I have incestuous feelings in the family

I have incestuous feelings in the family

I have incestuous feelings in the family

I have incestuous feelings in the family 700 560 Paterakis Michalis
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Homophobic feelings

Incestuous feelings are a taboo subject that has been studied by psychoanalysts for years. These feelings refer to the attraction and desire that can occur between family members such as siblings, parents and children.

Despite the social and legal implications of these relationships, there is considerable interest in understanding the causes and effects of incestuous feelings. According to Sigmund Freud, the existence of prohibitions on sexual relations within the family can lead to the development of incestuous feelings.

In this article, we will delve into the complexity of incestuous emotions by exploring the psychoanalytic perspective, types of incestuous relationships, coping strategies and therapeutic approaches.

Definition and explanation

Incestuous feelings are a taboo subject that is not widely discussed in society because of the potential consequences that could result from acting on these feelings. Societal attitudes towards incestuous feelings are generally negative and are often considered a violation of moral and ethical boundaries.

The genetic implications of incestuous relationships are a major concern, as they can lead to the birth of children with birth defects. Cultural differences may also play a role in the development of incestuous feelings, as some cultures may have more permissive attitudes towards sexual behaviour within the family.

Coping mechanisms for individuals experiencing incestuous feelings can vary widely, but therapy and counselling are often recommended as a means of dealing with these complex emotions.

Psychoanalytic perspective

From a psychoanalytic perspective, the development of incestuous feelings is linked to the existence of imposed prohibitions on sexuality within the family. According to Sigmund Freud, children experience a phase of psychosexual development where they develop unconscious sexual desires for the parent of the opposite sex. This is known as the Oedipus complex in boys and the Electra complex in girls.

However, children also experience transference phenomena, where they transfer their feelings to other family members, leading to incestuous feelings.

Family dynamics and childhood trauma may also play a role in the development of these feelings. In dysfunctional families, where there is a lack of emotional connection or affection, children may seek intimacy and love from family members. This may lead to the development of incestuous emotions as a way of compensating for the lack of emotional attachment within the family unit. In addition, children who have experienced sexual abuse or trauma within the family may develop conflicting feelings of love and hate towards family members, leading to incestuous feelings.

Although these feelings may be taboo and socially unacceptable, they can be understood through the lens of psychoanalytic theory and addressed through therapy. It is important to acknowledge the existence of these feelings and provide support to individuals who may be struggling with them.

Prohibitions and taboos

The prohibitions and taboos surrounding incestuous feelings are important factors to consider in understanding their development from a psychoanalytic perspective. Fear and prohibition of sexual relations between family members create a complex dynamic within families that can lead to the development of incestuous feelings.

This is because the social norms and cultural implications around incest can create moral dilemmas and ethical concerns for those who experience these feelings.

The moral and ethical issues can be difficult to address. While some may argue that all sexual relations between family members should be prohibited because of potential power imbalances and emotional harm, others may view consensual relations between adult family members as a matter of personal choice.

Types of incestuous feelings

Incestuous fantasies may stem from a lack of emotional intimacy or a need for validation and affection within the family unit. They can also arise when there is a breakdown of family boundaries, such as when a parent becomes overly involved with their child or when siblings are raised in a highly sexual environment.

Coping mechanisms can play a key role in how individuals cope with their incestuous feelings. Some may choose to repress these desires, while others may choose to act on them, leading to potential harm to themselves or others. For many, seeking therapy is a viable option to process these feelings and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

However, social stigma can make it difficult for individuals to seek help, leading to prolonged emotional distress.

It is important to recognise and address these emotions in a safe and non-judgmental environment to minimise the potential harm caused to individuals and their families.

Father-daughter incest

Father-daughter incest is a type of incestuous relationship involving sexual or romantic feelings between a father and his daughter. This type of incestuous dynamic is considered the most common form of incest. It is often characterized by a power imbalance where the father has power over the daughter. The father may use this power to manipulate and control the daughter, making it difficult for her to refuse his advances.

The father-daughter dynamic is complex and can be influenced by a number of factors. Family secrets, such as abuse or neglect, can contribute to the development of an incestuous relationship. Reaction to trauma is also an important factor to consider, as victims of childhood sexual abuse may struggle with healthy relationships in adulthood. In addition, generational patterns may play a role in perpetuating incestuous relationships within families.

The consequences of father-daughter incest can be severe and long-lasting. Victims may experience feelings of shame, guilt and confusion, which can lead to emotional and psychological trauma. Secrecy and shame may make it difficult for them to seek help or disclose the abuse.

It is important for society to recognise and address the issue of incestuous relationships, particularly within families, in order to provide support and resources for victims.

Mother-son incest

Mother-son incest is a form of incestuous relationship involving sexual or romantic feelings between a mother and her son. The Oedipus complex, introduced by Sigmund Freud, helps explain the underlying psychological factors that contribute to this phenomenon. The Oedipus complex refers to the unconscious desire of the son to acquire his mother and replace his father, which is a natural part of human development.

However, when this desire becomes entrenched and persists into adulthood, it can lead to incestuous feelings and behaviour. Power dynamics and cultural norms also play a role in mother-son incest. A mother may use her role as caregiver and nurturer to manipulate and exploit her son, who may feel obligated to comply with her wishes because of the family bond.

In some cultures, maternal love and devotion are highly valued, which may normalize and justify incestuous behavior. In addition, the stigma surrounding incestuous relationships can lead to secrecy and shame, making it difficult for victims to seek help or report abuse. It is vital to recognize that mother-son incest is a form of sexual abuse and can have long-lasting psychological effects on the victim.

It is important that appropriate support is provided for those who have experienced this type of abuse. Addressing the underlying psychological factors and challenging the cultural norms that contribute to mother-son incest can help prevent future incidents and promote healthy family relationships.

Sibling incest

The prevalence and impact of sibling incest has not been well studied compared to other forms of incestuous relationships. However, it is not uncommon and can occur between same-sex or opposite-sex siblings or half-siblings. Sibling dynamics can play a key role in the development of incestuous feelings, especially when they are closely related and dependent on each other.

Social attitudes towards incest between siblings vary across cultural and geographical boundaries. In some cultures, it is considered taboo and can lead to social ostracism or even legal consequences. In other cultures, it is accepted or even encouraged, especially in royal families where marriages between siblings are common to maintain purity of lineage.

The genetic implications of sibling incest are significant, as there is a greater likelihood of genetic defects and disorders in offspring. However, family power dynamics may also play a role in the occurrence of sibling incest . For example, an older brother may exert power and influence over a younger brother, leading to a power imbalance in the relationship. In such cases, the younger sibling may feel coerced or pressured to engage in sexual acts with the older sibling.

Overall, incest between siblings is a complex phenomenon that requires further research and understanding. The impact of cultural differences, family power dynamics and societal attitudes on the occurrence and acceptance of sibling incest cannot be ignored. It is important to approach the issue with sensitivity and objectivity to better understand the underlying factors and prevent its occurrence.

Emotional and psychological impact

It is important to delve into the emotional and psychological impact of incestuous emotions within a family. It is vital to note that the impact on relationships can be significant and can lead to a breakdown in trust, respect and communication between family members. It can also lead to feelings of guilt, shame and anxiety, which can further strain family relationships.

The internal conflict arising from these feelings can lead to a distorted self-image, which can lead to low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness. This can also lead to difficulty in forming relationships outside the family, as well as difficulty in trusting others.

In addition, the social stigma surrounding incestuous feelings can lead to further emotional distress, as it can lead to feelings of isolation and shame. In addition, family dynamics can be greatly affected, leading to a breakdown in communication and trust between members.

Therapeutic approaches

Incestuous feelings within a family can be a difficult and complex phenomenon to manage. Therapeutic approaches are necessary to deal with these feelings. In this section, we will explore some of the therapeutic approaches that can be used to help individuals with incestuous feelings within their family.

Group therapy is one approach that has been found to be helpful. It provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences with others going through similar situations.

In addition, cognitive-behavioral therapy can be used to help individuals identify and change the negative thought patterns that contribute to incestuous feelings. It can help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms and learn skills to manage their thoughts and feelings.

Art therapy is another therapeutic approach that can help individuals explore their feelings in a non-verbal way. It can provide a safe outlet for individuals to express their feelings and explore their inner conflicts.

In addition, mindfulness meditation can be used to help individuals develop greater awareness of their thoughts and feelings and learn how to manage them in a healthy way.

Finally, family counseling can help family members communicate and understand each other’s views, develop healthy boundaries, and improve their relationships.

Overall, there are several therapeutic approaches that can be utilized to help individuals with incestuous feelings within their family.

Prevention and education

Prevention and education efforts regarding incestuous relationships should focus on addressing the underlying causes of these feelings and providing resources for individuals experiencing them.

Family dynamics play an important role in the development of incestuous feelings. Individuals who experience neglect or lack healthy boundaries and consensus within their family may be more vulnerable to developing inappropriate sexual or romantic feelings toward family members. Prevention efforts should focus on promoting healthy family dynamics, including open communication, respect for boundaries, and healthy expressions of love and affection.

Cultural attitudes towards sex and sexuality can also contribute to the development of incestuous feelings. Societies that stigmatise sex and have strict taboos around sexual expression may lead individuals to seek sexual experiences within their families, especially if they do not have access to other sexual partners. Education and awareness-raising campaigns should aim to destigmatise sexual expression and promote healthy sexual relationships outside the family.

Support networks and trauma prevention are also vital to prevent incestuous relationships. Individuals who experience trauma, such as sexual abuse or neglect, are more likely to develop inappropriate sexual or romantic feelings toward family members.

By addressing the root causes of incestuous feelings and providing resources for individuals experiencing them, we can work toward preventing these harmful relationships and promoting healthy family dynamics.

Frequently asked questions

How common are incestuous feelings within families?

Incestuous feelings within families are a social taboo because of the psychological effects and legal implications they can have. Family dynamics and treatment options play a key role in addressing these feelings, which are relatively rare but can have serious consequences.

Can incestuous feelings ever be acted upon without negative consequences?

Engaging in incestuous relationships can have serious moral, psychological and legal consequences due to the taboo and stigma surrounding it.

Is there a genetic predisposition to the development of incestuous feelings?

Research suggests that both nature and nurture may play a role in the development of incestuous feelings, with genetic and environmental factors contributing. The psychological implications, legal implications and therapeutic approaches make it a taboo subject.

How can one distinguish between normal familial love and incestuous feelings?

Differentiating between normal family love and incestuous feelings can be challenging due to social taboos and the complex nature of family dynamics. Psychological implications, legal implications and treatment options should be considered when addressing this issue.

Are there cultural or religious beliefs that condone or encourage incestuous relationships?

Incestuous relationships are universally condemned because of the moral implications, psychological consequences, legal implications and social stigma. Many cultures and religions have strict prohibitions against such relationships and historical examples show the harm they cause.


In conclusion, incestuous emotions are a complex issue that has been addressed by psychoanalysis for years. These feelings refer to the attraction and desire that can occur between family members and their existence can be attributed to the prohibitions of sexual relations within the family. Different types of incestuous feelings have different effects on individuals and may require different coping strategies and treatment approaches.

However, incestuous relationships are illegal in most societies and cultural considerations must also be taken into account. Prevention and education are vital to address this issue and promote healthy relationships within families. Overall, further research and discussion is needed to better understand and address the complex issues surrounding incestuous feelings.


The process of psychotherapy requires commitment, dedication and is addressed only to those who seriously see that they need to change their lives. If you are thinking of starting this journey, please call me at 211 71 51 801 to make an appointment and let’s see together how I can help you.

Mixalis Paterakis
Psychologist Psychotherapist
University of Indianapolis University of Middlesex
Karneadou 37, Kolonaki (next to Evangelismos)
I accept by appointment
Tel: 211 7151 801

    Πατεράκης Μιχάλης
    Ψυχολόγος Αθήνα


      Psychologist Athens