Posted in Karen Woodall - A year in the world of parental alienation, Karen Woodall - Expert on family separation, Karen Woodall - Therapist and blogger on all things related to families and family separation, Karen Woodall on family seperation, Linda Turner, Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Parental Alienation or Estrangement

Great to see the new discussion group Karen, still waiting for my article to be published but will certainly mention your site and discussion group.

Just wondering what your thoughts are!
I have come under some ear bashing recently regarding the difference between estrangement and Parental Alienation. I see myself as alienated for over 25 years even though I have had contact with my children and grandchild for a short period of time.

Karen could you please clarify for many people who seem to think that for an adult over the age of 18 who can make their own choices, PA suddenly changes to Estrangement. Taking into consideration all the circumstances in my case I certainly do not think mine is a case of estrangement. Very interested to hear everyone’s comments. Many thanks Linda

  • karenwoodall · 1 Day Ago

    well I can reply as an alienated adult child who believed I was an estranged adult child for many years and struggled with it immensely. It wasn’t until I understood that the estrangement was caused by alienation that I really began to tackle the issue personally and as a result of course that led me into professionally being able to see the difference much more clearly.

    As far as I am concerned once an alienated child always at risk of being alienated again and once an alienated child, always left with the legacy of alienation. Psychological splitting, which is the underlying pathology in alienation causes immense struggles with perspective, sense of self, lack of esteem ability to hold ambivalence and more.

    Therefore, a child who is alienated remains alienated beyond the age of 18 and until the alienation is tackled as alienation and that part is properly recognised and acknowledged, alienation reaction remains a risk.

    An alienated adult child has a lifetime of recovery to undergo. As the once targeted parent if you are back in relationshiop with your adult child keep that in mind at all times. Alienated adult children find it very very hard to stay focused and balanced, their perspective is poor and they are at risk of alignments and rejection all the time and have to work very very hard not to react in an alienated manner.

    Estrangement is when someone does something hurtful and is rigid in their blame of other people, alienation is when a third party acts to encourage or make estrangement happen (which is sometimes expedited by the reactions of the targeted parent who acts unconsciously).

    PA certainly does not change to estrangement at the age of 18 and alienated young people often remain that way because of the conditioning of their mind. It is entirely possible for example for a 25 year old to continue to remain alienated because of the way they have been brought up to think and feel.

    read all the discussions and join in on :-

Posted in Karen Woodall - A year in the world of parental alienation

Karen Woodall – A year in the world of parental alienation

Another major theme of our work will be the impact on children of being alienated and how that can be recognised by professionals and others working with children.  My work with alienated children this year has allowed me the privilege of working with a wide age range of children, the youngest being four and the oldest being 19 (out of court).  All of these children have helped me to learn more about what it is that creates the resistance and rejection as well as what is necessary to help children change.  From the little girl who told me that her daddy was just the worst person who ever lived, to the twins who told me that they had been poisoned by their mother whilst they were growing inside her, all of these children have shown remarkable similarities in their coping mechanisms and defences as well as distinctly different needs for support to change.  As I have worked with these children and young people I have been able to observe their individual struggles to reorganise their beliefs about the parent they have rejected and their experience of emergence from alienation.  For some that emergence has been immediate and I have been witness to that gone in a puff of smoke moment, whilst for others the emergence has been a gradual thawing, begrudging at times but slowly warming up to the point where the resistance drops and the smiles return. I have also been witness to the terrible, horrible tragedy of the child so abused by a parent that their mental health has been damaged beyond immediate repair, where the allegiance to the also mentally unwell parent has been so strong that change has been impossible. Witnessing this leaves me cold with frustration and despair, especially when the loss of the child has been compounded by the incomptence of the professionals surrounding the family.

But to end this post  on a high note, this year I have also been working with some remarkable professionals in partnerships which have brought swift and significant change for children. Across the land we have been partners and players in teams where change has been brought about by the careful and diligent work of alienation aware professionals. Demonstrating that where skills and awareness are high, dramatic and powerful change in dynamics can be delivered to liberate the child and protect relationships going forward. In the months ahead this too is where we will be placing our focus and doing more of what works to bring change for children.

We have done much this year to bring about change but there is so much more to do. We will be back in the Autumn with our launch of our new site and book as well as interviews with parents and advice on developing alienation aware parenting skills.  You will also have chance to book on the first of our series of webinars and sign up for our self help forums. I will tell you more about that when I return in September.

Until then, thank you all for reading and commenting on this blog and I hope you will follow us as we migrate over to our new site. You will still be able to read my thoughts and ideas about all things to do with equality and family separation here but all of our focus on alienation will be over at our new home where we will look forward to welcoming you.

Thank you to all of you from all over the world who are regular readers, your comments and views and your encouragement and support have helped us to keep on keeping on.

I will look forward to being back in September.

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