Parental Alienation’s long list of counter-intuitives

the alienation experience

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 13.45.02 Candlestick or faces?

One of the hurdles we face in raising awareness of Child and Parental Alienation (PA) is that it is counter-intuitive in so many ways. We have to set aside lots of the stereotypes that shape our thinking.

Richard Warshak (2015) listed some of these in Ten parental alienation fallacies that compromise decisions in court and in therapy.  Edward Kruk (2015) unpacks those further.

Steven Miller (2013) describes how PA’s counter-intuitives may defeat even an expert. Not only does a newcomer have to resist being put off by their first reaction, but they have to work harder to see what’s happening behind first appearances.

The challenge

The challenge to be counter-intuitive is similar to the challenge of cognitive dissonance. As Leon Festinger described long ago (1957), those who invest heavily in a belief may, in the face of disconfirming evidence, go to great lengths to justify their old assumptions. We use the word ‘stereotype’ to describe engrained…

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