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Cathy Meyer

Coping With and Understanding Parental Alienation

By August 3, 2012

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Parental Alienation is the manipulation of a child in which one parent tries to alienate the other parent. The alienating parent will either covertly or overtly use the child as a weapon against the targeted parent.

An alienating parent views their child as an object they can use in their attempt to punish the other parent during a high conflict divorce situation. A long-term attempt at alienation can leave the child suffering from what some refer to as "Parental Alienation Syndrome."

Although PAS is not included in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders it is becoming more recognized by the Family Court as a reason to remove custody from one parent to the other.

For that reason it is important for you, a parent who may be targeted by an alienating parent to understand what Parental Alienation is and how to cope with the issue. The more you know, the better you will cope!

What Is Parental Alienation?

How to Cope With Parental Alienation

August 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm
(1) mike jeffries says:


As always, a concise, accurate and valuable contribution to the parental alienation discusssion. Just fyi, we expect the DSM Review Board to tell us very soon how Parental Alienation will be listed in the 2013 edition of the DSM. I’ve heard that alienation will be in the book somewhere, but the Review Board hasn’t indicated how, or where, alienation will be listed.


mike jeffries
Author, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation

August 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm
(2) Barbara says:

I have never understood how ” educatated professionals” found Richard Gardners ” theory” without case study, self published, who stabbed himself 5 times to DEATH mentally healthy enough to have what seems to become a cult fallowing…….

Heaven forbid, our chlidren articulate how thier treated at the other parents home, with what they feel is valed reasoning, and here we go again, reenventing the wheel with a new label to keep the kids in drama, trama, and crazy making, system that keeps the parents comming back for more. Chlidren deserve a voice, and parents should not have to worry about labels, while trying to protect thier kids……

August 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm
(3) Cathy Meyer says:

Barbara, I have to respectfully disagree with you. Protecting children from parental alienation is not about limiting their ability to express their concerns/feelings about one parent or the other. It is about giving children the freedom to have feelings for BOTH parents.

It does however limit the ability of one parent to poison the mind of a child with negative information about the other child. You see, some parents will denigrate the other parent in an attempt to limit the other parents access to the children. Their main excuse for doing so is, “protecting my children.”

Yes, children deserve a voice but all too often it is the alienating parent who is stifling that voice.

December 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm
(4) Jean says:

WOW, what a great article. I’ve been through a divorce YEARS ago – wish they had the Internet then. My daughter is talking and thinking about it – and I was at a loss for giving here advice since it’s hard to know ‘all’ the answers other than I will support you emotionally. Thank you for having the insight – so that I could forward this article to her – there sure is a lot of education and things to think about.

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