What Is Enmeshment Trauma and How Can You Heal From It?

You Never Have to Stay in the Same Place Forever

In this article we cover:

  • What Is Enmeshment Trauma?
  • Common Enmeshment Trauma Signs
  • How to Heal From This Type of Trauma

Published June 13, 2022

enmeshment trauma definition

What Is Enmeshment Trauma and How Can You Heal From It?

Enmeshment trauma is a type of emotional trauma that can occur when someone is constantly exposed to high levels of stress and emotional toxicity. This can happen in relationships where there is a lot of conflict, or in families where there is a history of abuse or neglect.

If you experience this type of trauma, you may find it hard to express your own needs and wants. You may also have trouble setting boundaries, and you may feel like you’re always walking on eggshells.

This trauma can be healed, but it takes time and effort. You may want to read books or talk to friends about your experiences. You can even explore your feelings with online guided journaling or find another creative outlet that lets you work through the trauma safely and effectively.

You don’t have to live with this trauma forever. Healing is possible, and you deserve to live a healthier, happier life on the other side of enmeshment trauma.


An Online Guided Journal

with an ever-growing catalog of guided journaling modules to maximize well being.

What Is Enmeshment?

Enmeshment is a term used to describe the unhealthy blurring of boundaries between two people. It is often seen in families, where one member feels overly responsible for another, or where there is an enmeshed relationship between a parent and child. Enmeshment can also occur in friendships and romantic relationships.

Enmeshment is different from healthy boundaries, where people have a clear sense of themselves and their own needs, and are able to relate to others in a respectful way. In enmeshment, there is often a power imbalance, with one person feeling more enmeshed than the other. This can lead to feelings of obligation, guilt, and resentment.

Enmeshment can be harmful to both parties involved. It can lead to codependency, where one person cannot function without the other. Enmeshment can also prevent people from developing a healthy sense of self, and from forming healthy relationships with others.

If you think you might be in an enmeshed relationship, it is important to seek help from a therapist or counselor. They can help you to develop healthy boundaries, and to learn how to relate to others in a healthier way.

Childhood trauma

Now… What Is Enmeshment Trauma?

Enmeshment trauma is a type of trauma that occurs when someone is closely enmeshed with another person or group. This can happen when there is a close emotional or physical relationship between two people, or when someone is part of a group that is very close-knit. Enmeshment trauma can occur in families, relationships, and even in work environments.

This type of trauma can cause a person to feel isolated, alone, and disconnected from others. It can also lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. This type of trauma is often the result of an unhealthy or abusive relationship. If this sounds similar to your situation, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. Treatment can help you heal from the trauma and learn to develop healthy relationships.

enmeshment trauma signs

Common Enmeshment Trauma Signs

There are signs of this type of trauma everywhere if you know what to look for. Some of the most common signs of enmeshment trauma occurring that you may even notice in your own life are:

  • A constant feeling of being on edge or “walking on eggshells” around a certain person or certain people
  • A sense of being trapped or suffocated by the relationship
  • A fear of abandonment or rejection
  • A need for approval and validation from the other person
  • Difficulty expressing oneself freely and openly
  • Difficulty asserting oneself or setting boundaries
  • A lack of privacy or personal space
  • A feeling of being emotionally or mentally enmeshed with the other person
  • A loss of a sense of self or identity in the relationship
  • Codependency, whether in friendship or relationship

How Does This Trauma Impact One’s Life?

Enmeshment trauma is a type of psychological trauma that can occur when people are excessively enmeshed in close relationships. This can happen when boundaries are blurred or non-existent, and people become overly dependent on each other for emotional support.

This trauma can lead to a number of negative consequences in a person’s life, including difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships, feeling trapped and suffocated, and having low self-esteem. If enmeshment trauma is not addressed, it can cause significant problems in a person’s life and lead to further psychological difficulties. Unaddressed, it might surface in your life via:

  • Low self-esteem or low self-worth. Because approval comes from someone else or from anyone but the self, low self-esteem is incredibly common amongst those that suffer from enmeshment trauma
  • Avoidant of conflict. Disagreeing or objecting to another person is not considered “safe” to someone who struggles with this type of trauma. Therefore, an individual may avoid any kind of conflict, no matter the cost or vital energy spent in doing so.
  • Unhealthy relationships. We often attract people who mirror our parent’s patterns and behaviors. Thus, if your parents were smothering, abusive, or chronically demonstrated extreme emotional demands, then it’s likely that the relationships you form as an adult will have similar traits or patterns.
healing from enmeshment trauma

How to Heal From Enmeshment Trauma

If you’ve experienced enmeshment trauma, it’s important to start the healing process as soon as possible. It can have a lasting impact on your mental and emotional well-being, so it’s crucial to get help from a professional if you’re struggling to cope. Here are some tips for how to heal from enmeshment trauma:

  • Seek professional help. If you’re struggling to cope with enmeshment trauma, it’s important to seek professional help. A therapist can provide you with support and guidance as you work through your healing process.
  • Talk about your experiences. Talking about your experiences with enmeshment trauma can be helpful in the healing process. When you talk about what you’re going through, it can help to validate your experiences and make them feel more real.
  • Identify your feelings. It’s important to identify your feelings related to enmeshment trauma. This can help you to better understand what you’re going through and begin to work through your emotions.
  • Develop a support system. A supportive group of family and friends can be helpful as you heal from enmeshment trauma. These people can offer you emotional support and help you to feel connected.
  • Take care of yourself. When you’re healing from enmeshment trauma, it’s important to take care of yourself. This includes getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. These self-care activities can help you to feel better physically and emotionally.
celebrating life

You Never Have to Stay in the Same Place Forever

If you’re living with enmeshment trauma, you may feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of pain. But it’s important to remember that you don’t have to stay in the same place forever. There is hope for healing and healthy relationships.

With the right help, you can begin to heal from enmeshment trauma and move on to a healthy, happy life.