Books that helped you the most regarding dealing with troubled adult children and other loved ones


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Codapendent No More Melody Beattie
Boundaries Townsend and Cloud
Anything by Tara Brahm who is my new mentor

But I need more helpful books. What helped YOU? Any suggestions?


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The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells by Randi Kreger

Setting Boundaries with your Adult Children by Allison Bottke (has a slight religious slant but great advice even if you're not religious)

Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie

For coping with stress in general, through meditation:

Full Catastrophe Living by John Kabat-Zinn
Wherever You Go, There You Are by John Kabat-Zin

For those with teenagers:
Yes, Your Teen is Crazy by Michael Bradley


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Thanks for starting this post Somewhere! I just ordered Setting Boundaries with you Adult Children. I need some help in this area! Thanks Crazy for the suggestions!


one day at a time
Good topic and good tools for the toolbox!

Books, meditations and daily emails by:

Brene Brown
Pema Chodron
Richard Rohr

All Al-Anon Literature---First Al-Anon books I recommend are daily devotionals. One is Courage to Change. The second is One Day at A Time. Then there are many more, but those are the basic two that reinforce many of the key principles over and over again.

Another good book is Simple Abundance. It is old but good.


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This one really helped me . . .

Don't Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children by Charles Rubin

Here is a description from Amazon:

This is a self-help recovery guide for parents in the devastating situation of realizing that they are powerless to stop their children from self-destruction through drug and/or alcohol abuse. It is dedicated to letting parents know when it is time to start saving themselves from being dragged along to destruction as well, and to providing skills that prevent it. The book relies on spiritual but practical teachings and the message is for parents to attain a healthy balance in their lives through the letting go process. While showing parents how to safely distance themselves from the child's destructive patterns, it also shows how to recognize and support healthy requests for real help, if and when they come. It includes anecdotes and quotes from parents who have had to cope with kids on drugs and/or alcohol.


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Brene Brown
Pema Chodron
Richard Rohr
I've got to start reading these people's books. The folks who I respect the very most here seem to love them.

LMS, don't forget Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. You'll love that boundaries book too and for you it would be especially resonating as it has a Christian slant, but I feel it is useful for anyone. Lots of common sense in it.


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Along with the books others have mentioned, which were helpful to me as well, The Power of Now and the New Earth by Eckhart Tolle really helped me. Whenever I found a writer who could articulate what I was going through, I would read everything they wrote. Pema Chodron and Brene Brown were big helps for me too. As was the book, Codependent no more. My 'tool box' is pretty big now!


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RE, and you are doing so well. I smile when I read your posts. I have to look into Eckhart Tolle. The more I read about changing the way I live to living in the now, the better I feel. Any specific book of his you would recommend for a first one?


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A new one I just started is When Your Adult Child Breaks Your Heart: Coping with Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, and the Problems That Tear Families Apart

This is the description on Amazon
Behind nearly every adult who is accused of a crime, becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, or who is severely mentally ill and acting out in public, there is usually at least one extremely stressed-out parent. This parent may initially react with the bad news of their adult child behaving badly with, "Oh no!" followed by, "How can I help to fix this?" A very common third reaction is the thought, "Where did I go wrong--was it something I said or did, or that I failed to do when my child was growing up that caused these issues? Is this really somehow all my fault?" These parents then open their homes, their pocketbooks, their hearts, and their futures to "saving" their adult child--who may go on to leave them financially and emotionally broken. Sometimes these families also raise the children their adult children leave behind: 1.6 million grandparents in the U.S. are in this situation.
This helpful book presents families with quotations and scenarios from real suffering parents (who are not identified), practical advice, and tested strategies for coping. It also discusses the fact that parents of adult children may themselves need therapy and medications, especially antidepressants. The book is written in a clear, reassuring manner by Dr. Joel L. Young, medical director of the Rochester Center for Behavioral Medicine in Rochester Hills, Michigan; with noted medical writer Christine Adamec, author of many books in the field.
In the wake of the Newtown shooting and the viral popularity of the post "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother," America is now taking a fresh look, not only at gun control, but also on how we treat mental illness. Another major issue is our support or stigmatization of those with adult children who are a major risk to their families as well to society itself. This book is part of that conversation.


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SWOT, I think The power of now is a good book to start with, written by Eckhart Tolle. I've read it a few times, each time I glean new insights. The new earth is fantastic, it helped me to clarify a lot. Enjoy!!


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The Step-Parents' Parachute

by Flora Mcevedy

(Not for my DS, he's all mine!)

Great for people getting to grips with the major learning curve related to taking on step-children though. I loved this book.

Is this thread about helpful books in general?
Sorry if I haven't answered your question SWOT, but I think it would be a good idea to have a 'book bank' of good recommended books for different situations on this site.


New Member
Codependent no More.
When your adult child breaks your heart (Joel Young and and Christine Adamec)
Happiness: How to find happiness again if you have a mentally ill adult child (Elizabeth Clark)
The Price of Silence (Liza Long)
Mending Wounded Minds (Beth Henry)
Trauma and Recovery (Judith Herman) - one of the best studies made on traumatic experiences and their impact on the psyche, by one of the foremost experts in the field. Written in a very readable form and highly insightful.
Persevering Parent (Dr. Karen Crum)

Books specifically for parents of eating disordered children:
Wasted (Maria Hornbacher)
Why can't you just eat? (Shannon Lagasse)
When your child has an eating disorders (Abigail Natenshon)
Skills-based learning for caring for a loved one with eating disorders (Janet Treasure)

There are so many other books, it's really hard to choose. I've been devouring books on these topics for quite a few years now after all...


I have right next to me at this moment

When our grown up kids disappoint us.
Jane Adams

It's an easy read and a good place to start. I need something with more depth now and will definitely look at some of the above.


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OK I just listened to the book mentioned on another thread "Beyond Addiction". I read it because I think with the blurb about it there was some question if it was contrary to alanon principals.... And then I read a newspaper article which mentions it and also makes it sound contrary to alanon principals and I was curious what it said. In the hype it talks about how we can help our addicted loved ones which again sounds contrary to a lot of the advice on this board.

So in actuality I did not find it contrary to any of the principals I have learned in alanon or on this board!!! I did find it a bit repetitive and tedious but that is partly because I have been on this journey for a long time. It did go into several ways we can help or support our loved ones who have substance abuse problems. For the most part all the advice in the book I have figured out along the way and am doing... There is a lot about self care in there... And it does talk about boundaries and one part I did like was it talked about the difference between supporting and enabling someone.

I did kind of wish I read it when I started on this journey because it does clearly spell out how to talk to your loved one about various issues and I think that would have been helpful back then.

It was not negative about AA or alanon and talked about how support is important and how AA has helped many people. It did say that some people have issues with AA and it is not the only solution, and it spelled out what some of the issues people have with it are.... All of which made sense and I could agree with.

So for those of you starting on this journey with your kid dealing with substance abuse I think it is worth reading.