Posted in Alienation

Psychopaths lie in order to dominate others

Psychopaths actually feel a form of pleasure when they lie

Psychopaths lie effortlessly and are very convincing

Psychopaths lie to make others feel sorry for them Continue reading “Psychopaths lie in order to dominate others”

Posted in Alienation

Positions Taken by Judges and Custody Experts on Issues Relating to the Best Interests of Children in Custody Disputes in Québec

Certain issues surrounding the custody of children whose parents have separated (such as the question of shared custody when parents are in conflict and/or when children are infants or toddlers, the importance of the primary caregiver versus the child maintaining a connection with both parents and the relevance of inter-parent domestic violence and children’s views to custody and access arrangements) generate controversy at different levels – social, scientific, and judicial – because they challenge existing schools of thought or ideologies. Yet judges and custody experts have to make definitive rulings or decisions based on the best interests of the children whose custody is in dispute. The qualitative research we describe in this article was carried out in collaboration with 27 professionals: 11 judges from the Québec Superior Court and 16 social workers and psychologists with particular expertise around custody issues. The goal of our study was to examine the points of view expressed by those professionals on controversial child custody issues and analyse differences in the positions taken, on the basis of their social group membership (gender, professional category, and level of experience). The positions they adopted on the various issues were predicated primarily on the principle of continuity of access to both parents. A comparative analysis of the arguments invoked by respondents revealed no significant variations based on social group membership, apart from differences in the positions adopted by the judges and the custody experts on children’s need for stability and the weight that should be given in custody cases to preferences expressed by teenagers. The article concludes with consideration of ways these results might inform professional practice and avenues for future research. Continue reading “Positions Taken by Judges and Custody Experts on Issues Relating to the Best Interests of Children in Custody Disputes in Québec”

Posted in Alienation

Taking the Rights of Parents and Children Seriously

This article argues that resistance to the Human Rights Act has built up in the context of disputes relating to children and that such resistance is founded in the attachment of the courts to the welfare or paramountcy principle as currently conceived—the principle that the child’s welfare automatically prevails over the rights of other family members. It argues that the failure to take account of Convention arguments could only be a legitimate stance if there was no conflict between the demands of the welfare principle and those of the Convention guarantees, but that in fact the approach of the European Court of Human Rights differs considerably from that of the UK courts since it seeks to balance the rights of different family members. The article goes on to argue that, taking account of the Strasbourg stance and of the already established domestic recognition of the presumptive equality of competing qualified Convention rights, it is time to accept the adoption of a new model of judicial reasoning in the context of disputes over children—the ‘parallel analysis’ or ‘ultimate balancing act’. Continue reading “Taking the Rights of Parents and Children Seriously”

Posted in Alienation

The Function of Mental Illness Discourses in a Child Welfare Context

Understanding how social workers and parental service users construct the meanings of parental problems in the child protection context is important, as ultimately this affects decision making. Using qualitative methods, this study elicited social workers’ and parental service users’ perceptions of decision reasoning and analysed them from a discursive constructionist perspective. By completing secondary analysis of social worker–parental service user pairs, this article describes patterns in how the causes of family problems were constructed by social workers and parental service users. It was found that explanations of poor mental health and lack of supports for initial family problems were used to emphasise a lack of parental culpability by both parties, particularly through a narrative of separating one’s ‘authentic self’ from the impacts of mental illness on parenting. This convergence of explanations helped to maintain fragile parental identities, assisted with relationship maintenance, and allowed both social workers and parents to acknowledge harm to children. However, an individualised view of problems promoted by mental illness discourses was unable to account for the impact of domestic violence and poverty on parental life experiences, and thus sometimes over-emphasised parental responsibility. Continue reading “The Function of Mental Illness Discourses in a Child Welfare Context”

Posted in Alienation

Domestic Violence and the Paradox of Post-Separation Mothering

This paper reports selectively on findings from a mixed-methods study to consider the paradoxical post-separation position many women find themselves occupying when child contact necessitates the continued and mainly unmonitored presence of abusive men in their lives and the lives of their children (Holt, 2011). Having engendered blame and being held responsible for the exposure of their children to domestic abuse, mothers may find themselves resisting post-separation child contact and again engendering blame for daring to interfere with the father–child relationship—the same relationship they were charged with protecting their children from. Echoing Thiara and Humphreys’s (2015) call for social worker practitioners to recognise that domestic abuse can continue even in the abuser’s absence, this paper reflects on an issue of particular relevance to social work practitioners—that the continued presence of domestically abusive men, post separation, may compromise the child’s recovery from the experience of domestic abuse due to continuing abuse and undermining of the maternal role and mother–child relationship. Continue reading “Domestic Violence and the Paradox of Post-Separation Mothering”

Posted in Alienation

The Impact of Age at Time of Divorce and Coping Self-Efficacy on Loyalty Conflict in Adult Children of Divorce

Children of all ages experience divorce as a stressful life transition. Adding to that stress is the fact that a fair number are exposed to parental alienating behaviors that, in turn, promote conflicted loyalties as the child is pressured to choose one parent over the other. Research in this area has shown that adaptive coping skills and coping self-efficacy are effective tools in helping children better manage the stress experienced during the divorce transition, resulting in an increased sense of well-being. For adult children of divorce, these experiences are even more salient in that the pressure of parental alienation may take on a different form, particularly that the adult child may be expected to take on the roles of social support and mediator. As divorce rates continue to rise among middle age adults, it is very likely that we will see more adult children struggle with the transition of parental divorce. Hence, the primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between perceived coping self-efficacy and the experience of parental loyalty conflicts among adult children of divorce. Secondarily, this study examined whether differences in coping and loyalty conflicts manifested across different age ranges (i.e., child, adolescent, adult). Results indicated that age at the time of divorce was not a significant predictor of loyalty conflict; however, coping self-efficacy positively and significantly predicted experiences of parental loyalty conflict. No significant gender differences were observed on the predictor or the criterion variables. Implications for interventions and future research are proposed. Continue reading “The Impact of Age at Time of Divorce and Coping Self-Efficacy on Loyalty Conflict in Adult Children of Divorce”

Posted in Alienation

Recognizing Ethical Duties of Parents’ Lawyers to Children of Clients: Being a Child-Focused Family Lawyer

Lawyers for parents in family cases have ethical duties not only to their clients and the administration of justice, but also to ensure that the interests of the children of their adult clients are appropriately taken into account. The duties of family lawyers towards children, however, are indirect, and arise primarily because parents themselves have fiduciary duties to their children, and lawyers are mainly to be giving effect to their duties to children by providing information, counsel, education and support to help their adult clients focus on the needs of their children. These duties include ensuring that the child’s views are ascertained in an objective, sensitive fashion, and shared with parents and decision-makers. Although complex and situational, one might summarize the duties of the family lawyer in this regard as “helping their clients to be good parents.” Duties towards children must always be balanced against counsel’s obligations to take instructions from their clients. The paper particularly focuses on the ethical duties of family lawyers in Canada, which are based on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Divorce Act. Continue reading “Recognizing Ethical Duties of Parents’ Lawyers to Children of Clients: Being a Child-Focused Family Lawyer”

Posted in Alienation

Family marginalization, alienation, and estrangement: questioning the nonvoluntary status of family relationships

Despite assumptions that families are close and intact, the prevalence of family member marginalization, parent–child alienation, and parent–child estrangement is overwhelming. Largely ignored by the research community, these three family distancing processes pose significant disruptions to the entire family system. Although some of associated behaviors lead to turmoil and decreased well-being, distancing can also be a healthy solution to an unhealthy environment. This manuscript traces the history of these three processes; offering conceptualizations, strengths, and critiques of each perspective. Specifically, we discuss the way communication researchers have influenced these processes as well as how they can contribute to this sparse body of research in the future. Finally, we compare the processes and question whether families should be considered nonvoluntary. Continue reading “Family marginalization, alienation, and estrangement: questioning the nonvoluntary status of family relationships”

Posted in Alienation

Therapist implementation and parent experiences of the three phases of Functional Family Therapy

  • Early in FFT, combine basic therapeutic skills such as empathy, warmth and unconditional positive regard with model specific skills such as reframing
  • In the middle sessions of FFT, match the development of specific behaviour change skills (e.g. communication, conflict management, and emotional regulation) to families’ particular goals
  • In later sessions of FFT, support the generalization of gains made within therapy to other contexts and future situations to prevent relapse

Continue reading “Therapist implementation and parent experiences of the three phases of Functional Family Therapy”

Posted in Alienation

Denial of ambivalence as a hallmark of parental alienation

Parental alienation is a construct which describes a campaign of disenfranchisement
from children on the part of one parent against another, particularly during
divorce. It has been at the forefront of child custody research aimed at explaining its
short- and long-term effects on the children affected by it. During a time when tension
between parents is at its highest and conflict regarding parenting responsibilities
and parenting time arises, parents resort to parental alienation in an effort to control
and hinder the emotional relationship the children would otherwise forge with the
other parent. This paper is a review and integration of established ambivalence and
parental alienation theory incorporating clinical examples. The clinical examples are
cited from real interviews conducted by the authors from 2010 to 2016. The purpose
and diagnostic utility of the examination of this subject matter is to exemplify the
need for making a fine grain clinical analysis of ambivalence in order to most accurately
assess the existence of parental alienation in a clinical situation with children.
Specifically, the expressed lack of ambivalence as manifested by the alienated child
serves as an observable defining characteristic of the presence of parental alienation.
The understanding of this phenomenon provides predictive criteria for clinicians and
forensic experts to establish or rule out the existence of parental alienation in clinical
and forensic settings with implications for treatment and custody recommendations

Continue reading “Denial of ambivalence as a hallmark of parental alienation”