The Emotional Incest Syndrome

By Patricia Love,

Book cover of The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to Do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life

Book description

From Dr. Patricia Love, a ground-breaking work that identifies, explores and treats the harmful effects that emotionally and psychologically invasive parents have on their children, and provides a program for overcoming the chronic problems that can result.

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Emotional Incest Syndrome as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Although this book isn’t about suicide, I include it because families with mental health issues, often exacerbated by the “anything goes” ethos of hippy culture, can suffer from confused or “enmeshed” parent/child boundaries. It was one of the first, and I think best self-help books I ever read. With great clarity, it showed me what was destructive in my family of origin. Enmeshment or “parentification,” basically using a child to meet the emotional needs of an adult, is not widely understood and often goes undetected (versus more obvious physical or sexual abuse).

Dr. Love’s book gave me straightforward guidelines for…

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