Cases involving Parental Alienation, by their nature, involve the vilification of one parent by the other. In such cases, one parent is falsely accusing the other parent of some serious parental misjudgment ranging from being emotionally abusive and neglectful, to being physically abusive, to being pedophilic. All of these accusations are put forth for the purpose of gaining advantage in the custody dispute.
As you may already know, a big focus of my work within the last few years has been that of education. I have found that most parents learn of the minefields and trip wires of parental alienation only after they have been stumbled upon and have exploded.
It is important to understand and recall that Parental Alienation is a form of child abuse. The manipulation of one’s children to the belief that their other parent does not love them, is the cruelest form of child abuse.
Today is Parental Alienation Awareness Day (PAAD), a day created as a part of the global awareness campaign about Parental Alienation.
I had the ambivalent experience of reading a Court Order in a case with clear cut Parental Alienation. The Court ordered a Custody Evaluation by a forensic evaluator with deep experience with parental alienation. The report was very thorough and the recommendations were very clear.
In this article I outline the foundation of what I believe is a very helpful set of Parental Alienation coping strategies designed specifically for targeted parents. Targeted parents, after all, live in perpetual states of reactiveness.
The Targeted Parent is chronically left to respond to attacks, accusations, provocations and various slanders of all descriptions by various accusers. This enormously difficult psychological environment is a recipe for the development of either acting out behaviors and/or depression.
Persuasive Rhetoric refers to using language in an emotionally laden manner with the purpose of convincing the audience of some particular perspective. Persuasive Rhetoric is a tool for selling ideas, beliefs and positions on a given topic or subject. It is unrelated to truth. It only refers to the spin, the story and the goal of winning over the audience. Nothing in the message requires truth.
Parenting, when Parental Alienation is present, requires super-human strengths and the patience of Job.
Parenting under the best of circumstances, is challenging. It creates the greatest joys of life as well as its deepest agonies. It is, to say the least, challenging. When you add Parental Alienation into the mix, the word “challenging” becomes pale and weak.
Increasingly, even as we become better and being clearer and more precise as to what will help remedy a Parental Alienation court case, it appears to be the case that Judges often hesitate to follow such recommendations.
I am typically contacted by parents who find themselves in the throes of parental alienation. Occasionally, I am contacted by a Family Lawyer, but primarily it is parents who reach out to me.
After I have some sort of consultation with a new parent and we both decide that my help is indicated, that parent will contact their lawyer, if they have one. It is at this point that my involvement can become derailed.
J. Michael Bone, PhD.
Dr. Bone is an experienced consultant for cases involving Parental Alienation and has spent over 25 years working with high conflict divorce as a therapist, expert witness, mediator, evaluator and consultant, both nationally and internationally.