Claudia Black, PhD

Claudia Black, PhD 2017-11-29T22:07:05+00:00

Claudia Black, Ph. D. is the clinical architect and actively involved in the Claudia Black Young Adult Center at The Meadows. She works with the executive director and clinical director and their team assessing and enhancing the quality of the program. She is frequently on site speaking with clients and family members. She serves as a Senior Fellow and has been a clinical consultant at The Meadows Treatment Center in Arizona since 1998.

Claudia Black’s seminal work with children impacted by substance abuse in the late 1970s created the foundation for the adult child movement. Today Claudia is a renowned author and trainer internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders. She sits on the Advisory Board for the National Association of Children of Addiction, and the Advisory Committee for Camp Mariposa®, The Moyer Foundation’s national addiction prevention and mentoring program.

Claudia’ pioneering contributions are many:

  • She would be the first to name and coin the dysfunctional family rules, “Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel.”
  • She described the phenomena of delayed stress, emotional trauma, the child’s denial process, the phenomena of “looking good” kids as they relate to growing up with addiction, and hence the meaning and phraseology of  “Adult Child of Alcoholics”.
  • She utilized art therapy in the context of group work with young children that offered a model for children’s programs for the past three plus decades.
  • She broke the barrier and openly discussed physical and sexual abuse in the context of addictive families.


Claudia will be presenting on “Getting to Emotional Sobriety” :

As a child we were powerless but we are not powerless today. Recovery begins with breaking the Don’t Talk rule and a willingness in which to walk through the pain. To grow up with the dynamics of loss, be it from living with addiction, violence or simply unavailable parents creates a legacy of defenses created to fight internalized shame. Claudia will describe the underpinnings and consequences to shame-based beliefs. She will identify and explain shame screens such as victimization, perfectionism, rage, procrastination and control. Audience members will have the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences of abandonment, defenses, and actions that lead to emotional sobriety.