MFC #25562 







Supporting Serenity - Alanon

For people who have family or friends who may be having a problem with alcohol use, or substance use, I often recommend the support of Alanon Family Groups, a peer support organization. The following is a description of Alanon published by the program itself:

For those who are not familiar with Alanon, Alanon is a 12 step program which was an outgrowth of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alanon is a program for friends and family members whose lives have been affected by someone’s drinking. In most Marin groups, this definition is informally expanded to include substance abuse, mental illness, or other issues that cause stress and evoke.

Alanon is not for everyone, but it is a wonderful source of understanding and support. Alanon offers an opportunity to make changes in one’s own patterns of behaving in response to a family member whose behaviors may be challenging. It is easy to shift the blame to others, particularly when one is surrounded by the chaos that is symptomatic of the disease of alcoholism and addiction. Alanon is a tool I nearly always suggest for family members of individuals with substance abuse or alcohol abuse problems.

As I have often remarked to clients who are active in Alanon, it makes my work so much easier, as the tools of Alanon help you to keep the focus on yourself. It is then much easier to see where, and how changes may be made.

Al-Anon meetings are a helpful tool to help your clients recover their own sense of self…Al-Anon helps individuals find healthy ways to take care of themselves—not everyone else.

The Reverend Linda Varin, R.C.C.
Registered Clinical Counselor in private practice and a Reverend at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church
Sechelt, British Columbia


You may go to the Alanon website at:

For information on local (Marin) meetings go to:

Please note, that this information about Alanon is not meant to imply that my work is in any way endorsed by or a part of Alanon. Alanon is a tool I have personally found helpful, and a tool I find is helpful to many of my clients. Alanon traditions suggest that Alanon Family Groups never endorse, finance or lend the Alanon name to any outside enterprise.

© Copyright 2013 Russell Hendlin, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. All rights reserved.


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