Ludwig.F. Lowenstein Ph.D
Southern England Psychological Services
Causes and long term effects of alienation of children
The causes of long term alienation is most often the unceasing, implacable hostility of the custodial parent against the now long term alienated parent. It may be noted, in at least one of the letters, that the process of turning a child against a parent starts early and is ongoing and relentless. The innocent parent often is not permitted to have any contact with the child and the child eventually adopts the view of the alienator and rejects what is so often a good parent. The alienated parent is not allowed to play any part in bringing up the child and of guiding that child. Such animosity of the hostile parent.s action is eventually difficult to reverse. The child, and later adolescent, increasingly believes he/she has indeed only one good parent and the other is a bad parent. The latter is the vilified, rejected father/mother.
The alienated parent suffers tremendously from the unjust rejection he/she has to endure. Some parents such as those so unjustly treated eventually follow the advice of an expert psychologist understanding family problems and start another family. At the same time they should .keep the door open. for the child who has been alienated to make contact. This unfortunately seldom happens, especially with the passage of time. Judges frequently predict wrongly, that the child when an adult will untimately make contact with the rejected parent of their own volition. Here unfortunately is where we have the situation where the absence does not make .the heart grow fonder.. It is just the reverse: absence leads to the forgetting or total rejection of the absent parent.In the back of their minds, however, such children have a memory of eventually understanding how they have been unjustly and cruelly turned against the alienated parent. Sometimes this does not occur and they should be made aware of this by the psychologist seeking to remedy the situation.Frequently, I have told such parents that they should have counteracted such alienation earlier, and if necessary, to have sought a change of residence for such emotionally abused children. There response is a combination of regret, anger and a feeling of betrayal as well as helplessness now that they are seeking help so belatedly.
Attempting to deal with the long term effects of parental alienation in the older child, adolescent and adult