301 SelfWork: What Is Emotional Incest?

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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 (https://www.rainn.org/international-sexual-assault-resources)

Sean Grover's article in Psychology Today on Emotional Incest (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/when-kids-call-the-shots/202111/3-signs-you-may-have-suffered-childhood-emotional-incest)

Check out SelfWork  Episode 62 (https://drmargaretrutherford.com/062-selfwork-how-to-know-if-youre-too-close-to-your-child-or-your-parent/)  on being overly close to your parent and Episode 224 on steps out of enmeshment (https://drmargaretrutherford.com/224-selfwork-7-steps-out-of-enmeshment-and-into-a-more-solid-sense-of-self/)

Dr. Pat Love's book The Emotional Incest Syndrome (https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Incest-Syndrome-Parents-Rules/dp/055335275X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1662923281&sr=8-1)

Don Miguel Ruiz' book The Four Agreements (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/four-agreements-don-miguel-ruiz/1100993587)

You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/selfwork-dr.-margaret-rutherford/id1166015598?mt=2) . Subscribe to my website (https://drmargaretrutherford.com/) and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here (https://facebook.com/groups/SelfWork) and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression is available and you can order here! (http://perfectlyhiddendepression.com/) Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!

And there’s another way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!
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