Professional journal recommends A Family’s Heartbreak

September 29th, 2011

The October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry calls A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, “insightful for the general reader but also for the mental health professional.”

The review of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation was part of a parental alienation theme in the Journal’s latest edition. The Journal also reviewed the novel, The Look of Love by Jill Egizii, and Parental Alienation, DSM-5, and ICD-11 by Dr. Bill Bernet.

“I feel like we hit the parental alienation trifecta,” said Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation. “For this very prestigous journal to review not one, but three, parental alienation books in the same issue just goes to show how important alienation has become for mental health professionals. We commend the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry for sharing resources with its membership that will help professionals identify and address alienation in their practices,” Jeffries added. 

The Journal concluded its review of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation by calling the book, “… a resource for mental health professionals and the general public alike. The reader is left not only with an education about parental alienation but also an appreciation of its significant impact on families.”

Keeping alienation in perspective on 9/11

September 10th, 2011

Some days, parental alienation isn’t that big a deal.

Tomorrow is one of those days.

In A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, I borrowed President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous quote about “a day that will live in infamy” to describe the day my relationship with my young son went from hugs to heartbreak. In reality, our worst days as alienated parents can’t compare to days that really live in infamy — like September 11, 2001. We don’t even need to say the entire date to communicate a shared sense of grief and empathy for the people we lost.  Saying “9/11” is all it takes.

We saw the worst of the human race on 9/11, but we also saw the best of it that day. First responders ran into burning buildings. Heroes in the sky brought down a plane over a field in Pennsylvania. And within minutes of the attacks people from all over the world joined together in an outpouring of unity for those whose lives were forever altered by the actions of a few.

Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of 9/11. In New York City the typical excitement and enthusiasm of the tourists in midtown will be replaced by the solemn dignity of the families gathering downtown. In New York, Washington D.C. and across the United States there will be signs and references to “Never Forget.” It’s true. We must never forget 9/11. We must also never forget the dead and injured in Norway earlier this year, the students at school in Beslan, Russia in 2004, the passengers of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland in 1988, and too many more to mention.

Ten years is a long time. Ten years has turned Ground Zero into both a final resting place and a construction site. Ten years has helped families replace searing pain with a more manageable ache. Above all, ten years has given us back our ability to look to the future with cautious optimism.

Perhaps there is a lesson for alienated parents in all the 9/11 remembrances. People are resilient no matter how tragic the event. We never forget, but we do move on – hopefully stronger, more determined and cautiously optimistic about the future.

Moms, Dads, Sons, Daughters — who reunites more?

July 20th, 2011

We’ve been wondering about something. Maybe you’ve been wondering about the same thing.

We’ve heard many stories of alienated children reuniting with their targeted parents. These feel good tales often spread through the parental alienation community like germs in a pre-school. We’ve also heard, more often than we like, about children who remain alienated from their parents for years — with no end to the estrangement in sight.

While each situation is different, we were wondering who alienated children reunite with more often when they do reunite with a parent. Is it Mom or Dad? Further, do alienated daughters reunite more often, or do sons reunite more often? Out of all the possible reunification scenarios — son/dad, daughter/dad, son/mom, daughter/mom — who reunites the most?

Welcome to the A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation Unofficial Reunification Survey. We’re interested in who you think reunites the most and why. Please leave your comments below.

Adult children of parental alienation

July 13th, 2011

Imagine cutting yourself off from the outside world on July 15, 2000. You’d never know:

  • The Twin Towers are missing from the New York City skyline.
  • George Bush isn’t President of the United States and an African American is.
  • The Dow Jones is 1,300 points higher yet people talk about a recession.
  • The internet is on your cell phone.
  • Kodak no longer makes film for your 35mm camera.
  • There are more Harry Potter movies than books.
  • You could follow a stranger’s thoughts — as long as he or she communicated in 140 characters or less.

Severely alienated children who remain cut off from their targeted parents and extended families years after the alienating parent selfishly pulled the child into the adult conflict are just as in the dark as someone who knows nothing about September 11th or Twitter.   

These now alienated adults refuse the love and attention of their targeted parents and take a pass on meaningful relationships with their aging grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and formerly close family friends. These grown up children intentionally skip making memories that most people cherish.

There are countless adults still alienated from a parent years after everyone else in the family drama moved on with their lives. Perhaps it is easier for them to stay alienated rather than deal with the guilt of accepting a parent who never did anything to warrant the estrangement. Maybe it is easier for them to stay away rather than run the risk of disappointing their alienating parent. Perhaps these alienated adult children are simply too proud to admit that turning away every time the targeted parent tried to heal the rift between them was wrong.

Whatever their reason, these alienated adult children remain in the dark. They don’t know anything about the events and celebrations that define close-knit, loving families. They don’t know anything about the things that comprise one half of who they are. And saddest of all, they don’t even know that they remain stuck in the past while their targeted parents and extended families move forward making more cherished memories.

Parental Alienation: Dead or Alive in the DSM-5?

June 29th, 2011

Here’s what I love about the internet — shopping, booking vacations and connecting with people all over the world.

Here’s what I hate about the internet — bloggers who believe they’re channeling Edward R. Murrow, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in every post and their readers who faithfully repeat what’s written as fact.

I was recently reminded of the latter when I read a colleague’s rant about the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) “cowardly decision” not to include parental alienation in the DSM-5. When I pointed out that the APA hadn’t yet decided whether or not to include parental alienation in the upcoming edition of its bible, my colleague gave me the name of the blogger who reported the news and asked, “How could she write it if it weren’t true?”

As Elizabeth Barrett Browning once said, “Let me count the ways.”

While my contribution to the proposal, Parental Alienation, DSM-5 and ICD-11, was probably the least significant input from the 60-plus authors who collaborated on project, my effort does qualify me for regular, and accurate, updates as the proposal winds its way through the review process. So here’s the truth about the current status of parental alienation and the DSM-5:

In the next few months, members of the DSM-5 Task Force and the Childhood and Adolescent Disorders Work Group will make their final recommendations to the APA Board of Trustees. The Task Force has already signaled that it probably won’t recommend listing parental alienation under the Mental Disorder category. However, being classified as a mental disorder is not the only door into the DSM. The APA could list parental alienation as an example of a relational problem or a shared psychotic disorder. The APA could also list parental alienation as a subtype of another relational problem. The professional organization could even include parental alienation as an issue that needs further study. Bottom line — the fat lady not only isn’t singing, she hasn’t even started warming up.

So enjoy the internet. Go shopping, look for videos of kittens doing adorable things, even tell us what you’re cooking for dinner if you must. Just don’t believe everything you read. Murrow hasn’t filed a story in a long time.

Wake Up to Parental Alienation

June 23rd, 2011

Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, discusses the cost of parental alienation with host Melody Brooke on her womensradio.com program, Wake Up Call.

Brooke, a licensed marriage and family therapist, devoted the entire 30-minute progam to helping her listeners understand what drives one parent to damage, and sometimes destroy, a normal, healthy, loving relationship between a child and the child’s other parent.  “Melody sees parental alienation in her practice so she knows how parental alienation, if not addressed quickly and effectively, can have a life-long effect on everyone involved. Devoting her entire 30-minute program to the topic will hopefully help her listeners avoid these devastating consequences,” Jeffries said.

Brooke’s interview with Jeffries can be found at http://www.womensradio.com/episodes/Wake-UP%21-To-the-Cost-of-Parental-Alienation/9782.html.

Parental Alienation and the DSM-5

June 8th, 2011

The DSM-5 Task Force will publish the next edition of the mental health profession’s Bible in 2013 and Task Force members are still considering whether or not to include parental alienation somewhere in the book.

One of the biggest arguments against including parental alienation in the DSM-5 is that academics and mental health professionals haven’t done enough research to demonstrate that parental alienation should be an actual diagnosis. Not true, says Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation. “The proposal before the DSM Task Force includes more than 500 references from the professional literature of 30 different countries. Anyone who says ‘there isn’t enough research’ simply isn’t aware of work being done not only in the U.S. but in Brazil, Japan, Spain, Italy and South Africa.”

The DSM Review Board has once again opened up its website for comments. Please visit http://www.dsm5.org/ and tell Task Force members why parental alienation should be included in the DSM-5. Deadline for comments is June 15.

Alienation education in print and in person

May 16th, 2011

Understanding parental alienation has never been easier.

The State College Pennsylvania newspaper, Centre Daily Times, highlighted parental alienation this past Saturday in an article from Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation. The article, Keys to Understanding Parental Alienation, can be found at http://www.centredaily.com/2011/05/14/2711994/keys-to-understanding-parental.html. Readers are encouraged to leave comments and explain how parental alienation has affected their lives.

Later this week, Jeffries will join other parental alienation experts at the DePaul Center in Chicago, Illinois to help educate parents, legal and mental health professionals about parental alienation. 

Jeffries will address participants at the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) conference, “The Painful Path of Parental Alienation and Visitation Interference,” on Saturday, May 21. Also speaking at the conference are Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michele Lowrance, the author of The Good Karma Divorce; Attorney Jame Pritikin, who recently helped Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade overcome the attempted alienation of his children; Dr. Michael Bone, a parental alienation expert who has spent the past 25 years dealing with high conflict divorce as a therapist, expert witness, mediator, evaluator and consultant; and Jill Egizii, PAAO President and author of The Look of Love.

The one-day conference begins at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 8005 at the DePaul Center in Chicago. The cost is $50 for non-PAAO members and $25 for CRC Illinois PAAO members. Participants can register online at www.paawareness.org/2011PAAOChicagoConference/.

A day for alienated children

April 22nd, 2011

How ironic that this year Parental Alienation Awareness Day falls the day after Easter Sunday and right in the middle of Passover — two holidays known for bringing families together.

Targeted parents who won’t be with their alienated children on the holidays this year can join other parents and children for the 6th Annual Parental Alienation Awareness Day on April 25. Events are scheduled in communities in 22 different countries. These family-friendly events include local dignitaries reading proclamations supporting parental alienation awareness, information tables and free brochures with details about about local parental alienation support groups and resources, and “Bubbles of Love,” a synchronized bubble blowing exercise.

The goal of Parental Alienation Awareness Day is to educate the public, legislators and legal and mental health professionals about parental alienation; a destructive family dynamic affecting countless children, parents and extended family members every year. In parental alienation one parent damages, and in some cases destroys, the previously normal, healthy relationship between a child and the child’s other parent.

“It’s bad enough that children have to pay the price when their parents divorce,” says Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation. “Parents should assure the children that both Mom and Dad still love them and will continue to take care of them — not drag the kids into the middle of the adult conflict and force them to choose sides.” 

Jeffries indicated that he will participate in the Parental Alienation Awareness Day Candlelight Vigil beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Capital Building in Hartford, Connecticut. For more information about this event contact Ken Krajewski at 860-881-6311.

You can find information on other Parental Alienation Awareness Day events at http://www.paawarenessday.com/.

A Family’s Heartbreak author signs up for PAAO Conference

April 13th, 2011

Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, is joining other parental alienation experts on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at the DePaul Center in Chicago, Illinois to help educate parents, legal and mental health professionals about parental alienation. 

Jeffries will address participants at the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) conference, “The Painful Path of Parental Alienation and Visitation Interference.” Also speaking at the conference are Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michele Lowrance, the author of The Good Karma Divorce; Attorney Jame Pritikin, who recently helped Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade overcome the attempted alienation of his children; Dr. Michael Bone, a parental alienation expert who has spent the past 25 years dealing with high conflict divorce as a therapist, expert witness, mediator, evaluator and consultant; and Jill Egizii, PAAO President and author of The Look of Love.

“I’m thrilled to join such a great group of knowledgeable and passionate speakers as we help others understand parental alienation and examine strategies for addressing alienation both legally and therapeutically,” Jeffries said. “I’m also proud to support the PAAO. The organization does great work helping others deal with these very heartbreaking situations.”

The one-day conference begins at 9:00 a.m. in Conference Room 8005 at the DePaul Center in Chicago. The cost is $50 for non-PAAO members and $25 for CRC Illinois PAAO members. Participants can register online at www.paawareness.org/2011PAAOChicagoConference/or by mail with a check to Jill Egizii/PAAO at 1645 W. Laurel Street, Springfield, Illinois 62704.

The event is cosponsored by the DePaul Law Center. For more information on the conference you can visit, www.paawareness.org.

Home
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental Alienation Blog
FAQs
Resources
About the Book
Purchase the Book
Media
Contact Us
Purchase Hugs to Heartbreak
Hugs 
to Heartbreak Book 
Cover The true story of one parent's struggle to maintain a normal, loving relationship with his young son in the face of overwhelming odds.
Purchase now »
Copyright © 2009 A Family's Heartbreak. All Rights Reserved.