Self-Publishing Book Spotlight: The Progression Tree by Wanda McGuire

Outskirts Press is constantly helping creators realize their greatest writing ambitions. Self-publishing a book is a huge task, so pardon us while we sing the praises of our independent authors in our weekly Self-Publishing Book Spotlight.

This week we’re proud to feature another of our self-published authors, Wanda McGuire, who gets personal — and quite professional — with The Progression Tree: Codependency, A Family Disease.

Outskirts Press self-published author Wanda McGuire leans heavily on her experiences as the wife of an alcoholic, undergraduate and post-graduate counselor training and nearly three decades’ work as an addiction counselor to help other women to a better life.

No stranger to the tribulations of addiction, Wanda was born to a couple who were fleeing a traditionally addictive lifestyle and she carried similar dysfunctional behaviors into her own life as she married a man who remained an active alcoholic for twenty-four years. After nine years in a Twelve Step program, three years in counseling and extensive training as a counselor, McGuire is now able to help others dig themselves out of similar situations.

The author presents her readers with the consolation of a true understanding that a woman connected to an addict is always teetering on the edge of failure, no matter what tactic she applies. McGuire also recognizes the sting of shame that accompanies chemically dependent families and she offers empathic, but realistic advice to her readers without ever hinting there will be any Cinderella quick fix to this kind of all-consuming codependency.

McGuire offers her own, now seasoned thoughts about this family disease and shares the healthier and more accurate version of the “stories” she herself has told about being married to an alcoholic. She also presents her class content as an addiction specialist for the Sacramento County Clinical Team which was designed to help others overcome the guilt and shame that pervades a codependent relationship. Other content in the book proceeds from the emotionally powerful women’s group discussions the author has led.
All of the offerings in this candid and valuable book are short, easy to read and, as the author says, as truthful as her perception provides.


Wanda L. McGuire was born in Franklin County, Ohio, to a couple who were fleeing a traditionally addictive lifestyle. Although they were unaware they had carried the same dysfunctional behaviors to their own union, it would be clear many years later that the birth of their daughter began, for her, a lifelong education in the family disease of addiction. Today Wanda has earned a California Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate, CADC II, and she has completed a Masters in Counseling Psychology, M.A. program at National University, Sacramento, California. She worked at inpatient, outpatient and drinking driver programs and then joined the Cal-Works Clinical team as a Senior Mental Health Counselor, Addiction Specialist, for the remainder of her career.

For more information about the author, visit

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