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 are approximately every 3 weeks, currently at Panera Bread.
"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.
Much of the above comes from the work of psychologist Craig Childress. For more good stuff, click on the "Pages" button above.
Affiliates of this meetup group opened recently in Alameda and San Jose: