TRANSFORM your LIFE and save your children with the motivation, knowledge, and emotional support needed to take the right actions to gain control over the traumatic family crisis of Parental Alienation. It doesn't have to end that way. This is the Boston-based, national online group!
CoParenting With a Toxic Ex with Amy Baker (Hosts: Rebecca Zung and Susan Guthrie)CoParenting With a Toxic Ex with Amy Baker (Hosts: Rebecca Zung and Susan Guthrie) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNCUeQJLXUk) Attorney Rebecca Zung's YouTube Channel - Narcissistic Abuse, Negotiate Your Best Life 30 videos 6,000 Subscribers 120,000 views
GREAT NEW BOOK! Short and easy to read, loaded with great guidance on what to teach your children, "Parenting with a Toxic Partner: Helping Our Kids Survive and Thrive Amidst Emotional Abuse" by Renee Swanson $10 on Amazon_________________________________________________________________________
CoParenting With a Toxic Ex with Amy Baker (Hosts: Rebecca Zung and Susan Guthrie) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNCUeQJLXUk) Attorney Rebecca Zung's YouTube Channel - Narcissistic Abuse, Negotiate Your Best Life 30 videos 6,000 Subscribers 120,000 views
Parental Alienation Study Group, Inc., (PASG) 60+ Videos!PASG members are also interested in developing and promoting research on the causes, evaluation, prevention, and treatment of parental alienation.
This online Parental Alienation Meetup welcomes Mothers / Fathers / Grandparents (and their supportive family and friends) with children of all ages. About 60% of the attending parents have children 18+ (legally adults no longer bound to custody) and 40% with children under 17 and under.
DISCLAIMER: All content is psychoeducational and not providing mental health therapy or legal advice. You should seek licensed professionals in those fields making any decisions or taking any action.
These sessions offer you:
1. Reduce common feelings of isolation ... parental alienation is more common than many people realize and you are NOT at fault!
2. You can learn about the personality disorders that alienators nearly always have, and how accepting that is the first step to your ability to counter the effects of their alienating behaviors (but be sure not to use the personality disorder label - it makes things worse).
3. Learn about and have empathy for your children's perspective (they are survival mode, just as you would be if you were under the same pressures they are) so you don't react aggressively to your children's hurtful, denigrating behavior towards you.
4. Learn some techniques that will help the children - to keep building a foundation for reunification, this helps you cope and to feel worthy of love (which alienators do not have the psychological capacity to do).
I have many new parents in every meeting. Parental Alienation is a relatively rare problem affecting 1% - 3% of children (it's hard to measure). If not addressed, the children at high risk for very poor health outcomes. Devastatingly, there is very low awareness and the alienators manipulate the courts and many mental health professionals who may make the situation worse. Also, there is widespread experience and research that will tell you why you should NOT take your children to therapy for the purpose of "reunification" with you (despite some therapists who mistakenly think they can. Like many aspects of parental alienation, this is very counterintuitive, like many aspects you will need to learn.
INFORMATION: "Adult children of parental Alienation: Breaking the Ties that Bind", by Amy J. L. Baker 2007 A study of 40 Adults who were alienated as children (ages at the time of interview range 19-63), their mothers were the alienators for 34 of those surveyed and 6 had father alienators. Page 212: These "Summary and Discussion comments" can inspire your actions to save your children:
1. Many of the adult children felt the targeted parent should have done more to fight for the relationship and prevent alienation.
2. Many felt that the targeted parent was too naive and trusting and generally unaware of the motives of the alienating parents.
3. They felt hurt and angry when the targeted parent finally gave up trying to have a relationship.No matter how adamant they had been that they wanted nothing to do with the targeted parent, they were still shocked when the parent respected their choice and walked away. This was usually experienced as rejection.
4. When their alienated parent did not call or write or send presents, this also hurt, especially because the alienating parents took full advantage of any lapse on the part of the targeted parent. The adult children had resented being put in the position of having to defend someone (the targeted parent) who provided "ammunition" to the alienating parent.
5. Even though they understood that their alienating parent would probably belittle any cards or letters sent and would restrict all attempts at contact, they still wanted the targeted parent to continue to send cards and letters.
6. A corollary point is that the adult children did not feel that the targeted parent should have believed or responded to their child's rejection.
7. Regardless of how adamant they had been that they wanted nothing to do with the targeted parent, they still did not want the targeted parent to accept that at face value.
8. They expressed the belief that the targeted parent should have seen that the children were puppets, merely mouthing the words and performing the behaviors that they learned in order to maintain the relationship with the alienating parent. In essence, they were asking the targeted parent to act as if there were 2 children: the alienating child going through the motions of the alienation AND the child who loved the targeted parent and never wanted to lose that relationship.
9. The alienating parents were perceived as ruthless and utterly determined to undermine the relationship between them and the targeted parent. Thus, many felt that the targeted parent should have tried harder and not given up.
10. Many found out after the fact that the targeted parent had tried harder than they had known - court cases fought, letters and gifts they never received. in most cases learning about these attempts had meaning.
11. Even years later they were grateful to learn that the targeted parent had done more than they had known.
URGENT 1ST STEPS for alienated parents to prevent you from making mistakes that will hurt a potential future court case (initiated by you OR the alienator). Your children are victims too, they have been programmed to act with hostility towards you as they are in survival mode. The below is by Brian H.:
1. Recognize and accept that your ex likely has personality disorder traits and that just about anything you say to them will be twisted and used against you with your children or the courts; so avoid nearly all contact with them as possible (avoid speaking, text and email are best. Court-ordered use of OurFamilyWizard.com is a very helpful phone app.
2. Unfortunately, public awareness of parental alienation is very low. Awareness is also low with most therapists and school personnel. Awareness is high for lawyers, judges, GALs, but THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT EFFECTIVELY. (However, all is not lost, there are specialized professionals that CAN help you.)
3. Parental alienation, when moderate/severe (which likely applies to your situation), is a complex medical situation that rarely gets the required medical input of a sub-specialist with specialized knowledge. Parental alienation is very counterintuitive, which contributes to the how and why awareness with multiple professions is so low (and the worst part is they may THINK they are as knowledgeable as they need to be - which is wrong which makes things even worse and costs you money, time, and the affections between you and your child/ren).
4. Do not blame your children or express anger at them for the incredibly hurtful things they do and say. Their critical thinking skills have been diminished and they have been forced to align with what is analogous to be a cult leader (your ex).
5. Leverage the links below to get the specialized education you need to help yourself and ultimately, your children. Included below are links for videos, websites, research papers, podcasts, and free monthly calls with top experts in the world on parental alienation.
FREE LEGAL PROCESS INFORMATION! (Written for Massachusetts but helpful for many states) Family Law Advocacy for Low & Moderate Income Litigants Date: 01/01/2018
"This manual enables family law litigants to have a greater understanding of what to expect when faced with the emotional but critical legal issues affecting their lives and their children." Family Court Overview 58-pages, Child Custody 40-pages, GALs 48-pages, Contempt 12-pages, Alimony 7-pages, Modifications 13-pages, Child Support 20-pages.
DEFINITION: Parental Alienation (PA) is a form of child psychological child abuse (DSM-5 page 719). PA is the process, and the result, of psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a normative parent. In severe cases, the manipulative parent seeks to sever a child's relationship with the targeted parent and seeks full custody.
A1a. Specific steps and forms that parents can use with schools.
A1b. A professionally written report that applies ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) research on the effects of personality disordered parents raising (and alienating) children. (The reason targeted parents should not stop trying to save their children by reunifying with them!)
B. GREAT VIDEO TO WATCH! For parents who have court custody cases, we are lucky that we have a local parental alienation specialist who is one of the top 10 experts in the world. Stephen G. Miller, MD from Harvard assists in the selection of lawyers and/or assists lawyers with court strategy and, if required, court testimony either as an unbiased educator (preferred) or hired to be on the team representing the targeted parent. On the below YouTube video, you can watch Steve in 2014 present for 23 minutes to the Connecticut Task Force Committee, created to consider changes in their GAL processes. After Steve, Linda Gottlieb LCSW and LMFT also testifies. Linda lives on Long Island, NY and is 1 of only 4 parental alienation reunification specialists in the US (all those programs require court orders for 4 days at a hotel for the alienated children and the targeted parent plus a 90-day no contact with the other parent (who is required to get parallel treatment by a therapist the alienator chooses and Linda approves and provides a treatment protocol). Brian H. can put you in direct contact with Steve and Linda. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N1sj8zOtXU
D. MONTHLY CONFERENCE CALLS - INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL ALIENATION SUPPORT:
To register, email your name, phone number, and your home state to email@example.com More info: www.familyaccessfightingforchildrensrights.org (http://www.familyaccessfightingforchildrensrights.org/) These speakers are our experts in the world regarding alienation. These calls are extremely helpful to all alienated family members in understanding more, you may call in on a free conference line There will be no replays of these calls so be available on these dates and times. All calls are on Sunday at 8 PM EST.
2021 Call schedule (always Sundays at 8 PM EST and run until 10:00 PM (sometimes longer)) THESE DATES and PRESENTERS may change - use the link to check and pre-register.:
o Monday, July 19th. Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq
o Sunday, July 25th Lynn Steinberg, Ph.D, LMFT
o Sunday, August 1st Amy Baker, Ph.D
o Monday, August 2nd Sandra Aguilar, M. A., LPC, NCC
o Sunday, August 15th Linda Gottlieb LMFT, LCSW-R
o Monday, August 16th Loretta Maase, M.A.,LPC-S
o Sunday, September 5th Sue Cornbluth, Psy.d
o Monday, September 6th Sara McCartney, MA, LCMHCS
o Sunday, September 12th Rev. Dr. John Killinger
o Sunday, October 3rd Ashish Joshi, LLM.
o Sunday, November 7th "How to Cope with the Holidays"
o Sunday, November 21st Jennifer Harman, Ph.D (This call will feature several of our experts with information and support for this difficult time)
E. FREE ONLINE COURSES (just 1.5 hours each - excellent quality) on Parental Alienation by the National Coalition Against Parental Alienation (NCAPA) and the Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG) http://ncapa.thinkific.com/ (Note: you can speed up the videos by clicking the wheel shape in the lower right and select speed like 1.5X)
F. "SHARED PARENTING" a great step to reduce parental alienation! Join the National Parents Organization (which happens to have been founded in Massachusetts). Our Massachusetts Bill #3090 passed the House in early 2018 but was prevented from reaching the Senate floor for a vote before the legislative session ended - so it has been re-filed in 2019. https://nationalparentsorganization.org/
G. RECOMMENDED BEST BOOKS (ask Brian H. for guidance for best books specific to your situation). By Amy J. L. Baker Ph.D., one of the leading parental alienation (PA) researchers and author/co-author of 6+ excellent, easy to read books serving a variety of aspects/parent needs including:
Divorce Poison Audiobook copyright 2015. 15-hours read by Daniel Penz How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and BrainwashingYour ex-spouse is bad-mouthing you to your children, perhaps even trying to turn them against you. If you handle the situation ineffectively, your relationship with your children could suffer. You could lose their respect, lose their affection, and even, in extreme cases, lose all contact with them. This groundbreaking work gives parents powerful strategies to preserve and rebuild loving relationships with their children and provides legal and mental health professionals with practical advice to help their clients and ensure the welfare of children. Divorce Poison offers advice on how to: Recognize early warning signs of trouble; React if your children refuse to see you; Respond to rude and hateful behavior; Avoid the seven common errors made by rejected parents.
2) Surviving PA., a Journey of Hope and Healing c2014 by Amy Baker, PhD
3) Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex c2014 by Amy Baker, PhD (in some libraries)
4) High Conflict Custody Battle, Protect Yourself and Your Kids from False Accusations c2014 by Amy Baker, PhD
5) Understanding Parental Alienation c2017 by Karen Woodall and Nick Woodall
6) Splitting, Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Bill Eddy and Randi Kreger c2011
7) A Clinical Guidebook for Therapists Working With Alienated Children and Families c2013 by Amy Baker, PhD
THIS SECTION HAS RESOURCES ORIENTED FOR PARENTS WITH "NO CONTACT" WITH THEIR CHILDREN:
A. WRITING LETTERS: There are 2 different types of letters to write to your children
a. Letters seeking reconnection
b. Letters to write when the best move is a "goodbye for now" letter that builds a foundation for future reconnection.
GOODBYE FOR NOW letter: See Karen Woodall's great book on alienation "Understanding Parental Alienation" c2017 for her wonderful guidance on this letter and why it makes sense and can be the right thing to do. (Ask Brian for more info)
E. LINK TO A FREE PDF This 15-page PDF by Richard Warshak also includes Practical recommendations for each of the 10 Fallacies used against parental alienation in the courts. This paper includes 113 research references. http://www.alienazione.genitoriale.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Warshak-2015x.pdf Dr. Warshak's PDF is possibly the best information that will help you, your attorney, and your therapist (plus any Judge, GAL, Probation Officer, Parent Coordinator, etc.). Peer-reviewed and published in 2015 by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Here are Dr. Warkshak's TEN MYTHS and FALLACIES THAT ARE NOT TRUE!
1. Children never unreasonably reject the parent with whom they spend the most time.
2. Children never unreasonably reject mothers.
3. Each parent contributes equally to a child’s alienation. (The alienator is the "causation" of all the issues)
4. Alienation is a child’s transient, short-lived response to the parents’ separation.
5. Rejecting a parent is a short-term healthy coping mechanism. (BH - no, this is different)
6. Young children living with an alienating parent need no intervention. (BH - the child is suffering from emotional and psychological abuse which results in long-term damage)
7. Alienated adolescents’ stated preferences should dominate custody decisions. (BH - the mind is under "undue influence" and they have diminished capacity)
8. Children who appear to function well outside the family need no intervention. (BH - their emotional and psychological damage is hidden)
9. Severely alienated children are best treated with traditional therapy techniques while living primarily with their favored parent. (BH - these 1-hour per week therapies make your situation much worse, do not agree to these - even though you yearn to see your child!)
10. Separating children from an alienating parent is traumatic (BH - this mainly refers to judges who hesitate to make a judgment for the only therapy that works for severe alienation; a court order of 90-day no-contact protective removal from the alienator which is best started with 4-days reunification treatment program. There are 2 excellent programs - Family Bridges which is national and Turning Points For Families - "Therapeutic Vacation" (conducted in NY with families from across the US).
F. If you are in - or are considering court processes; family law attorneys have increasingly encouraged hired the support parenting and Custody Consultants that work with you "behind-the-scenes" for several purposes, including, but not limited, to the following:
- Helping formulate a case strategy
- Reviewing another expert's work (reports); without testifying
- Assisting in formulating direct examination and cross-examination questions
- Identifying and assisting in retaining testimonial experts
- Helping prepare witnesses
- Providing expert information about an area, without testifying
- Providing a review of relevant social science literature on factors at issue in a given case
- Assisting with client education and client management
(Source: Forensic Psychology Consultation in Child Custody Litigation, A Handbook for Work Product Review, Case Preparation, and Expert Testimony copyright 2013 by Philip Stahl, Ph.D. and Robert Simon, Ph.D. and published by the American Bar Association)
Additional benefits of a parental alienation consultant:
1) By synthesizing the research and provides you with the specific information needed for you and your children's situation. This includes hundreds of books and hours working with leading experts from around the world. this saves you time and provides you with guidance to the most relevant materials to help yourself.
2) Helps prevent comfort and relief of having the knowledge and a level of control of the situation. This will allow you to reduce the number of days that you are out of work dealing with PA issues
3) Helps you save money by preventing you from selecting an attorney that does not have the specialized skills required to win custody in a parental alienation case. Hiring the "best" attorney doesn't matter, what does matter is hiring an attorney with the highly specialized Parental Alienation skills, knowledge, and experience required to win custody.
a) Many family attorneys truly believe their experiences negotiating parenting schedules will be enough for your case - that is a gross underestimation of what will happen in your case. DO NOT let an attorney downplay the significance of the differentiation of a PA case vs "typical" child custody cases. your expert will give you specific questions to ask an attorney to determine if they have the qualifications required to save you and your children.
b) Many family law attorneys have very little trial experience, alienators are litigious and often act/perform well enough in trials to overcome the negative facts of their behavior, their lack of emotional range gives them a "calm, cool, and collected" effect that enables them to fool/convince their attorney, therapists, and court staff that they (and the children) are victims from you!
c) Fighting for custody (at least some parenting time) is expensive, but unless you invest in sub-specialist professionals, ALL your money will be wasted, so you should accept that you need to spend more money, but at least you have a much better chance to not have wasted all your money.
4) An expert does not give legal advice but complements the work that your attorney does (but at a lower rate) to help you anticipate and meet the various demands of your situation such as selecting and organizing information that will be most useful. Provides you with guidance through the many confusing aspects of being alienated, including how to present yourself. There are many things that can go wrong, and they often determine outcomes.
5) Helps you prepare for the custody evaluation, to anticipate the various components and goals of the evaluation, and help you avoid common pitfalls, such as being overly anxious or trying too hard.
6) Helps you avoid the alienator's devastating tactics that are too risky to post in this public forum but ask the expert you are considering.
7) Helps you protect the heart and mind of your child by guiding you to the right actions (with them and your ex). Physical custody is only half the battle, you need to win the heart and minds of your children, and that requires specialized guidance due to these incredibly unique and challenging circumstances, alienation requires you do things that are often counterintuitive. The alienator sets you up to make mistakes, knowing how to avoid falling in those traps can save your relationship with your child.
8) Helps you with the knowledge and tools to try and maintain a connection with the child which could result in you paying less child support or not losing child support you receive. Many judges will let children of about 13 and older decide which parent they want to live with. This is a very misguided decision, because alienated children have "diminished capacity" and have been "unduly influenced" and cannot make decisions that are "in the child's best interests" for their mental and physical health. They are in survival mode and under the fear of psychological retaliation. Also, consider how making this decision places terrible guilt on them for disappointing a parent.
9) Helps you build a foundation for an eventual reconnection and speeding that to happen sooner.
(Brian H. is a PA expert and consultant (disclaimer: not providing legal advice or mental health advice) and has helped people like you, including with references to attorneys, expert witnesses, and specialized therapists -- firstname.lastname@example.org.)
ABOUT THIS MEETUP GROUP: Boston Parental Alienation / Estrangement (Child Custody): We are parents supporting other parents with positivity and helping navigate the challenges of being rejected by their child. We are a resource for parents to learn from others that they are not alone and help identify resources that can help their specific situation. current spouses / significant others plus family and friends that support you are encouraged to attend.
If you have found this group through an internet search and this situation is happening to you and your child, please connect with us quickly because early intervention is critical! Even though it is estimated to affect 22 million families in the US, this scientifically proven pathology has low public and even professional awareness. Unfortunately, the courts (judges and most staff), and nearly all lawyers are not knowledgeable about personality disorders, that they unwittingly make the wrong decisions. Even 95% of therapists don't understand PA well enough to coach a Targeted Parent, but they can help you deal with the expected situational anxiety and depression you may have. Do not believe or accept any court or therapist's guidance to have an alienated child treated by a therapist, it NEVER works and usually makes things worse! (Unless it is with a nationally recognized expert). Attempting the treat (cited by Judges as a "therapeutic intervention") the child (or child and targeted parent) WILL result in additional damage to their relationship. Contact Brian for guidance on what will work.
The below link is a 14-minute video of an alienated teenager that explains in detail some of the manipulations used by her Dad and his second wife to keep her from her mom. She also explains how this made her feel and how she was able to realize the manipulations and lies, admitting some children ” buy into the lies”. She wishes her father would have stood up his new wife to stop preventing contact with her mom. Fortunately (but unfortunately unusual) her school actually helped and allowed her to call her mom on Tuesdays and Thursdays. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=228&v=axQ6EKnAnrY
They’re not always as obvious as you might think. That’s because domestic abuse is about controlling someone’s mind and emotions as much as hurting their body. Being abused can leave you scared and confused. It can be hard for you to see your partner’s actions for what they really are. The abuse can creep up slowly. A putdown here or there. An odd excuse to keep you away from family or friends. Sometimes violence starts once you’ve been cut off from other people. By then, you feel trapped. If you’re afraid of your partner, that’s a big red flag. You may be scared to say what you think, to bring up certain topics, or to say no to sex. No matter the reason, fear has no place in a healthy relationship.
If you feel like you’re being abused, there’s a good chance you may be, and it’s worth getting help. Keep that in mind as you think about these signs:
Bullies threaten or control you: Accuses you of having an affair, Blames you for abuse, Criticizes you. Tells you what to wear and how you should look, Threatens to kill you or someone close to you, Throws things or punches walls when angry, Yells at you and makes you feel small
Cuts you off from family and friends: Keeps close tabs on where you go and whom you go with, Makes you ask for an OK to see friends and family, Embarrasses you in front of others, and it makes you want to avoid people
Physically abuses you: Abandons you in a place you don’t know, Keeps you from eating, sleeping, or getting medical care, Locks you in or out of your house, Punches, pushes, kicks, bites, pulls hair
Controls your money: Keeps cash and credit cards from you, Puts you on an allowance and makes you explain every dollar you spend, Keeps you from working whatever job you want, Steals money from you or your friends, Won’t let you have money for basic needs like food and clothes