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A guide to realizing if

your child is at-risk, displaying 

self-destructive behaviors, and

needs your help and intervention.




Struggling Teens

Call Now!    1-866-620-1418

Learn more how Total Transformation, an at-home program for parents, can help your struggling teen and heal your family





Abuse:  Emotional


Abuse:  Help & Support


Abuse:  Neglect


Abuse:  Physical


Abuse:  Sexual


Abuse:  Teen Dating Violence




Alcohol & Teen Drinking




Anxiety Disorders


Attachment Disorder


Behavior Problems


Bipolar Disorder




Club Drugs


Cocaine Abuse & Addiction


Conduct Disorder


Counseling & Therapy


Counseling & Therapy: Methods and Referral




Eating Disorders




Gang Involvement




Heroin Abuse & Addiction


Inhalant Abuse: It's Deadly




Parenting Teens


Parenting Teens:  Connection, Monitoring, Autonomy


Parenting Teens:  Rules & Boundaries


Parenting Your Adopted Teen


Peer Influence & Relationships


Personality Disorders


Post-Traumatic Stress


Runaways & Missing Children




Sexual Behaviors






Substance Abuse


Substance Abuse: Treatment & Recovery




When Your Teen is in Trouble with the Law














Self-Help and Support Groups


Listing of Self-Help, Support Groups, & Helping Resources

Coaching: Focusing on Solutions & Getting Results


We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons --

inspiration or desperation. -- Jim Rohn


Self-help has become an integral part of treatment for emotional issues, behavior problems, mental health problems, and for dealing with stressful situations.  Many people find that self-help and support groups are an invaluable resource for recovery and for empowerment.




Self-help support groups bring together people with common experiences.  Participants share experiences, provide understanding and support and help each other find new ways to cope with problems.


There are support groups for almost any concern including alcoholism, overeating, the loss of a child, co-dependency, grandparenting, various mental illnesses, cancer, parenting, and many, many others.


Self-help generally refers to groups or meetings that:

  • Involve people who have similar needs

  • Are facilitated by a consumer, survivor, or other layperson

  • Assist people to deal with a “life-disrupting” event — such as a death, abuse, serious accident, addiction, divorce, a diagnosis of a physical, emotional, or mental disability for oneself or a relative, or any family crisis

  • Are operated on an informal, free-of-charge, and nonprofit basis

  • Provide support and education

  • Are voluntary, anonymous, and confidential

Self-help groups can complement and extend the effects of professional treatment.


The most prominent self-help groups are those affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and Cocaine Anonymous (CA), all of which are based on the 12-step model, and Smart Recovery® which is based on a cognitive-behavioral (thinking/doing) model.  Most drug addiction treatment programs encourage patients to participate in a self-help group during and after formal treatment.


Support groups are offered at counseling centers, hospitals, churches and places of worship, community centers, and schools -- and at online Internet support communities.


We encourage parents who have teens with behavior problems to attend a group for support and guidance, such as Families Anonymous, Al-Anon, and Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA).


You will find that a support group can provide emotional support, practical coping skills and strategies, and empower you towards personal growth, positive changes, and healing.



Self-Help, Support Groups, Helping Resources


Visit the FocusAS pages for helping organizations

that address specific issues and diagnoses

and the Directory of Family Help

to find support resources in your area.





Adult Children of Alcoholics

12-Step, 12-Tradition program of women and men who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes.


Al-Anon and Alateen Family Group Headquarters


Helps families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or friend.


Alcoholics Anonymous

AA is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem.  It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, nondenominational, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere.


Alcoholics for Christ


Interdenominational Christian 12-step fellowship that ministers to alcoholics and substance abusers, family members, and adult children of alcoholics and substance abusers.


Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous

ABA is a fellowship of individuals whose primary purpose is to find and maintain “sobriety” in our eating practices, and to help others gain sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop unhealthy eating practices.


Aspartame Victims Support Group

E-mail group where victims of aspartame poisoning discuss the issues of aspartame recovery and aspartame activism.


Celebrate Recovery

Christian support groups not only for alcoholics but also for codependents, people with eating disorders, those struggling with sexual addictions, anger, those dealing with past or current physical abuse or sexual abuse issues, those in need of financial recovery and -- anyone dealing with any kind of hurt, hang-up or habit.


Chemically Dependent Anonymous

12-step fellowship that does not make distinctions in the recovery process based on any particular substance, believing that the addictive-compulsive usage of chemicals is the core of addictive disease and the use of any mood-changing chemical will result in relapse.


Christian Recovery International

A coalition of ministries dedicated to helping the Christian community become a safe and helpful place for people recovering from addiction, abuse or trauma.


Cocaine Anonymous


12-step recovery to individuals who are suffering from cocaine addiction.


Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA)

A fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships through the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions.


Co-Dependents of Sex Addicts (CoSA)


12-step support for friends and family members whose lives have been affected by another person's compulsive sexual behavior.


Compassionate Friends


National self-help support organization that offers friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings.  There is no religious affiliation and there are no membership dues or fees.


Crystal Meth Anonymous

12-Step fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, so they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addiction to crystal meth.


Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing AA 12 Step Recovery Resources

Includes AA 12 Step Meetings in U.S. and Canada, AA Online Meetings, and Recovery Events.


Depressed Anonymous


12-step fellowship for the men, women, and children whose lives have been affected by a family member's depression.

Online Christian support community dedicated to overcoming addictive and/or destructive behaviors and healing from them whether you are struggling yourself or you are close to someone who is.


Door of Hope for Teens



Free online and phone support for teenage girls and young women who struggle with self-injury.  Local meeting in Westchester County, New York.  Visit Self-Injury.


Dual Recovery Anonymous


12-step, self-help organization for people with a dual diagnosis -- those who are chemically dependent and have an emotional or psychiatric illness.


Eating Disorders Anonymous

12-step group based on the steps, traditions and principles of Alcoholics Anonymous that believes people can and do fully recover from their eating disorders.


Emotions Anonymous


Supports individuals who want to achieve and maintain emotional health by understanding and utilizing the 12 Steps in their daily lives.


Families Anonymous


12-step, self-help, recovery and support fellowship for families and friends concerned about a loved one's past, present or suspected use of drugs or alcohol, and/or behavior-related problems.


Food Addicts in Recovery

International 12-Step fellowship of men and women who either cannot control their eating or are obsessed with food. Through shared experience and mutual support, members help each other recover from food addiction.


JACS:  Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others

Exploring resources and values within Judaism to enhance recovery.


Marijuana Anonymous World Services


12-step recovery fellowship.


Narcotics Anonymous World Services

International, community-based support association of recovering drug addicts with more than 28,000 weekly meetings in 113 countries.


Nicotine Anonymous

12- step fellowship of men and women helping each other live nicotine-free lives.


Obsessive-Compulsive Anonymous


12-step fellowship of people who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from OCD.


Overcomers Outreach


Christ-centered 12-step recovery program addressing all addictions, compulsions and codependents.


Overeaters Anonymous


12-step fellowship of men and women from all walks of life who meet in order to help solve a common problem -- compulsive overeating.


Parents Anonymous


This family-strengthening and support program encourages all parents to ask for help early, whatever their circumstances, to effectively break the cycle of abuse to protect today's children and strengthen tomorrow's generation of parents.


Parents Without Partners


Provides single parents and their children with an opportunity for enhancing personal growth, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others by offering an environment for support, friendship and the exchange of parenting techniques.


Recoveries Anonymous

12-step fellowship formed to offer support to anyone, with any self-destructive or dysfunctional problem.


Recovering Couples Anonymous


12-step fellowship to help couples find freedom from dysfunctional patterns in relationships.



1-800-210-8141 or  615-833-3152

12-step fellowship of relatives and friends of sexually addicted people.


Self-Help Sourcebook OnLine

Searchable database that includes information on over 800+ national, international and demonstrational model self-help support groups, ideas for starting groups, and opportunities to link with others to develop needed new national or international groups.


Self-Mutilators Anonymous

12-step support.  Visit Self-Injury.


Self-Sabotagers Anonymous

1-712-432-1680*  The access code is 622622 followed by the # sign.

12-step fellowship for those who cling to their feelings of hopelessness, sadness, misery or grief and are addicted to self-sabotage, consistently doing things that prevent them from experiencing the full joy of life.  Telephone phone conference meetings are held twice a week.


Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous

12-Step fellowship of men and women who have a sex and/or love addiction and help each other in their recovery.


Smart Recovery®


Face-to-face and online mutual help groups to help people recover from all types of addictive behaviors, including: alcoholism, substance abuse, gambling addiction, and addiction to other behaviors.


Suicide Bereavement Support Groups

International directory of suicide bereavement support groups provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


Survivors of Suicide Support Groups

The American Association of Suicidology provides a directory listing of suicide survivor support groups throughout the United States and Canada.



Are you a teen or adult survivor of rape,

sexual assault or sexual abuse? 

Are you a parent with a teen who has

suffered a traumatic experience?

In-Person, Group, Phone, Skype

Specializing in adolescents & adults

who have been sexually abused




Twenty-Four Hours A Day

by Anonymous Anonymous

Click here for KINDLE EDITION

For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision is part of the Sanskrit proverb quoted at the beginning of the book that has become one of the basic building blocks for recovery.  In addition to a thought, meditation, and prayer for each day of the year, this pocket-sized volume also contains the Serenity Prayer, the 12 Steps, and the 12 Traditions.



Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

by Melody Beattie

Click here for KINDLE EDITION

Is someone else's problem your problem?  If you've lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else's, you may be codependent.  This straightforward, readable, and inspirational book holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its hold on your life.



Addiction and Grace:  Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions

by Gerald G. May

Click here for KINDLE EDITION

Addiction and Grace offers an inspiring and hope-filled vision for those who desire to explore the mystery of who and what they really are.  May examines the "processes of attachment" that lead to addiction and describes the relationship between addiction and spiritual awareness.  He also details the various addictions from which we can suffer, not only to substances like alcohol and drugs, but to work, sex, performance, responsibility, and intimacy.



Hiding from Love:  How To Change the Withdrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison You

by John Townsend

When you experience emotional injury, fear, shame, or pride your first impulse is to hide the hurting parts of yourself.  Often these self-protective hiding patterns are learned during childhood.  The problem is that when you hide, you isolate yourself from the very things you need in order to heal and mature.  What served as protection for a child becomes a prison to an adult.  Dr. Townsend helps you thoroughly explore the hiding patterns you've developed and guides you toward the healing grace and truth that God has built into safe, connected relationships with Himself and others.


Boundaries with Teens:  When To Say Yes, How To Say No

by John Townsend

Click here for KINDLE EDITION

To help teenagers grow into healthy adults, parents and youth workers need to teach them how to take responsibility for their behavior, their values, and their lives. Dr. Townsend gives important keys for establishing healthy boundaries --- the bedrock of good relationships, maturity, safety, and growth for teens and the adults in their lives.  Boundaries with Teens  offers help in raising teens to take responsibility for their actions, attitudes, and emotions.



More Information


Al-Anon offers new life to families of alcoholics ~ With help from their peers, Al-Anon members learn an alternative -- detachment with love.  This happens when family members admit that they did not cause their loved one's addiction; nor can they control or cure it.


Alcoholics Anonymous History ~ AA history, articles by Dick B., research on the origins of the 12 Steps.


Ancient spiritual traditions provide backdrop for formation of AA ~ Buddha, Jesus, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, William James, ....


Basics of Co-dependency ~ There is much debate as to whether or not co-dependency is actually a psychological disease (much less a progressive one).  Many co-dependents appear to grow up in dysfunctional families, they learn their behaviors through childhood exposure to dependent parents or family members.  Children of alcoholics usually develop co-dependent patterns of behaving but in general any long term exposure to a parent or family member with a compulsive, addictive or mental disorder can lead to the development of a co-dependent.  Some may not have come from dysfunctional backgrounds but have developed a relationship with someone who is compulsive, addictive or suffering from a mental disorder in adulthood.


Biblical References for the 12 Steps ~ The 12 Steps consist of the following: admission of personal defeat, brokenness, turning one's life and will over to the care of God, confession, restitution, acquiring the spiritual disciplines of prayer and personal devotions, and a desire to reach out to others.


Buddhism and Recovery (pdf) ~ Buddha's great insight was to see pain as a symptom of a greater underlying problem.  The answer is not to numb the pain with chemicals or overwork, or to assuage it emotionally through others, sex, or compulsive religiosity but to reach behind the symptom to the disease itself: a misperception of one's place in the universe.


Preventing Suicide: How To Start a Survivors Group (pdf) ~ The coming together of those bereaved by suicide can provide the opportunity to be with other people who can really understand, because they have been through the same experience; to gain strength and understanding from the individuals within the group, but also to provide the same to others.  This guide, prepared by the World Health Organization, is an excellent resource.


The Principles Behind The 12 Steps of Addiction Recovery ~ Living each of these behaviors -- walking the walk -- will help to rebuild a life of increased self esteem and self confidence.


Promoting Wellness and Recovery Through Self-Help Groups (pdf) ~ Self-help groups, by their very makeup, do a great job in promoting wellness and recovery in persons experiencing mental illness, physical disabilities, or other life-altering events.  But they can do more.  Many of the benefits of self-help groups come in the form of hope, support, education and taking personal responsibility for recovery.


Psychological Self-Help ~ This free online book reviews all aspects of self-improvement.  It provides a system for analyzing any problem into its manageable parts and for planning self-change.  It invites you to first carefully consider what you value and what you want to accomplish in life.


Relationships and Recovery ~ Recovery from past wounds or from present addictions does not happen in isolation.  It happens in fellowship with others.  We do not recover by reading books about recovery.  We do not recover by becoming more educated about recovery.  Fellowship in recovery is essential because it gives us opportunities to practice self-awareness, honesty, respectful listening, constructive conflict, and making amends.  It is in community that we learn new ways to think, feel and live.


Spirituality, Prayer, the Twelve Steps and Judaism ~ Everywhere in Jewish ethics there is a great emphasis on mutual responsibility for one another's actions.  Just as some diseases are contagious, so is spiritual and moral deterioration.  Those who are fortunate enough to achieve a measure of spirituality do not have the right to keep this enlightenment to themselves.  The Yiddish phrase, He is a zaddik in pelz refers to the pious one who keeps warm by wrapping himself in furs.  In other words, he maintains a selfish piety.  Warmth should be obtained by building a fire so that others can benefit from the heat as well.


Stumbling Blocks to Change (pdf) ~ Change is not only the solution to many of our problems, it is a natural process from which we get a feeling of self-worth and well-being.  It feels good to change because we intuitively know this is the only way to reach our full potential.  Understanding the stumbling blocks to change is the first step in breaking them down and moving them out of the way.


The Twelve Steps:  They Work for Anyone ~ Norman Vincent Peale says that the 12 Steps can be applied to your own difficulty -- no matter what it is, and he reminds us that, in a very deep sense, each step is a prayer.



© 2008