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Characteristics of Narcissists in Divorce 1. He or she is in it to win it. Even though there aren’t real “winners” in divorce—with luck, there’s some equitable splitting of responsibilities and assets—that’s not the narcissist’s point of view. He or she is likely to see himself or herself as a victim, regardless of the facts, and has no intention of meeting in the middle. Continue reading →
7 Key Facts About Divorce After Long Marriages When an older couple divorces, perhaps after many years of marriage, theories and rumors may swirl around them as extended family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and casual acquaintances all struggle to make sense of the split. Not long after a lifelong friend of mine left his wife of more than 40 years, a mutual friend was quick with assumptions and questions. “Are you going through a belated midlife crazy?” he asked. “Is there another woman? Are you getting a red sports car?” And he laughed uneasily, amazed that our friend, a devoted family man,…
This post is  focusing on symptoms of Parental Alienation  The first symptom of Parental Alienation is the “Campaign of Denigration”. This refers to the child’s view of the “hated” parent. It is important to understand that this is composed of two components. First, the campaign of denigration refers to the one being waged by the accusing parent in his or her indoctrination to the child. The other component is the child’s own contribution towards this denigration. This second part is critical and is the actual symptom seen within the child. Without it, the child is not truly alienated, and with…
The coronavirus crisis, paradoxically, may be an opportunity to find new sources of meaning. Psychological research on past financial disasters may offer guidance on how people will respond to the sudden economic calamity caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has shuttered businesses and led to massive numbers of layoffs nearly overnight. As of April 2, Americans filed a record-breaking 6.6 million unemployment claims in one week, according to the Department of Labor (PDF, 743KB)The U.S. Federal Reserve estimated that 47 million people might lose their jobs in the second quarter of 2020, translating to a 32.1%…
What is Parental Alienation? Bernet et al (2010) considers a primary feature of parental alienation where a child whose parents are engaged in a high conflict divorce or separation allies himself or herself strongly with one parent while rejecting the relationship with the other previously loved parent without legitimate justification.…
A parent need not be a psychologist to understand that the stress of pre-divorce or the divorce process can take its toll on kids emotionally and physically. Because many of my cases involve High Conflict divorces, there is often seen in the kids of these families both emotional and somatic complaints. It is very important for parents to be mindful of these complaints and conditions with their children and seek out appropriate resources.  In my practice, I have tried to integrate both the legal aspects of divorce practice with the clinical supports that are available from clinicians that I know…
How Will Temporary Court Closures Due to COVID-19 Affect Family Law Cases? Many clients of our firm are asking this important question: What is the immediate impact on my case if my courthouse is closed for weeks or months, starting right now? It has been only since last Friday that the various counties in Illinois announced via email and posts on their websites that the courthouses were to be closed for about 30-45 days, while the COVID-19 pandemic works its way through Illinois. Many of our cases were set for important hearings with our judges in March and April, and…
I recently had an interesting discussion at one of the courthouses about Parental Alienation. The issue for the moment was whether PA was considered “real” from a clinical point of view, and whether the DSM had a diagnostic category for Parental Alienation.  As these matters go, the discussion was spirited, and my mind went to the efforts of those like Dr. Bernet and Amy Baker, who made efforts to include diagnostic codes for PA in the newest DSM updates.  Here is a summary, below: PA  :  It is a term used by mental health and legal professionals to describe both…
Everyday Trauma: Induced Psychological Splitting in Children of Divorce and Separation Credit: https://karenwoodall.blog Understanding the impact of divorce and separation on children takes us down new pathways of understanding of induced psychological splitting, its manifestation in families and the every trauma it causes which has been hidden in plain sight for decades. Ever since the early seventies, when divorce laws changed in the western world, the issue of a child’s alignment with one parent and rejection of the other has been a prominent but overlooked part of our understanding of trans-generational trauma. It is my view, that just like the…
For many years, and since the publishing of Bill Eddy’s landmark book Splitting, I have been writing on the subject of divorce and personality disorders.  My law practice has a focus on helping people navigate divorce from a narcissist or someone with other traits of toxic personality disorders.  Because divorcing someone with these traits creates a number of distinct and unusual issues for the healthy spouse, my practice focuses on managing strategically and aggressively these disordered behaviors, which can include “distortion campaigns” and false allegations. In my law practice, there is a focus on High Conflict cases.  As the article…
Many clients that come to my office have issues with a spouse with traits of a personality disorder. These traits create many challenges for the relationship, and the family, and in the context of divorce, the case can end up being what is called a “high conflict case.” For many years, I have focused my practice, in part, on these cases involving psychological issues as well as high conflict cases.  Rarely do I find a good, understandable explanation in the public domain of what a narcissistic personality is, how they present, and the impacts that these traits and disorders have…
” Today Parental Alienation Europe co-founder Brian O’Sullivan was interviewed on The Elaine Show, Virgin Media, where he discussed Parental Alienation and its devastating effects. Brian dispelled some myths about Parental Alienation being a new phenomenon and shows that this problem has been around for a very long time. PARENTAL ALIENATION UNITED AS ONE CONFERENCES 2020 ANNOUNCEMENT [embedded content] Brian also made the official announcement of our Parental Alienation United As One Conferences 2020 that we are running in association with The La Dolce Vita Project, a domestic violence charity in Northern Ireland in April 2020. The conferences will take…
With my work as a lawyer on complex child custody cases, I have seen in many of these cases the phenomenon of “projection.” My work as a member of APA and a frequent researcher and contributor on issues concerning personality disorders in child custody and with Parental Alienation cases, brings my clients often into situations where they are being accused of behaviors that are actually resident in the disordered parent. Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the human psychology defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. These…
Working with high conflict personalities, I have always been open to approaches that can manage difficult issues with HCPs (High Conflict Personalities), without necessarily involving the courts every time there is a dispute, or transgression by a HCP.  One way of dealing with difficult personalities in divorce is to have a Parenting Coordinator involved in the case. What is a Parenting Coordinator (PC) ? Essentially, a PC acts as a middleman, referee, and dispute resolver.  The PC can make recommendations to a solution for a disputed issue.  In other words, the PC can act almost as a magistrate for the…
Reading up today on divorce planning, the reminder was made that the summer is often the time that many people postpone thoughts of divorce. The reasons for this are many. Business during the summer with activities takes the attention away from difficult subjects like divorce. For many parents, it’s just enough making sure that the kids are having a good summer, and that summer trips or vacations are being taken before the kids go back to school. Even if you are already decided that you wish to file for divorce, there are a number of things that you can do…