Parental Alienation. In short it is the process through which a child is influenced and manipulated to wholly reject a perfectly loving parent. It leaves deep emotional and mental scars for both the children and the alienated parents and is fast becoming one of the most serious mental health issues of our times. Akin to the type of brainwashing that occurs in cults, parental alienation can very sneakily look like a parent ‘caring’ for the child on the outside, but behind the scenes the child is being taught either outrightly, or via subtle gestures and inferences that their other parent (the alienated one) can’t be trusted and should be feared. The alienator sets themselves up to appear to be the child’s one true protector and saviour. In almost every case the child suffers psychological splitting where they are no longer able to see a world through their own perspective – one parent is perceived to be entirely good, whilst the alienated parent is perceived to be entirely bad.
Once the process is complete, the child literally mimics the thoughts of the alienating parent in order to comply and it becomes easy for the rest of the world to believe that the problem begins and ends with the parent the child has rejected. Both legal and health professionals still fall prey to the fall back position of relying on the child’s testimony where in truth they become coerced witnesses to their own situation. The consequences for children who dare to question the controlling tactics of the alienator are just the same as the consequences they see for their alienated parent. Banishment. Humiliation. Denigration. Rejection. And so families fall into the pattern of eternally pacifying the puppet master and allowing the cycle of destruction to continue.