Pathological enmeshment refers to a dysfunctional and excessive emotional attachment between two individuals, typically a parent and child, that can interfere with healthy individual development and adult relationships.
Treatment for pathological enmeshment usually involves a combination of individual and family therapy. The goal of therapy is to help individuals recognize and separate their own identities from the enmeshed relationship, and to establish healthy boundaries between themselves and others. Here are some potential treatment strategies:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This therapy can help individuals recognize and challenge negative thought patterns that may be contributing to the enmeshment. CBT can also help individuals learn how to set boundaries and establish healthy relationships.
- Family therapy: In family therapy, the entire family can work together to identify unhealthy patterns and learn new ways of communicating and interacting. Family therapy can also help to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the enmeshment.
- Emotionally-focused therapy (EFT): This therapy focuses on identifying and regulating emotions in order to establish more positive and healthy relationships. EFT can help individuals learn how to express their emotions in a healthy way and establish better communication with their loved ones.
- Group therapy: Joining a support group can be helpful for individuals who are struggling with enmeshment. Group therapy can provide a safe space to share experiences and learn from others who may be going through similar challenges.
It’s important to note that treatment for pathological enmeshment can be a long and challenging process, but with the help of a qualified therapist, individuals can learn to establish healthy boundaries and relationships.
© Linda C J Turner