Posts Tagged ‘Choosing between Mom and Dad’

A holiday shopping list for alienated parents

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

There are only ten days left before Christmas. Still shopping? 

If you are an alienated parent struggling to find gifts for the people in your life you’ve come to the right place. The following gifts are affordable and don’t require shipping. As an added service, we’ve even matched the best gifts to the most deserving recipients.

Forgiveness — for the alienating parent.

Tolerance — for parental alienation critics.

Knowledge — for legal and mental health professionals who don’t understand alienation.

Respect — for people trying to make sense of a situation that doesn’t make sense.

Understanding — for friends who don’t know what to say.

Empathy and Support — for other people struggling with parental alienation.

Charity — for non-profit organizations working on the behalf of alienated parents and children.

Patience — for parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. They’re hurting too.

Attention — for your spouse or significant other. Don’t take him or her for granted.

Unconditional Love — for your alienated children. They are hurting just as much as you are.

A Good Example — for your non-alienated children.

A Break — for yourself. Parental alienation is not a referendum on you or your parenting. You don’t deserve parental alienation. Neither does your children.

Hope — for yourself and your children. Keep hoping. Keep trying. Anyone can give up, it’s easy to do. But to hold it together when everyone would understand if you fell apart, that’s hope.

Mike & Mike on the radio

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, will be the guest host on the internet radio program Family Matters on Wednesday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. EST. Jeffries’ guest will be Dr. J. Michael Bone, parental alienation expert and consultant.

Family Matters is a show dedicated to discussing parental alienation, a destructive family dynamic affecting countless children, parents and extended family members every year.

“I’m looking forward to asking Dr. Bone about many of the developments he has seen over the years with respect to how parental alienation is perceived in the courts and among mental health professionals,” Jeffries said. “His article,  Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It was one of the earliest and most concise, easy-to-understand descriptions of what I was going through with my family.”

Jeffries is sitting in for regular host, author and Parental Alienation Awareness Organization President Jill Egizii. “I’m used to being interviewed, so it will be fun to ask the questions for a change,” he added.

Family Matters can be heard at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/syndicatednews/2010/11/18/family-matters–hosted-by-michael-jeffries-author-. The call-in phone number is 347-539-5024.

Raising awareness of alienation at the AACAP

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Parental alienation professionals and advocates attended the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) annual meeting in New York City this week to discuss alienation with many of the 4,700 psychiatrists and physicians in attendence and explain why parental alienation belongs in the next edition of the profession’s DSM.

Dr.William Bernet, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the primary author of Parental Alienation DSM-5 and ICD-11, presented at the meeting and the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) raised awareness of alienation in an exhibit hall booth. The PAAO exhibit featured books, DVDs and volunteers to discuss parental alienation with conference attendees. PAAO President Jill Egizii, PAAO Vice President Robert Samery, Dr. Amy Baker, and Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, were all on hand to pass out literature and talk about alienation with mental health professionals from around the world.

Also attending the conference were members of the DSM Review Board — the professionals who will decide whether or not parental alienation is included in the next edition of the DSM. Bernet indicated that the Review Board is still considering alienation for inclusion in the updated diagnostic manual. The DSM-5 is scheduled for release in 2013.

Jeffries observed that while some professionals had never heard of alienation, many others were familiar with the family dynamic. Still other professionals saw alienation in their practices without realizing the behaviors had a name. “The conversations were all over the map,” Jeffries said. “Some attendees wanted to talk about their cases. Other professionals wanted to discuss under what category the DSM-5 could potentially list parental alienation. One psychiatrist was even looking for guidance on who should receive the diagnostic code — the alienating parent, the targeted parent, or the child.”

Not every person who stopped by the PAAO booth wanted to see parental alienation in the DSM-5. “There was one psychiatrist who made it clear he didn’t believe in parental alieantion but he never actually completed a sentence or allowed me to complete one,” Jeffries said. “He said ‘parental alienation is a diagnosis in search of a…’ and then his voice trailed off. When I tried to say something positive, he cut me off with another incomplete, negative comment. Then he did it a third time. I finally told him to enjoy the rest of the conference. With 4,700 open-minded, articulate professionals to talk to there was no need to waste time on him.”

TV and parental alienation — past and present

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

In a week when The Dr. Phil Show features bad parenting by the anti-June and Ward Cleaver in its parental alienation-themed show today, it is worth mentioning that Barbara Billingsley, the actress who played the iconic television Mom June Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver, died recently in California. She was 94 years old.

According to Jill Egizii, President of the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) and a guest on The Dr. Phil Show, the parents in the family Dr. Phil selected for the program do not co-parent effectively and their poor co-parenting could ultimately result in parental alienation. While Dr. Phil spent most of the program urging the parents to improve their parenting and communication skills, Egizii said she highlighted the affects of parental alienation on children and the PAAO’s work at the end of the program.

Parents and extended family members, as well as legal and mental health professionals, should go to The Dr. Phil Show website at http://www.drphil.com after the episode airs and encourage Dr. Phil and his producers to do programs focused solely on parental alienation. Episodes that explain what drives an alienating parent to damage, and in some cases destroy, his or her child’s relationship with the child’s other parent, and episodes that explore how professionals can legally and therapeutically address alienation, will help families avoid this destructive family dynamic.

If the parents on The Dr. Phil Show are the anti-June and Ward Cleaver, than June and Ward should be the anti-parental alienation parents. In our latest blog post for Basil & Spice at http://www.basilandspice.com/love-and-relationships/category/jeffries-mike, we highlight what divorcing parents can learn from Wally and Beaver’s Mom and Dad — even if they are just fictional characters on a 50-year old television show.

Themes of the alienating parent

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Some mental health professionals and religious leaders empower parental alienation according to Dr. Abe Worenklein, a professor at Dawson College in Montreal. 

Worenklein made his comments at the recent Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation Syndrome in New York City. The conference drew approximately 200 parents, legal and mental health professional interested in helping parents and children maintain normal, healthy relationships after divorce or separation.

“Sometimes mental health professionals who do not know how to interview parents and children and are unfamiliar with the themes of the alienating parent acutally end up empowering the children and reinforcing the parent’s position,” Worenklein said. “Furthermore, some religious leaders may focus on the parents’ degree of religiosity when telling one parent to limit the less-observant parent’s time with the children.”

Worenklein explained that the themes of the alienating parent are the words and actions a parent uses to damage, and in some cases destroy, the child’s previously normal relationship with his or her other parent. Some of the themes include:

  • Denying the existence of the other parent by never talking about him or her, destroying photos of the parent, changing the subject when the child mentions the parent, or not relaying the parent’s messages to the child.
  • Putting the child in the middle by asking him or her to spy on the other parent, remove possessions or take important papers from the parent and child’s home.
  • Attacking the parent’s career, interests, hobbies and family.
  • Saying things like, “I just don’t know what’s wrong with your mother/father.”
  • Threatening to withhold love or acceptance from child.
  • Scaring the child into believing the other parent isn’t capable of taking care of him or her.
  • Creating a new reality for the child that excludes his or her relationship with the other parent.

Worenklein told conference attendees how professionals can use different interview techniques to identify these themes. “Dr. Worenklein pointed out that asking a young child at the beginning of an interview if the child has anything he or she was supposed to tell the professional is a great way at getting at the child’s rehearsed or programmed answers,” said Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation and a conference attendee. “This not only allows the professional to see if the child’s answers were programmed, but after fulfilling his or her obligation to the alienating parent the child can relax and participate much more honestly in the interview,” Jeffries added.

Jeffries back discussing parental alienation

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, will join Gianni Hayes on her New World Order Disorder radio program at www.americanvoiceradio.com on Wednesday, September 29 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

“The Canadian Symposium on Parental Alienation is October 2-3 in New York City and interest in parental alienation couldn’t be higher,” Jeffries said. “I can’t think of a better way to get ready for the conference than talking with Gianni and her world-wide audience about alienation and A Family’s Heartbreak. 

Hayes is a prolific author, with 14 novel and non-fiction books, plus hundreds of articles to her credit. She has appeared in Woman’s Day, Redbook, US, People, Brides, Parade and Writers Digest. 

Listeners can talk to Jeffries and Hayes by dialing 1-800-596-8191.

A Pointillist view of parental alienation

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Poin.til.lism (noun): a late 19th-century style of painting in which a picture is constructed from dots of pure color that blend, at a distance, into recognizable shapes and various color tones.

Let’s give credit to Attorney David Pisarra of www.mensfamilylaw.com for describing parental alienation both beautifully and accurately. In his recent review of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, Pisarra compared parental alienation to the style of painting made famous by French painter Georges Seurat.

“Parental alienation is a series of seemingly innocent miscommunication, or concerns for the well-being of a child; and it is only when the dots are connected that you see the complete picture,” Pisarra said in his review.

Pisarra also said A Family’s Heartbreak should be required reading for anyone involved in parental alienation cases. “For every man who is enduring this hell, for every lawyer who fights this form of child abuse, and for all the therapists who have to treat the collaterally damaged children, this book should be a first resource in their armament,” he said.

You can find Attorney Pisarra’s complete review of A Family’s Heartbreak at http://mensfamilylaw.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/a-pointillist-view-of-parental-alienation-one-fathers-experience/.

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 http://www.basilandspice.com/love-and-relationships/category/jeffries-mike to point out that television can’t script a happily-ever-after ending to parental alienation.

Reunion story incomplete without exploring alienation angle

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

In his latest column for Basil & Spice, Mike Jeffries, author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, looks for signs of parental alienation in the case of the mother who was reunited with her children after thinking they were dead for 30 years. 

“The story is heartwarming, that’s for sure,” Jeffries said. “However the media had the perfect opportunity to discuss the reunion within the context of an ex-husband who may have deliberately alienated two little children from their mother for three decades and the media swung and missed.”

To read Jeffries’ complete column and leave a comment please visit http://www.basilandspice.com/love-and-relationships/82010-parental-alienation-theres-no-co-parenting-happening.html.

The signs of future alienating behavior

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Long before an alienating parent starts badmouthing the other parent in front of the child, or disrupting the other parent’s time with the child, he or she sends signals that parental alienation may one day become a reality for the family.

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Elian Gonzalez’s return to Cuba. You remember Elian. He was five years old when a fisherman found him bobbing around the Atlantic Ocean in an inner tube. His Mom and others died in the waters off the Florida coast trying to reach the United States from Cuba. His family in Miami wanted to keep Elian in the U.S. — despite the wishes of his father in Cuba. Presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore even got involved in the debate, and a SWAT team and INS agents had to pry Elian loose from his relatives’ custody so he could return to Cuba and his Dad.

A conversation with my future ex-wife about the Elian Gonzalez situation was one of my first signs that I would one day lose my relationship with my son. I missed the sign until yesterday — when I read that Elian said he is thankful for spending the last ten years with his father. But that’s the funny thing about signs — they are all around us. In my most recent Basil & Spice blog at http://www.basilandspice.com/love-and-relationships/72010-cubas-poster-boy-for-parental-alienation-elian-gonzale.html I explain how future alienated parents can miss the obvious.

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