Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life” as Want to Read:
The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Emotional Incest Syndrome, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Emotional Incest Syndrome

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 475)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nori
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.
Krissy
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
Kelley
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
...more
Norman
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.
Stephanie
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.
Kyna
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.
Tonya
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.
Katharine
May 16, 2008 Katharine rated it it was amazing
Still reading. This books freaks me out in a good way.
Marlene
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
...more
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.
Nisha Mendonsa
Nisha Mendonsa marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2016
BookDB
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
Cyndi
Cyndi marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
Susana-Gabriela Garza
Susana-Gabriela Garza marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
Oswald
Oswald marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
Rachel
Rachel rated it it was ok
Sep 13, 2016
Ashbeelia
Ashbeelia marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2016
Evi L
Evi L marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2016
Darlene Zimmerman
Darlene Zimmerman rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2016
Sarah
Sarah marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2016
Joe
Joe marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2016
Brianna Zani
Brianna Zani marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2016
Kiki
Kiki marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
Lynn Gordner
Lynn Gordner marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2016
Joben
Joben added it
Aug 25, 2016
Manal  Marghalani
Manal Marghalani is currently reading it
Aug 23, 2016
Melvin Galloway
Melvin Galloway marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Silently Seduced: When Parents Make their Children Partners - Understanding Covert Incest
  • Adult Children of Abusive Parents
  • The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed
  • Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
  • Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents
  • Codependency for Dummies
  • Mothers Who Can't Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters
  • Father-Daughter Incest: With a New Afterword
  • The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred
  • Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self
  • Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
  • The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life
  • Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation: Skills Training for Patients and Therapists
  • Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?: Insights Into Personal Growth
  • When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life
  • Coping with Difficult People
  • Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential

Share This Book



“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
More quotes…