What is ACA?
ACA is a worldwide fellowship officially founded in 1978 in New York. You can find an extensive description of ACA here:
and a chapter on ACA‘s history here:
The ACA Germany homepage can be found here:
Am I an Adult Child?
Many of us found that we had several characteristics in common as a result of growing up in a dysfunctional setting such as:
- We had come to feel isolated and uneasy with other people, especially authority figures.
- To protect ourselves, we became people-pleasers, even though we lost our own identities in the process.
- All the same we would mistake any personal criticism as a threat.
- We lived life from the standpoint of victims.
These are just some of the „typical“ traits of an adult child. The most common characteristics are put together in the „Laundry list“ and the “Other Laundry List”:
There is also a flyer with 25 questions to find out if you if you are an adult child:
Why may it be helpful to join an ACA Meeting?
ACA provides a safe, nonjudgmental environment that allows us to grieve our childhoods and conduct an honest inventory of ourselves and our family—so we may
- identify and heal core trauma,
- experience freedom from shame and abandonment, and
- become our own loving parents.
Doing so will trigger a process which is described in detail here:
As a result we may experience what is laied down in the “Promises”:
- We will discover our real identities by loving and accepting ourselves.
- Our self-esteem will increase as we give ourselves approval on a daily basis.
- Fear of authority figures and the need to “people-please” will leave us.
- Our ability to share intimacy will grow inside us.
- As we face our abandonment issues, we will be attracted by strengths and become more tolerant of weaknesses.
- We will enjoy feeling stable, peaceful, and financially secure.
- We will learn how to play and have fun in our lives.
- We will choose to love people who can love and be responsible for themselves.
- Healthy boundaries and limits will become easier for us to set.
- Fears of failure and success will leave us, as we intuitively make healthier choices.
- With help from our ACA support group, we will slowly release our dysfunctional behaviors.
- Gradually, with our Higher Power’s help, we will learn to expect the best and get it.
How much does it cost to attend an ACA meeting?
ACA is a financially independent self-help program. We finance ourselves and ask participants who are able to do so to make a small (voluntary) donation at each meeting.
I do not live in Munich or nearby any ACA meeting – what can I do?
If there is no meeting accessible (check meetings here: Adultchildren.org/meeting-search) you may want to set up your own meeting. All meetings are independent and depend only on the people who join them. On Adultchildren.org you can find a lot of free literature:
- Structure of an ACA meeting: Adultchildren.org/Sample_Meeting.pdf
- More material: Adultchildren.org/literature/free-literature-english-translated/
Oh yes, PS: What do you mean by “Higher Power”?
ACA is a spiritual program, but it is not based on any particular religion or belief. We simply assume that there is a power greater than ourselves, and that this power can help us on our path to recovery. However, it is up to each participant to defines the exact nature of “Higher Power” and these definitions are as diverse as the participants in our groups.