Healing Wounds: Exploring the hyphen in son-father relations as an adult child of an alcoholic

Daniel Wade Clarke (Lead / Corresponding author)

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In this autoethnography I explore the impact of my father’s alcohol dependency on my relationship with him and implications for my own recovery from alcohol-related harm. Sketching, layering and poetic interludes help to move around the hyphenated space of son-father relations showing the wounds associated with his alcohol ab/use. The writing shows how I internalised and embodied other family members’ shame, compounding my detachment and father hunger. It also shows how “energy of the wound” fuelled positive adaptations, learning to be “with” my adult-child-of-an-alcoholic-ness. I hope the writing helps both writer and readers make things better by offering new vistas on hardship, loss, adapting and healing. Connecting with clinical audiences, potential implications for effective counselling are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Early online date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2021


  • Father-son relations
  • adult children of alcoholics
  • alcohol dependency
  • healing
  • hyphen space
  • wounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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