Parental alienation, one year on. What have I learnt? 

A thoughtful post from Peace not PAS. I subscribe to each and every one of your points.

Lee Serpa Azevado

It is now a year since I have had any contact with my three beautiful young children.

My ex continues to deny me any contact with them.  My ex continues to take advantage of a flawed system. A system that enables her to ignore and breach court orders for contact and engagement in interventions, with no legal consequence.

I do not claim to be an expert in parental alienation. My story is no worse than any other of the incalculable number of alienated out there.

The following is certainly not intended to be viewed as some kind of checklist to battle parental alienation.

I have simply reflected on the last year and compiled a list of what I have learnt during the last twelve months.

  • Normalising the sense of sadness and low mood one will invariably experience as an alienated parent is okay to do.
  • Allowing this sadness and low…

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The Empathy Gap

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WARNING: Dilettantish, exceptionally amateur psychology follows, please look away if you are not empathetic (!)

Looking around the internet while researching this there are several articles discussing the empathy gap between couples. For instance, when one partner doesn’t give the appropriate response the other partner expects when something happens, be it a cut finger, slip, being fired, etc. etc. Empathy with the partner declines when one or both of the partners are not interested in the relationship anymore. This is logical – another way of putting it would be to say they are not in love anymore.

But what happens afterwards?

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Away for the weekend

Leicester - Attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alant79/

Leicester – Attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alant79/

I was in the country of my birth last weekend. The first time privately (not business) since 2009. There are many reasons for this – lack of money, the shame of what has happened to me etc. etc.

The reason was for a reunion of friends that graduated in the summer of 1987. Yes it really is thirty years since I graduated, when my whole life seemed rosy and full of promise!

To tell the truth I did not want to go. I was afraid of another round of having to explain why I am in the situation with the children that I now find myself, “What did you do to make her do that?”. My wife persuaded me to go, and I love her for it, for I had one of the best weekends ever.

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A Living Death ?

This post was suggested by my various professionals during my journey and a post by David Shubert on iwaserased.com

I have thought about this a lot over the previous years. How to put into words the loss that I feel not seeing my children, having no idea what they are up to, not being asked daddy questions and an infinite amount of other possible situations.

I was ‘lucky’, in that I have found (or they found me?) a wonderful new partner and her son, both of whom adore me. They make me feel whole, and the residual doubt that I had every now and then that I could have been to blame for what happened between my children, their mother and I have been exorcised. I know I am a good partner and a good father to a son who isn’t mine. I certainly must take part of the blame, as no break-up is without fault on both sides, but certainly, the majority lies with my ex-wife and her new partner, whose actions regarding the children I really cannot even begin to understand. And to be frank I don’t think I am even capable of understanding how insidious their campaign against me was and probably still is.

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Karen Woodall: How to Change the World

Karen Woodall:

Yesterday I worked with an inspiring group of people who attended our only UK practitioner training to be held this year.  Despite a couple of technical hitches, we worked through the day on the principles used by the Family Separation Clinic to unpack and analyse cases of parental alienation. Each person was focused and brought to the training their own experience of working in this field. Psychologists, psychotherapists, child protection social workers, step parent support workers and specialist mediators and psychotherapists from Holland, all together in the desire to further understand the problem and how to work with it.  I ended the day inspired, invigorated and absolutely certain that the way to change the world for alienated children is to prepare and plant seeds in as many places of the world as possible and then water and nurture them and support them to flourish.  Which is what I will be…

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Karen Woodall: The Politics of Love and Hate

PA is obviously gaining traction. Some people are compiling a database to enable criticism of Karen Woodhall not only as a practitioner in this field but also as a person!

Karen Woodall:

It has been another busy week at the Family Separation Clinic where we continue to deliver services for families affected by parental alienation.  This week I have been once again working with children affected by the problem, as well as thinking about new projects coming up which will keep us busy long into the new decade.

In the coming months our new book will be published, we will launch Parental Alienation Direct as a self help site for everyone affected by parental alienation, and we will be travelling to Prague with colleagues from 14 other EU countries, for the launch of the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners.

On July 8th, I will be speaking at the Children’s Mental Health Centre conference ‘Too Much Pain’ where the groundbreaking film about adverse childhood experiences – Resilience – will be shown.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this…

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Types of alienation

Again, based on personal experience and has no relation to the work of practising members of the psychology profession!

I have been intimately involved in parental alienation for several years now. I have researched the hell out of it, and since the start of this blog at the start of the year I have also come across dozens more cases, some with their own blog, others through my twitter feed.

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