301 SelfWork: What Is Emotional Incest?
What’s emotional incest? (Please be aware that you could be triggered by this episode if abuse is in your past and I’ll share links to help lines.) It’s not the same as sexual incest – but can certainly cause its own type of damage. It falls within the dynamic of enmeshment but has its own definition and characteristics. Emotional incest is defined as a parent turning to a child to meet their emotional needs instead of having that relationship with an adult. We’ll talk about how it happens and how it’s so often missed since it can appear as if all is normal, when it’s not at all. And as always, we’ll focus on what you can do about it.
The listener voicemail is from someone who used what she called discipline to parent but her kids have some resentment toward her. We’ll talk about what she could do.
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International Sexual Abuse Hotlines
Sean Grover’s article in Psychology Today on Emotional Incest
Check out SelfWork Episode 62 on being overly close to your parent and Episode 224 on steps out of enmeshment
Dr. Pat Love’s book The Emotional Incest Syndrome
Don Miguel Ruiz’ book The Four Agreements
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