What we're about
This group is for parents (moms and dads) who have been unreasonably estranged from their children due to "parental alienation" (defined below). Adult children who were affected by this are also welcome. Typically our ex-spouses, the allied-favored alienating parents, have some combination of borderline, narcissistic or antisocial personality disorder traits, including sociopathy / psychopathy. We will share experiences, strategies and support each other. Meetings wiil be approximately every 3 weeks at Panera Bread in San Rafael. This group is an affiliate of the original ongoing group in Sacramento, and other affiliates have been started in Alameda and San Jose.
"Parental alienation" is a term which has been used to characterize a set of family dynamics in which a child is influenced by one parent into rejecting a relationship with the other parent, who is otherwise a normal-range and affectionally available parent. This typically occurs following a divorce, although the process can begin while the family is still intact.
The more accurate term for "parental alienation" is "pathogenic parenting" (patho = pathological; genic = genesis, creation). Pathogenic parenting refers to parenting practices that are so aberrant and distorted that they produce significant psychopathology in the child. In professional psychology, the term "pathogenic parenting" is most often used in the context of distortions to the child's attachment system, since the attachment system does not spontaneously or independently dysfunction, but only becomes dysfunctional in response to problematic and "pathogenic parenting" practices.
The correct clinical term for what has traditionally been referred to as "parental alienation" is pathogenic parenting involving a parentally induced suppression of the child's attachment bonding motivations toward a normal-range and affectionally available parent.
At the same time as the child entirely rejects a relationship with the targeted-rejected parent, they show a corresponding hyper-bonding motivation toward the allied and favored alienating parent, along with a range of characteristic psychopathology and impairment of development, much of which has been ignored by most of the mental health and legal systems, which lack specialized expertise in assessing, diagnosing and treating this worldwide issue.
Pathogenic parenting is the issue of concern. The borderline / narcissist / antisocial parent is creating significant psychopathology in the child in order to meet the parent's own emotional and psychological needs. This is child psychological abuse, a child protection issue, not a custody issue.
Affiliates of this group are in Alameda, San Jose, and Sacramento:
February 2018 updates:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 12:51 PM
Subject: COMPLETED 2018 SCHEDULE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT CONFERENCE CALLS
2018 SCHEDULE FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT CONFERENCE CALLS
SAVE THE DATES!!!
Here is the 2018 schedule of our guest speakers for our international support conference calls. These are our top experts in the world regarding alienation. We are extremely blessed to have these experts who give us their time, knowledge and support at no charge to any of us. These calls are extremely helpful to all alienated family members in understanding more, in helping you to get through the hell on earth of being alienated from our children and grandchildren and knowledge to deal with all aspects of those we have to deal with in this. These calls are for everyone all over the world. You may call in on a free conference line or you may Skype the call if that is best for you. Please make these calls a priority for you and your family members. You will be grateful you did. Thanks to all of you who are on these calls monthly. I have learned more in recent months how much they have helped you personally and look forward to these calls. 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. Thank you.
Sunday, February 11th Dr. Lena Hellblom Sjogren
Sunday, March 11th Dr J Michael Bone / Dr. Bob Evans
Sunday, April 8th Karen and Nick Woodall
Sunday, May 6th Linda Gottlieb
Sunday, June 3rd Dr. Amy Baker
Sunday, July 8th Brian Ludmer
Sunday, August 5th Dr. Steven Miller
Sunday, September 9th Dr. John Killinger
Sunday, October 7th Dr. Mark Mosk
Sunday, November 18th "How to Cope with the Holidays" Several of our experts will join us on this call
Sunday, December 9th Dr. Joshua Coleman
This call will be available for you to call in on a free conference number and also those that need to Skype instead may do so. We are so fortunate to have these calls available to us. These experts do these calls as a courtesy to us. Please make these a priority and understand it is a one time call with no replays. Also I encourage you to invite and share this info with all other alienated family members as well as any professionals and legislators that have a part in some way regarding alienation and helping the children and grandchildren have what is rightfully theirs.
You may email one question (deadline varies, but is about 5 or 6 days prior to the call) and deadline to register for the call is usually a day or two prior to the call. To submit a question and / or to register, please email email@example.com
More info: (https://firstname.lastname@example.org)www.familyaccessfightingforchildrensrights.org (http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.familyaccessfightingforchildrensrights.org&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNENVF7ZvOiSSqWWOqUgGetc1riDGQ)
A couple of websites for those who had relationships / children with psychopaths:
Liane Leedom is a psychiatrist who married and had a son with a psychopath. Her book "Just Like His Father?" is about parenting kids who have a genetic risk for anti-social behavior, as well as ADHD and addiction.
A superb site with the top experts contributing; also has some great podcasts on the topic.
In October 2017 the Parental Alienation Study Group had its first open conference; you can watch the presentations by the experts here at the PASG youtube channel:
October 2017 updates:
Karen Woodall's long-awaited book "Understanding Parental Alienation: Learning to Cope, Helping to Heal" is finally available and has good advice for those who still have some contact with their child, also Karen was a former alienated child herself and understands the minds of these kids:
Erasing Family Documentary: learning about this upcoming film and help to support it:
Also at the link you can watch the director's previous film "Erasing Dad" (Borrando a Papa, spanish with english subtitles, produced in Argentina, available on youtube)
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has given an emotional UC Berkeley commencement address and written a book, "Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy," about coping with devastating loss (her husband died abruptly two years ago), which are both inspirational and relevant to the situation of the target parent of alienated kids:
Mommy Interrupted Radio Show is a good listen, with host Kristi Beck, who was erased from her daughter's life. A variety of ways to access by internet, I get shows off youtube and convert to mp3, but there's sure to be a more direct way to get them.
Listening to the comments of adult children of alienation, who have returned to the long lost parent, is always good. In addition to Karen Woodall and Ryan Thomas, mentioned below, three others are
Dorcy Pruter http://www.consciouscoparentinginstitute.com/
Amanda Sillars https://www.emmm.org.au/
and an alienated daughter (don't know her name) who writes Mother Erased: a Memoir, which is a blog at https://thefourthagreement.wordpress.com/ She recently indicated that she will start a podcast on behalf of alienated children.
A word of caution about Dorcy Pruter: she has a valid message and important things to say, but also no formal training or education, is a former "life coach" and has chosen to monetize what she has to offer in a (to me) disturbing scam / multilevel marketing-type way involving absurd amounts of money charged for little substance. I've seen her in person and would say listen to whatever you can on the internet for free - there is value, but don't spend a dime (for example, there's a very good interview of her and Craig Childress on Mommy Interrupted Radio Show, 4/16/2017).
H.G. Beverly's book "The Other Side of Charm: Your Memoir" is a unique portrayal of intimate life with a charming psychopath for a spouse, through courtship and marriage, divorce, alienation of the children . . . written entirely in the 2d person voice ("you . . .") If you've experienced this, it's very insightful and rings true.
The blogs of Karen Woodall and Craig Childress remain my best daily source of inspiration and understanding on this issue:
Also Dr. Childress' website: http://drcachildress.org/asp/site/parentalalienation/index.asp
End of October 2017 updates
To start getting a state of the art understanding of what you and your children are really dealing with:
Karen Woodall has the best advice re: how to interact with these kids if you still have some contact. These 4 blog posts (on empathic responding) are some of my favorites:
The book "The Power of Validation" by Karyn Hall and Melissa Cook is also helpful for learning this, especially for those of us who were rarely validated ourselves as children.
These are two blog posts every target parent should read, about taking care of yourself in light of the trauma that is being inflicted on you:
(responses are great, too)
Karen's 2d blog (apparently discontinued, but still has good stuff up), described as for those:
"who are on the journey beyond where they can rescue their children and who are learning how to wait and hope and seeking to live a congruent life whilst doing so. . . . my journey on that road beyond the court process and into the world where parents wait for their children to get free. I will be sharing stories on here from parents whose children did get free and will be interviewing children as well as their parents about those things which helped them most. Here is where those who wait are welcome. Here is where we will not push the river but learn how to help it flow.
Ryan Thomas is an adult alienated child who eventually saw the light, reconciled with his dad and now coaches targeted parents:
Consider joining the National Alliance for Targeted Parents and becoming an informed part of the movement to end this:
Karen's advice to the mother of a completely alienated adult daughter who can't tolerate mom's presence rings true to me:
"From her perspective, she is likely to be under so much pressure/charm/threat/anxiety/distortion within her relationship with her father that she is unable to see anything any differently and that is the legacy her relationship with her father has handed to her. For now. Until one day the sense of cognitive dissonance she is currently able to bear, may fracture for one reason or another – his death perhaps, her contact with someone who challenges her, the coming to consciousness of the underlying dynamics he is burying with his controlling behaviours. In real terms, as she is an adult, there is little you can do other than to live well and healthily knowing it is not you, it is him and leaving all the possibilities for her return open without spending time by the door waiting for her. Your live must be lived and lived well. Her life has its own trajectory which will include, at some point, questions, anxieties, hauntings and other signs that she may follow one day. Alienated adult children who are convinced [the problem] is you can grow to become toxic, and protection from the double whammy of father and daughter ganging up against you is an absolute must in situations like yours."
The above quote is in the comments from this controversial post:
It's worth reading the post and all the comments. The claim that one's child has been alienated against you is sometimes untrue, or not fully true to that the extent the target parent thinks, as explored in the post.
Thanks for reading and feel free to message me with comments or questions.