Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

You can’t help those who won’t help themselves

Avoiding becoming enmeshed in other people’s problems is difficult. Successfully doing so requires willpower, discipline, and an understanding of human nature. The important point to remember is that you can only help those who are willing to help themselves.

Typically, people with a victim mentality are usually unwilling to help themselves. This is due to the fact that they continually blame other people or circumstances for their situation. Since they refuse to take responsibility for their position, they don’t believe there is any point taking corrective action.

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Don’t Voluntarily Take On Other People’s Anxiety, If You Can Avoid It

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Join Heads Together to stay updated with campaign activities

Let’s get our Heads Together to change the conversation on mental health.

Continue reading “Join Heads Together to stay updated with campaign activities”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind

Most child psychiatrists have encountered warring separated or divorced parents, where one or even both are determined to exclude the other from contact with the children. This is accomplished by convincing the children that the other parent is disinterested, drunk, dangerous or otherwise unfit to parent them. This is a minefield for the unwary psychiatrist, replete with misinterpretations, mistaken assumptions, or downright lies. Great difficulties can be encountered with children who have been thoroughly brainwashed and programmed. They are completely unaware of, and unable to comprehend, how they have been misled. This book promised a better understanding of this problem, and some guidelines for management.

The forty subjects were recruited on the internet and by word of mouth. They were self-selected; people who believed that one parent had alienated them from the other. The interviews followed the semi-structured protocol often used in qualitative research. Subjects ranged in age from 19 to 67 years; 25 were female and 15 male. The alienating parents described consisted of 34 mothers and 6 fathers. In most cases the subjects’ parents were separated and divorced, but several described the process of alienation in an intact but extremely dysfunctional family. The author claims to be debunking myths about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), emphasising that the syndrome is complex, and not just a matter of hostile, bitter ex-wives seeking revenge on the men who abandoned them. She identifies three patterns: “the narcissistic mother in the divorced family,” (p. 23–29) “the narcissistic mother in the intact family” (p. 29–32) and “the rejecting/abusive alienating parent” (p. 32–34). The agenda of debunking myths could have been better served by using the term narcissistic parent, as one of the six fathers fell in a narcissistic group and another had a mixed pattern.

Common strategies used by the alienating parent were: badmouthing; limiting the other parent and their extended family’s contact with the children; withdrawing love or getting angry at the child; telling the child that their other parent did not love them, forcing the child to chose between parents; insisting that the other parent was dangerous; discussing adult relationships with the child; avoiding mention and removing photos of the other parent; forcing child to reject the other parent; limiting contact with the extended family; belittling the other parent; creating conflict; cultivating dependency; and throwing out letters and gifts.

Some subjects realised by their late teens that they had been manipulated, but others did not see the situation clearly until their thirties or later, or until they became parents themselves and had similar struggles with an exspouse. Sometimes realisation that one was a child victim of parental alienation came with maturation, but in other cases a significant person or event appeared to propel new insight. Catalysts included: therapy; reaching a major life milestone such as becoming a parent; intervention of a significant other or family; being the recipient of hostility from the alienating parent, or seeing them be dishonest or mistreat others; the targeted parent returning; and becoming alienated from one’s own children.

The author tries to extrapolate from these retrospective accounts to create guidelines for working with alienated children. This chapter is brief, and has little to offer the experienced child psychiatrist or counsellor. The author likens the child with PAS to a cult victim who can be helped by exit counselling strategies. The strategies appear relevant to youth in their mid to late teens, but are not practical for younger children.

The case descriptions in this book are interesting, but become repetitive as they are quoted and re-quoted to illustrate the various patterns, characteristics, strategies and catalysts that the author describes. In my opinion, the essence of the book could have been distilled into a couple of articles. It may be of value to beginning therapists and consumers, but is not recommended for more experienced professionals. Continue reading “Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

What drives the Parental Alienator for 27 years?






Linda Turner says:

Hello Karen, I have read and reblogged many of your posts but still fail to understand how and why a parent can continue with PA for over 25 years.

What is the motivation?

What drives them when they have what they want?

I have read many articles from alienated adult children who claim they still loved the target parent throughout the whole ordeal – so why let it continue for so many years?

How do alienated adults they break away?


  1. karenwoodall says:

    one simple answer Linda, disordered mind of some kind, either personality disorder, psychiatric disorder or disorder in the transgenerational parenting pattersn which has been normalised and so is not see as odd. Sometimes a repetetive pattern of behaviour in the aligned parent – in the child – simple terrorism, awareness that if they reunite they will be cast out – and a deep sense of terror that if that happens they will die. This is terrorism of the mind which happens early in life and which holds the child/adult captive – sometimes forever sadly

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The Nordic Committee for Humans Rights – Repairing the child-parent relationship after traumatic separation, alienation: Parental Alienation Syndrome

A successful reintegration does not guarantee a successful long-term relationship. The key to long-term success is the child and parent’s pre-PAS relationship. Were the two close? Did they have a healthy and strong bond? If the parent/child relationship was good, then their future looks bright.


Even when the child and parent shared a healthy pre-alienation relationship, their future could be complicated by something Hoch called “the pendulum effect.” If the court allows a child to re-establish contact with the alienating parent too soon, the child begins swinging wildly between the two parents. According to Hoch, the formerly alienated parent must remain calm during these swings and continue sending the child messages filled with love and support.


Another key factor in the long-term success of the reintegration process is bridge relationships. For example, a child alienated from his or her mother may have stayed close to an aunt — the mother’s sister. The aunt becomes the bridge relationship. Siblings also make excellent bridges. Bridge relationships are important because the “bridge” person has loving relationships with both the alienated child and the parent. The bridge person provides a much-needed reality check for a reintegrated child experiencing the pendulum effect. These relationships become particularly important to the long-term success of the reintegration process once the formerly alienated child turns 18 years old and is beyond the court’s jurisdiction. Continue reading “The Nordic Committee for Humans Rights – Repairing the child-parent relationship after traumatic separation, alienation: Parental Alienation Syndrome”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Grandparent Alienation

Negative verbal

Negative nonverbal

Asking the child to report – spy

Exposing the child to too much information related to adult issues. This scares them, and places doubt about the value and safety of the alienated relative.

Extending a negative campaign to the extended family, and outside the family

Withhold affection

Avoid socializing with you

Does not allow you to express feelings

Blames you for problems…real or made up

Deny that their behavior is abusive, or minimize it by belittling you

Attempts to change or control you

Try to control you with lies or contradictions

Try to control with emotions

Demand to control a situation

Demand that you ask permission constantly

Gives away things you have presented to your grandchildren

Threaten to hurt you in some way

Feel parents place negative pressure on the situation

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Three Types of Alienation

Three Types of Alienation

Naïve alienators are parents who are passive about the children’s relationship with the other parent but will occasionally do or say something that can alienate. All parents will occasionally be naïve alienators.

Active alienators also know better than to alienate, but their intense hurt or anger causes them to impulsively lose control over their behavior or what they say. Later, they may feel very guilty about how they behaved.

Obsessed alienators have a fervent cause to destroy the targeted parent. Frequently a parent can be a blend between two types of alienators, usually a combination between the naïve and active alienator. Rarely does the obsessed alienator have enough self-control or insight to blend with the other types. These three patterns of alienating behaviors are not intended to be used as a diagnosis. The types have not been validated sufficient for litigation.

Keep in mind that the source of alienating behavior can come from mothers, fathers, stepparents, relatives, and even babysitters, “best friends” of the parent, the parent’s attorney, or a therapist.

Type Three: Obsessed Alienator
“I love my children. If the court can’t protect them from their abusive father, I will. Even though he’s never abused the children, I know it’s a matter of time. The children are frightened of their father. If they don’t want to see him, I’m not going to force them. They are old enough to make up their own minds.”

The obsessed alienator is a parent, or sometimes a grandparent, with a cause: to align the children to his or her side and together, with the children, campaign to destroy their relationship with the targeted parent. For the campaign to work, the obsessed alienator enmeshes the children’s personalities and beliefs into their own. This is a process that takes time but one that the children, especially the young, are completely helpless to see and combat. It usually begins well before the divorce is final. The obsessed parent is angry, bitter or feels betrayed by the other parent. The initial reasons for the bitterness may actually be justified. They could have been verbally and physical abused, raped, betrayed by an affair, or financially cheated. The problem occurs when the feelings won’t heal but instead become more intense because of being forced to continue the relationship with a person they despise because of their common parenthood. Just having to see or talk to the other parent is a reminder of the past and triggers the hate. They are trapped with nowhere to go and heal.

The characteristics of an obsessed alienator are:

  • They are obsessed with destroying the children’s relationship with the targeted parent.
  • They having succeeded in enmeshing the children’s personalities and beliefs about the other parent with their own.
  • The children will parrot the obsessed alienator rather than express their own feelings from personal experience with the other parent.
  • The targeted parent and often the children cannot tell you the reasons for their feelings.
  • Their beliefs sometimes becoming delusional and irrational. No one, especially the court, can convince obsessed alienators that they are wrong. Anyone who tries is the enemy.
  • They will often seek support from family members, quasi-political groups or friends that will share in their beliefs that they are victimized by the other parent and the system. The battle becomes “us against them.” The obsessed alienator’s supporters are often seen at the court hearings even though they haven’t been subpoenaed.
  • They have an unquenchable anger because they believe that the targeted parent has victimized them and whatever they do to protect the children is justified.
  • They have a desire for the court to punish the other parent with court orders that would interfere or block the targeted parent from seeing the children. This confirms in the obsessed alienator’s mind that he or she was right all the time.
  • The court’s authority does not intimidate them.
  • The obsessed alienator believes in a higher cause, protecting the children at all cost.
  • The obsessed alienator will probably not want to read what is on these pages because the content just makes them angrier.
Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Severe Sociopaths Oppose Parental Alienation Syndrome – Sick People Not In Touch With Reality

Parental alienators will deliberately make up falsehoods, deceive, delay, and play the “victim” in custody proceedings and do so with a sly and manipulative cunning that is best described as sociopath behavior. Like Hitler and the Nazis, these sick individuals enjoy controlling others and “winning,” and creating an environment of hostility and bitterness. Although outwardly they may be seen as successful, charming and winning in the careers, “these ordinary people who have no conscience–no capacity to feel shame, guilt, or remorse–can do absolutely anything to other people without ever feeling guilty . . . These sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are cold as a snake and live to dominate and win.” from “The Sociopath Next Door” by Dr. Martha Stout. Dr. Stout estimates that 4% of our population can be described as sociopaths. And, she says that may be a conservative estimate. Continue reading “Severe Sociopaths Oppose Parental Alienation Syndrome – Sick People Not In Touch With Reality”

Posted in Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Parental Alienation – Dr. L.F. Lowenstein – Southern England Psychological Services

108 Specific Treatment Approaches for Children who have Suffered from Parental Alienation 2013
107 The Family Courts What is an ideal Judgment 2013
106 Confessions of an Expert Witness in the case of PAS 2013
105 Do Children Have Rights Against the Psychological Effects of Parental Alienation 2013
104 The Long Term Effect of Parental Alienation in Childhood 2013
103 Implacable Hostility against Grandparents following Parental Separation and Divorce 2012
102 Finding a Real Solution to Complex Contact Disputes Due to Implacable Hostility Between Parents 2012
101 Am I a Controversial Psychologist? 2012
100 Treating the Long and Short Term Effects of Parental Alienation 2012
99 Why does mediation often fail with families in turmoil? 2012
98 Complex with Highly Complex Contact Disputes Between Parents 2012
97 One Expert Witness Attempting to Explain Families in Turmoil Leading to Parental Alienation 2012
96 What Can be Done With an Uncooperative Alienator? 2012
95 What Can Yet be Done With Older Children Who Have Been Long Term Victims of Parental Alienation? 2012
94 Is the concept of parental alienation a meaningful one? 2012
93 The Important Friendly Parent Doctrine and the Judiciary 2012
92 I Have A New Parent The Ensuing Problem Leading To Parental Alienation Scenarios 2012
91 Parental Alienation or not – is that the question? 2012
90 Should Parental Alienation be Considered a Crime? 2012
89 Is joint custody of children best following separation of parents 2012
88 The Alienated Parent Becoming a Stranger 2012
87 Can the attitude and behaviour of alienators be changed? How can this be achieved? 2012
86 The Parental; Alienator Who Abducts Children 2011
85 The Vicious Alienator’s Game Plan 2011
84 Understanding and treating children who have been alienated against a parent 2011
83 Angry Sadistic Alienators 2011
82 The Manipulative Alienator 2011
81 Can the role of the judiciary in family courts be improved 2011
80 What is in the Best Interest of the Children 2011
79 The value and limitation of mediation (ADR) (Post divorce disputes, concentrating on child contact issues) 2011
78 The Judiciary and Parental Alienation Disputes 2011
77 Post separation conflicts which affect contact for an alienated parent 2011
76 Parental alienation and child contact disputes in Pakistani families in the UK 2011
75 Infants and childen in danger of maltreatment due to domestic violence (the problem of violence in the home) 2011
74 The Judiciary in Family Courts (The need for making courageous decisions) 2011
73 The association of the judiciary and the expert witness in family contact disputes involving alienated children 2011
72 Assessment of Child Custody Disputes (using psychological testing and interview) 2011
71 The complexity of investigating possible sexual abuse of a child 2010
70 The effects on children in the future who have been successfully alienated against a parent 2010
69 How can the truthfulness of children making child sex allegations be established? 2010
68 Why are the courts unwilling to acknowledge PAS or PA 2010
67 What if the custodial parent refuses to co-operate with child contact decisions 2010
66 What if the alienated parent has faults 2010
65 Vital steps in treating the implacable hostility of the alienator 2010
64 The possibilities and limitations of psychological therapy in case of parental alienation 2010
63 The Judiciary and Parental Alienation Disputes 2010
62 The alienated psychologist 2010
61 Is the parent fit to parent a child 2010
60 How Can the Truthfulness of Children Making Child Sex Abuse Allegations be Established? 2010
59 Diagnosing Child Contact Disputes Between Parents (Are There Solutions?) 2010
58 Child Contact Disputes Between Parents and Allegations of Sex Abuse (What does the Research Say?) 2010
57 Can the judiciary do more? 2010
Contact Disputes to to Implacable Hostilities (A psychologist advises)
55 Child Parent Contact Following Domestic Violence 2009
Parental-alienation – A potentially serious mental disorder
53 Emotional abuse of children due to implacable hostility between parents? 2008
52 What is in the best interests of children? 2008
Attachment theory and Parental Alienation
What can be done to reduce the implacable hostility leading to parental alienation between parents?
49 Mediation with seperated parents – Recent research (2002-2007)  2007
48 Implacable hostility, parental alienation
Obliterating Paternity 
46 The comparison of parental alienation to the “Stockholm syndrome”
How Can Mediation be made to be Successful in Serious Family Disputes?
(Solving intractable hostility between former partners in contact disputes)
My experiences in Courts of Law dealing with parental alienation cases
When is it not a case of PA or PAS?
Real Justice for non custodial parents and their children
Parental Alienation Due to a Shared Psychotic Disorder (Folie a Deux)
The Psychological Assessment and Treatment of Pathologically Induced Alienation
(Dealing with alienation leading to an induced phobic reaction)

The Psychological Effect of Modelling (Imitation) on Parental Alienation
Dealing with Parental Post-Separation Conflicts (Recent Research)
Understanding Post-Divorce Conflicts and How to Resolve Them (Recent Research)
Attempting to Solve Child Contact Disputes (Recent Research)
The Type of Remedial and Therapeutic Methods required in Parental Alienation
Assessing and treatment of Parental Alienation
Difficulties in treating parents and children who have been involved in the Parental Alienation process
Family Courts (Where have courageous and just judges gone?) 
How does one identify and treat false accusations of sexual abuse in Parental Alienation situations?
How can one overturn the programming of a child against a parent?
The Concept of Mediation
Part 4 Dealing with treatment of PAS
Part 3 Long term effects on children
Part 2 PAS impact on children
Part 1 PAS or PA is that the question
Signs of PAS and how to counteract its effects
Causes and associated features of divorce as seen by recent research
The psychological effects and treatment of PAS
Recent changes in PAS approach by the Judiciary
Do children need fathers?
Tackling Parental Alienation
Treating Families in Turmoil
Problems suffered by children due to the effects of PAS
The psychological treatment of children who have suffered from PAS
The value of mediation in child custody disputes
Recent research into risk assessment of children
How to make joint custody parenting work effectively
Joint custody and shared parenting
Tackling Parental Alienation
Treating the alienator
The role of mediation in child custody disputes
Parental Alienation and the Judiciary
Mediation in the legal profession
Mediation – the way forward
Parental Alienation Syndrome: What the legal profession should know
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)
Child custody disputes – Ideals and realities
Parental Alienation Syndrome
Parent Alienation Syndrome: A two step approach toward a solution