’ pain and distress within the context in which it occurs i.e. the family or relationship environment.

Tel: 01-2722105


Addiction Counsellors of Ireland

Addiction Counselling can take place in different forms, most often in one-on-one fashion but is also available in a couple, family and group format. In whatever modality is taken, it provides the client with a confidential opportunity to discuss their relationship with the problem substance or behaviour and its impact on their life and the life of others they care about.

Many addiction counsellors are also trained psychotherapists who are available to offer short/long term psychotherapy to adult children.


Rise Foundation

Provides Psychoeducational courses on the impact of alcohol and drugs on family members and provides group therapy to enable members identify the challenges they are faced with.

T: + 353 1 764 5131



Public Services


The HSE National Counselling Service welcomes calls from adults who have
experienced abuse in childhood. Contact details are as follows:

HSE Area Freephone Number
HSE Dublin North East (North Dublin &
1800 234 110
HSE Dublin North East (Navan, Cavan,
Louth & Monaghan)
1800 234 117
HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster (South Dublin,
East Wicklow)
1800 234 111
HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster (West Dublin,
West Wicklow & Kildare
1800 234 112
HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster (Laois, Offaly,
Longford & Westmeath)
1800 234 113
HSE West (Galway, Mayo &
1800 234 114
HSE West (Limerick, Clare & North
1800 234 115
HSE West (Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo) 1800 234 119
HSE South (Waterford, Wexford,
Kilkenny, Carlow and South Tipperary)
1800 234 118
HSE South (Cork & Kerry) 1800 234 116


CONNECT is a free telephone counselling and support service – Freephone 1800 477 477

for any adult who has experienced abuse, trauma or neglect in childhood. You can talk in confidence with a trained counsellor who can listen or help with questions you have.


Call (01) 865 7400.

Connect is an out of hours service available from 6-10pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

To speak to a counsellor call during the above days and times:

Freephone 1800 477 477


HSE Drug and Alcohol Helpline

For confidential advice and support on any aspect of drug or alcohol services contact the above service Mon-Friday 9.30-5.30pm

Freephone 1800 459 459

Email: helpline


Support Services for Families:


Ask About Alcohol – Support services for families


Family Support Network

The overall aim of the National Family Support Network is to improve the situation of families coping with substance misuse by developing, supporting and reinforcing the work of family support groups and regional family support networks across the country.

Tel. 01-8980148



Smart Recovery for Friends and Family


Child Welfare and Child Protection:

Contact your local Tusla office

Tel: 01 635 2854

If a child or a young person is at immediate risk contact the Gardai 112 or 999


Tusla the Child and Family Agency


Children and Young People Services Committees



Tel: 1800 666 666

Texttalk: 50101



Support Groups


ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic) – a 12 Step Peer Support Group

Meetings in Dublin:

Meetings in Cork:


Al Anon – for families and friends of problem drinkers


Taking the Lid Off

A resource for families living with addiction and problematic substance abuse.