Respondents wanted for new online parental alienation survey
Sue Whitcombe a British PhD student at the University of Teeside is conducting an online survey into parental alienation and would like respondents who have experienced an alienating parent:
- Denying or withholding direct contact with the absent parent
- Preventing indirect contact – letters, phone calls, texts or emails
- Getting annoyed or upset when a child talks about an absent parent
- Bad-mouthing the absent parent, extended family or friends
- Discussing adult aspects of the separation with the child – infidelity, financial matters, disagreements
- Telling a child to choose between parents, sometimes saying that they can only love one
- Making false allegations of abuse or domestic violence
- Offering alternatives such as treats, sleepovers, special days out on planned contact days
Please visit the survey here.
Want to know what Parental Alienation looks and feels like? Watch CTV’s W5 Investigates
Click the picture (left) to watch the the video.
Tragic. Just tragic that the hatred for the other parent is so much greater than their love for the child.
It was too late for Pam Richardson’s son Dash. You can find out more about Pamela’s story here or get her heartbreaking book here.
Parental Alienation is so perverse. How can you not want the other parent in your child’s life just because you don’t want them in yours? This report demonstrates that the anger and hatred are so great the child’s wellbeing becomes secondary.
Please, let us all try to make sure that this doesn’t happen to any more of our children.
Not only do we have a child that has been alienated, we are also a blended family. Before my partner and I got together, we were both married and divorced, he has two sons from that marriage and I had a daughter and a son from my first marriage and Thomas from my second marriage.
We are a step family and that means that there are three different ‘types’ of family and children coming together. When we all come together we create yet another family. It is wonderful to be a blended family but it has also been very tough at times.
I have found the most wonderful resource at www.blendedfamilyfocus.com Adele Cornish writes regularly words of wisdom and shows total understanding of the types of challenges that blending families together brings. I recommend anyone who is a step parent (with or without their own children) go to Adele’s site, she has some real fantastic suggestions and real insight into how to help build a great foundation for better relationships within families.
A fantastic resource, MATCHMOTHERS is a network of mothers who have been separated from their children for a variety of circumstances. I urge you to join, they are so supportive. www.matchmothers.org
I just found a really good website that covers alienation in simple and clear way. www.parental-alienation-awareness.org The site has an assessment page which if you answer the questions will give a mark for the severity of the alienation you are suffering. Also some good resources around what can be done to help or share your story. However, it is American and there seems to be much more awareness of the symptoms and the effect upon the child/ren – parent relationship and also a suggestion that courts would have some understanding. In my experience in the UK my previous solicitor said that PAS is not recognised here by the legal profession however they call it other things.
Whilst looking for some legal help today, I came across Dr Reena Sommer’s website www.reenasommerassociates.mb.ca/PAS_effect
Dr Sommer writes about PAS with much experience behind her. What really strikes me is the last paragraph: “PAS affected children also come to understand that the love and obedience they have for one parent is dependent upon their rejection and vilification of the other parent”. I haven’t found a better way of explaining Parental Alienation.
“The devastating effects of parental alienation syndrome are multi-dimensional and the consequences for PAS affected children reach far beyond their immature and short sighted understanding of their relationships and existence. Sadly, these children have been unwittingly betrayed and victimized by a parent whom they love and upon whom they depend. When parental alienation syndrome takes hold, children affected by parental alienation syndrome come to understand that their own self worth and needs are meaningless. This message becomes implicitely and subconsiously imprinted when the one person responsible for nurturing them (their alienating parent) is the one who is also responsible for robbing them of their sense of self, their heritage and the love of the other parent. An important subtheme to this message is that PAS affected children also come to understand that the love and obedience they have for one parent is dependent upon their rejection and vilification of the other parent”.
Dr Reena Sommer
Dr. Gardner’s 8-point Parental Alienation symptom checklist
I came across the symptoms of P.A. whilst desperately looking for some way to understand my son’s behaviour. I wanted to see if there was a way to help him come to terms with being shared. Thomas was ‘acting out’ more and more and it was obvious that there was something really troubling him that he couldn’t express verbally. He was angry with me, which I could understand and I rationalised over and over again. A child going between parents and new families is bound to have difficulties finding their place. Coming across these symptoms was my key, suddenly it became clear exactly what had been going on.
Richard A. Gardner M.D. Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeon, says that these are the 8 symptoms of P.A.
- The campaign of denigration.
- Weak, frivolous and absurd rationalisations for the denigration.
- Lack of ambivalence.
- The “independent thinker phenomenon.”
- Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict.
- Actions of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent.
- The presence of borrowed scenarios.
- The spread of animosity to the extended family and alienated parent1.The campaign of denigration
For more detailed description of these symptoms, go to our Parental Alienation Checklist page.
Thank you Dr. Baker for validating my experience of parental alienation
Whilst looking online for PA sites, I came across Dr Baker who has made a study of adult children who suffered from parental alienation, she interviewed 40 adult children and has done much research on PA. It was so very validating for me to watch a professional person actually acknowledge the existence of parental alienation. We have, over the last few years, been told that either emotional abuse is not dealt with (to busy attending to physical abuse!) or that PA is not recognised but is called other things. The legal profession, social services, CAFCASS, friends and schools, none of the professionals that dealt with us actually recognise PA.
Around 2 years ago, when I discovered that what was happening to me had happened to other people too, I cried, I cried out of relief that someone else knew what was happening. All of a sudden I could see the pattern, all the symptoms that we had experienced were being ticked off the list. Today, listening to Dr Baker talk was the first time that a professional has spoken ‘to me’, it is such a relief to know that someone is out there researching the effect that alienation has.
Knowing that I was not alone or that I was not going crazy whilst feeling like it must be something I was doing and yet there was nothing I could do has been so difficult to try and get my head around. Just how do you stop your child slipping away from you and slowly the invisible ties feel like they are being undone when you have no contact and no address ?
All I can do is keep writing this blog with the hope that one day Thomas will read this.