An abused individual can attain emancipation and self empowerment with patience, perseverance, and self awareness.
According to Debra L. Kaplan, MA, LPC, an intensive out-patient counselor specializing in emotional incest recovery, the process of recovery is five-fold:
- Identify the family of origin and the particular family dynamics involved
- Recognize any patterns of emotional incest between caregivers and the abused individual
- Learn to set boundaries with that parent. In the case of a deceased caregiver work with a therapist who can help facilitate empty chair work or another experientially based modality for grief and loss
- Acknowledge any feelings of abandonment as a result of the emotional incest
- Work toward individuation and separation by learning to reparent the self (Inner child work)
Kaplan notes that journeying from wounded child to healthy adult does not occur in isolation. In addition to therapy, individuals should enlist the help of spouses in working through unresolved abuse. Kaplan also says “much support can be gained by working with the issues as they arise while in relationship. Sharing of one’s experiences can be mutually healing within the context of a support group or among other healthy interactions.”