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  • Autumn Quiles, LCSW

Emotional Incest

Okay... so this seems like a yucky title. The idea of incest is appalling to most people and so the idea of emotional incest is equally as disturbing. I get you. However, this book is FANTASTIC. Let me tell you why...

I have met a lot of parents (usually Moms) who had a difficult childhood. Many Moms carry a lot (A LOT) of shame and guilt into their adult lives that spills into their relationships with their children. These Moms call me because their kid is having trouble and we come to discover that, in fact, these Moms are unintentionally and unknowingly making similar choices to what their parents made.

In many cases, the child's problems come from an enmeshed relationship with their parent. This simply means that the feelings and needs of the parent and the child become too tightly woven together and there are few, or weak, personal boundaries between them. Solving the child's distress, helping him to feel confident and independent and capable, is very dependent on whether or not his parent is able to sort-out this enmeshment and put some healthy boundaries in place.

This is where the book comes in.

This book offers a lovely explanation for how enmeshment begins, how it plays out (what are the implications) AND it offers strategies for how parents can start setting healthy boundaries, not only with their child, but also with their partner and their OWN parents. It's one of my go-to titles for families who are looking for healthier family relationships. Even if the whole kit-and-caboodle doesn't match, there are still many good tidbits and tricks that can help you to understand how healthy families function. If you are a parent who wants to examine your family's dynamics, this is a fantastic place to start. Pickitup! :)

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