About Interpersonal Enmeshment

        This term means two or more people who don't have clear iden-tities and boundaries (limits) that separate one person from the other. Thus an enmeshed person can't distinguish the difference between my needs, feelings, opinions, and priorities and yours. This condition sug-gests both people survived a low-nurturance childhood and have signif-icant psychjological wounds.

        Enmeshment ranges from mild to extreme. It is the opposite of two people being independent - meaning neither has a strong bond with (emotional attachment to) the other. A middle option is an inter-dependent relationship, where each person has a clear, stable identity and personal boundaries, and a healthy bond with the other. These promote relating together as co-equal partners out of conscious choice, vs. unconscious compulsion ("I can't live without you!")

        Two adults ("Nina and Jose are joined at the hip"), a parent and a minor or grown child ("Mel's a Momma's Boy"), two children ("The twins are inseparable") or whole families may be enmeshed. Some people feel enmeshment is the same as codependence. Personal identities and boundaries can be intentionally clarified and strengthen-ed by self-motivated "parts work" which is half of Lesson 1 here. 

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