ERIC Number: ED350537
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Discovering Father-Daughter Incest as an Internal Depiction of Family Trauma.
The ramifications of father-daughter incest for both the victim and the entire family has been gaining well-deserved attention in recent years. Discovery of incest while it is occurring affords the opportunity to treat the family and individuals involved at the point of greatest potential impact. Certain characteristics of incestuous families have been identified, such as marital discord, a rigid boundary between the family and the outside world, and an intergenerational pattern of abuse. Individual therapy can be useful at various points in the family treatment of incest. Each parent can be helped to look more deeply at their individual dynamics and to reintegrate their split-off parts. The child victim should certainly be provided with individual therapy since she has internalized the dysfunctional family relationships, as well as experiencing the abuse. Overall, the family treatment of father-daughter incest must include an acknowledgment of the systematic patterns which set the stage for the abuse, as well as recognition that the internalized split-off parts in individuals represent various aspects of family trauma. The therapist must understand that the family patterns in abuse are internalized then recreated through mutual projective identification in the marital pair, and in the triangulation of the victim into that relationship. It is only when both the internal and external family patterns are exposed and reintegrated that the incestuous pattern can be arrested and the trauma healed. (Contains 28 references.) (ABL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association (Philadelphia, PA, April 1992).