Q & A – What is pathological enmeshment?

Pathological enmeshment refers to a dysfunctional or unhealthy level of emotional closeness and dependence between individuals, often within a family or close relationship. It is characterized by blurred boundaries, a lack of individual autonomy, and an excessive degree of emotional fusion.

In a pathologically enmeshed relationship, individuals may have difficulty distinguishing their own thoughts, feelings, and desires from those of others. They may have a strong need for approval and validation from the enmeshed person or group, leading to a diminished sense of self. The enmeshed individuals may feel a sense of responsibility for each other’s emotions, actions, and well-being, often sacrificing their own needs and identities in the process.

Pathological enmeshment can have various negative effects on individuals isoinvolved. It can hinder personal growth, autonomy, and healthy emotional development. Enmeshed individuals may struggle with establishing healthy boundaries, making decisions independently, and forming their own identities. It can also lead to emotional manipulation, control, and codependency within the relationship.

It is important to note that enmeshment exists on a spectrum, and not all close relationships are pathological. Healthy relationships involve a balance of individuality and emotional closeness, where each person maintains their own identity while also supporting and caring for each other. Pathological enmeshment refers to an extreme and dysfunctional form of this closeness.

Therapy and counseling can be beneficial for individuals involved in pathologically enmeshed relationships. It can help them develop healthy boundaries, improve self-awareness, and establish a sense of personal autonomy.

© Linda C J Turner

By Linda C J Turner

Coaching and Therapy
Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy.
Qualified NLP, EMDR and CBT therapist.
REIKI Master.
I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

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