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201106 Parental Alienation: When Parents Break Children's Loving Bonds

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Parental Alienation: When Parents Break Children's Loving Bonds

When children choose the other parent

When the 'Ex-Factor' intervenes

Published in: Education
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201106 Parental Alienation: When Parents Break Children's Loving Bonds

  1. 1. Parental Alienation and Exclusion When Parents Break Children’s Loving Bonds When Children choose the Other Parent When the ‘Ex-Factor’ interferes © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 1
  2. 2. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 What is Parental Alienation?  Parental Alienation  A set of processes and behaviours conducted and enacted by a parent to deliberately and knowingly damage or sever the relationship between a child and another parent with whom the child enjoyed a prior loving relationship  Alienating Behaviour and/or Hostile Aggressive Parenting  Various acts and omissions by a parent that damage the relationship between the child and the other parent  Hostile-Aggressive Parenting (HAP) may cause parental alienation.  Alienating Processes  A related set of acts, omissions and behaviours that together act as a system or a process, the outcome of which is a particular alienating outcome or effect upon the child Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 2
  3. 3. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 When is it Not Parental Alienation?  Children have their own reasons for hating parents!-oppositional behaviour  Natural reactions to shattering the security of a family  A child directs their negative behaviour to both parents  The child is angry and hurt and still genuinely loves and expresses that love to both parents  Negative reactions are occasional and temporary  Negative reactions occur in particular situations (e.g. changeover)  Abuse  Protective parenting  Bad or inadequate parenting  Extreme alignment Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 3
  4. 4. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 How Does Alienation Work?  What environment does it thrive in?  Fear  High conflict-hostile aggressive parenting  Isolation  Relocation or in extreme cases kidnapping  Ignorance  Poor parenting  Poor or inadequate boundaries Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 4 “Who controls the past controls the future” George Orwell
  5. 5. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 7 Stages to Alienating a Child Create a Loyalty ConflictStage 3 Force the Child to align strongly with one parent against the other Force The Child to Resolve the Conflict Manipulate the child to turn away from the formerly loved parent Stage 4 Create the Alienating EnvironmentStage 1 Discount the role of the other parent Use isolation, conflict and power Convince the Child to Contrary ‘Truth’Denigrate the target parent Stage 2 Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 5
  6. 6. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 7 Stages to Alienating a Child The status quo for Legal, Social and Financial Services Stage 7 Enforce Severance Sever the Previously Loving RelationshipStage 6Make the child unhappy and unwilling to be with the target parent Alienate the ChildStage 5Support the child to engage in irrational, unfounded, exaggerated criticisms of the rejected parent When parents often seek help Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 6
  7. 7. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 5 Main Parental Alienation Strategies Manipulating the child to reject the target parent Demoting and devaluing the rejected parent’s role in the child’s life Sabotaging time the child spends with the target parent Displaced anger, hurt Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 7
  8. 8. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 A Child or Children may be Alienated Against a Parent if:  Hatred by association-enmity towards the target parent’s extended family without known reason  No ambivalence  Uses adult concepts beyond age and stage of understanding  Parrots (a ‘mantra’) the favoured alienating parent without regard for their own historical experience with the target parent  The child asserts that their views have been independently formed but are unable to explain or show evidence of how they came to such beliefs  Refuses to spend time with visits or communicate with the rejected parent without rational explanation  Fixed negative beliefs about the rejected parent based upon past events that would not ordinarily be warranted Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 8
  9. 9. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission How Practitioners Can Help Alienated Parents?  “…waiting until things settle down is in most cases futile. It would appear that once the bond between children and a parent begins to weaken and the contact is interfered with the patterns can become easily perpetuated. Parents who give in to this pressure and wait for the children to feel better about seeing them generally wait in vain.” Byrne K and Maloney L. Australian Family Lawyer V. 8 no. 4 June 1993 p22-27 Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 9
  10. 10. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission Help Alienated Parents-Counter Measures :  Expose the alienating pattern  Be STRATEGICALLY EMPATHETIC and EMPATHETICALLY STRATEGIC!  Timing-wait until children are receptive  Educate them about alienation processes and about the range of countermeasures available to them  Attempt to work constructively and strategically with the alienating parent-“Know your enemy”  Tailor the approach for the type of person  Know when NOT to deal with the alienating parent-obsessive  Take the HIGH ROAD “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury. “-Marcus Aurelius Printed for the WCP Conference 2011, NSW, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 10
  11. 11. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission How does Alienation Affect Children? “Kelly and Johnston(2001) have…highlighted ongoing parental conflict as a chief protagonist in the creation of the alienated child…. Particular risk occurs when children are used in the expression of marital [relational] conflict… The intensity of the conflict…cause intolerable anguish, tension and anger for the children” Kelly, J.B., & Johnston, J.R. (2001) Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 11
  12. 12. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 Why Coaching May Work  The alienated parent needs to experience that they are supported, understood and validated  Education and coaching in how alienation works, how to counter it  Focus on helping the child maintain a relationship with both parents  Emotional, mental, spiritual resilience, flexibility and adaptability  Emotionally and relationally strategic-not reactive  Not all children realise what is happening  Children may need to become adults before appreciating what has happened to them and to the alienated parent  A shattering experience-some parents and children are never reconciled.  Taking the high road requires special qualities, skills and knowledge Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 12
  13. 13. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 Some Proposed Assessment Criteria  About the child  Is the child exhibiting fear, hatred to, or claiming to be harassed by, the alienated parent?  Has the child denigrated the alienated parent?  Has the child repeated (borrowed) accusations made against the alienated parent or using adult concepts beyond the child’s age and stage to formulate such allegations ?  Has the child made false or unsubstantiated allegations against the alienated parent or supported the alienating parent in making such allegations?  Is the child displaying severe opposition to spending any time with the alienated parent in a meaningful relationship?  Does the child show any absence of guilt or disregard for the alienated parent?  Has the child attempted self harm or suicide and claimed this was because of the alienated parent?  Has the child written or communicated to the alienated parent that they do not want any further contact with them?  Does the child exhibit violent opposition to any contact with the alienated parent? Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 13
  14. 14. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 Some Proposed Assessment Criteria  About the parents and the context  Are one (or both) parents engaged in a high conflict relationship?  Has one parent interfered with shared care to the extent that the other parent spends less or no time with the child?  Has one (or both) parents violated court orders for shared care or other interventions?  Are reasons for reduction of, or interference with contact or shared care without credibility, implausible or not compelling?  Are reasons for considering the child’s relationship with the alienated parent as unhealthy, abnormal or risky prior to separation and onset of conflict without credibility, implausible or not compelling?  Are one (or both) parents engaged or engaging in violating IVO’s, stalking, vandalising the other parents house or property or other criminal behaviour?  Have one or both parents engaged in any of the 5 alienation strategies of denigration, sabotaging shared care, destroying or undermining memories, manipulating the child to hate the other parent, or devaluing and demoting the other parent? Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 14
  15. 15. References and Resources  Dialogue-In-Growth-Mens Action in Open Thinking W: www.dialogueingrowth.com.au E: info@dialogueingrowth.com.au T: 0414 888 413  SpeakEASY Counselling and Psychotherapy W: www.speakeasycounselling.com.au E: info@dialogueingrowth.com.au T: 0414 888 413  Other support groups & resources  An Example of Parental Alienation AKA Extreme Alignment- http://www.familylawwebguide.com.au/spca/pg/news/ view/614/index.php&wide_print=1&max=1000  Parental Alienation CENTRAL (Australia)- http://bringingpeace2alienatedchildren.blogspot.com/  Poison Parents- http://www.parentalalienationcrisis.org/index.asp?pag eid=64961  Divorce Poison and Parental Alienation- http://www.divorcepoison.com/  Parental Alienation Programme 'Family Bridges' and Blog-http://www.warshak.com/alienation/pluto-dvd- 2.html  Hostile Aggressive Parenting and Parental Alienation- http://www.hostile-aggressive-parenting.com/  Parental Alienation-UK resources-http://www.parental- alienation.info/ © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 15
  16. 16. © D.I.G Pty. Ltd S.Korosi 2011 May only be used with the authors permission 1 References and Resources  Baker, A. J. L. (2007). Adult children of parental alienation syndrome: breaking the ties that bind. New York: W.W Norton & Co.  Gardner, R. (1987). Parental alienation syndrome and the differentiation between fabricated and genuine sexual abuse. New Jersey: Creskill, Creative Therapeutics.  Gardner, R. (1989). Family evaluation in child custody, mediation, arbitration and litigation. New Jersey: Creskill, Creative Therapeutics.  Gardner, R. A. (2004). Commentary on Kelly and Johnston's "The Alienated Child: A reformulation of parental alienation syndrome.". Family Court Review Vol 42(4) Oct 2004, 611-621.  Johnston, J. R., & Kelly, J. B. (2004). Rejoinder to Gardner's "Commentary on Kelly and Johnston's 'The Alienated Child: A reformulation of parental alienation syndrome.'". Family Court Review Vol 42(4) Oct 2004, 622-628.  Kelly, J. B., & Johnston, J. R. (2001). The Alienated Child: a Reformulation of Parental Alienation Syndrome. Family Court Review, 39(3), 249-266.  Lowenstein, L. F. (1998). PARENT ALIENATION SYNDROME: A TWO STEP APPROACH TOWARD A SOLUTION. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal December, 20(4), 505-520.  Lowenstein, L. F. (2007). Parental Alienation: How to understand and address parental alienation resulting from acrimonious divorce or separation. London: Russell House Publishing.  Lund, M. (1995). A Therapist's View of Parental Alienation Syndrome. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 33(3), 308-316.  McIntosh, J. (2003). Enduring Conflict in Parental Separation: Pathways of Impact on Child Development. Journal of Family Studies, Vol. 9(1), 63-80.  Warshak, D. R. A. (2010). Divorce Poison: How to Protect Youir Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing. New York: Harper Collins. Printed for the ACA Conference 2011, Victoria, Australia with permission from D.I.G Pty. Ltd August 2011 16

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