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Find a mental health professional who is familiar with the Parental Alienation dynamics. Attend therapy sessions even without your child. Get informed.
Also, staying involved with groups who are working to bring awareness to the PAS has helped me tremendously. I feel like we are at the cusp of a major breakthrough as far as bringing awareness to this deplorable form of child abuse. In our time a major difference will be made. I know it!
What to do to fight PA/PAS
The ideal situation would be for the alienated child to be removed from the alienating, usually disturbed, parent. Unfortunately, we are time in history where even though we know what the problem is, very few judges will make a bad situation worse by places a child in a loving home with an target parent whom the child has been taught to hate. Even though in the long run this will benefit the child. The target parent, who is always willing to share, will provide a loving environment and consistently work for a re-unification. What loving parent wouldn't? While some countries are currently passing laws recognizing Parental Alienation for the abuse that it is, it is a slow process. Here in the United States more and more state court are recognizing alienating behavior and in some cases handing down sanctions. Unfortunately, this process isn't going fast enough to safe our daughter April.
The following article by Linda Gottlieb, she was personally trained by Dr. Salvador Minuchin, the world renowned, highly respected child psychiatrist and has written a book on Parental Alienation Syndrome talks about the alienating parent and the types of personality disorders usually associated with parents who alienate the other parent.
How To Minimize The Prevalence of Parental Alienation by Linda Gottlieb,
The following article is a collaboration between Linda Gottlieb and Joan T. Kloth-Zanard
Using The Family Court System To Reduce The Incidence of PAS:
The best way to prevent the abuse of parental alienation is to have all families where there is a conflict issue go through specialized, court ordered counseling with a PAS specialist. Or, at least someone with a high success rate and specializes in working with families in grief management, anger management and impulse control.
Why these specialties? Because in 99% of the cases of PAS or Parentectomy, the alienating parent may be borderline narcissistic. They have extreme low self-esteem, and believe they have to be perfect or they are not loveable. And if they are not loveable, then they will be abandoned. And this is their biggest fear, being abandoned.
For this reason, they will do anything to make sure that they are seen as the perfect and only parent for the children. You can add to this the fact that they are stuck in the anger stage of the grieving process and cannot move forward. They constantly project their issues and anger onto and through the children or what I call Borderless Boundaries. These parents need help to grieve properly as do the children.
It is imperative that proper education and training be provided to divorce attorneys, counselors, therapists, child agencies as well as to the family court and judges. Without proper education and awareness, the damages caused by aligning the children with only one parent will be horrific and permanent.
Children have the right to both parents in their lives. There is no room for false allegations and contempt of court orders. The courts need to start penalizing for these transgressions. Until this is done, families will continue to be ripped apart and the children made to suffer.
Regrettably, this suggestion MAY serve to help only the PAS child, someday but not immediately. It may have no impact in facilitating the reunification between a parent and their child, at least not initially. This may offer only the hope that your legacy to your child will be awareness of the truth.
Many knowledgeable professionals have likened the parental alienation to cult indoctrination. But this issue is immeasurably more insidious: whereas victims of cult indoctrination are not initially in a dependency relationship with the cult leader and therefore had the option to reject the indoctrinator, children are very much dependent upon their brainwashing parent.
Because of the dependency needs of children, resisting the alienating parent, who is generally but NOT ALWAYS, the residential parent, can be terrifying to them. So as despicably as these children treat their targeted/alienated parent, they have no good options for escaping this dysfunctional family dynamic.
They are in a no win situation, a double bind, a catch 22. Their situation is crazy-making, which explains why the psychiatrists who eventually founded the family therapy movement in the 1950s first observed ON THE PSYCHIATRIC WARD the characteristic family dynamic of the parental alienation syndrome.
Child psychiatrist, Murray Bowen, had labeled this dynamic as the “Pathological Triangle.” He was so convinced as to the detrimental effects on children of this dysfunctional coalition between one parent and a child to the minimization and disengagement of the other parent, that when he hospitalized the child, he also hospitalized the entire nuclear family!
Yes, although it is accurate to credit child psychiatrist, Richard Gardner, to have first labeled this family dynamic as the PAS, the family dynamic has nonetheless been observed and systematically documented by psychiatrists/family therapists for more than 60 years.
For the naysayers, like Janet Johnston, Joan Kelly, Stephanie Dallam of the Supervised Family Network, there should be no doubts as to the very real existence of the parental alienation syndrome. A rose by any other name is still a rose.
Actions that May Help Fight PAS
Alleviate the Effects of Parent AlienationFrom : Hope for PAS Victims
1) Maintain Personal Boundaries. Make your own personal emotional and physical boundaries clear to protect against the influences of the alienating parent. If phone calls tend to get ugly and upset you, then why continue talking with this person over the phone when it obviously is not constructive? Requesting phone calls ONLY in the case of an emergency is a very reasonable boundary. Do not attempt to appease, this would be impossible given that the alienating parent is driven by a desire to destroy the targeted parent.
2) Focus on YOU!
Remember that we cannot change others, but we CAN change the ways we respond to them. Focus on altering your own behavior and not that other parent. To do otherwise is to just waste your energy, and you need it. For example, if you begin to ignore phone calls from the alienating parent, that in itself is a message and will guard you from negatives influence.
By making changes in how you respond and react, this in turn will have a direct impact on the alienating parent. For example, if you limit contact and do not respond to threats and criticisms, this limits the power the alienating parent will have.
3) Stop feeling intimidated by the alienating parent. This is critical, since they get their power from frightening, threatening and intimidating you. Do NOT give them this power. Practice responding in an aloof and calm way. End the conversation if it becomes too much for you, but do NOT show fear or rage or any other signs of intimidation. Express your feelings of intimidation and anxiety to a close friend or counselor, ANYONE but the alienating parent. It is OK and quite normal to HAVE such feelings, but be very careful in how you express them.
4) Strive to be PROACTIVE rather than REACTIVE to the behavior of the alienated parent. Many targeted parents exhaust themselves trying to reason with and convince the alienating parent, to explain that what they are doing is harmful and unfair to the children. This is a complete waste of time. Stop. It actually can makes things worse because it provides more opportunities for them to create conflict.
Do not attempt to negotiate. Alienating parents are not interested in negotiating because they will not listen to nor consider anything that deviates from their own agenda. Likewise to not attempt mediation. The process of mediation can only work if the parties involved enter into the process in good faith and with the purpose of finding a mutually agreeable solution based on compromise. Parents who alienate are not in the least interested in compromise anymore than they are interested in negotiations.
Waiting for things to get better on their own? Waiting for the alienating parent to get over his or her upset or to become more reasonable, or waiting for the children to come around on their own would be like waiting for snow in the Sahara desert. Won't happen.
5) Keep Being a Good Parent.
Do not give in to pressures to overlook poor or inappropriate behavior in your child. Be loving, consistent and firm in your words, actions and expectations. Be available to your child and actively listen to them when they want to talk.
Suggestions from different sources:
The only way to stop a bully is with the threat of a greater authority. Appealing to their “better nature” is futile. Emotionally abusive bullies don’t have a better nature. Attorneys and the courts will probably need to be involved as well as an UNBIASED children’s therapist and a lot of documentation. If you believe you’re the target of parental alienation, I encourage you to educate yourself about it and to know, protect and fight for your rights.
~Dr. Tara J. Palmatier
What is the best way to deal with PAS?
From: Breakthrough Parenting.com
The parents I know who were successful in getting primary custody of their children in a PAS situation shared the following characteristics: