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The Impact of Parental Alienating Behaviors on the Mental Health of Adults Alienated in Childhood

Abstract

This study qualitatively investigated the mental health of adults exposed to parental alienating behaviors in childhood. Research suggests that exposure to parental alienating behaviours in childhood can have a profound impact on the mental health of those children later in life, including experiencing anxiety disorders and trauma reactions. An international sample of 20 adults exposed to parental alienating behaviors in childhood participated in semi-structured interviews on their experience and its impact. Four themes were identified: mental health difficulties, including anxiety disorders and trauma reactions,
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Have your children turned against you? Do they resist spending time with you? Have they joined with your ex in treating you with contempt? If so, they may be suffering from parental alienation.
In this article I provide an overview and summary of parental alienation to help separated and divorced parents, grandparents, and others affected by this problem to identify, prevent, and heal psychologically damaging fractured relationships.
You can read more about parental alienation by clicking on the links at the end of this article.

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Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Dr. Richard A. Warshak on Parental Alienation

A big part of my Firm’s approach to divorce law practice is helping clients navigate communications with a High Conflict Personality (HCP).  Many times, the Court will order that the parties limit communication to online monitored platforms like “Our Family Wizard” or “Talking Parents,” but regardless of the platform, difficult, angry, offensive or high conflict narratives can emerge in this messaging from one side. Too often the impulse is to respond in kind, but this kind of like-kind response is almost always counterproductive. Bill Eddy is a longstanding expert in managing High Conflict personalities, and one of his most popular
Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Use the BIFF Method in Communications

People with personality disorders often seem to have variable personalities.  They might be quite charming and reasonable at work and with neighbors and friends, but then transition to chaotic, extreme behaviors at home.  Personality disorders usually begin in childhood or adolescence, and while those around people with personality disorders wish they would change, it doesn’t happen without: 1) recognition, 2) a strong commitment by the person with the traits of the disorder, and, in most cases, 3) years of therapy.
THE DSM-5 CRITERIA FOR BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER INCLUDE SOME OF THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Compromised ability to recognize the feelings and


Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Managing Personality Disorders in Divorce

From an article posted today on Dr. Michael Bone’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/drjmichaelbone

 I think the interest in this is related to the difficulty in identifying if parental alienation is going on or if it is not. To this very day, when I am contacted by a parent or attorney about a case where parental alienation is believed to be present, I still rely on these four criteria to satisfy myself that such may likely be the case. While the template that these criteria is not foolproof, it is at least some sort of reasonably and reliable measure to assist in
Continue Reading Alienation in the Parent Child Relationship

I saw this post today on Facebook, and it might be helpful to some families dealing with Parental Alienation:
“Mark David Roseman and Associates offers its Fall 2021 support group for alienated parents, beginning September 22 via Zoom. This group is uniquely different in its compassion and understanding of parents on the journey of separation from their children, with facilitators who respect the healthy integration of mind, body and spirit.

Our group is spiritual, but we do not espouse any religious or political identity. We are fully committed to the healing of broken families, in order to restore what has
Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Parental Alienation Support

Below is a synopsis of two new bills signed into law that affect Family Law practice.  HB4121 sets a minimum standard for GALs in terms of their obligation to interview the parents and the children.  Now, most of us would agree that a period of 90 days is too long, and that most competent GALs make a practice of meeting with the parents and children within days or weeks of the appointment of the GAL.  This legislation may be addressing a concern that some GALs ( and I have seen this in operation) can be quite dilitory about their work,
Continue Reading Illinois Divorce Lawyer: New Laws that affect Family Law Cases

My Illinois Divorce Blog focuses on a variety of subjects, including the means by which to manage divorce and child custody with a toxic narcissist. I can say that almost every day, I receive a message that sounds like this that came today:

Message: I’m separated from a narcissist and he is constantly violating orders and trying to alienate my child from me. Now they are forcing me to go to court to face him in 2 days and I’m terrified. It will only make it worse. I need help. No one understands but I read your blog and you may
Continue Reading Divorce and the Narcissist

Bill and Melinda Gates — known around the world as tech and charitable titans — are splitting after 27 years of marriage, at the ages of 65 and 56, respectively.
Credit: Alessandra Malito Market Watch 
Divorcing at an older age has become increasingly common. This phenomenon, called “gray divorce,” could be the result of a few factors, including the lessening of a stigma around divorce in general, longer life expectancies and differing opinions on what to do with the rest of one’s life.
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Continue Reading Illinois Divorce Lawyer: Divorcing at an older age

The announcement of the Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG) comes at a great time, as we start to try to emerge from COVID lockdowns, and restart these important conferences.  I received the announcement below this morning, and look forward to this conference.  “PASG has 700 members – mostly mental health and legal professionals – from 55 countries. The members of PASG are interested in educating the general public, mental health clinicians, forensic practitioners, attorneys, and judges regarding parental alienation. PASG members are also interested in developing and promoting research on the causes, evaluation, prevention, and treatment of parental alienation.”
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Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Parental Alienation Study Group Updates

More and more, people in their 50’s and 60’s are recognizing that their marriage has broken down, the children are raised, and they are seeking a legal separation or divorce. In these cases, there are often retirement assets that need to be divided, and other assets, like a home, that need to be valued and the equity determined.  As many American are living into their 80’s and 90’s, many adults find that the want to re-engineer their last trimester of life and find a measure if independence and happiness. Jennifer Thompson wrote an essay that might be helpful to those
Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Divorce in Middle Age

Bill Eddy’s High Conflict Institute always has great information in the field of managing High Conflict Personalities in the context of divorce and Family Law cases.  It is difficult, if not impossible, to manage some people that present as High Conflict; often these people have traits of personality disorders that make their behaviors and communications toxic.  As is pointed out below, the HCP (High Conflict Person)  is not going to change, but you as the stable and rational party can always choose how to respond.  One element that the article does not mention is the benefits to using a third
Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Managing High Conflict People

As the year 2020 comes to an end and a new year begins, it is always helpful to remember what approaches are helpful and uplifting when dealing with a stressful and difficult court case involving children, such as a parental alienation case or a child custody modification case.  One of my clients this week reached out to both myself and an excellent clinician that is supporting the case with a concern that her/his children are just so damaged, and so unruly in his time spent with them. Seeing the kids acting out, and suffering, causes my client to suffer, too. 
Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Starting the New year with Resilience

I have had the pleasure to be a member of the American Psychological Association, for many years, and to devote myself to continuing graduate-level education in the psychological sciences.  Just as a medical doctor might benefit from a strong background or understanding in, say, nutrition, or kinetics, I have always felt that the practice of Family Law almost requires a fundamental understanding of psychology.  The article below is taken from an essay concerning a family lawyer that trained as a psychologist, and how this training has been integral to his practice.
Using his unique background in psychology, David – who
Continue Reading Illinois Divorce Lawyer: Divorce and Psychology

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In divorce and coparenting, not only do parents need to deal with their own emotions, they may be faced with a daily barrages of hostile calls, texts, social media blasts, and/or emails. How can you regain a sense of control and peace for your own sake and for the kids?
https://www.unhookedmedia.com/stock/biff-for-coparents
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Continue Reading Illinois Divorce Lawyer: BIFF method of responding to hostile co-parents

I am always appreciative to be a member of the PASG, which is an international association of clinicians, academics, and legal professionals involved in the research of Parental Alienation, as well as the advocacy for better public understanding of PA.  Today, one of the members and excellent advocates in the PASG emailed this to me:
Dear Michael,
Our colleague Brendan Guildea B.L reports on a significant case that has wide reaching implications in the fight against Parental Alienation. Brendan will be one of the speakers at our Online Parental Alienation Conference on the 26th of November 2020.
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Continue Reading Illinois Divorce: Parental Alienation Update