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The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life
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The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 1st 1991 by Bantam (first published 1990)
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Dec 15, 2010 Nori rated it really liked it
I've learned that being my mother's best friend and confidante did a lot of damage to me that I didn't understand until now. Things I do and ways I react can be traced back to "Emotional Incest" between her and myself.
Aug 30, 2014 Krissy rated it really liked it
Emotional Incest is something not many people have heard of. It’s when a parent/guardian uses a child to fulfill their emotional needs. Something they should be seeking other adults for. Example: the parent that tells their child every aspect of their day in detail. Or the parent that complains about their problems to their kid. Even the parent that bad mouths their spouse to their kid. The parent in turn is not likely to give the same attention back to the child. It’s all about them. Sometimes ...more
Amy Greenblatt
Jul 11, 2011 Amy Greenblatt rated it it was ok
I started reading this book to help me get advice on how to to care for my eighty-two year old mother in a way that was compassionate and would give me a better perspective what a normal parent and child relationship should look like. When my father died four years ago and during three years preceding that, Mom began to rely on me more for doing chores and keeping her company which my father used to do. I was feeling a lot of strain about this not only because I work full time and was not gettin ...more
Sep 07, 2016 Kelley rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: survivors of parental abuse and violence; caretakers of parents
Shelves: nonfiction
Boy, this book brought a new level to my understanding, healing, and growth. Although the syndrome has a hard-to-swallow name--one that makes you go, EW!--, what is happening is definitely emotional incest: a parent has become WAY too emotionally involved with you, FAR surpassing normal parent/child bonds, and has no right to be doing that. I now have one more piece to my puzzle (and, as it turns out, my mom's).

Unlike other reviewers, I found the second half of the book to be as eye-opening as t
Aug 13, 2012 Norman rated it really liked it
A book with many helpful tips on how to bring a person back to center after being enmeshed (had an emotionally attached adult that dumped their needs and wants onto a child instead of another adult) with a parent. Helpful exercises on how to accept your parents, work things out with siblings and spouses, and come to terms with what happened then and now. Will definitely need to read again.
So far, amazing. It covers healthy relationships, family dynamics, different types of issues and so far is not only informative but corrective. I highly recommend to anyone who was raised with alcoholics, addictions of any kind, divorce, or a single parent.
Jan 05, 2009 Kyna rated it liked it
GREAT for anyone who needs to discover their family's dysfunction! If you feel like your parent's love, or their life, runs yours...this book is for you. However, the first half is better than the second half.
Oct 13, 2013 Tonya rated it really liked it
Helped me understand my childhood and avoid what I had experienced when I became a parent.
May 16, 2008 Katharine rated it it was amazing
Still reading. This books freaks me out in a good way.
Sep 11, 2016 Marlene rated it it was amazing
Not only The Emotional Incest Syndrome is written in a way that makes you feel protected and understood .
Not only Patricia Love shares her own story with the reader (which in my opinion was a very brave thing to do).
This book can help everyone. It's that good. From what a healthy family is to what went wrong in your childhood, and everything in between.
If you want to know what emotional incest is, how it affects a family system, why the cycle repeats itself...I highly recommend you read The Emot
Crystal Oros
Dec 09, 2015 Crystal Oros rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-illness
This book made me cry several times over and often at unexpected sections in the book. I have no words to describe how this book opened my mind & helped me find answers to questions Id been asking almost all my life and also helping me to love & forgive my family.
Lucille Zimmerman
Jul 18, 2016 Lucille Zimmerman rated it it was amazing
I read this book for a specific client I was working with. I found this book to be easily accesible; welll written and filled with examples. For the healthiest families to the most toxic, you will resonate with her stories.
Christine Jackson
Oct 20, 2012 Christine Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-discovery
Interesting take on how parents use children for emotional needs.
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“If the parent represses the girl's anger not just once but over and over again, a deeper injury occurs: the girl will eventually dismantle her anger response. Ultimately, it's safer for her to cut off a part of her being than to battle the person on whom her life depends.” 1 likes
“Psychotherapy isn't a twentieth-century artifice imposed on nature, but the reinstatement of a natural healing process.” 1 likes
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