Parental Alienation: Allegations and the Favored Parent

Parental Alienation: Allegations and the Favored Parent

 

 

Parental Alienation: Allegations and the Favored Parent

Copyright © 2018 by Monika Logan, M.A., LPC, LSOTP

 

When a parent is identified as being the favored parent and accused of undermining the relationship between the other (rejected) parent and their child, the favored parent may feel discouraged and indicate that he/she is doing everything possible to promote the parent-child relationship.

The favored parent will often insist that he/she does not speak ill of the rejected parent, but rather encourages the child to communicate with the rejected parent. The favored parent may pronounce that the child’s rejection is a direct result of the rejected parent’s (in)actions and/or behaviors. The favored parent may also be inclined to attribute the child’s rejection to the rejected parent’s disposition and/or some other personality and/or behavioral flaw of the rejected parent. The favored parent may indicate that the child no longer wants to spend time with the rejected parent and that he/she cannot and should not force the child to do so.

What can a parent do? It is important for mental health professionals to realize that when working with families that the reason for rejection may be based in some fragment of reality. It is vital, however, that the favored parent does not mischaracterize the incident, behavior, and/or personality trait of their co-parent (the rejected parent). A common example is when a rejected parent has had an inappropriate response to anger during an isolated incident(s) in which he/she resorts to screaming and/or shouting at the child. Consequently, the child may have developed a fear reaction to the rejected parent. In addition, although the fear response by the child was observable in the past, it has now developed into a momentous concern by the favored parent.

After all, what can a parent accused of alienating behavior do, when his/her ex-spouse is “hot-tempered”? It is imperative that the favored parent does not perpetuate the child’s fear. It may become easy to claim that the rejected parent’s unmanaged anger problem is the cause of the child’s rejection, touting “See, his/her temper is why the child does not want anything to do with him/her.”

What can a parent do? Do not embellish your co-parent’s flaw, which only serves to further exacerbate fear(s).

When it comes to faults, rather than resorting to a myopic view, consider how the rejected parent’s flaw(s) were managed during the marriage/partnership. It is unlikely that your co-parent was flawless during the marriage/partnership. Perhaps the rejected parent’s temperament was an irritant during the marriage/partnership, however, it notably was not the reason for the relationship’s demise.

What can a parent do? Do not let the rejected parent’s temperament serve as weapon of rejection that can be used to sever the relationship with the child.

A common example observed by mental health professionals is a rejected parent who has worked outside of the home in order to provide the favored parent the opportunity to remain at home with the child. During the marriage/partnership, the rejected parent’s working hours were sometimes a frustration, however, he/she also earned an income that provided for many of life’s extras. Therefore, during the marriage/partnership the long hours were acceptable. When soccer games or dance recitals were missed on occasion, positive sentiments were made, such as telling the child that the rejected parent did not want to miss the event, and that he/she will attend next time.

What can a parent do? If the rejected parent went above and beyond to pay for activities and/or other extras during the marriage/partnership, do not use time as the weapon of choice after the marriage/partnership has ended by depicting the rejected parent as “absent” and/or “uninvolved” co-parent.

Sometimes, favored parents will verbally say they want what is “best for their child,” but will behave to the contrary. Here are some actions that may aid to offset and/or curtail allegations of alienation:

  • Promote time with the rejected parent as valuable.
  • Do not schedule activities that your child values during the rejected parent’s parenting time.
  • Do not simply say you will cooperate, show that you will cooperate.
  • Enforce your parental authority. If your child reports they do not want to spend time with the rejected parent, consider how you make your child eat dinner, go to school, and/or any other activity that your child may not want to engage in.
  • Encourage the importance of family. Share positive memories with your child about the rejected parent’s extended family.
  • Do not overact when your child tells you something negative about the rejected parent.
  • Establish boundaries.
  • Do not overschedule your child so that the child does not miss out on valuable time with the rejected parent.
  • Seek help from a well-trained and experienced professional who is skilled in working with children, families, and resist/refuse dynamics.

 

Monika Logan is an owner and the Director of Texas Premier Counseling Services, PLLC (Texas PCS) located in Frisco, Texas. She specializes in Parental Alienation as well as troubled, damaged, and/or strained parent-child relationships. She provides counselling services for parents and their children in conflict and/or those struggling with issues related to separation and/or divorce. Ms. Logan offers Parenting Facilitation Services to help parents reduce conflict, and she helps repair parent-child relationship breaches as a Reunification Counselor.

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Inept, corrupt, dishonest, worst of her profession (In my opinion)

Self-verified patient of Dr. Alissa Sherry – Posted on November 23rd, 2018

Let me first start off with saying that all of the following comments are my own opinions of Dr. Alissa Sherry: She is the worst psychologist that I have ever come across in my life and should have her ability to practice any type of psychological evaluations severely limited or revoked altogether. In my opinion it borderlines on malpractice at its highest level. Never ever allow her to evaluate you or someone you love no matter who appoints her, fight it to your death as she has the potential to destroy lives by her unprofessional assessments that seemed to be motivated by nothing more than money. This person could be your worst nightmare just look at the other reviews before this one, all rate her at the lowest level possible and basically say the same thing. Has an evaluation been court ordered of you for some reason? In my opinion, you will be risking everything by allowing her involvement with your case in any way shape or form. Go to your attorney, go to the court, go to anyone who will listen and do everything in your power to not allow her anywhere near yourself or a loved one. I personally would not even show up if ordered to. Do not take a chance with Alissa Sherry if you value your children, your marriage, your freedom, your life. Read the other reviews their not wrong in my opinion, proceed with caution and consider yourself warned…..

www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Alissa_Sherry.html

Terrible!

Self-verified patient of Dr. Alissa Sherry – Posted on September 13th, 2018

Dr. Sherry is not interested in your family or their welfare, only in making money in the divorce industry. Will not take both sides into consideration, is unfair and biased. Pitifully overpriced and underperforming.

www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Alissa_Sherry.html

Travis County Texas Family Court Corruption

Travis County Texas Family Court Corruption

Victims discuss Domestic Violence by Proxy, Abusive Litigation, Parents Being Unnecessarily Denied Access to Their Children, and other important topics:

Host Mike Lee and guests discuss the problems and challenges caused by legal and other professionals of the family law legal complex. They shared personal and professional experiences of the participants and reveal that more problems may be created rather than solved by these professionals. The discussion will suggest that financial gain and self-interest rather than the best interests of the children drive the reality of family law legal injustice. These complexities often negate the best interests of the children.

If you have issues that you feel are unjustified or corrupt please email txfamilycourtcorruption@gmail.com

Professionals of interest are:

Dr Alissa Sherry / Legal Consensus

Beware!

Self-verified patient of Dr. Alissa Sherry – Posted on April 16th, 2018

This woman is a danger to good parents trying to raise their children in a Christian home. She never met me or my children and only looked at “evidence” provided by my ex-husband. She said what she was paid to say: that I am an alienator.

www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Alissa_Sherry.html

One Star

Self-verified patient of Dr. Alissa Sherry – Posted on March 16th, 2018

The ratings on all the sites speak for themselves! She is a danger to children and the family unit. Following what ever the Guardian ad litems suggest to them. Never interviewing the children or using collateral sources including other professionals involved. A total whitewash bias job. Also a fabricator and liar.

www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Alissa_Sherry.html

LEGAL CONSENSUS (Alissa Sherry) V. BACCUS – Travis County Texas

Parental Alienation: Finding the Right Therapist

Parental Alienation: Finding the Right Therapist

Parental Alienation

Finding the Right Therapist


Copyright 2017 by Monika Logan, M.A., LPC, LSOTP

Navigating through the trenches with a child who once loved you but now claims to hate you, rejects you, or refuses visitation can be a tough terrain without having a skilled guide. When parental alienation is suspected or detected, locating a forensically trained therapist is vital. However, finding the right therapist for your situation can in and of itself be a daunting task.

You will need to ensure the therapist has specialized training, as well as extensive experience, in working with troubled-parent child relationships. Therapists who lack an adequate understanding and competence in dealing with parental alienation may be too quick to accept at face value the favored parent’s and child’s representations of events.

Some therapists will list their experience in this specialized area on a curriculum vitae (CV). The therapist should have documented on his/her CV extensive training, known as Continuing Education Unites (CEUs) through organizations such as the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. Realize that being “passionate” and “proficient” are not one and the same. There are numerous excellent therapists, who sincerely care about children and families, but not all have adequate training nor the experience in a forensic setting to work in this specialized area.

It is important for parents to understand that early intervention is key to offsetting unwarranted rejection by your child. Detecting alienating behaviors and distasteful antics early on can lead to greater successful outcomes in a therapeutic setting. A skilled therapist can assess when/if individual therapy is suited for your child and/or if a team approach is warranted in order to work with the entire family.

It is also key to realize that your therapist cannot diagnose a person he/she has not met. In today’s diagnostic label milieu, terms such as “sociopath” and “borderline” are flippantly tossed around. Buzz words run amok through social media and everyday conversations without any real critical thought behind the implications of the label(s). Bad behavior is simply bad behavior and most agree that alienating behavior is damaging to a child. Many people have traits of narcissism, borderline, or other mental health diagnoses, however, having a specific diagnosis does not in itself damage a parent-child relationship. On the contrary, blocking access, badmouthing, berating, and belittling are observable behaviors that are problematic.

Finally it is essential to be patient and recognize that the troubled-parent child relationship did not become damaged overnight. It takes time to repair and to restore fractured relationships.

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Parental Alienation: Anger and Assumptions

Parental Alienation: Anger and Assumptions

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Copyright 2017 by Monika Logan, M.A., LPC, LSOTP

Human beings tend to make assumptions about the world around us and the people with whom we interact.  We take a quick glance and if someone is wearing ragged clothing, we assume he/she cannot afford a new outfit.  Perhaps a new person you met did not give a good first impression.  It is easy to assume that their “less-than” best presentation is representative of him/her or of all future interactions.  Maybe because you read a bad review about a restaurant, so rather than experiencing it for yourself, you forgo an excellent dining experience.  As applied to interactions with our children, if a child arrives home and appears irritated, we assume our child did not have a good time at the other parents home.  Or, if our child is learning well at school, outsiders may assume the child is well-adjusted and dismiss other potential problematic areas.  Yet another example, your child fails to spend time with you for a weekend or two and you assume your ex-spouse is the culprit.  You fail to recognize the child’s own contributions to the perceived rejection.  To make assumptions is to be human.

If we recognize that assumptions are part of human nature, then we are able to become cognizant of our potential assumptions and vigilantly strive to fact-check.  Engaging in meaningful conversations with others, can mitigate a lot of unnecessary blame, burden, and erroneous conclusions.  With regards to relationships, besides examining our assumptions, another area of opportunity is understanding our anger.  Similar to making assumptions, addressing anger is another part of the human condition.  It is helpful to think of anger like an iceberg.  For example, if your teenager tosses their backpack on the floor and slams the door afterschool, we observe what many would identify as anger.  However, like an iceberg, there is more going on below the surface.  Anger can manifest as the expression of other feelings that are often unseen.  Anger can be external and/or internal.  As an example, one child may become sullen and remain in his/her room, while another child may act out by kicking a closet door.  A problem arises though when we assume that the cause of the child’s anger has been created by our ex-spouse.  Certainly, in some case of alienation, a child’s anger stems from the actions of a parent who blatantly ignores a court order.  However, we must recognize that at times it appears as though our ex-spouse is mistakenly the source of our child’s anger.  It is imperative that we distinguish that many feelings are below the surface, if we are to effectively address anger.  When we fail to consider other possibilities for a child or adolescents rejection, such as his/or her own role, further problems are created.

In the area of helping alienated children and parents, quick fixes and easy answers are often highly desired and sought.  This is clearly understandable, because when we as humans hurt, we want the pain to stop.  If we are cut we reach for a Band-Aid, but deeper cuts require stitches.  We realize that time can become the enemy of a child or adolescent who is defiant and becoming contact resistant.  In pursuing help with overcoming parent-child contact problems, it is easy to gravitate to the “latest and greatest” answer(s) to alleviate our child or adolescent from psychological abuse.  Again, much like the iceberg, there are many nuances in treating alienated families.  There are often times more going on beneath the surface.  Treating a deep wound with a Band-Aid simply will not work.  What can a parent do?

  • Awareness and education are the key.
  • Early intervention is vital.
  • Check your assumptions.
  • Realize that time can be both your friend and your enemy.
  • Educate significant others about alienation.
  • A Crisis can be an opportunity to connect with an alienated child.
  • Do not counter reject your child or adolescent (think of the anger iceberg – your child does not hate you).
  • Correct your child/adolescents distorted views of you – timing is everything.  Silence is not always golden.
  • Work through intense emotions.  Help your child or adolescent understand what is going on beneath the surface.
  • Realize that hurting people act out (content and happy co-parents do not engage in constant denigration – again think of the iceberg).
  • Refrain from name calling and labeling your ex-spouse.  No, not everyone is a sociopath, borderline, and/or a narcissist.
  • Parent-child contact problems are best treated when caught early and can be corrected sooner vs. later.
  • Realize that letting go does not mean giving up (sometimes parents need a respite).

If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that sometimes our assumptions and preconceived notions are wrong, and therefore, our interpretation of events is incorrect. This causes us to overreact, to take things personally, or to judge people unfairly. ~ Elizabeth Thornton

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Typical Behaviors of an Alienated Child

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Revises history to eliminate or diminish any positive memories of experiences with the rejected parent.

 

Has reactions and perceptions not justified by or disproportionate to the rejected parent’s behavior.

 

Has a stronger, but not necessarily healthy, psychological bond with the alienating parent than with the rejected parent.

 

Tells stories about one or both parents or the situation that are repetitive and lacking in detail and depth.

 

Denies hope for reconciliation.

 

Displays independent thinker phenomenon; he or she will claim beliefs about a rejected parent are his or her own and not the alienating parent.

 

Shows signs of role corruption, role reversal, or triangulation.

 

May struggle with internalizing problems such as anxiety, depression, phobic reactions, or low self-esteem.

 

May manifest signs of externalizing behavioral problems including, but not limited to bullying, sexual behavioral problems, or oppositional behavioral struggles.

 

Expresses worry for the preferred parent and vocalizes a need to care for that parent.

 

May appear to function adequately in some environments ( e.g. earning As in school) while struggling in other environments (struggles to maintain friendships).May bad-mouth rejected parent’s new family.

 

Demonstrates inconsistency between statements or allegations about rejected parent and behavior with the rejected parent.

 

 Posted by Monika Logan, M.A., LPC, LSOTP 

Texas Premier Counseling Services, PLLC

 http://www.TexasPCS.org

 

 

 

 Evidenced Informed Information.  Adapted from Gardner 1985; Kelly & Johnston 2001; Warshak 2001; Baker 2005; Cartwright 2006 and Garber 2007.


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