Posted in Alienated children psychopathic parent, Are there psychopathic children?, Attachment, Security, Separation and Psychological Differentiation, Autopsy of the Narcissistic Parental Alienator, British Psychological Society's Division of Counselling Psychology in London, Carl Jung - psychological theorists, Parental Alienation PA


Taken from:-

Charles PragnelltoPsychopathy


The most notable behaviors and attitudes manifested by vengeful fathers and which indicate Vengeful Father’s Syndrome.

1. CONTROL AND DOMINATION – The outstanding feature of Vengeful Father Syndrome is an obsessive and relentless drive for continuing control and domination over their former spouse and their children, who they view in terms of their personal ownership. In these cases, there is usually a history of spousal assault, rape, and a range of emotional, psychological, and physical maltreatment of their spouse and of their children, either directly or indirectly as a consequence of the spousal abuse. These are usually the factors which have led to the separation and ultimately to the divorce. Many such clinical examples case illustrations can be found in the Case Judgments in Family Law cases in all countries, as such Vengeful Fathers frequently use the law and the legal system as a means of enforcing their rights and demands and for continuing to persecute their victims, both mothers and children. They can also be found abundantly in the cases referred to voluntary organisations involved in Domestic Violence support services and child advocacy work
2. LACK OF EMOTION AND ‘AFFECTIVE’ RESPONSES – Vengeful Fathers are notable for their absence of genuine emotions and feelings although some have developed relatively sophisticated methods of mimicking such attitudes and behaviors in order to appear `normal’;

3. LACK OF EMPATHY, COMPASSION, AND REMORSE – these are very significant features of the Vengeful Father who frequently obtain a schadenfreudic delight in observing the consequences of their behaviors in their victims’ responses and sufferings;

4. OBSESSIVELY DETERMINED TO `WIN’’ IN ANY FORM OF CONTEST, PARTICULARLY IN COURT PROCEEDINGS – THE VENGEFUL FATHER ALWAYS REQUIRES THAT HE IS PROVEN TO BE `RIGHT’ IN HIS VIEW OF THE WORLD, EVENTS, AND HIS PERCEPTIONS OF OTHERS – Vengeful fathers found considerable support in the conjectures and contentions of R.A. Gardner regarding Parental Alienation Syndrome during its period of being favored in some Family Courts. PAS provided an immediate vehicle by which the Vengeful Father could transfer blame onto the mother, when his children rejected and despised him for his cruel and uncaring behaviors towards them in the past and the children resisted any attempts to force them into contact or residency with him. It has become increasingly obvious that in many cases where Vengeful Fathers have alleged PAS, that in fact it was a clear and convincing case of Self-Alienation;

5. DECEIT, CUNNING, AND MANIPULATION – Vengeful Fathers often present and portray themselves to relatives, family friends, and significant others as the `Perfect father’. The purpose of this is to encourage others to believe that their former spouse is the defective partner and parent, or is `to blame’ for the relationship breakdown and to thereby isolate them from their social groups and communities. This again is a part of the Vengeful Father’s `control and dominate’ strategy. With little or no support, it is easier for them to continue to persecute and torment their victims;

6. GROOMING AND MANIPULATION OF AUTHORITY FIGURES AND PROFESSIONALS – Vengeful Fathers quickly recognize that lawyers, Court Reporters/Consultants, and judges have key roles in the Family Law system, They quickly learn the tactics and ploys to defend themselves in Courtrooms or receive advice from the many Father’s Rights groups and websites formed by other Vengeful Fathers. Such tactics and ploys involve : Denial or minimization of any allegations of assault or abuse, despite evidence to the contrary and including criminal convictions; Blaming the victims; Counter allegations to weaken the victim’s position; Provocation by the victims;

7. BLAME THE VICTIM – probably the most highly significant feature of the behavior and actions of the Vengeful Father, is a pathological aversion to accepting any form of responsibility for their actions. They readily blame the police, authority figures, the Courts, lawyers and even mothers, when proceedings do not go in the way they expect and anticipate. When thwarted in such ways and denied a “winning’’ outcome, this is when they become at their most dangerous.

From 1998-January 2014 there were 19 events were separated fathers killed their children. A total of 52 people have died in these events. 38 of the dead were children. All were murdered. Two women were murdered and 2 men were murdered. The remaining 10 men’s deaths were suicides by the perpetrators.

Posted in Parental Alienation PA

Karen Woodall – 3 vignettes in the successful treatment of parental alienation

This week I am presenting at the Missing Children Europe Conference In Brussells on the loss of children through alienation and the impact of this upon their wellbeing ten years on.  This led me to thinking about the ways in which the impact on children of alienation are largely unrecognised and how little there is in the UK in the way of services to support children in these circumstances.  Of course, without structural and legislative change, we will continue to see the problem of alienation rise and rise and there will be many more children in the next generations who will sever their entire relationship with one side of their self as a defensive response to the separation of their family.  This causes me to think about the core specifications for any services that purport to support the needs of alienated children. Because with the rise of such children in the next generations, treating alienation is going to become a very big challenge.

Much is written about alienation across the globe, with important developments and forward strides being made in understanding as well as treating the problem.  Here in the UK there are few practitioners combining understanding with the ability to treat the problem, particularly as a whole generation of key psychiatrists who were able to recognise and treat it have entered into retirement.  Treated from a psychiatric perspective, the issue of alienation in a child is viewed as a combination of pathologies around the child, all of which are well described in the DSM V.  Resolution of these issues from that perspective requires a shift in the dynamics which impact upon the child.  Thus, in the past, only those cases which reached psychiatrists could be helped and cases usually only reached psychiatrists through the mechanism of either serious mental health breakdown or through the family courts.

These days however, the social and political, as well as psychological and psychiatric imperatives that weigh upon the child’s mind, have powerful influence in both how the child is impacted and how the child is treated.  Whereas children who were seen as being alienated in years gone by were unusual, children who are alienated now and in the future will be less so because of a) the rise in awareness of the issue of parental alienation and b) the increasing numbers of children affected.  Treatment therefore, cannot be  the province of only the highly specialised practitioner, but must be widened to become the responsibility of all practitioners working with children in separated family situations.  Working with alienation across the spectrum of its presentation and impact upon the child has to be part of the both the knowledge base AND the experiential skill of such practitioners.  Craig Childress has written recently about this in his book Foundations and I absolutely agree that all practitioners who purport to work with alienated children and their families should be able to demonstrate much if not all of the skill and knowledge base which are set out therein.

Which leads me to thinking about the development of services to support alienated children in the UK and the way in which anyone who works in this field must be able to demonstrate minimum standards when it comes to undertaking such work.  Such standards, which are currently not codified or monitored in any way, have to be either voluntarily adopted by practitioners or parents themselves must be helped to understand what the minimum qualities of a parental alienation practitioner should look like.  This is the only way to ensure that parents and children are helped by people who both understand AND have the skill to deliver the kind of interventions that bring about change in the lives of alienated children.

In presenting to conferences and training other professionals, I use my work to illustrate the outcomes that can be achieved when the right combination of knowledge and experience are combined.  The following vignettes are out of my current year case book, all of the children have been successfully treated and are now back in strong relationship with the parent they once rejected.  Whilst I can claim my part in the successful treatment of these cases, I cannot and would not claim that it is only my intervention which has achieved this.  In two out of three of these cases, it is my work combined with others which has created the necessary dynamic change which has brought the child out of the alienated position. In one of these cases it is my work combined with the changing behaviours of the parents of the children which has brought about the change.

Our work at the Family Separation Clinic, which is dedicated to working with children and their families experiencing alienation and related problems, is built upon the research work undertaken by Professor Bala and colleagues in Canada.  A model of work which utilises a multi stranded approach which is most effective in combined teams of practitioners.  From this foundation we have developed a range of mapping tools which allow us to differentiate the causes of the alienation and design interventions which create rapid change.  As I said in my last post, this is therapy, but not as most people know it.  And in my experience, this approach sets a foundation stone for the minimum standards that are required for successful treatment of alienation in children.

Vignettes (by necessity these have to be disguised so that no-one can recognise anyone involved.  The dynamics however are those which were configured in the real cases and the treatment route is exactly how each were undertaken).

1.  Three children aged 8,9 14  all severely alienated and refusing to see their father.  When I began work with them in February 2015 they had all been completely rejecting of their father for a period of two years.

This case has been successfully treated through a combination of therapeutic intervention and parenting co-ordination whilst working with a Guardian who understands alienation and who is able to hold the tension of the court’s expectations that the children will have a relationship with their father very firmly.  This enables the therapeutic work to be undertaken swiftly because it limits the risk of triangulation in which the alienating parent utilises the doubts and lack of understanding in professionals to continue the children’s ability to reject.  The time taken to resolve the children’s rejection of their father was less than four weeks, the length of time taken to achieve optimum time between children and father for therapeutic challenge and readjustment of the relationship was twelve weeks.  Compulsion of the children to attend periods of time with their father was achieved through the use of court directions. Compulsion of behavioural change in the alienating parent was achieved through a suspended transfer of residence.

In this vignette it is clear that it is the combination of court process plus therapeutic work which creates the dynamic change which liberates the children.

2. One child, severe rejection of more than five years, treated in a combination of therapeutic work and supported parenting time.  Successful treatment arrived at by therapeutic work with parents plus immediate reconnection of child with rejected parent and movement into a shared care situation.  Dynamic change was created by the threat of a change of residence and the removal of all ability by the alienating parent to triangulate the dynamics in treatment (case was handled by one therapist with the Guardian acting as super parent and receiving reports on a regular basis, the Guardian holding the power to return the case to court at the request of the therapist).  Treatment time from rejection to reconnection was fourteen days.

In this vignette it is clear that the threat of a transfer of residence is the core element that creates the compulsion for change.

3. Two children who were severely alienated, all aged over 12, all refusing to see a parent, all assessed as being over empowered and in charge of the family system. The rejected parent was the mother, the father was assessed as having a personality disorder, removal of the children was undertaken and the children were placed into foster care.  Re-organisation of false memories, inculcated beliefs and targeted distortions of thinking were undertaken in foster care, the children were re-introduced to their mother within 14 days of removal.  This work was undertaken in conjunction with Local Authority under a section 37 route.

This case is a child protection case in which false beliefs have seriously harmed the children, this allows correction of the problem to be undertaken using separation of the children from the source of the abuse which causes alienation.  Whilst Craig Childress calls for all alienated children to be separated from the alientating parent before treatment (a view with which I agree and which, in a world where alienation is recognised as the harmful problem it is, is something which would routinely happen.  In the UK however, separation of the child from the alienating parent is, in my experience, only undertaken when the welfare threshold has been met and the court is satisfied that a child is being seriously harmed by the alienating parent).

Looking at alienation from the perspective of how it is treated, it is easy to see that there are necessary conditions in place for successful outcomes. It is not the case that therapists working alone can bring about successful liberation of children and it is not the case that research and knowledge is enough.  For successful outcomes, therapeutic or otherwise, treating alienation requires doing something and that doing is so much more than talking about it.  As I talk about alienation in Brussells this week, I will be talking with others who are interested in this work and developing protocols and tools which will bring to the UK the wider use of the kind of interventions that are routinely used in the United States and in Canada, two countries which are far ahead of the UK in their thinking as well as their doing.

Because doing requires more than knowing and knowing requires understanding what kinds of combinations of doing bring about change.

All of which means that if your therapist is not showing you treatment routes that look like these vignettes, what they are showing you is not successful treatment of parental alienation.

to read more from Karen Woodall website please click here

Posted in Parental Alienation PA

Why do our family services know so little about Parental Alienation?

The question for me is why do our family services know so little about Parental Alienation and, when they do know something about it, (which clearly the author of this report does, she described it so perfectly) why do they not want to find out more about it.

Why, for example, did this social worker, on hearing a child say ‘I wish he would just die’ and ‘I would kill him if I could’ not consider that to be concerning?

Why, when a child says that her father should be ‘shot and thrown into the river’ does a social worker not decide that this requires further examination?

Why do social workers and other family workers not realise, when they see a child who is utterly determined to uphold the aligned parent’s perspective – to the point of delusion – go on to conclude that this is just a contact dispute.

What sort of mind block prevents professionals in family services from understanding the reality for alienated children?  Politics? Discriminatory practice? Or simple ‘he said/she said’ fatigue?

Whatever it is it is causing our children to become stuck in the most appalling circumstances within the court process, subjected over and over again to professionals who are well meaning but unskilled in the field and to a flimsy court management process which aids and abets institutionalised abuse of children. All of which, frankly, appalls me.

Read the full article at

Taken from Karen Woodhall Press

Posted in Parental Alienation PA

Mother shaming: the dynamics of the alienating father

Not only do alienated mothers face the loss of their children and all of the grief and suffering that goes with that, they face the hostile and deeply suspicious attitudes of society at large, where the belief that if a mother has lost her children, she must have done something dreadful to deserve it, is an obstinate and poisonous mindset. – So true

Karen Woodall

It is often said that parental alienation is not a gender issue, by this people mean that the issue can affect either mothers or fathers. At first glance however, it would appear that alienated mothers are in the minority, but in reality they are not so small a group.  What faces alienated mothers however is something so deeply unpleasant and so deeply shaming, that it is small wonder that so many women in these circumstances do not reveal to the outside world what has happened to them.  Not only do alienated mothers face the loss of their children and all of the grief and suffering that goes with that, they face the hostile and deeply suspicious attitudes of society at large, where the belief that if a mother has lost her children, she must have done something dreadful to deserve it, is an obstinate and poisonous mindset.

This mindset is…

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What Does a Severely Alienated Child look like in Parental Alienation Syndrome

Public Lies

What Does a Severely Alienated Child look like?

Copyright 1998 by Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.

  • The child has a relentless hatred for towards the targeted parent.
  • The child parrots the Obsessed Alienator, and makes statements against the targeted parent.
  • The child does not want to visit or spend any time with the targeted parent.
  • Many of the child’s beliefs are enmeshed with the alienator.
  • The child’s stated beliefs are delusional and frequently irrational.
  • The child is not intimidated by the court.
  • Frequently, the child’s reasons are not based on personal experiences with the targeted parent.  Instead, the reasons reflect what the child is told by the Obsessed Alienator.The child has difficulty making any differentiation between the two.
  • The child has no ambivalence in his feelings; it’s all hatred, with no ability to see the good.  (Black and White thinking)
  • The child has no capacity to feel guilty about how he or…

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Posted in Parental Alienation PA, Parental Alienation: Why Be Aware?

Footprints xoxo — The Story of my Twin Boys Oliver and Oscar Ferreira

via Footprints xoxo — The Story of my Twin Boys Oliver and Oscar Ferreira

Posted in Parental Alienation PA, Parental Alienation: A Mental Diagnosis?

Introducing the Dark Triad — Dr Craig Childress: Attachment-Based “Parental Alienation”

The paradigm for defining the pathology of “parental alienation” is shifting. Gardner led everyone down the wrong path when he proposed that “parental alienation” represented a unique new form of pathology unrelated to any other form of pathology in all of mental health – a “new syndrome.” Gardner was wrong. The pathology of “parental alienation” […]

via Introducing the Dark Triad — Dr Craig Childress: Attachment-Based “Parental Alienation”

Posted in Parental Alienation Outcomes, Parental Alienation PA

The gift of our wounds

The adult alienated child, if able to see the truth of their childhood, faces the daunting task of holding the alienator accountable. Ideally, adults in the child’s life would have handled this task long ago, if not stopping the alienator, at least making it more difficult for him. But in the unfortunate trauma that is parent alienation, it is often the targeted, alienated parent who is made into the villain, not only by the alienator, but also by the other people who surround the child. The disgrace fallen upon the out casted parent can be shockingly insidious.

I can recall sitting outside with my sister and a neighborhood friend about a year or two after my mother was cast out of my life. We were young children, and one of us brought up the subject of my mother, a very rare occurrence. Our neighbor, a little girl of about six years old, said “I remember she used to give us whole bottles of coke”. She was referring to the individual bottles of coke. It wasn’t what she said that spoke volumes, but the tone in which she said it, implying that she was a bad, irresponsible mother. My sister, our paternal grandmother, and perhaps the girls’ mother, had gotten this little girl on board the hate wagon.

This influence spread far and wide and each time I was witness to it, I remained silent. I only had four years with my mother; how could I prove to anyone that she was good? I was a child when she disappeared from my life, and I was led to believe it was irresponsible abandonment. I did not believe this, but how does a young child explain that their heart tells them otherwise, while living in an atmosphere that forbids such declaration?

They don’t.

I didn’t.

It is up to me to finally, after decades, to confront my father without backing down again. I need to approach him with the possibility for forgiveness, but with the confidence and knowledge that I have now.

No one else is going to do it.

Not even my mother, who was robbed of her children. Despite her undying resentment toward him, she does not have the courage, strength, or desire to ever speak to my father again.

Not my sister who still feels very protective of my father, akin to Stockholm syndrome.

Not my stepmother who does not know the truth because she does not want to know it. She has been enabled to remain obliviously unaware of the past.

But here is the good news about being the one who must hold him accountable.

I get to stand up to him, realize my own courage and speak my own truth, and fully heal my own wound.

I will no longer wonder what he will say if I mention my newfound, albeit fragile, reconnection with my mother. There it will be, my words giving voice to what should never have been taken away.

I dare him to question this, is what I feel now. I dare him to tell me I’m wrong.

I get to reclaim my birthright, my authenticity, my power.

I get to free myself.

And forgive.

Memories of an Alienated Daughter

Unhealed trauma muffles the inner impulses that guide your authentic brilliance to fully emerge.

In order to disrupt the faulty systems, we have to be willing to withstand criticism and disapproval from others while rooted in the greater vision that motivates us.

-Bethany Webster


The adult alienated child, if able to see the truth of their childhood, faces the daunting task of holding the alienator accountable. Ideally, adults in the child’s life would have handled this task long ago, if not stopping the alienator, at least making it more difficult for him. But in the unfortunate trauma that is parent alienation, it is often the targeted, alienated parent who is made into the villain, not only by the alienator, but also by the other people who surround the child. The disgrace fallen upon the out casted parent can be shockingly insidious.

I can recall sitting outside with my sister…

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Posted in Parental Alienation PA

At least 10,000 children a year receive no “active police response”

Missing kids are being placed at “terrible risk” of grooming and sex gangs because of a “dangerous” police recording system, MPs warn today.

At least 10,000 children a year receive no “active police response” when they vanish, according a parliamentary inquiry.

Children who disappear are classed as either “missing” or “absent” – but officers only search for youngsters in the first category, a report reveals.

And police call handlers are pressured by senior officers to record kids as absent – limiting the need for police to hunt them, MPs were told.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults today calls for the “hit and miss” system, which was introduced in 2013, to be scrapped.

At least 10,000 children a year receive no “active police response”

Posted in Parental Alienation PA

New children and social work bill

The children and social work bill, included in Wednesday’s Queen’s speech, promises key changes for children’s services. Under the bill, adoption would be prioritised over short-term foster care placements, and a new care leavers’ covenant would be introduced to provide young people leaving care with better support.