Children of Denial (Children of Alcoholic Parents)

Children of Denial (Children of Alcoholic Parents)

FILM AND VIDEOTAPE REVIEWS Film and Videotape Review Editor: D. Scott May, M.D. Children of Denial (Children of Alcoholic Parents). Produced by Claudi...

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FILM AND VIDEOTAPE REVIEWS Film and Videotape Review Editor: D. Scott May, M.D. Children of Denial (Children of Alcoholic Parents). Produced by Claudia Black, Ph.D. Length: 28 minutes; format: 16 mm film, purchase price $265.00, 1h“ videotape purchase price $39.95. Distributed by M.A.C., 1850 High St., Denver, CO 80218. Content: This videotape by the well-known author and therapist, Claudia Black, is a quick but complete look at the issues for children of alcoholic parents. Dr. Black states that there are more than 12 million such children living in homes and another 15 million persons who have left such homes. She identifies the feelings of powerlessness, mistrust, isolation and difficulty identifying and expressing feelings that are common to such children or grown-up offspring from alcoholic families. In particular she addresses the forces on these children and adults not to remember, not to speak up and not to take action about their feelings that come from experiences in alcoholic families. Dr. Black examines various forces that perpetuate the denial of painful and limiting feelings. At the conclusion of her presentation, which is addressed to an adult audience, she discusses some treatment strategies. Audience: This would be appropriate for varying levels of mental health professionals who have limited familiarity with the problems of children, including adult offspring of alcoholic parents. It would also be appropriate for adolescents and adults who are ready to participate in some type of treatment program, to help them understand the dynamics of their feelings that are common to anyone growing up in an alcoholic family. Evaluation: Overall this is an effective videotape. It covers a great deal of information in 28 minutes. The film’s brevity means that there is a built-in limit in terms of depth; nevertheless, its emotional tone is particularly effective in addressing the pull toward denial of any problem that must first be approached, if any treatment and change is to occur. For those wanting a summary of the issues, or something to

show individuals or a group to promote a discussion, it is an effective device for that and technically works to get the message across.

Hope for the Children (Children of Chemically Dependent Adults). Produced by Health Communications, Inc. Length: 28 minutes; format: l/2“ and 3/ff videotape; purchase, $395.00; rental, $60.00. Distributed by Health Communications, Inc., 1721 Blount Rd., Suite 1, Pompano Beach, FL 33069. Content: This videotape is focused on the needs of children ages 6-12 whose parent or parents are chemically dependent, with an emphasis on the alcoholicdependent parent. It uses three case examples to delineate particular psychological problems and how they manifest in children of this age. It goes through the process of recognizing and diagnosing such problems, ways to enhance children’s understanding of this problem, and concrete strategies for mental health professionals for these children. The video briefly explains parentification and role reversal, mistrust, social isolation and loss of self-esteem and feedback that often are part of growing up in alcoholic families. It goes into the particular ways these issues will affect children of this age. Audience: Psychiatrists, child psychiatrists, child fellows, residents in psychiatry and all allied health professionals who work with children of alcoholic parents. It is of intermediate sophistication and would be helpful for anyone not deeply familiar with treating such children. Evaluation: Technically it is clear and well edited. The film does quite a fine job in 28 minutes of elucidating the issues and possible treatment strategies. One strong point is how it suggests working with children in the 6-12 age range, since their cognitive ability and defense mechanisms are distinct from those of teenagers or adults. There is a lot of both commonsense and thoughtful ideas that are contained within this videotape.


Please note the following correct information for two film reviews that appeared in the March 1986 (252) issue: The rental fees for the film “The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa, parts I, 11, and 111” are $135/7 days; $50/3 days each part. Purchase price is $325 each part, $850 for 3 parts. The length of the film “Bone Marrows and Spinal Taps: A Child’s View” is 12 minutes; rental price is $35; purchase price is $165. Both films are available from Carle Medical Communications, 510 W. Main, Urbana, IL 61801. 589