Another Chance and Health for the Alcoholic Family

Table of Content

By Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse

A Book Review

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About the Author

     The author, Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse is a well-known educator and counselor for young individuals as well as families. She is an individual putting much stress on the importance of human development within her writings. Because of this, she was able to win awards in communication and has appeared in the Oprah Winfrey shows for several times. She is also known as the founder of the Family Factory, which is an organization that offers counseling for families that are under crisis. Most of the writings as well as organizations pursued by Cruse actually aim to refurnish the lost relationship between families around the world. This is primarily because of the fact that she believes that there is more to family life, than simply giving up to the challenges that life itself offers.

     One of the latest works of Cruse, which has been noted as an important reading for families under crisis is the book entitled “Another Chance and Health for the Alcoholic Family”. This book particularly assesses the situation of families who are dreadfully affected by the influences of alcoholism. To understand the content of the and the purpose of writing that the author hand in mind in particularly publishing this book, a summary of its whole content shall be introduced herein.

About the Book

     Alcoholism is one of the most deafening causes of family failure worldwide. It could not be denied that because of this particular problem, many members of the family are left helpless because of the fact that aside from the many problems that they already need to face, the result of the vices that they are dealing with even extends the hardships that the family members experience in particular.

     This fact is strongly recognized in the book of Cruse while it also points out that the situation could be well dealt with in the course of applying the necessary psychological procedures suggested by the author, as well as other experts of the field as cited by the author. True, the application of natural characteristics by which the affectionate connection of the family members are seen, is a primary suggestion that is featured in this reading. Aside from this, the book also suggests the use of psychological assessment devices to be used for the sake of formally dealing with the family issues.

Summary of the Content and Analysis

     The Family Assessment Device has been designed to measure improvements concerning the Family Therapy. In a busy and complicated world that families have to deal with these days, it is very vital every family be able to face the challenges of today’s world. Although at times, the hardships that families has to face makes it difficult for its members to keep close and intact relationship with each other.

     Aside from this, the results of such a complicated life leads to different emotional and physical depressions which makes it harder for every family member to comprehend to each other’s needs and be able to cope with life’s changes at the same time. This is why many families chose to undergo several family therapies to be able to solve the growing gap between their members and thus lead a better family life.

How the Assessment is Used and Administered

     The Family Assessment Device includes six major dimensions that are connected to family functioning. The said six major scopes of the said assessment device are the problem solving, communication, roles, effective responsiveness, effective involvement and behavioral control. The dimension on Problem Solving intends to measure the capability of a family to be able to face and solve certain problems that arise within the family. With the use of questionnaires having four possible responses on agreeing to the solutions suggested and disagreeing, each family is scaled depending on their answers. The other dimensions as well follow the same pattern of questionnaires. After answering the questions, each result shall be averaged, evaluated and concluded regarding the improvements of the family in the therapies they undergo.

     The standard results for the Family Assessment Device which concludes that the family has already improved through the family therapy is based on how well they have comprehended with the activities they undergo during the therapy. There are major ways on how to evaluate the changes in a family. One is through the statistical significance of changes observed, another is through the percentage of dropping below clinical cut-offs and finally through the magnitude of change between intake and termination. These three major evaluation processes helps the psychologists to scale the improvements that the family being observed has already incurred. Many experts have proved the reliability of tests and family assessments such as the Family Assessment Device effective. True, at times, the application of this assessment may not be that easy but the cooperation of the family under therapy programs would really help in making assessments such as this a successful program.

     At times, there might be some family members who would rather depend on their own understanding of the problems they are facing than referring their problems to experts. Usually, this makes the FAD application harder to apply, but as said earlier, constant assistance and assurance to the families that they are being helped and not exploited or whatsoever, the Family Assessment could be concluded to be successful. Through the application of the family assessment device as discussed in the book of Cruse, the problem of alcoholism could be met well through the assessment of the whole family as well as with the help of each family process within the recovery progress.

     Aside from the family assessment procedure itself, the author herself also discussed other ways to deal with the problem without any needed professional help. She mentions of the great help that understanding among members of the family could be a great way of preserving the ties and continuing the process of solving the issue within the families. Through this, the attainment of the major purpose of the family assessment procedures as mentioned by the author on the earlier parts of the book could be pursued even without necessary professional help.

     Furthermore, the author outlined several necessary points that need to be considered in discussing the possibilities with which families could endure the challenges of alcoholism in the family. These points are as follows:

·         Opening the communication lines between family members to be able to insist the changes and adjustments needed to be dealt with.

·         Creating ways by which family members could be re-assisted to create possible ways in fixing their problems.

·         Continuing professional help for the sector of the family’s adjustment that are not able to be fixed through family fixings alone.

These points certainly show that the problems of the family could be both solved through professional and personal help from the family members themselves.

Critique of the Author’s Approach

     With the expertise of the author herself, it could be noted that the facts she has presented actually are certain and could be assured of being true and effective. Several parts of the book were devoted to different issues that were particularly concerning the whole topic being discussed. With the expert’s view, it is certain that this reading has been made validated by the author and other experts’ views on the writings that has been presented by Cruse.

      Alcoholism is indeed a serious issue in the family that needs serious attention. Without the attention given to this particular situation, it could be observed that the rate of families breaking apart because of alcohol abuse would continue to rise up. This is the reason why Cruse’s views on this particular subject is strongly recognized by family counselors as to help the people coming to their aid with the needed assistance that they ought to receive from psychologists regarding the matter.

     Being strongly convinced that this situation could still be solved on the face of the family’s present background of development. True, most likely, families who are devastated with the situation would not be out to admit the situation immediately. However, as the author noted, through the systematic procedure of dealing with the situation on the part of the experts [psychologists] who are supposed to help the families deal with the issue, the issue could then be solved.

Overall Reaction and Recommendation

     The aim of the book of Cruse is to awaken every family in the society today in the fact that the issue on alcoholism and family break-ups could be well dealt with through the systematic procedures applied by professionals on psychology and other fields of family counseling procedures. The book that she authored certainly made this point clear of being understood by the public readers. From this particular reading it has been noted that family life could not be lived away from challenges. However, no matter what the challenges may be, it should be recognized by each member that dealing with it is not an impossible aim to complete. Moreover, with the cooperation of each member of the family, the situation could be further assisted and regulated into being solved.

     This book is then recognized as one of the most effective readings that would naturally assist the professionals in helping families in crisis, specifically referring to alcoholism issues, and allowing them the chances of solving the situation that they have actually been involved with.


Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse. (2007). Another Chance and Health for the Alcoholic Family. Science and Behavior Books; 2 edition.


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Another Chance and Health for the Alcoholic Family. (2016, Jun 29). Retrieved from

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