For people helping families

This page is for practitioners, lay people and anyone with an interest in helping families affected by alienation.

9 comments

  1. Anonymous · July 4

    I see myself as a helper, although in some cases I seem to act more like a prophet of doom.
    I, like many helpers, have reached a manageable position in terms of co-parenting having recovered from a potentially disastrous destructive family separation.
    It has been a journey of some 9 years or so to date. I have received invaluable help and assistance from two Counsellors, one of whom is a lifelong friend, the charity Families need fathers and other family members.
    I dallied with the Courts for a year or so trying to get support for my role as a father (none of which was given)
    I approached Institutions such as Social services, Cafcass and the Department of Education, and my local Doctor looking for help but only came across prejudice.
    My saving grace was my Counsellor.
    It was she who made me realise more than anyone that the power to make change was in my own hands.
    It’s not that there was anything obviously wrong with me; I am not an alcoholic, I don’t suffer from any other serious addictions………it’s just that I was wondering around like a headless chicken lacking direction and failing to see the wood for the trees.
    Change takes many forms and I can list some here so you know where I can help.

    1 Empathy.
    I don’t mean just for your child. I mean for all the protagonists; not least your Ex.

    2 Emotional intelligence.
    Most people tend to value intelligence in terms of its academic status but if you want to recover from an emotional meltdown you will need the above.

    3 Parenting skills based on emotional intelligence.
    I cannot emphasise enough how important this is for you. We all think we know the best way to parent and it is far too easy to criticise our Ex. but there are key skills to be learnt which are seldom in evidence when you first split from your Ex.

    4 Self-help.
    This is crucial. Many of us are traumatised from the split and are unaware of how ill we have become. What we need is a boost of self-esteem, self-worth. Often we are at rock bottom and in this state of mind we often make the wrong decisions, one’s that will only aggravate our situation and erect barriers rather than heal. display our anger when it is your worthiness that is needed. A sense of injustice is not a parenting aid.

    5 Alienation.
    I have no cure for this and my personal experience is limited to dealing with the tendencies rather than extended lengths of separation. I have witnessed parents who have been separated from their children for a long time who still harbour hopes of a reunion and this is tragic. I can help these people but they must be willing to be brave and make personal changes. Some of the barriers set up by the target parent to prevent reunion seem to be constructed within themselves (a sort of emotional safety net). A great place to study parent/child reunion is on the Jeremy Kyle show. You may be struck by the ambivalence of target parents.
    If you still feel that your Ex. is the raging lunatic or the obsessing narcissist and a narcectomy is the only solution, then I probably can’t help you. This is all about you not about them.

    I am aware of the fact that Karen deals with the most extreme cases of alienation and I fully appreciate her expertise. I am particularly impressed by her approach to children and sensitivity to their needs. I have learnt a lot from Karen both in terms of the political and personal.
    I am a strong advocate for shared parenting with each parent having a substantial amount of time with their children. Ideally parents should not move too far apart, they should learn to accept one another and the individual relationships which develop between parent and child.

    Lastly if I haven’t put you off I am willing to talk and listen. Beware, I have been told I make a better coach than a counsellor.

    It would be good to share experiences with other helpers.

    Kind regards

    • PapaMissingKids · October 11

      Nice points made here “Anonymous”. Well done for managing to establish a co-parenting status!

      Regrettably, I haven’t been able to do that, and maybe like some of the tragic cases you mention, I still harbour hope of reunion after something like 7 years….(gulp!)… Regardless, I agree with what what you say in general, and I also have begun focussing on myself more and more rather than blaming “them”.

      (PS. If you give yourself an anonymous pseudonym then we know how to reference you.)

    • Melanie Thurlow · 29 Days Ago

      Hi, Sorry i have only just found this page, but have been aware of Karen and her husband work for quite a while.
      I am the non residential parent of 3 sons, 20 year old now at uni, 18 year old living in supported care, and an 12 year old. Just to give you a little background.
      My middle child 18, is the most affected by PA, the supported living really has allowed him, not to feel as under pressure of choosing which parent he sees. He was living with me, following his father throwing him out. But was put in the position that it was “wrong” to live with mum.

      I feel some of you headlines are spot on……get help, counselling, get help for the trauma you went for, as most of us are struggling at that point.

      Being emotional strong for the child.

      Empathy for the other parent, I feel may only take place, after you understand, learn what is taking place. This has taken me a while, due to my past trauma, and seeing the effect on the children.

      I agree with courts need to have 50/50 parenting as an ideal, as this removes parent competition, and hopefully if insisted by the courts, would disable any pressure of loyalty by parents.

      I am in the court arena right now, but as the exs first move, was to move away, 50/50 would be problematic, but possible.

  2. PapaMissingKids · October 11

    I’m going to put this out there…

    I’d like to write a book on uplifting, soul-lifting, heart-warming stories of reunification, although most may well appear to be miraculous. The book may well resemble the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” formats. I know there is that book by Dr. Amy Baker, but I’m sure that is different.

    Of course my intention is that I want it to be a mega-best-seller but also that this would be my way of helping “the cause”, of reaching out to others, alienated as I am, and help all of us focus on the positive, and at the same time be aware of the reality and just do the best we can.

    Anyone got any thoughts on the way forward? Any suggestions, thoughts, inputs or anything else by anyone at all is most welcome.

    Karen, is it OK to write this in other areas of this blog of yours?

  3. Anonymous Mommy · October 25

    In my own search to find any relatable comparison cases to my own extreme severe PA case I started this same journey for my own hope to find stories also. I was trying to seek successful stories from adult alienated children. My motivation died down after awhile but Let me know if you’d want to consider taking on this project together and co-author a New York Best Seller. Regardless, best of luck to your efforts to find the positive in the horror of parental alienation!

    • PapaMissingKids · October 25

      Hey there! Thank you for your reply Anonymous Mommy!

      I think that’s a great idea that we really should talk about. Are you okay to email me your contact details on PapaMissingKids@gmail.com

      “HARRY POTTER EAT YOUR HEART OUT!” 😉

      • Anonymous Mommy · October 28

        I’ll send u a message right now! Glad u responded!

      • PapaMissingKids · November 4

        Hi Anonymous Mommy

        Was wondering if you have you received my email?

        PMK

  4. PapaMissingKids · October 31

    thanks – have replied to your email ….

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