Home > Professionals > Parental Alienation: Consequences of a Divorced Society. Looking for Answers

Parental Alienation: Consequences of a Divorced Society. Looking for Answers

Parental Alienation: Looking for Answers  by Monika Logan

Parental Alienation is when a parent turns a child against the other parent. Wait—it gets worse. The child plays a role as well; the child over time will contribute to hateful antics for a once loved parent. As a warning, Parental Alienation does not only occur in divorced families, but also may take place in intact families. The majority of cases occur after a bitter divorce. The divorce is often one that the alienating parent did not want to endure. Consequently, the parent that was served the papers is at an impasse. They are lonely, angry and want revenge. Feeling hopeless and helpless they attempt to settle the score by aligning himself or herself with their child. Considering that marriages do not last, professionals should educate themselves on the perils of Parental Alienation.

The alignment that takes place in parental alienation is unyielding. Yet, it is anything but a normal parent-child bond. Various factors will strengthen the alignment. If the child’s interests, temperament and disposition are closer to the alienating parent, the other parent may end up losing a relationship. Boundaries are blurred and friendships are formed. The parent becomes the child’s new “BFF” (best friend forever). The alienated parent may have no idea why their child is full of anger, spite, and employs language beyond their years. They also feel helpless and wonder what to do about the utter disrespect that they endure. Alienated parents also worry endlessly about the values their child was once taught. Alienated parents’ remain curious as why his or her ex-spouse decides to discard all the good that was imparted to the child when they were an intact couple.

Parents additionally question why an ex-spouse would start a campaign of denigration. They are in awe that their child is used as a pawn.  To contribute to possible therapeutic options, Gestalt therapy might offer some insight. According to the Gestalt approach, “the past will make regular appearances in the present moment.” The approach is also phenomenological and based on the premise that people must be understood in the context of their ongoing relationship with the environment. For the parent left behind, their view is that their environment screwed them, life is unfair and they must seek revenge to savor their ego and rid internal conflict. They will stop at nothing, even at the expense of an innocent child. Freud might postulate that they are all ID.  Gestalt theory also posits that individuals have unfinished business. Unfinished business is when figures emerge from the background but are not completed nor resolved. Clearly, one of these figures may be an ex-spouse and a broken relationship. The feelings go unexpressed and will manifest as resentment, rage, hatred, pain anxiety, grief, guilt, and abandonment.

For the deserted parent they will seek to fill this void of unfinished business. They will buddy up with their child and verbally terrorize his or ex-spouse and poison the mind of their child. As the norm, the parent that perpetuates Parental Alienation, does not seek therapy; they do not believe that they have a problem. Consequently, their emotional debris goes unacknowledged. Their present-centered awareness is cluttered and their child is becoming brainwashed. While Gestalt therapy allows one possible lens to view the sickness of parental alienation, it is unlikely that the alienating parent will care how they are thinking, feeling, and doing. 

Currently, many helping professionals do not acknowledge the danger of Parental Alienation. It is not deemed treatment worthy. However, due to the divorce rate, especially vitriolic divorces, Parental Alienation should capture the attention of every helping professional. The notion that it is junk science should be discarded. Women’s groups should also realize that men too are capable of alienating. Parental Alienation is not biased but it is destructive. The mental abuse of innocent children will continue to occur while innocent parents’ live with worry. Continuing to deny Parental Alienation is harmful to children and families. Just one social networking site alone (facebook) has over 900 members . Individual members are from all around the world; seeking help, searching for children and desiring acknowledgment of PA. Rather than searching for fault-finding and debating treatment options, much can be learned from Person Centered Therapy.

Empathy is a key term in Person- Centered Therapy. When it comes to Parental Alienation, Carl Rogers core conditions should be embraced by those in helping positions.  I disagree with Rogers notion that we are all innately good and are in pursuit of truth and social responsiveness however; Rogers focus on empathy is desirable for alienated parents. Empathy is not sympathy. Empathy is a deep and subjective understanding of the client with the client. Sure, empathy will not change that one’s child is alienated from him or her. Insight and understanding are not equal to change; nor will insight enforce court orders.

The fact is that the alienated parent may never have a restored relationship. Some may lose a child for months, years, or permanently. Parent’s are in emotional pain.  “A chief culprit of this pain from the parent’s point of view—apart from the loss of the child—is that of being blamed for the rejection of the child.” (Baker & Andre, 2008). The parents are also in a constant state of worry.   The child may continue to live in an unhealthy enmeshed adult-like relationship, in which all the other parent can do is sit back and watch.  However, when alienated parents are understood, healing can begin. “If the person does not feel understood and accepted, he or she may lose hope of returning to normal and may not seek help in the future. Genuine support, caring, and nonpossessive warmth can go a long way in building bridges that can motivate people to do something to work through and resolve a crisis” (Corey, 2009).

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Categories: Professionals
  1. January 25, 2010 at 2:39 AM

    I agree that the worst thing that parents can do to the children is start a campaign against the other parent. It is the adults responsibility to keep their emotions under control and be their for their children’s emotional needs. To get a look at the emotions people should be aware of have a look at http://www.simpledivorceadvice.com/divorce-emotions. Children are having enough of a hard time without becoming a pawn in the divorce game.

  2. GOOD DAD
    January 25, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    In the 221st State District Court of Montgomery Co, TX, Judge Suzanne Stovall massacred me in a 3¼ year custody battle for my, now, 6½ y/o daughter.
    Convicted child molesters have more access to their children than I do.
    Calls, letters, & gifts are intercepted, & I have no visitation.
    The mother secreted her 2mo & 14mo old babies, 1200 miles from their father, & for 15½ years, her family prevented all contact.
    The mother’s 18 year history & pattern of hostility, alienation, & medical mistreatment was well known to evaluating psychologist Dr Edward G Silverman, therapist Theresa Burbank, ad litem Lynn T Coleman, the attorneys, et.al.
    Despite months of exams & x-rays by pediatricians & specialists, for a real & progressing condition, & prescribing increasingly invasive treatment, the mother, Edward G Silverman, Theresa Burbank, Lynn Coleman, Elaine Baggerley of CPS, & Judge Suzanne Stovall, refused to believe the diagnosis of the medical professionals & necessity for treatment.
    Even after several of them spoke with the medical professionals, & were provided the records, they all persisted in their false beliefs despite the invalidating evidence.
    A specialist repeatedly requested the mother & Lynn Coleman, attend the appointments, but despite weeks of advance notice they refused.
    Even with the mother’s sworn statements of medically abusing/neglecting our daughter & with the doctors corroborating records of her mistreatment, Judge Suzanne Stovall took my daughter from me & placed her into the mother’s sole custody.
    Symptoms have persisted, but her condition is withheld.
    Since infancy, the mother has secreted our daughter to doctors, & medically mistreated her.
    For at least 15 months, the mother yo-yoed our daughter on steroids.
    She has deliberately neglected her dental care.
    The mother has a history & pattern of medically mistreating her other children with steroids, psychiatric drugs, numerous prescriptions & OTC medicines, & they have had significant dental issues due to her neglect.
    http://www.courthouseforum.com
    Judge Suzanne Stovall signed a Final Decree to remove me from my daughter, without a trial, without my signature, without my lawyer’s signature, & without compelling the mother’s (plaintiff) discovery.
    Despite 3 years of Hearings, Rule 11’s, hundreds of emails/letters/conversations, Judge Suzanne Stovall refused to compel the mother’s discovery, yet granted years of continuances because her discovery was incomplete; including continuing a preferentially set trial.
    All knew how devastating her discovery would be & Judge Suzanne Stovall refused to compel.
    Judge Suzanne Stovall inconsistently ruled on motions, laws, or rules to favor the mother.
    My lawyers complained that she favored the mother.
    Judge Suzanne Stovall ignored the overwhelming certified/certifiable evidence of violence/hostility/aggression/abuse by the mother, her family, & her friends.
    Judge Suzanne Stovall disregarded 3+ years & 300+ exhibited provable charges of Contempt against the mother, including failure to pay child support, interfering with child custody, & worse.
    It required my lawyer’s written threat of a Writ of Habeas Corpus for the mother to surrender our daughter to me.
    I paid the jury fee, & for 3 years, pleaded, in vain, for a trial or in some way, to present a case.
    Judge Suzanne Stovall punished me with over 20% plus $100, monthly child support.
    CISD records, depositions, sworn statements, & other Certified/Certifiable evidence revealed a home with an AGGRAVATED SEXUAL ASSAULT FELON, wrist CUTTING, daily VIOLENCE, runaway teen, destruction, criminals, drug abuse (METH, COCAINE, XANAX, OXYCOTIN, etc), many police visits & a SEARCH WARRANT confiscated drug paraphernalia, probation violations, multiple sex partners, suspensions for drugs & violence, burglary, vandalism, shootings, disease, fighting, screaming, profanity, pornography (incl BEASTIALITY), boys/men sleeping over, my daughter sleeping at men’s homes, being taught obscene language & gestures, & so much more.
    Aggravated perjury, forged letters, falsified evidence, unsupported/inconsistent/unchallenged false accusations, by the mother, CPS, et al., outweighed exhaustive undisputed facts, certified evidence, sworn statements, & objective/testable/verifiable documentation, disproving the accusations, & proving neglect/ abuse by the mother.
    With the knowledge &/or support of Dr Edward G Silverman, Lynn T Coleman, Theresa Burbank, & Elaine Baggerley, the mother has so thwarted my daughter’s education that, in Kindergarten, at 6½ y/o, she is below District Guidelines.
    At 4 y/o my daughter could count to 29, count to 100 by tens, write her name, recognize most letters, tie her shoes, play checkers, had her own computer with games, play card games, & much more.
    At 6+ y/o, she could do none of those, & now she requires special attention, & is a behavioral problem.
    Well known to Edward G Silverman, Lynn Coleman, & Theresa Burbank, the mother provided & reared her young children on GRAPHICALLY SEXUALLY VIOLENT entertainment & since infancy has repeatedly exposed my daughter to the same.
    Well known to Edward G Silverman, Theresa Burbank, Lynn Coleman, CPS, & several Montgomery Co Courts & Probation, the mother’s other children became violent, drug abusing criminals, who attended alternative high schools & exposed my daughter to drugs & diseases.
    On their first meeting, Elaine Baggerley of CPS began diagnosing my daughter as ADHD, & more.
    20 months of Theresa Burbank’s therapy & the mother’s sole parenting have resulted in my daughter being referred to a psychiatrist.
    http://local.yahoo.com/info-19096883-teresa-burbank-pc-conroe
    The mother’s family & friends have threatened me at my home & away, & my property has been vandalized.
    I have received harassing, obscene, & middle of the night phone calls.
    The well paid, well insured mother has lived rent & utilities free for 3½ years, but claims to be deep in debt from undisclosed medical expenses.
    The mother has committed tax, CHIPs, Medicaid, & insurance fraud at least since 2003.
    Threats, violence, drugs, promiscuity, crime, lying, etc is normal to the mother and her children.
    I have neither a history of, nor is there any evidence that I have ever been violent, destructive, abusive, hostile, etc.
    My increasing debt exceeds twice my gross annual income.
    Fees & expenses have exceeded 4 times my gross annual income.
    I have recorded nearly every contact with the mother, CPS, ad litem, & many others.
    I will be presenting this case to the Texas: Bar, Commission on Judicial Conduct, Attorneys General, Appellate Courts, Supreme Court, Board of Examiners of Psychologists, TDFPS, etc. & will include:
    medical & doctors records of years of mistreatment
    CPS reports of violence, drugs, medical mistreatment, etc
    psychological evaluations include lying, abuse, etc
    depositions of lying, violence, drug abuse, sex, etc
    CISD records of violence, drugs, sex, etc
    police reports of violence, drugs, shootings, etc
    myspace of violence, drug abuse, sex, pornography, etc
    emails to/from the: ad litem, psychologist, therapist
    I have always loved & wanted my daughter & always will, & I will never, ever, ever give up trying to rescue her.
    Judge Suzanne Stovall: Please right your injustice & return my daughter.

  3. January 30, 2010 at 12:55 AM

    As much as I can understand right now, I think you’re right!

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