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- Awareness in our Schools
How an Alienating Parent recruits co-Alienators:
How alienators choose and recruit allies to assist in the alienation process
Teachers, coaches, and even family members are often recruited and unwittingly assist in the alienation process.
Usually an alienator will recruit a non-psychologically minded individual or someone who is somewhat resembles the same personality traits as the alienator or someone who is also a "drama queen" or has borderline personality disorder features.
Unfortunately, professionals who are supposed to help protect a child from child abuse sometimes end up aligning with an alienating parent.
They alienating parent will put something out there. A snide remark or comment that may not be too extreme, but still a statement that is derogatory in some fashion aimed at the other parent. Usually, they will share something seemingly insignificant enough to where they can easily retract or claim that they meant nothing bad by it.
For example, to test the waters, an alienating parent might say, “well my ex isn’t the easiest to get along with, you know that.”
No Co-alienation/alliance or support occurs:
If the other person responds by saying, “Oh, I thought you guys got along great. He seems like such a good father,” or “He seems like a decent person.” Then the alienating parent backs off and begins to back-pedal claiming that what she meant was at times they may not agree with everything but for the most part they get along great and yes, he is a good father. The alienating parent then moves on recognizing that there is no help here.
But, if you take the same scenario and you have a potential recruit who takes the bait, then the alienating parent goes on and makes more and more severe allegations justifying the alienation until she has completely recruited an ally.
Co-alienation/Alliance or support occurs:
This ally is then used as validation or confirmation for the child that she is doing the right thing by not wanting to see her father, “even your aunt/teacher/coach thinks he is a bad man,” the child is told. The child may even be encouraged to talk with the recruited ally and “confide” in her by expressing her “true feelings” about her father. The mother being fully aware that the newly recruited relative will not be a neutral party nor encourage the child to work toward re-establishing a relationship with the alienated parent, now has an ally.
In the example above, the unwitting recruit thinks they are helping by offering their advice and support, when in fact they are just being used by the alienating parent to their end.
“Therapist with master's degrees are unlikely to realize the severity and depth of the problem, because they are not trained in this level of pathology. In fact, they may unwittingly side with the alienating parent and even testify or produce evidence in court that the child is afraid of the father. This can be a serious stumbling block in getting an accurate diagnosis. Indeed, it can tip the scale into the alienating parent's agenda and do real damage.”
A relative, a teacher, a coach or even a therapist who is recruited to assist in the alienation process can do irreparable damage.
It is imperative that anyone involved with children be aware of parental alienation and how it works.
If a child or a parent comes to you with allegations that attempt to justify the alienation of a loving parent, I encourage you to ask questions.
Starting with, what did your father/mother do to make you never want to see him again?
If the answer is not forthcoming, weak or frivolous then you should seek more information.