Living with an alienated parent: lessons for husbands, wives and partners

Karen Woodall:

This week we have been getting our new project ready for launch and as we do so we have been thinking about the people who live with alienated parents;  the loved ones who have to watch as this horror unfolds and takes a stranglehold of the family.  For those people who have to stand helplessly by, this one is for you.

Being a partner or husband or wife to someone who is being alienated is a little like watching someone being tortured to within an inch of their lives on some kind of medieval rack.  Alienation is a horrible thing to witness in a child and when their behaviours become cruel, cold or mirroring of the parent they are aligned with they can turn into people you wish you could shut the door on forever.

But how can you shut the door on these beloved children of the person you…

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THREE TYPES OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME

Parental Alienation

The Three Types of Parental Alienation Syndrome Families

Based on my more recent work with these families, I have divided them into three categories: severe, moderate, and mild. Although there is actually a continuum, and many cases do not fit neatly into one of these classifications, the differentiation is still important with regard both to psychotherapeutic and legal approaches. If evaluators are to provide the most judicious recommendations, it is vital that they determine first the proper category in which the family fits. In each category I will discuss the mothers, the children, and the appropriate psychotherapeutic and legal approaches. I will use the mother as the example of the preferred parent because this is the case in the majority of such families. My explanation for this disparity has relevance to my theory of the causes of this disorder. However, the same considerations apply to the father when he is…

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