Understanding and Treating Enmeshment in Families

CE Hours: 6.0
Instructor: C. Wayne Jones, PhD

Friday, 2/1/19, WellSpan Philhaven, Mount Gretna, PA
Friday, 2/8/19, PA Counseling Services, Lebanon, PA
Thursday, 2/21/19, Merakey, Colmar, PA

Family structure refers to the way family members organize their relationships with respect to boundaries, close-distance, and power. Children’s presenting problems are best understood and treated in the context of their family’s structure.  Enmeshment is one of four structural patterns most associated with serious emotional disturbance in children. This workshop describes the characteristics of enmeshment and how this interactional pattern shapes children’s development of social-emotional competencies and their response to treatment. Treatment guidelines are highlighted, as well as common clinical traps therapists are likely to encounter when working with enmeshed relational patterns.

Learning Objectives:

By attending this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Differentiate enmeshment from authoritarian, under-organized, and embattled structural patterns
  2. Identify four basic emotional competencies and how enmeshment impacts their development.
  3. Recognize the markers of enmeshed parenting and family organization
  4. Identify the primary focus of treatment when working with enmeshment
  5. Recognize four maladaptive strategies commonly used to minimize conflict
  6. Describe common clinical traps when working with enmeshment

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