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Accept the gift of support this holiday season

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

The holidays are an especially difficult time for alienated parents. Despite all the holiday cheer, alienated parents can’t help but focus on the children who won’t visit, call or say thank you for a gift. In these emotionally challenging times, support from other parents who understand the pain and heartbreak of parental alienation is especially important.

Two online Yahoo groups, PASParents and Parents Against Parental Alienation (PAPA), provide alienated parents with a virtual community of support and empathy. There are also countless Facebook groups devoted to parental alienation support. Yet for some parents, nothing takes the place of old fashioned face-to-face communication with people who have walked in their shoes. There are some face-to-face parental alienation support groups listed on the Resources page of this site.

If you don’t have a parental alienation support group in your area and would like to start one, here are a few tips we believe you’ll find useful:

  1. Attracting Members — You want to attract people with shared experiences and a common goal. A good way to do this is to advertise your group’s purpose in a local newspaper, public place, or on a local Internet site. Many radio and television stations will run community service commercials for free during non-peak listening and viewing times. The goal is to attract people who share similar parental alienation experiences.
  2. Screening Potential Members — It is important to make sure participants are appropriate for the group. A short interview where you review the group’ goals and ask the individual questions about his or her expectations of the group process should help you decide if the person is a good fit.
  3. Setting up the Group — A good size for a group is between 10 and 15 people. At this size everyone should have an opportunity to participate in a 60 or 90 minute session.
  4. Establishing Rules — Who talks when? Any topic off limits? What is the procedure for asking someone to leave the group? While you can’t possibly address every potential scenario in advance, it is important to establish group rules up front and clearly communicate the rules to all members before the first session.
  5. Selecting a Moderator — You may have started your group, but you may not be the best person to act as moderator. An effective group will need someone who is a skilled facilitator. The moderator is the person to enforce group rules objectively, keep everyone moving in the right direction, manage the time, and make sure all group members have a chance to benefit. The moderator should also be a little detached from the rest of the group — someone who has accepted and moved on from the initial pain of his or her situation and can keep the focus on members who need lots of support, empathy or suggestions. 
  6. Building in Feedback Mechanisms — Feedback mechanisms are essential for improving the group process and ensuring the best possible outcomes. Whether the feedback consists of periodic informal conversations or an anonymous survey, be sure to have a process in place so group members can share their perspectives on how things are going and you can determine whether or not the group is meeting its goals.
  7. Notifying A Family’s — Once you form your group, be sure to let us know so we can add it to the Resources page of this site.

Television no place to address parental alienation

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Wanted: Popular television program seeks one parental alienation family — including alienating parent, targeted parent and alienated child — to reunite in front of a national television audience. No experience necessary. Dramatic presentation skills preferred. Responsibilities include condensing years of acrimony and mistrust into easy-to-understand sound bites that fit between commercials, following the advice of a person you’ve just met, and participating in post-show counseling that Courts have previously ordered and you’ve avoided. Compensation is non-existent, travel expenses are paid. To apply contact The Dr. Phil Show. 

Yes, The Dr. Phil Show is doing another show on parental alienation and Dr. Phil’s producers are frantically searching for a parental alienation family willing to appear on the program. While many targeted parents want to believe that Dr. Phil can reunite them with their children after the Courts, family members, friends and full-time mental health professionals couldn’t, Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, uses his latest Basil & Spice blog at to point out that television can’t script a happily-ever-after ending to parental alienation.

Happy Father’s Day to Alienated Dads

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Holidays are tough for alienated parents — especially holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day that are designed to honor a place in our childrens’ lives that alienating parents and our alienated children refuse to recognize.

So with Father’s Day coming up, we wanted to post part of an article that Jeff Opperman wrote a few years ago for  The article is called, “A Father’s Day wish for the alienated dad.” 

Happy Father’s Day to all targeted fathers from A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation. We know you’d rather celebrate Father’s Day with your children, and we hope one year soon you will.

Here’s the excerpt from the article:

… My most heartfelt Father’s Day wishes go to the Dads who are victims of PAS. So Happy Father’s Day to the alienated Dad:

In the airport, may someone meet you with a big hug.

In the mall, may a toddler look up at you from a stroller and smile.

At a ballgame, may you catch a foul ball and enjoy giving the ball to the kid sitting closest to you.

At work, may you enjoy your job.

At the supermarket, may you get a group “thank you” from the Scout troupe for buying something you didn’t really need.

At home, may you have the information you need to order your child’s school picture; and the strength you need to keep the photo where you can see it.

On vacation, may you get through an entire chapter of your book without thinking about the child who refused to come with you.

Holding the remote control, may you come across actor Rick Schroeder in a rerun of NYPD Blue rather than The Champ.

Volunteering as a Big Brother, may you see signs of your positive influence.

Listening to the radio, may the station play Harry Chapin’s Cats in the Cradle and Will Smith’s Just the Two of Us when you’re out of the room.

Cooking dinner, may you have a reason to increase the ingredients of your favorite recipe.

Picking up the ringing phone, may you have a wonderful surprise on the other end of the line.

You can see posts from Jeff Opperman at our A Family’s Heartbreak Facebook page —

You can read the complete article, A Father’s Day wish for the alienated Dad at

A Family’s Heartbreak Now on Facebook

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, is now on Facebook.  Check us out at

Our page has been up less than one week and we already have more than 50 members exchanging comments and stories.  Anyone can join.  The Family’s Heartbreak site is an open group.

As we say on Facebook, A Family’s Heartbreak is a forum to connect, learn, exchange ideas, and raise awareness of parental alienation — a family dynamic where one parent deliberately damages and, in some cases, destroys the previously healthy, loving relationship between his or her child and the child’s other parent.  In a severe case, the alienating parent and child work together to successfully eliminate the previously loved Mom or Dad from the child’s life.  

Check it out.  You’ll discover you are not alone.  Many people are dealing with parental alienation.

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