Thursday, October 16, 2008

What is parental alienation?

For anyone unfamiliar with the phrase parental alienation, as I once was, it was a term introduced by the late Richard A. Gardner, M.D. There are many so called professionals on both sides of the fence regarding the name parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome. Some believe that parental alienation exists and others do not. Quite frankly I would rather not get caught in the correct terminology, but to educate for what does and can exist in high conflict custody cases.

These ideas are writings from my own personal experience, my observations from reading emails from parents, and my own personal research who have experienced the same thing.

One common denominator that seems to resonate is that the target parent feels as if they were hit by a train on a dark road. You never saw it coming. The aftermath is devastating and something that feels like it will never be repaired to the original state. It is a death, but both you and the child or children are still very much alive. It is grief without closure.

Another common denominator seems that be that the alienating parent is not "right". They seem to have some mental defect and or personality disorder. Of course trying to prove this is futile, because the alienator is a master at the game of deceit. Another common denominator seems to me, is that the alienator has narcissistic tendencies. They may also demonstrate anti social behavior. Alienators seem to have preponderance in the courts as well. They will use the legal system to abuse and harass the target parent.

Although Dr. Gardner coined the term parental alienation, it was associated with mothers. I would rather not write that one gender has greater tendencies to have the ability to alienate a child, but state that both genders are capable of this.

Parental alienation or any other term used to describe the atrocities used by one parent to encourage a child to hate another parent is simply abuse and emotional abuse at that. I would also state that it is the most severe form of emotional abuse that can happen in a child's life.

Can you imagine having the parent that has raised you, loved you, been there for you and shown you unconditional love to be vilified as a criminal and low life? As a target parent to be denied your rights as a parent and as a child to denied the love of a parent, this is a heinous act on the part of the alienator.

Somehow and somewhere the courts, children's services, judges and more will realize this and the laws will change. Until that time, target parents and children that are alienated everywhere will have to have the courage to stand up for what is right. Unfortunately the alienated child most likely does not realize this. It is up to the target parents to stand up, but who will listen?

Parental alienation is abuse! Stop the abuse!


  1. I just wanted to reach out to you and other targeted parents who might read your website and say that you are not alone. I have found in my research on PAS that many parents -- mothers as well as fathers- suffer from the terrible loss of a child due to the alienation strategies of other parents. My heart goes out to all of you. There is help and support out there -- both on my website as well as many others. I hope that you avail yourself of it.

    Amy J.L. Baker
    author, adult children of parental alienation syndrome: breaking the ties that bind (WW Norton) and Beyond the high road: responding to 17 parental alienation strategies without compromising your morals and harming your child.

  2. There is recognition and assistance in the form of support for targeted parents. The Rachel Foundation is one of them, that is if you can just get your kid there with you.

    There are many forms of support for targeted parents themselves. It is good to see people like this woman writing about this epidemic.

    There are others too in high places who repudiate and intrude into family courtrooms believing their work is of some diety. Among them is Justice for Children (JFC). They tote with them members of the largest law firms in the country, such as the one that helped take my daughter from me Fulbright and Jaworski, Llp and others like Haynes and Boone, Llp.

    Many so called womens groups repudiate it too.

    There is one woman who realized in her own evolution to truth that this problem is not a gender problem. She does not speak of Parental Alienation directly in her book but talks about how many of our largest systems are functioning with the symptomology of addiction.

    Thus it of my opinion that groups like those I mentioned are among the addicted. Thus they must reject things that are of painful truth, things that protray missing the mark, or sin, as John Bradshaw called sin, because to allow themselves to see those is to have to see into their sickness. Oh this woman is Anne Wilson Schaef, When Society Becomes an Addict, Harper and Row, 1986.

    Amy J. L Baker has done wonderful work in the area too and I recommend her book and also Dr. Stephan Baskerville's, Taken into Custody, just out. Glern Schulz book is a wonderful portrayal of the desperation a parent feels in the face of this oppression, Unlawful Flight, Windblown Books.

    We the oppressed and rejected must bring this kind of abuse of humanity to the fore and rout it from our society. Even our own government needs a physic as it gives 501c3 status to these oppressice groups. It also does things to facilitate the subversion of relationship a child would have with each and both parents.
    Robert Gartner
    Houston, Texas

  3. Let us not forget that a jealous step parent can also be an alienator , especialy if the spouse of that step parent turns a blind eye to keep the calm .