I was watching the webinar series where Dorcy Pruter is interviewing Dr. Childress about his approach to dealing with parental alienation. The series is free to watch-you can get to it bygoing to Dorcy’s web site. While I got a lot out of the entire series, one section towards the end of the 3rd video entitled “Understand the Psychological Seduction of the Pathogenic Parent for the Child” provided me with a distinction that I think could be particularly helpful to those of us who have to deal with a continual stream of misinformation being fed to our kids when they are with the alienating parent.
This comes from the presumption that you are wanting to figure out effective ways of dealing with the situation rather than remaining passive. IMHO, just not retaliating is not enough. In my case it only leaves my child with one type of information coming at her without anything to counterbalance it.
What Dr. Childress describes is a way of counterbalancing (as I put it) in a way that does not cause additional stress-but in fact helps relax and, as he puts it, “A way to orient a child back to what’s real and that everything’s OK”
He described 4 basic emotional “tones”, which are:
Angry and afraid (anxious) are power and dominance emotions.
Angry tries to make the world be a different way.
(Afraid) Anxious makes everything important.