One of the basic tenants of child development is that children need a relationship with both of their parents. It logically follows that an important factor in good parenting is for each parent to be willing to support his/her child’s relationship with the other parent. If a parent is not capable of carrying out this basic parenting function due to having a personality disorder, it is impossible for traditional family therapy methods to work.
The dynamics of parental alienation are complex. It is a form of intimate family violence that results in complex trauma, which is a trauma that occurs repeatedly and cumulatively over time within specific relationships. Parental alienation is a significant legal and public health issue that disrupts many aspects of a child’s development and formation of a sense of self. It interferes with a child’s ability to form a secure attachment and therefore interferes with the child’s ability to form relationships for the rest of his or her life.
It is important for parents caught in its destructive pattern to learn all they can about how it works to prepare themselves to counteract it effectively. Because this requires a counterintuitive response, target parents need to have an in-depth understanding of what they are going through, as well as adequate personal support and qualified professional guidance. See the Resources page at the back of this book to learn more
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