Under the sole care of a parent who exhibits extreme narcissistic behaviors, children’s normal needs to feel seen, heard, and responded to may be frequently frustrated and placed behind what the narcissistic parent wants. Therapists refer to this kind of parent-child relationship as pathological enmeshment.
Alienated children develop high rates of depression, anger, anxiety, drugs, and alcohol, and relationship difficulties. Psychologist Jennifer Harman and others conclude from a summary of extensive research that alienation is one of the very most harmful forms of child abuse.
At the same time, Harman’s article suggests that alienation should be considered a form of family violence because of how it impacts the co-parent. Learn here techniques for coping with the emotional roller-coaster provoked by the narcissistic behaviors of an alienating co-parent.