Posted in Parental Alienation PA, Top 100 Traits & Behaviors of Personality-Disordered Individuals

Top 100 Traits & Behaviors of Personality-Disordered Individuals

  1. Abusive Cycle – This is the name for the ongoing rotation between destructive and constructive behavior which is typical of many dysfunctional relationships and families.

  2. Alienation – The act of cutting off or interfering with an individual’s relationships with others.

  3. “Always” and “Never” Statements – “Always” and “Never” Statements are declarations containing the words “always” or “never”. They are commonly used but rarely true.

  4. Anger – People who suffer from personality disorders often feel a sense of unresolved anger and a heightened or exaggerated perception that they have been wronged, invalidated, neglected or abused.

  5. Avoidance – The practice of withdrawing from relationships with other people as a defensive measure to reduce the risk of rejection, accountability, criticism or exposure.

  6. Baiting – A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another individual.

  7. Belittling, Condescending and Patronizing – This kind of speech is a passive-aggressive approach to giving someone a verbal put-down while maintaining a facade of reasonableness or friendliness.

  8. Blaming – The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.

  9. Bullying – Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.

  10. Catastrophizing – The habit of automatically assuming a “worst case scenario” and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.

  11. Chaos Manufacture – Unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess.

  12. Cheating – Sharing a romantic or intimate relationship with somebody when you are already committed to a monogamous relationship with someone else.

  13. Chronic Broken Promises – Repeatedly making and then breaking commitments and promises is a common trait among people who suffer from personality disorders.

  14. Circular Conversations – Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no resolution.

  15. Confirmation Bias – The tendency to pay more attention to things which reinforce your beliefs than to things which contradict them.

  16. “Control-Me” Syndrome – This describes a tendency which some people have to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or “acting-out” nature.

  17. Cruelty to Animals – Acts of Cruelty to Animals have been statistically discovered to occur more often in people who suffer from personality disorders than in the general population.

  18. Denial – Believing or imagining that some painful or traumatic circumstance, event or memory does not exist or did not happen.

  19. Dependency – An inappropriate and chronic reliance by an adult individual on another individual for their health, subsistence, decision making or personal and emotional well-being.

  20. Depression – People who suffer from personality disorders are often also diagnosed with symptoms of depression.

  21. Dissociation– A psychological term used to describe a mental departure from reality.

  22. Domestic Theft – Consuming or taking control of a resource or asset belonging to (or shared with) a family member, partner or spouse without first obtaining their approval.

  23. Emotional Abuse – Any pattern of behavior directed at one individual by another which promotes in them a destructive sense of Fear, Obligation or Guilt (FOG).

  24. Emotional Blackmail – A system of threats and punishments used in an attempt to control someone’s behaviors.

  25. Engulfment – An unhealthy and overwhelming level of attention and dependency on another person, which comes from imagining or believing one exists only within the context of that relationship.

  26. Escape To Fantasy – Taking an imaginary excursion to a happier, more hopeful place.

  27. False Accusations – Patterns of unwarranted or exaggerated criticism directed towards someone else.

  28. Favoritism and Scapegoating – Systematically giving a dysfunctional amount of preferential positive or negative treatment to one individual among a family group of peers.

  29. Fear of Abandonment – An irrational belief that one is imminent danger of being personally rejected, discarded or replaced.

  30. Feelings of Emptiness – An acute, chronic sense that daily life has little worth or significance, leading to an impulsive appetite for strong physical sensations and dramatic relationship experiences.

  31. Frivolous Litigation – The use of unmerited legal proceedings to hurt, harass or gain an economic advantage over an individual or organization.

  32. Gaslighting – The practice of brainwashing or convincing a mentally healthy individual that they are going insane or that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term “Gaslighting” is based on the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”.

  33. Grooming – Grooming is the predatory act of maneuvering another individual into a position that makes them more isolated, dependent, likely to trust, and more vulnerable to abusive behavior.

  34. Harassment – Any sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior by one individual towards another.

  35. High and Low-Functioning – A High-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is able to conceal their dysfunctional behavior in certain public settings and maintain a positive public or professional profile while exposing their negative traits to family members behind closed doors. A Low-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is unable to conceal their dysfunctional behavior from public view or maintain a positive public or professional profile.

  36. Hoarding – Accumulating items to an extent that it becomes detrimental to quality of lifestyle, comfort, security or hygiene.

  37. Holiday Triggers – Mood Swings in Personality-Disordered individuals are often triggered or amplified by emotional events such as family holidays, significant anniversaries and events which trigger emotional memories.

  38. Hoovers & Hoovering – A Hoover is a metaphor taken from the popular brand of vacuum cleaners, to describe how an abuse victim trying to assert their own rights by leaving or limiting contact in a dysfunctional relationship, gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.

  39. Relationship Hyper Vigilance – Maintaining an unhealthy level of interest in the behaviors, comments, thoughts and interests of others.

  40. Hysteria – An inappropriate over-reaction to bad news or disappointments, which diverts attention away from the real problem and towards the person who is having the reaction.

  41. Identity Disturbance – A psychological term used to describe a distorted or inconsistent self-view

  42. Imposed Isolation – When abuse results in a person becoming isolated from their support network, including friends and family.

  43. Impulsiveness – The tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning.

  44. Infantilization – Treating a child as if they are much younger than their actual age.

  45. Intimidation – Any form of veiled, hidden, indirect or non-verbal threat.

  46. Invalidation – The creation or promotion of an environment which encourages an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless.

  47. Lack of Conscience – Individuals who suffer from Personality Disorders are often preoccupied with their own agendas, sometimes to the exclusion of the needs and concerns of others. This is sometimes interpreted by others as a lack of moral conscience.

  48. Lack of Object Constancy – An inability to remember that people or objects are consistent, trustworthy and reliable, especially when they are out of your immediate field of vision.

  49. Low Self-Esteem – A common name for a negatively-distorted self-view which is inconsistent with reality.

  50. Manipulation – The practice of steering an individual into a desired behavior for the purpose of achieving a hidden personal goal.

  51. Masking – Covering up one’s own natural outward appearance, mannerisms and speech in dramatic and inconsistent ways depending on the situation.

  52. Mirroring – Imitating or copying another person’s characteristics, behaviors or traits.

  53. Moments of Clarity – Spontaneous periods when a person with a Personality Disorder becomes more objective and tries to make amends.

  54. Mood Swings – Unpredictable, rapid, dramatic emotional cycles which cannot be readily explained by changes in external circumstances.

  55. Munchausen’s and Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome – A disorder in which an individual repeatedly fakes or exaggerates medical symptoms in order to manipulate the attentions of medical professionals or caregivers.

  56. Name-Calling – Use of profane, derogatory or dehumanizing terminology to describe another individual or group.

  57. Narcissism – A set of behaviors characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, self-centered focus, need for admiration, self-serving attitude and a lack of empathy or consideration for others.

  58. Neglect – A passive form of abuse in which the physical or emotional needs of a dependent are disregarded or ignored by the person responsible for them.

  59. Normalizing – Normalizing is a tactic used to desensitize an individual to abusive, coercive or inappropriate behaviors. In essence, normalizing is the manipulation of another human being to get them to agree to, or accept something that is in conflict with the law, social norms or their own basic code of behavior.

  60. “Not My Fault” Syndrome – The practice of avoiding personal responsibility for one’s own words and actions.

  61. No-Win Scenarios – When you are manipulated into choosing between two bad options

  62. Objectification – The practice of treating a person or a group of people like an object.

  63. Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior – An inflexible adherence to arbitrary rules and systems, or an illogical adherence to cleanliness and orderly structure.

  64. Panic Attacks – Short intense episodes of fear or anxiety, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as hyperventilating, shaking, sweating and chills.

  65. Parental Alienation Syndrome – When a separated parent convinces their child that the other parent is bad, evil or worthless.

  66. Parentification – A form of role reversal, in which a child is inappropriately given the role of meeting the emotional or physical needs of the parent or of the family’s other children.

  67. Passive-Aggressive Behavior – Expressing negative feelings in an unassertive, passive way.

  68. Pathological Lying – Persistent deception by an individual to serve their own interests and needs with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.

  69. Perfectionism – The maladaptive practice of holding oneself or others to an unrealistic, unattainable or unsustainable standard of organization, order, or accomplishment in one particular area of living, while sometimes neglecting common standards of organization, order or accomplishment in other areas of living.

  70. Physical Abuse – Any form of voluntary behavior by one individual which inflicts pain, disease or discomfort on another, or deprives them of necessary health, nutrition and comfort.

  71. Projection – The act of attributing one’s own feelings or traits to another person and imagining or believing that the other person has those same feelings or traits.

  72. Proxy Recruitment – A way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing “doing the dirty work”

  73. Push-Pull – A chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without appropriate cause or reason.

  74. Raging, Violence and Impulsive Aggression – Explosive verbal, physical or emotional elevations of a dispute. Rages threaten the security or safety of another individual and violate their personal boundaries.

  75. Riding the Emotional Elevator – Taking a fast track to different levels of emotional maturity.

  76. Sabotage – The spontaneous disruption of calm or status quo in order to serve a personal interest, provoke a conflict or draw attention.

  77. Scapegoating – Singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.

  78. Selective Memory and Selective Amnesia – The use of memory, or a lack of memory, which is selective to the point of reinforcing a bias, belief or desired outcome.

  79. Selective Competence – Demonstrating different levels of intelligence, memory, resourcefulness, strength or competence depending on the situation or environment.

  80. Self-Aggrandizement – A pattern of pompous behavior, boasting, narcissism or competitiveness designed to create an appearance of superiority.

  81. Self-Harm – Any form of deliberate, premeditated injury, such as cutting, poisoning or overdosing, inflicted on oneself.

  82. Self-Loathing – An extreme hatred of one’s own self, actions or one’s ethnic or demographic background.

  83. Self-Victimization – Casting oneself in the role of a victim.

  84. Sense of Entitlement – An unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.

  85. Sexual Objectification – Viewing another individual in terms of their sexual usefulness or attractiveness rather than pursuing or engaging in a quality interpersonal relationship with them.

  86. Shaming – The difference between blaming and shaming is that in blaming someone tells you that you did something bad, in shaming someone tells you that you are something bad.

  87. Silent Treatment – A passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse in which displeasure, disapproval and contempt is exhibited through nonverbal gestures while maintaining verbal silence.

  88. Situational Ethics – A philosophy which promotes the idea that, when dealing with a crisis, the end justifies the means and that a rigid interpretation of rules and laws can be set aside if a greater good or lesser evil is served by doing so.

  89. Sleep Deprivation – The practice of routinely interrupting, impeding or restricting another person’s sleep cycle.

  90. Splitting – The practice of regarding people and situations as either completely “good” or completely “bad”.

  91. Stalking – Any pervasive and unwelcome pattern of pursuing contact with another individual.

  92. Stunted Emotional Growth – A difficulty, reluctance or inability to learn from mistakes, work on self-improvement or develop more effective coping strategies.

  93. Targeted Humor, Mocking and Sarcasm – Any sustained pattern of joking, sarcasm or mockery which is designed to reduce another individual’s reputation in their own eyes or in the eyes of others.

  94. Testing – Repeatedly forcing another individual to demonstrate or prove their love or commitment to a relationship.

  95. Thought Policing – Any process of trying to question, control, or unduly influence another person’s thoughts or feelings.

  96. Threats – Inappropriate, intentional warnings of destructive actions or consequences.

  97. Triangulation – Gaining an advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.

  98. Triggering -Small, insignificant or minor actions, statements or events that produce a dramatic or inappropriate response.

  99. Tunnel Vision – The habit or tendency to only see or focus on a single priority while neglecting or ignoring other important priorities.

  100. Verbal Abuse – Any kind of repeated pattern of inappropriate, derogatory or threatening speech directed at one individual by another.

Posted in Parental Alienation PA, Pathological Lying: A Psychopathic Manipulation Tool

Pathological Lying: A Psychopathic Manipulation Tool

“Deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior.” ~Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door

In the beginning of my recovery, very soon after I discovered that the man I thought I knew had never existed, I held on to the one solid piece of truth that I had finally figured out: he was a LIAR. I held on tightly to that fact and started to research “pathological lying” on the internet. Unfortunately, I came up with nothing helpful. It was only when I painstakingly found my way to sociopathy/psychopathy that I uncovered accurate answers to my many questions! I eventually realized that pathological lying and psychopathy are inextricably linked.

Unfortunately, the above truth is obscured by a popular, and dangerous, assumption that exists within our society; it is even supported by research. That assumption is:everyone lies. Since everyone does it, since lying is apparently so universal and typical, it follows that it must not be that bad. Right? Wrong. Yes, almost all of us have told white lies to spare others’ feelings or with the intention of protecting others. And normal people lie to hide the shame they feel about wrongdoings or because they fear the consequences of their mistakes. But, there are other people who lie habitually, with the intent to deceive and manipulate others for their own personal gain, and they do not feel bad about doing it. In fact, they revel in it. These people are pathological liars, and they are psychopaths.

After much research, I have concluded that all pathological and compulsive liars have personality disorders, and those disorders can be placed on a psychopathic spectrum. Pathological lying is the opposite of normal. I will repeat that: pathological lying is the opposite of normal! It is irrelevant that researchers have discovered evidence that everyone lies in one way or another. Not only are most lies damaging, psychopathic lies are beyond the scope of what most people can even imagine when they think about lying. When someone lies habitually, that behavior pattern is always connected to other extremely disturbing traits and behaviors.

Lying is like breathing for psychopaths, and they use it as a manipulation tool in the following ways:

Psychopaths lie in order to dominate others
Because relationships are games to them, and because they view other people as objects and feel completely justified in exploiting them, psychopaths know that deception creates an uneven playing field. Lying is integral to impression management and mirroring; the lies enable psychopaths to present false images of themselves to potential targets. Those targets lose the ability to make safe and appropriate decisions. They enter into the relationships, unaware of the danger in store for them. Then, once the targets are hooked, psychopaths continue to use lies, along with a sprinkling of truth, in a multitude of ways, to ensure that their targets keep “playing.” They lie to cover up cheating, alcoholism, drug use, and sometimes various illegal activities. They lie through evasion and by withholding information. They lie as a form of gaslighting, in order to increase their control over their targets by making them constantly question themselves. They often repeatedly tell the ultimate lie, that they “love” their targets. And, they lie just for the fun of it.

Psychopaths actually feel a form of pleasure when they lie
Unlike lies told out of fear or to hide shame, psychopathic lies are often told because they bring a shallow form of pleasure to the liar. This is called “Duper’s Delight.” This explains why psychopaths sometimes lie when it is completely unnecessary or when the truth would be more advantageous. Psychopaths also include a variety of details in their lies, not only because it makes their lies sound more credible, but also because they enjoy constructing a false reality and making others believe it. It feeds their need for power and provides them with sick entertainment.

Psychopaths lie effortlessly and are very convincing
Psychopaths experience pleasure from lying because they lack the normal range of human emotions. They are empty and bored, they lack empathy for others, and they do not feel shame or remorse. This emptiness also enables them to lie with minimal effort. They can look other people straight in the eye, without flinching, and lie quickly and guiltlessly, even when confronted with probing questions and evidence of previous deception. It is also easy for them to deny the lies, make up excuses, and project their own behavior on to others, which is, of course, a lie in itself. Although some psychopaths do not bother with apologies, others say they’re sorry on a regular basis, and because they say this without feeling any shame, they can come across as sincere.

Psychopaths lie to make others feel sorry for them
All psychopaths know exactly how to elicit sympathy from their targets. They are exploiters, and so they take advantage of the natural desire most people have to help and nurture their fellow human beings. They use deception (and sometimes a smidgeon of truth) to create a plethora of fabricated ailments and problems. Common pity plays include fake illnesses and injuries, along with “crazy” exes, car accidents, and theft, to name just a few. Psychopaths generate as many pretend sob stories as needed in order to draw others into their hidden games, again and again and again. The ability they have to lie pathologically, easily, and confidently makes it possible for them to convince others that such an implausible number of tragedies is plausible, which unfortunately opens the door to a variety of manipulation and exploitation opportunities.

Martha Stout’s telling quote from above, “Deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior,” can be translated as: lying is central to the psychopathic personality. It therefore cannot be separated from other psychopathic behavior; it is integrated completely into how psychopaths think and into everything they do. Habitual, pathological lying is the opposite of normal, and it is always a telltale sign of a psychopathic personality disorder.

Posted in Parental Alienation PA, The Psychodiagnostic Chart (PDC) Free download

The Psychodiagnostic Chart (PDC) Free download

A Practical Tool to Integrate and Operationalize the PDM with the ICD or DSM
Robert M. Gordon and Robert F. Bornstein, 2012

Use: The Psychodiagnostic Chart (PDC) is a quick practitioner rating form that integrates the PDM with the ICD or DSM.   The PDC may be used for diagnoses, treatment formulations, progress reports, and outcome assessment, as well as for empirical research on personality, psychopathology, and treatment.  Our overarching aim is to make psychodiagnoses more useful to the practitioner by combining the symptom-focused ICD or DSM with the full range and depth of human mental functioning addressed by the PDM.


How to use:  The clinician must perform (or have access to) diagnostic interview data and psychological assessment data to derive optimal ratings. We recognize that this is not always feasible, and in many instances the clinician will code an initial impression, then re-assess as additional information accrues. If this is used for progress notes, there will be opportunities to re-assess and revise the person’s diagnosis as well. The validity of this chart can be enhanced with the integration of relevant psychological tests. Recent research by Gordon and Stoffey (2014) show excellent construct validity and reliability of the PDC.


click here to download the chart PDC2 2015 v8.1

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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Posted in Parental Alienation PA

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 & Narcissistic Personality Disorder


This fracture  is not the same as erasing her contacts in my phone and her un-friends on social media and never speak to her again.stiefvader_stiefdochter relationship My oldest step-daughter has also now broken with her mother.

Yes, we have shared joy and sorrow with each other in the last six years.

She was at our wedding, at the funeral of my mother,

she was several times along with my sons.

We went a few times on vacation,

and for a year, I brought her back and forth to school,

on stage and sometimes to parties.

Not that I had done less for her brother.

But yeah, her brother was never so open,

and you understand that something more like a son would live with his father,

especially if he does not have relationships with girls.

read the full story here:-

Posted in A GUIDE TO THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME, A Severely Alienated Child of Parental Alienation Syndrome, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome:, Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Canberra psychologist disciplined after labelling children with unrecognised condition

A Canberra psychologist has been disciplined for claiming in a report that his client’s children suffered from “parental alienation syndrome“, a condition not formally recognised by psychology bodies.

A tribunal was also critical in its assessment of the psychologist’s report, saying that it went beyond opinion or reasonable inference and “attributes fault and deliberately dishonourable behaviour factually to the [ex-wife]”.

Posted in A closer look at Parental Alienation, A GUIDE TO THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Parental Alienation Database

This online database pertains to parental alienation, a mental condition in which a child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a high-conflict separation or divorce – allies strongly with one parent (the preferred parent or alienating parent) and rejects a relationship with the other parent (the target parent or alienated parent) without legitimate justification.

go to the database here:-