Archive for the ‘A Family’s Heartbreak’ Category

Adult children of parental alienation

Wednesday, 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?

Wednesday, 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

Thursday, 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

Wednesday, 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

Monday, 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

Friday, 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

Wednesday, 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.

A Family’s Heartbreak celebrates anniversary with free copies

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

A Family’s Heartbreak, LLC. will give away free copies of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation to celebrate the book’s second anniversary of helping families understand and address parental alienation.

“It’s been a very gratifying two years,” explains author Mike Jeffries. “If you would have told me when I was writing A Family’s Heartbreak in the small apartment I moved to during the divorce that my words would reach parents in places as far away as the U.K., Canada, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and countless other countries I wouldn’t have believed it. It just goes to show how universal the problem of parental alienation is and how hungry parents, legal and mental health professionals are for objective information. So in honor of the book’s anniversary we’re going to give away ten copies of the book to the first ten people who write us via our website at http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com

Readers, including legal and mental health professionals, have raved about A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation in the two years since it’s publication. The American Journal of Family Therapy said, “this book should be required reading for any parent who is victimized by parental alienation as well as professionals who treat or evaluate alienation.” Virginia Gilbert, a marriage and family therapist, also said the book should be required reading, “for every graduate psychology and family therapy training program,” while Attorney David Pisarra from Men’s Family Law called the book, “an excellent exploration into the twisted ‘Wonderland’ that is parental alienation.”

“We’ve been honored that so many people have taken the time to read and respond positively to A Family’s Heartbreak,” Jeffries added, “that we want to give something back to start our third year on the market. Our giveaway is simple and sincere — the first 10 people to write me at mike@afamilysheartbreak.com will get a free copy of our book. We’ll even pay the postage. All the writer has to do is give us a name and a mailing address.”

A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation is the true story of one parent’s struggle to maintain a normal, loving relationship with his young son in the face of overwhelming odds. You can purchase the book at http://afamilysheartbreak.com, order it through any bookstore, or buy it at Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/Familys-Heartbreak-Introduction-Parental-Alienation/dp/0979696011/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301246509&sr=1-1.

Alienation no more

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Many readers of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation say the journal chapters, or diary approach, to describe my family’s descent into severe parental alienation are the most eye-opening and informative parts of the book. In these chapters you can literally watch my relationship with my son go from normal to non-existent in a few months.

When most parents write us they are looking for comfort or suggestions to help them deal with their own heartbreaking situations. That was the case with Carol. She was at the end of her rope in January — even questioning her own existence. Now, however, she is rebuilding her relationship with her daughter. Since many of you say the journal aproach in A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation helped you, we’ll let Carol tell you her story the same way.

January 24, 2011
I would like to report that I picked up my copy of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation from the book store yesterday morning after church. I finished reading it at 9:00 p.m. the same night. 

I am humbled that I am no longer alone as I walk down a road that no loving parent should ever know exits. A few weeks before my daughter’s departure from my life I was asked by my church to start training to be their deacon. Once she was gone, however, I not only questioned the existence of my God, but my very own existence. I now see that my daughter, just like myself, was never given the choice to be part of each other’s life. I raised her myself. I told her every day for 16 years how precious her life was. I still can’t believe this is happening.

January 26, 2011
I just called my daughter’s school. They’ve been poisoned like everyone else. I am escorted off the campus when I show up for my court-ordered visitation. The court order is not worth the paper it is printed on. My daughter’s father continues to violate it, and nothing ever happens to him.

I called because I wanted my daughter’s grades. They hung up. I called back and they put me on hold for five minutes. Then they told me they are not allowed to give me my daughter’s grades. I asked to speak to the principal. He was not available. I’m not holding my breath for the return call.

I feel so hopeless. I have been judged by dozens of people who know nothing about me. I have not spoken to my daughter in almost six months. The only two times I saw her I was handcuffed in the back seat of a police car. I do not have her phone number. I can’t email her. Now I cannot even call her school without being treated like the lowest form of life on this planet.

February 16, 2011
I went to court today. My ex continues to interfere with visitation. The judge told him that if he this situation continues he would go to jail for five months and have to pay a fine.

My ex brought my daughter to testify against me. She did not testify but instead she learned that that I have been fighting to see her for more than six months.

February 19, 2011
My ex did not block me from my daughter today. I called and it was the first conversation we had since August. Her attitude was disgusting. She said she didn’t want to see me. She told me I was an awful person. But she stayed on the phone for 18 minutes. When I told her I loved her she said, “I know.”  

February 22, 2011
Now that I finally have my daughter’s phone number I can call when I want. I called today and the phone went straight to voice mail. I hung up. My daughter immediately called back. The conversation was not as hostile as the last time we talked. I tried to keep her on the phone as long as possible. Eventually she said, “I don’t want to hang up on you but I have a lot of homework to do so I have to go.” I said ok.

February 28, 2011
My ex called my lawyer today and asked if I wanted to see my daughter this coming Saturday. Of course I said yes. I will finally get to spend time with her!

March 1, 2011
I called my daughter today. The call went to voice mail but she called back. This time, the conversation was just like the old days. She was sweet, wonderful, smart, funny, caring and courteous. And the most wonderful thing that happened. As we were getting ready to hang up, I said “I love you” and she said “I love you too.” Her entire life that was the way we always ended every single phone call. After we hung up I cried tears of joy. 

* * * *

Carol asked us to share her story on our A Family’s Heartbreak blog. She wrote, “So many times I wanted to give up and well-intentioned people told me to walk away. I couldn’t do that even though it was killing me inside. I want to be an inspiration for other parents going through this horrible nightmare. I want to let them know there is hope. I thought I had lost my daughter forever and that she would never want to see me again. I know we could regress in a split second, but I want to let other parents know that even during their bleakest hour that you are still in your child’s heart.”

Jeffries visits Men Matter Radio on February 25

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, visits the internet radio show Men Matter, on Friday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Program host Dr. Kevin Maguire will interview Jeffries on issues surrounding parental alienation.

“Dr. Maguire is an alienated father who knows about the pain, hopelessness and frustration associated with parental alienation,” Jeffries said. “We have a lot in common with the listeners and I look forward to sharing the coping mechanisms I’ve used to help others live with their heartbreaking situations.”

Listeners can call into the program at 347-539-5024. They can also listen via the internet at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/syndicatednews/2011/02/26/men-matter-dr-kevin-maguire-and-guest. Jeffries also will be taking questions from listeners.

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