Posts Tagged ‘coping’

Keeping alienation in perspective on 9/11

Saturday, 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?

Wednesday, 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.

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.

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 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.

Alienated parents champions, not victims

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

If you’ve read A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation, you probably remember that we consider driving a car one of those simple daily activities that can turn an alienated parent’s day upside down. 

For most people, driving a car is a way to go from Point A to Point B. But alienated parents have their eyes on the road and their brains in the past. The longer the drive, the more an alienated parent’s thoughts can drift back to the relationship that was wrongfully stolen away. By the time an alienated parent arrives at his or her destination the anger, sadness, hopelessness, frustration and unfairness of parental alienation can potentially turn the parent’s mood and outlook from sunny and bright to dark and bleak.

Yesterday I was driving and thinking about my alienated son. Another year has passed without any change in our relationship. But before I could take that destructive stroll down parental alienation memory lane, We are the Champions by Queen, came on the radio. For the first time I listened to the lyrics not as an anthem for a championship team, but as an anthem for alienated parents:

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I’ve come through
 
We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting – till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
Cause we are the champions – of the world.

Alienated parents are champions, not victims. Keep on fighting for your alienated children. You are the champions of parental alienation and the world.

Happy holidays from A Family’s Heartbreak, LLC.

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 Heartbreak.com — Once you form your group, be sure to let us know so we can add it to the Resources page of this site.

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/.

Divorce Source Radio features A Family’s Heartbreak

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

What do you get when you introduce Mike Jeffries, the author of A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation to Divorce Source Radio host Steve Peck?

Just that most informative, enlightening discussion on parental alienation you’ll find anywhere, that’s all. You can access the interview at http://www.DivorceSourceRadio.com.

“Steve Peck combines his background in broadcasting with his interest in family and divorce to produce a quality program that could go head-to-head with interview programs anywhere on radio or television,” says Jeffries. “His knowledge of the legal, psychological and emotional issues surrounding parental alienation allowed us to present perspectives of parental alienation that I don’t typically get to explore in interviews. Listeners will find the information enlightening and extremely valuable.”

Divorce Source Radio produces free programs featuring both legal and emotional advice from respected professionals. The weekly streaming podcasts are listened to by thousands of individuals through the  iTunes store by searching “Divorce Source Radio” or on http://www.DivorceSourceRadio.com.

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