What is Enmeshment?


Enmeshment is a concept in psychology and psychotherapy introduced by Salvador Minuchin (1921-2017) to describe families where personal boundaries are diffused, sub-systems undifferentiated, and over-concern for others leads to a loss of autonomous development.


Enmeshed in parental needs, trapped in a discrepant role function, a child may lose their capacity for self-direction; their own distinctiveness, under the weight of “psychic incest”; and, if family pressures increase, may end up becoming the identified patient or family scapegoat.

Enmeshment was also used by John Bradshaw to describe a state of cross-generational bonding within a family, whereby a child (normally of the opposite sex) becomes a surrogate spouse for their mother or father.

The term is sometimes applied to engulfing co-dependent relationships, where an unhealthy symbiosis is in existence.

For the toxically enmeshed child, the adult’s carried feelings may be the only ones they know, outweighing and eclipsing their own.

This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enmeshment >; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.

Book: Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges

Book Title:

Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges: A Guide to Life with Emotionally Complex Kids.

Author(s): Deborah Vlock.

Year: 2018.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Illustrated Edition.

Type(s): Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle.


Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges: A Guide to Life with Emotionally Complex Kids offers overwhelmed readers guidance, solidarity, and hope. The author, a “mental-health mom” who’s survived indignity, exhaustion, and the heartbreak of loving a child with multiple mental-health disorders, writes with frankness and occasional humour about the hardest parenting job on earth.

Drawing on her own experiences and those of other parents, plus tips from mental health professionals, Vlock suggests ways of parenting smarter, partnering better, and living more fully and less fearfully in the shadow of childhood psychiatric illness.

Addressing the many hurdles children and families must face, including life on the home front, school, friendships and relationships, and more, the book shows readers that they are not alone-and they are stronger than they think. With its combination of easily digestible, to-the-point suggestions, clear action items, and first-person parent/kid stories, its aim is to make mental-health parents feel stronger and better, while actively seeking positive outcomes for their kids and families.

With rates of mental health diagnoses among youth on the rise, this invaluable resource will help parents through the trying times with support, understanding, and guidance.

Erasing Family (2020)


In North America, over 25 million parents are being erased from their children’s lives after divorce and separation.

The Erasing Family documentary follows young adults fighting to reunite with their broken families.


This documentary exposes the failure of family courts to keep children from being used as a weapon after separation. Courts decision ends up completely erasing one parent causing severe emotional trauma to children.

Psychologist refer to extreme cases as parental alienation which is a form of Child Psychological

Essentially brainwashing and manipulating children by one parent to hate or despise the other parent.

This results in severe psychological damage based on scientific findings, including depression, low self esteem, drug abuse, and being alienated from own children and suicide.

Family court reform is badly needed as this is preventable pandemic affecting over 20 million children in the United States.

Happy endings are possible! The film ends with children and parents being reunited on screen and will inspire other kids to reach out to #erased parents, siblings and grandparents.

The film will show how programmes that encourage mediation and shared parenting which will prevent future childhood trauma, making divorce and separation less costly both financially and emotionally.


For those in the US, text HELP to (865)-4FAMILY between 8am-10pm ET to get emotional support if you are an erased kid or parent (not legal advice).

Find further information on the documentary @ https://erasingfamily.org/.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Ginger Gentile.
  • Producer(s):
    • Gabriel Balanovsky … producer.
    • Joe Barrow … associate producer.
    • Bernadette Bernstein … associate producer.
    • Elizabeth Bingham … associate producer.
    • Christina Campbell … associate producer.
    • Lisa Carle … associate producer.
    • Chad Cassiday … associate producer.
    • Chad Cassidy … associate producer.
    • Leslie Chambers … associate producer.
    • James Chance … associate producer.
    • Johanna Chua … associate producer.
    • Brian Conrad … associate producer.
    • Linda Conrad … associate producer.
    • Judy Cook … associate producer.
    • Frank DiMarco … associate producer.
    • Nancy Fein … associate producer.
    • Felicia Fox … associate producer.
    • Michael Fox … associate producer.
    • Jeffrey Gardere … co-producer.
    • Ginger Gentile … producer.
    • Christine Giancarlo … associate producer.
    • Jonathan Goodman … associate producer.
    • Joe Gorham … associate producer.
    • Michael Griffin … associate producer.
    • Kelly Gunn … associate producer.
    • Evie Hagist … associate producer.
    • Camilla Hall … producer.
    • Gail Hamilton … associate producer.
    • Lorne Hamilton … associate producer.
    • Emily Hastings … associate producer.
    • Helen Hazel … associate producer.
    • Uli Hesse … field producer.
    • Doug Hooks … associate producer.
    • Sandra Hooks … associate producer.
    • Henri Isenberg … associate producer.
    • Julie Janata … executive producer.
    • Michelle Jordan … associate producer.
    • Eddie Judge … associate producer.
    • Edward N. Judge … associate producer.
    • Tamra Judge … associate producer.
    • Brandy Koenig … associate producer.
    • Javier Lopez … associate producer.
    • Brian Ludmer … associate producer.
    • William B. Macomber … producer.
    • Denis McAteer … associate producer.
    • Kim McCord … associate producer.
    • Jeff Morgan … associate producer.
    • Erin O’Donnell … associate producer.
    • Margaret Olnek … associate producer.
    • Jennifer Peck … associate producer.
    • Jennifer Peters … associate producer.
    • Joseph Pietrafesa … associate producer.
    • Dorcy Pruter … associate producer.
    • Rebecca Reyes … line producer.
    • Don Saxton … associate producer.
    • Elvin N. Serrano … associate producer.
    • Robert Showers … associate producer.
    • Dave Slotter … associate producer.
    • Michelle Slotter … associate producer.
    • Krissy Smith … associate producer.
    • Joseph Sorge … associate producer.
    • Marah Strauch … executive producer.
    • Tamara Sweeney … associate producer.
    • David Tayani … associate producer.
    • Phillip Taylor … associate producer.
    • Tyler Thorne … associate producer.
    • Richard Tobin … associate producer.
    • Paul Trizonis … associate producer.
    • Kim Ully-McCord … associate producer.
    • Jodi Vest … associate producer.
    • Charles Anthony Ward … associate producer.
    • Carrie Weiss … associate producer.
    • Lila Yomtoob … line producer.
  • Writer(s): Blake Bruns (Voice Over Writer).
  • Music: Rafael Leloup.
  • Cinematography: Melanie Aronson, John Barnhardt, Jason Blalock, Ignacio Genzon, and Aimee Galicia Torres.
  • Editor(s): Sean Jarret.
  • Production:
  • Distributor(s): Glass House Distribution.
  • Release Date: 25 April 2020 (Internet).
  • Running Time: minutes.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

Deployment-Related Stress & Support Needs

Research Paper Title

“This is not your Life…and it becomes your Life”: A Qualitative Exploration of Deployment-related Stress and Support needs in National Guard and Reserve spouses who are Mothers of Young Children.


The adverse effects of deployment-related stress (DRS) on military service members, spouses, and children are well documented.

Findings from a recent Consensus Report on Military Families by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (2019) underscore the priority of gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity of today’s military families and their needs and well-being.

While social support is generally regarded as helpful during times of stress, it has not been studied extensively in National Guard/Reserve spouses who are parents of young children.


This qualitative study of 30 women examines the unique ways in which DRS affects women who are National Guard/Reserve spouses and mothers of young children, as well as the processes through which they encountered support to manage these stressors.

Salient themes spanned experiences involving deployment cycle phases of separation and reintegration and included both anticipated and unanticipated changes in family-related division of labour, dynamics, and communication patterns.

These were complicated by geographic, social, and cultural isolation and misguided efforts to support spouses initiated by civilians.


Women managed these stressors primarily through seeking, acquiring, and repurposing existing sources of informal social support for themselves and formal supports for their children, with varying degrees of success.


Ross, A.M., DeVoe, E.R., Steketee, G., Spencer, R. & Richter, M. (2020) “This is not your Life…and it becomes your Life”: A Qualitative Exploration of Deployment-related Stress and Support needs in National Guard and Reserve spouses who are Mothers of Young Children. Family Process. doi: 10.1111/famp.12622. Online ahead of print.

What is the Association between PTSD & Cancer?

Research Paper Title

Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms among Lithuanian Parents Raising Children with Cancer.


The study aims to evaluate post-traumatic stress symptom expression among Lithuanian parents raising children with cancer, including social, demographic, and medical factors, and to determine their significance for the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder.


The study was carried out in two major Lithuanian hospitals treating children with oncologic diseases. The cross-sectional study included 195 parents, out of which 151 were mothers (77.4%) and 44 were fathers (22.6%). Post-traumatic stress symptoms were assessed using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised. To collect the sociodemographic, childhood cancer, and treatment data, we developed a questionnaire that was completed by the parents. Main study results were obtained using multiple linear regression.


A total of 75.4% of parents caring for children with cancer had pronounced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The female gender (β = 0.83, p < 0.001) was associated with an increased manifestation of symptoms, whilst higher parental education (β = -0.21, p = 0.034) and the absence of relapse (β = -0.48, p < 0.001) of the child’s disease reduced post-traumatic stress symptom expression.


Obtained results confirmed that experiencing a child’s cancer diagnosis and treatment is extremely stressful for many parents. This event may lead to impaired mental health and increased post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) risk; hence, it is necessary to provide better support and assistance to parents of children with cancer.


Baniene, I. & Zemaitiene, N. (2020) Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms among Lithuanian Parents Raising Children with Cancer. Children (Basel, Switzerland). 7(9), pp.116. doi: 10.3390/children7090116.

International Friendship Day

International Friendship Day (also Friendship Day or Friend’s Day) is a day in several countries for celebrating friendship.

It was first proposed in 1958 in Paraguay as the “International Friendship Day”.

It was initially promoted by the greeting cards’ industry, with evidence from social networking sites suggesting a revival of interest in the holiday that may have grown with the spread of the Internet, particularly in India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. Mobile phones, digital communication and social media have contributed to popularise the custom.

Those who promote the holiday in South Asia attribute the tradition of dedicating a day in the honour of friends to have originated in the United States in 1935 but it actually dates back to 1919. The exchange of Friendship Day gifts like flowers, cards and wrist bands is a popular tradition on this occasion.

Friendship Day celebrations occur on different dates in different countries. The first World Friendship Day was proposed for 30 July in 1958, by the World Friendship Crusade. On 27 April 2011 the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as official International Friendship Day. However, some countries, like India, celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August. In Nepal, Friendship day is celebrated on 30 July each year. In Oberlin, Ohio, Friendship is celebrated on 09 April each year.


  • Argentina: 20 July.
  • Bolivia: 23 July.
  • Brazil: 20 July.
  • Colombia: Second Saturday of March.
  • Ecuador: 14 July.
  • Estonia: 14 February.
  • Finland: 14 February.
  • India: First Sunday of August.
  • Malaysia: First Sunday of August.
  • Mexico: 14 July.
  • Nepal: 30 July.
  • Pakistan: 19 July.
  • Spain: 30 July.
  • United States: 15 February.
  • Uruguay: 20 July.
  • Venezuela: 14 July.
  • Ukraine: 09 June.


Friendship Day was originated by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark cards in 1930, intended to be 02 August and a day when people celebrated their friendships by holiday celebrations. Friendship Day was promoted by the greeting card National Association during the 1920’s but met with consumer resistance – given that it was too obviously a commercial gimmick to promote greetings cards. In the 1940’s the number of Friendship Day cards available in the US by had dwindled and the holiday largely died out there. There is no evidence to date for its uptake in Europe; however, it has been kept alive and revitalised in Asia, where several countries have adopted it.

In honour of Friendship Day in 1998, Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations (UN). The event was co-sponsored by the UN Department of Public Information and Disney Enterprises, and was co-hosted by Kathy Lee Gifford.

Some friends acknowledge each other with exchanges of gifts and cards on this day. Friendship bands are very popular in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and parts of South America. With the advent of social networking sites, Friendship Day is also being celebrated online. The commercialisation of the Friendship Day celebrations has led to some dismissing it as a “marketing gimmick”. But nowadays it is celebrated on the first Sunday of August rather than 30 July. However, on 27 July 2011 the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly declared 30 July as “International Day of Friendship”.

The idea of a World Friendship Day was first proposed on 20 July 1958 by Dr. Ramon Artemio Bracho during a dinner with friends in Puerto Pinasco, a town on the River Paraguay about 200 miles north of Asuncion, Paraguay.

Out of this humble meeting of friends, the World Friendship Crusade was born. The World Friendship Crusade is a foundation that promotes friendship and fellowship among all human beings, regardless of race, colour or religion. Since then, 30 July has been faithfully celebrated as Friendship Day in Paraguay every year and has also been adopted by several other countries.

The World Friendship Crusade has lobbied the UN for many years to recognise 30 July as World Friendship Day and finally on 20 May, General Assembly of the United Nations decided to designate 30 July as the International Day of Friendship; and to invite all Member States to observe the International Day of Friendship in accordance with the culture and customs of their local, national and regional communities, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.

Book: When Someone You Know Has Depression

Book Title:

When Someone You Know Has Depression – Words to Say and Things to Do.

Author(s): Susan J Noonan M.D. MPH.

Year: 2016.

Edition: First (1ed).

Publisher: John Hopkins University Press (JHUP).

Type(s): Paperback, Audiobook, and Kindle.


Mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder can be devastating to the person who has the disorder and to his or her family. Depression and bipolar disorder affect every aspect of how a person functions, including their thoughts, feelings, actions, and relationships with other people. Family members and close friends are often the first to recognise the subtle changes and symptoms of depression. They are also the ones who provide daily support to their relative or friend, often at great personal cost. They need to know what to say or do to cope with the person’s impaired thinking and fluctuating moods.

In When Someone You Know Has Depression, Dr. Susan J. Noonan draws on first-hand experience of the illness and evidence-based medical information. As a physician she has treated, supported, and educated those living with – and those caring for – a person who has a mood disorder. She also has lived through the depths of her own mood disorder. Here, she has written a concise and practical guide to caring fevor someone who has depression or bipolar disorder. This compassionate book offers specific suggestions for what to say, how to encourage, and how to act around a loved one – as well as when to back off.

Dr Noonan describes effective communication strategies to use during episodes of depression and offers essential advice for finding appropriate professional help. She also explains how to reinforce progress made in therapy, how to model resilience skills, and how caregivers can and must care for themselves. Featuring tables and worksheets that convey information in an accessible way, as well as references, resources, and a glossary, this companion volume to Dr. Noonan’s patient-oriented Managing Your Depression is an invaluable handbook for readers navigating and working to improve the depression of someone close to them.

Book: Overcoming Addiction

Book Title:

Overcoming Addiction: Seven Imperfect Solutions and the End of America’s Greatest Epidemic.

Author(s): Gregory E. Pence.

Year: 2020.

Edition: First (1ed).

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Type(s): Hardcover and Kindle.


With an estimated 20 million people addicted to drugs or alcohol, North America is in the grip of an unrivalled epidemic. Overcoming Addiction reveals how seemingly contradictory treatment theories must come together to understand and end dangerous substance abuse.

Addiction treatment has become a billion-dollar industry based on innumerable clinical and psychological perspectives. Zealous clinicians and researchers have gathered around the theories, proclaiming each as the sole truth and excluding alternate views. In this book, leading bioethicist Gregory Pence demystifies seven foundational theories of addiction and addiction treatment. From Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous to methadone clinics and brain chemistry studies, each method holds foundation beliefs about human nature, free will, and biology. Understanding the diversity of these theories allows us to build a framework for more effective treatment for all addiction types.

For individuals suffering from addiction, their families, and those who devote their lives to ending addiction’s grasp on our society, this book offers a fresh perspective and a framework for long-term solutions.

Book: The Mindful Child

Book Title:

Mindful Child, The – How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate.

Author(s): Susan Kaiser Greenland.

Year: 2010.

Edition: First (1ed).

Publisher: Atria Books.

Type(s):Paperback, audiobook and Kindle.


The techniques of mindful awareness have helped millions of adults reduce stress in their lives. Now, children -who are under more pressure than ever before – can learn to protect themselves with these well-established methods adapted for their ages. Based on a programme affiliated with UCLA, The Mindful Child is a groundbreaking book, the first to show parents how to teach these transformative practices to their children.

Mindful awareness works by enabling you to pay closer attention to what is happening within you – your thoughts, feelings, and emotions – so you can better understand what is happening to you.

The Mindful Child extends the vast benefits of mindfulness training to children from four to eighteen years old with age-appropriate exercises, songs, games, and fables that Susan Kaiser Greenland has developed over more than a decade of teaching mindful awareness to kids.

These fun and friendly techniques build kids’ inner and outer awareness and attention, which positively affects their academic performance as well as their social and emotional skills, such as making friends, being compassionate and kind to others, and playing sports, while also providing tools to manage stress and to overcome specific challenges like insomnia, overeating, ADHD, hyper-perfectionism, anxiety, and chronic pain.

When children take a few moments before responding to stressful situations, they allow their own healthy inner compasses to click in and guide them to become more thoughtful, resilient, and empathetic.

The step-by-step process of mental training presented in The Mindful Child provides tools from which all children – and all families – will benefit.

Book: Dementia: Support for Family and Friends

Book Title:

Dementia: Support for Family and Friends

Author(s): Dave Pulsford and Rachel Thompson.

Year: 2019.

Edition: Second (2nd).

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


A comprehensive and practical guide to dementia, this book is essential reading for anyone who has a friend or relative with the condition.

This updated edition reflects new guidance on approaches to supporting people with dementia, focussing especially on the UK, and includes quotes from people with dementia as well as from family carers.

The book explores each stage of the journey people with dementia face and explains how it affects the person, as well as those around them both at home and in residential settings.

It shows how best to offer support and where to get professional and informal assistance.

Focussing on the progressive nature of dementia and the issues that can arise as a result, it gives practical advice that can help to ensure the best possible quality of life both for the person with dementia and the people around them.