Resources and Supports (Free!)
July 22, 2018
The following is a list of over 100 resources and supports for the most common issues I see with clients. (I've done my best to gather FREE resources, and books your local library system hopefully has access to.) We humans are complex, social beings - and with all of the modern stresses we have to deal with, we could all use a helping hand sometimes! Reaching out for support is actually a sign of health and strength, because no one can do it alone! (And did you know that trying to be a super (wo)man all the time, or feeling guilty, weak, "less than," or afraid of asking for help is called "counter-dependent" and is actually indicative of an unhealed trauma?)
- If you find any out-dated or broken links, please send me an email so I can fix or remove them.
- If you know of other helpful resources, please send me an email so I can add them to this list!
- If you find a topic that resonates with you, Google search that term. You will find a TON more info! ♥
- If you find something that doesn't resonate with you, put it aside. (If you have to force yourself to try something, it probably means: it's not for you; it's not the right timing; there is an even better resource waiting for you.
Outline of FREE Resources and Supports Links
A) ACA (Adult Children of Addicts)
B) CoDA (CoDependents Anonymous)
C) Addiction Supports & 12-Step Support Groups
D) Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships
E) Neglect, Abuse & Trauma ( Acute & Chronic )
F) Sexual Abuse
G) Mental Health Supports
H) Crisis Hotlines
I) Financial / Housing Aid
A) ACA ( Adult Children of Addicts )
People who grew up living with addicts (parents, older siblings, family members, housemates, etc.) often find ACA information very valuable in understanding and healing their adult child traits like deep mistrust of others, perfectionism, isolation, procrastination, people-pleasing, abandonment, self-sacrifice, avoiding conflict at all costs, issues with authority figures, and emotional repression.
a1. www.adultchildren.org = The main ACA website.
a2. The "Laundry List" (Am I an Adult Child Checklist) = www.adultchildren.org/lit-laundry_list
a3. Tony A's Revised 12 Steps for Adult Children = https://thelistacagroup.wordpress.com/tony-a-12-steps
a4. The ACA "Big Red Book" and Free Writings = www.adultchildren.org/literature
a5. Yellow 12 Steps ACA Workbook = www.amazon.com/Twelve-Steps-Adult-Children-Workbook/dp/0978979710
a6. Commonly Related Issues (Google them for more info): parentification, spousification, codependent, counterdependent, intergenerational trauma, complex PTSD (C-PTSD), religious trauma syndromes (RTS), trauma bond, stockholm syndrome, battered woman/person syndrome
B) CoDA ( CoDependents Anonymous)
People who live / lived with addicts at any point in their lives often find CoDA information very helpful in explaining and overcoming their struggles with CoDA traits such as self-sacrifice, passive-aggressive communication style, resentment, and have a pattern of getting into relationships with people who end up being abusive / an addict / narcissistic.
b2. Codependency = https://psychcentral.com/lib/recovery-from-codependency
b3. What’s a Codependent? = www.allaboutcounseling.com/codependency.htm
b4. Videos for Codependents and Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse = www.youtube.com/user/lisaaromano1/videos
b5. Why Codependents & Narcissists Attract Each Other = www.youtube.com/channel/UC8OgfVyM8u5xhoHTJPa9sOQ
b6. SLDD (Self-Love Deficiency Disorder) = http://humanmagnetsyndrome.com/hmsblog/the-codependensorder-pyramid
b7. Famous Codependency Authors / YouTubers = Melody Beattie, Beverly Engel, Pete Walker, Jonice Webb, Ross Rosenberg, Kenneth Adams, Lisa Romano
C) ADDICTION SUPPORTS & 12-STEP SUPPORT GROUPS
There are many 12-step groups, specific to certain addictions, most of which have two varieties: one for the addict, and one for those who live with the addict. (If you grew up with and/or now live with someone who is an addict, the above resources of ACA and CoDA are also highly recommended!)
**Please note that not all support group meetings are created equal! It's important to find a group/meeting where you feel safe, supported, understood, and uplifted. Many support groups are run by non-professional, without background checks, meaning you should be extra careful with who you trust (such as exchanging personal information or inviting people to your home). Aside from safety concerns, the group leader(s) can drastically change the meeting's focus and vibe. I recommend "shopping around" and trying a few different meetings to see which one suits you best.**
c1. What Qualifies as an Addiction? = www.psychologytoday.com/ca/basics/addiction
c2. Is Addiction a Disease? by Dr McKauley = www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2emgrRoT2c
c3. Attachment, Disease & Addiction by Dr Mate = www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9cvEa5qFQc
c4. Why Some Addicts Cannot Self-Heal (7th Video) = www.theinstituteforaddictionstudy.org/interviews
c5. See the above ACA (section A) and CoDA (section B) links.
c6. www.intherooms.com = An awesome online support group, with tons of different support groups. Check the "Meeting Schedule." If using the phone app, sometimes you need to leave and re-enter the meeting if audio cuts out.
c7. www.stepchat.com = Another online support group, but online chat only (no video/audio).
c9. Al-Anon (those affected by alcoholics) = www.al-anon.ab.ca
c10. Al-Anon Cold Lake = 1-888-425-2666
c11. Al-Ateen (for teenagers living with alcoholics) = http://al-anon.org/for-alateen
c15. SIA (Survivors of Incest Anonymous) = https://siawso.org
c16. OA (Overeaters Anonymous) = www.oa.org
c17. Support for those living with overeaters: https://oa.org/newcomers/for-family-and-friends
c18. Other 12-Step Support Groups = There are many others, such as NA (Narcotics), CMA (Crystal Meth), MA (Marijuana), GA (Gamblers), etc. There are also some groups specifically for just men, or just women, or just LGBTQ, or just Native Americans, etc. to address the specific issues those groups of people have. For examples of other support groups, check out www.intherooms.com/livemeetings/list
D) HEALTHY vs UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Many of us grew up in homes that were often chaotic, in a society that is often dysfunctional. This unfortunately gives us very warped ideas of what relationships look and feel like. A tip – just because something is common (and thus feels normal), does NOT mean it’s healthy! For example, have you heard the common quote that “love hurts?” This is actually not true! Healthy love is gentle, respectful, kind, supportive, and safe - even when moving through painful experiences such as a breakup. When love hurts, that’s a sure-fire sign that it’s a dysfunctional of abusive relationship - so let's stop calling it love! The following articles are great starting points for learning what healthy relationships actually look and feel like. If they resonate with you, definitely check out the ACA, CoDA, and Neglect / Abuse / Trauma sections too.
d1. See the above ACA (section A) and CoDA (section B) links.
d2. Info on Healthy Relationships = www.loveisrespect.org/healthy-relationships
d3. Relationship Checklist = www.depts.washington.edu/hhpccweb/health-resource/healthy-vs-unhealthy-relationships
d4. Healthy Relationship Blog Series = www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/healthy-connections
d5. Parentification/Spousification = www.goodtherapy.org/blog/emotional-covert-incest-when-parents-make-their-kids-partners-0914165
d6. Youth Relationships Checklist = http://youth.gov/youth-topics/teen-dating-violence/characteristics
d7. University Students Checklist = www.bridgeport.edu/life/student-services/counselingservices/services-programs1/healthy-vs-unhealthy-relationship-factors
d8. What is Consent? = www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sex-and-relationships/sexual-consent
d9. What is (Healthy) Love? = https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/cc-is-it-love-or-love-addiction
d10. What is Healthy Sex? = http://healthysex.com/healthy-sexuality
d11. Healthy Sexual Relationship Blog Series = https://instituteforrelationalintimacy.com/helpful-links
d12. What is Love/Romance Addiction? = www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/healthy-connections/201012/how-break-the-pattern-love-addiction
d13. Love, Romance, and Sex Addiction Quizzes = www.loveandaddiction.com/love_addiction.htm
d14. SLDD (Self-Love Deficiency Disorder) = https://psychcentral.com/lib/codependency-no-more-how-to-recover-from-self-love-deficit-disorder
d15. Understanding and Healing from Porn/Sex Addiction = Patrick Carnes' many books and www.iitap.com/resources
d16. Porn/Sex Addiction and Its Effects = https://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex-addiction
d17. Sexual Compulsions as a Result of Trauma = www.freedomu.net/blog/trauma-in-sexual-addciton
d18. See also sections E and F below.
E) NEGLECT, ABUSE & TRAUMA ( ACUTE & CHRONIC )
Childhood neglect, and abuse or trauma at any stage of life can result in a variety of dysfunctional coping mechiasms that require time, compassion, and support to transform into healthier ways of being. Did you know that there are two main kinds of trauma? Acute/Hard trauma is more obvious - usually, it's a sudden, one time event like a car crash, the death of a loved one, a rape, or being shot. As well, there is the lesser known and less obvious Chronic/Soft trauma - a long-term barrage of small (or not so small) abuses that pile up over time. Examples include being bullied, feeling constantly pressured to be perfect, living with people who are abusive to you or others, or serving in a war. I have also included some famous authors who touch on trauma - they also have websites, YouTube Talks, audio books, podcasts, etc. So go ahead and Google search them to get even more info!
e1. Childhood Wounds Quiz = www.selftherapyjourney.com/Pattern/Beginning/List_of_Wounds.aspx
e2. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Quiz = https://acestoohigh.com/got-your-ace-score
e3. Childhood Emotional Neglect = https://wehavekids.com/parenting/The-Long-Term-Effects-of-Childhood-Emotional-Neglect and www.bpdcentral.com/blog/?Overcome-Childhood-Emotional-Neglect-60
e4. Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) Quiz = www.thedailymind.com/deeper-thinking/are-you-suffering-from-childhood-emotional-neglect-quiz , www.drjonicewebb.com
e5. What is Abuse? = http://stoprelationshipabuse.org/educated/types-of-abuse
e6. What is Abuse by Edmonton Police Services = www.edmontonpolice.ca/VictimSupport/WhatIsAbuse.aspx
e7. What is Domestic Violence (DV) = www.domesticviolenceinfo.ca/article/domestic-violence-6.asp
e8. Complex-PTSD = www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma
e9. Trauma Repetition Compulsion = www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/anxiety-zen/201603/why-do-we-repeat-the-past-in-our-relationships
e10. Trauma Re-Enactment and Revictimization = www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk
e11. Gabor Mate = "When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress"
e12. Jonice Webb = "Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect"
e13. Lindsay C. Gibson = "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents"
e14. Jasmin Lee Cori = "The Emotionally Absent Mother: Effects of Childhood Emotional Neglect"
e15. Bethany Webster = "Healing the Mother Wound"
e16. Karyl McBride = "Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers"
e17. Kenneth Adams = "Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners"
e18. Donna Nakazawa = "Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology"
e19. Beverly Engel = "Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused" and "Honor Your Anger"
e20. Karla Mclaren = "The Language of Emotions"
e21. Alice Miller = "The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self"
e22. Elaine Aron = "The Highly Sensitive Person"
e23. Joan Borysenko = "Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive"
e24. Judith Lewis Herman = "Trauma and Recovery"
e25. Pete Walker = "Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving"
e26. Peter Levine = "Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma"
e27. Bessel van der Kolk = "The Body Keeps the Score"
e28. Pat Ogden = "Trauma and the Body"
e29. David Bercelli = "Tension, Stress, and Trauma Release (TRE)"
e30. Kirk Honda = YouTube "Psychology in Seattle" podcast and videos
F) SEXUAL ABUSE
Conservative estimates are that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men have been sexually abused! Sadly, sexual violence is rampant in our society - and it is so devastating to mind, body, and spirit that it has been called “soul murder” by some experts. Because of how traumatizing and long-lasting this type of abuse can be, there are support centers that specialize in this area. Sexual abuse is NEVER the victim’s fault, and finding a safe, supportive, non-judgmental space is imperative for recovery. Don’t waste any time with people who make you feel otherwise! Be assertive and find a support that suits you.
f1. See the above Healthy Relationships (section D) links
f3. SIA (Survivors of Incest Anonymous) = https://siawso.org
f4. Wendy Maltz = "The Sexual Healing Journey" and www.healthysex.com
f5. Ellen Bass = "The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse"
f6. Patrick Carnes = "Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred" and www.iitap.com/resources
f7. Christiane Northrup = "Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom"
f8. Alberta Communities Against Abuse = http://againstabuse.ca/treatment
f9. Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services = www.aasas.ca
f10. Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters = www.acws.ca
f11. Dragonfly Center (Northeast Alberta) = www.thedragonflycentre.com ; 780-815-4456
f12. Dragonfly Center Free 24-Hour Sexual Assault/Abuse Hotline = 1-866-594-0533
f13. Cold Lake Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Center = https://dmscc.ca or 780-594-5095
f14. Cold Lake Joie’s Phoenix House = www.acws.ca/cold-lake-joies-phoenix-house
f15. Lloydminster Sexual Assault Center = www.lloydminstersexualassault.com
G) MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS
Many of the resources below offer free counseling. I strongly advise you to seek out a counsellor that is a good fit for you: understands your individual needs, has similar values, and counsels in a style that suits you. (If you don't feel safe, understood, and supported, then you won't get much out of a counsellor.) Please know that you are always allowed to request a change in counselor if something is “not working” for you – and if your counselor and/or their organization doesn’t support this, then it’s time to go elsewhere anyhow! <3
g1. Alberta Health Services = www.albertahealthservices.ca
g2. Alberta Health Services Addictions = 780-594-7556
g3. Cold Lake Mental Health (free counselling & tele-psychiatry) = 780-639-4922
g4. Cold Lake FCSS (Family and Community Support Services; also has free counselling) = 780-594-4495
g5. Bonnyville FCSS = 780-826-2120
g6. Cold Lake Community Health Centre = 780-594-4404
g7. Cold Lake Primary Care Network = 780-639-0011
g8. Cold Lake MFRC (Military Family Resource Center) = 780-594-6006
g9. Cold Lake Supporting Wellness and Growth = 1-888-622-8350
g10. What is Mental Health = edmonton.cmha.ca/mental-health/understanding-mental-illness
g11. Finding Mental Health Support in Canada = www.cmha.ca/mental-health/find-help
H) CRISIS HOTLINES
Some of the below help lines are really cool, in that you can chat online or text. (Please note that some of the crisis lines are underfunded, meaning they are aimed at one-time major crises like suicidal thoughts, abuse cases, etc. For long-term counseling, I’d suggest contacting local in-person counseling below.)
h1. 24-Hour Mental Health Edmonton Distress Line = 1-800-232-7288
h2. 24-Hour Mental Health Edmonton Crisis Line = 1-800-342-7777
h3. Cold Lake Mental Health Crisis Help Line = 1-877-303-2642
h4. 24-Hour Alberta Health Link = 1-866-408-5465
h5. 24-Hour Kids Help Phone (also online chat) = http://kidshelpphone.ca or 1-800-668-6868
h6. 24-Hour Calgary Help Line (also online chat) = www.distresscentre.com or 1-403-266-4357
h7. Kids Help Info = www.help4me.ca
h8. Bullying Help Line = 1-888-456-2323
h9. www.yourlifecounts.org/need-help/crisis-lines = finding crisis lines across Canada and even other countries.
I) FINANCIAL / HOUSING AID
Unfortunately, one of the common issues of healing from childhood trauma and/or adulthood abuse is that it takes a huge toll on one’s mind, body, and spirit. This can result in such debilitating illness that one’s capacity to work is limited or even stopped – meaning it can be super hard to find help when you’re mentally/physically ill and cannot work! The following resources can help you connect with financial and housing aid.
i1. Alberta Supports (previously Alberta Works) = www.alberta.ca/alberta-supports.aspx
i2. Alberta Human Services = www.humanservices.alberta.ca/programs-and-services.html
i3. Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (through FCSS, free accounting) = www.cra-arc.gc.ca/volunteer
i4. Lakeland Low-Income Housing Program = www.lakelandfoundation.ca/Housing.html