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, often including sociopathy / psychopathy. We will share experiences, strategies and support each other. Meetings are approximately monthly
"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. An induced attachment system disorder.
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.
January 2020 update:
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SAVE THE DATES!!!
Here is the 2020 schedule of our guest speakers for our international seminar calls. These are our top experts in the world regarding alienation. We are extremely fortunate 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 also a huge asset to those in the mental health and legal professions as well as researchers, writers and child advocates who work in the field of alienation.These calls are for everyone all over the world. We at present have 33 countries participating in these calls.You may call in on a free conference line, Skype or download our desk top app to join our calls. Please make these calls a priority. You will be grateful you did. Calls are generally on Sundays at 5 p.m. in California
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, February 2nd Randi Kreger and Bill Eddy "Understanding Borderlines, Narcissists, Sociopaths and Alienation"
Sunday, March 1st J Michael Bone, Ph. D and Bob Evans, PH. D "Dealing with Custody Evaluations in Cases with Parental Alienation"
Sunday, March 15th Robert Hoffman, P. L. L. C.
Sunday, April 5th William Bernet, M. D.
Sunday, April 19th Steven Miller, M. D. "Cognitive Science: Seven Essential Points for Alienated Parents and Their Attorneys" REPLAY
Sunday, May 3rd Colleen Murray, Ph. D, LPC
Sunday, May 17th Lynn Steinberg, Ph. D, LMFT
Sunday, June 7th Linda Gottlieb, LMFT, LCSW - R
Sunday, July 5th Brian Ludmer, B. Com, LLB
Sunday, July 19th Phillip Hendrix
Sunday, August 2nd Karen Woodall, Grad. Dip and Nick Woodal, M. A.
Sunday, September 13th Carol Golly, Ph. D, LCSW
Sunday, September 27th Rev. Dr. John Killinger
Sunday, October 4th Amy Baker, Ph. D
Sunday, November 8th "HOW TO COPE WITH THE HOLIDAYS"
Sunday, November 22nd Gil Freeman "Court Watching"
(This call will feature several of our experts with information and support for this difficult time)
Sunday, December 6th Ashish Joshi, Attorney
March 2018 updates:
Live Facebook Video Chats with Director Ginger Gentile are back! How do we build a winning movement to reunite families? Director Ginger Gentile shares lessons on how to build a global movement that will reunite families #erased by divorce courts. What has worked in other countries? How do we get people to support children's rights to have both parents in their lives?
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.
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:
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
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:
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.
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.