Parental alienation occurs when one parent purposefully encourages a child to disengage with the other parent and/or denigrate the other parent. It can often be one of the most damaging results of a difficult, highly contested divorce.
Examples of alienating behavior include:
- Badmouthing the targeted parent
- Limiting contact with the targeted parent
- Using the psychological threat of detachment
- Forcing the child to reject the other parent
- Forcing the child to choose between parents by threatening withdrawal of affection
- Creating the impression that the other parent is dangerous
- Belittling and limiting contact with the extended family of the targeted parent
If you believe you are a victim of parental alienation, it is critical that you act quickly and find an expert in the area of parental alienation. This is not always easy as parental alienation is a developing field and there is no credentialing body. Also, because many aspects of parental alienation are highly counterintuitive, non-specialists in the field are prone to making common errors, which can result in poor outcomes for families.
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How to select a parental alienation expert
Dr. Kathleen Reay, an internationally recognized expert in high-conflict divorce, parental alienation, parent-child estrangement, child psychological abuse and related trauma, suggests the following factors when selecting an expert:
- Since parental alienation is a complex and complicated issue requiring significant scientific understanding and professional expertise, experts should have an advanced degree from an accredited educational institution in a relevant discipline or field.
- They should have an extensive knowledge of the clinical literature regarding pathological alignment, alienation and estrangement, and pathological enmeshment.
- Experts should have authored/co-authored published works regarding parental alienation in peer-reviewed publications
- They should have completed recent educational programs or other training by qualified experts in relevant areas.
- Experts will have provided Continuing Education (CE) training to mental health professionals or Continuing Legal Education (CLE) to legal professionals on parental alienation.
- They should have been qualified previously as an expert in a court of law with respect to parental alienation and related issues.
- They should have maintained an ongoing, collaborative communication with other experts in parental alienation in order to benefit from an exchange of ideas and recent advances in the field.
Parental alienation is a very serious issue. It is imperative, if you believe you are in a parental alienation situation, that you find someone who is truly an expert in the area of parental alienation in order to protect your interests and your relationship with your child.
Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To schedule a consultation with Charles D. Jamieson regarding your parental alienation case or your concerns about parental alienation, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.