Just wanted to share some info with you all. Karen Woodall is a therapist who specialises in parental alienation. The comments under her blog posts are very interesting too, some of them from grandparents too. Here are a couple of them, including one from Karen, where she defines the difference between estrangement and third party deliberate alienation.
27 Jun 2016 at 10:31 am
New Subject – Parental Alienation or Estrangement
Great to see the new discussion group Karen, still waiting for my article to be published but will certainly mention your site and discussion group.
Just wondering what your thoughts are!
I have come under some ear bashing recently regarding the difference between estrangement and Parental Alienation. I see myself as alienated for over 25 years even though I have had contact with my children and grandchild for a short period of time.
Karen could you please clarify for many people who seem to think that for an adult over the age of 18 who can make their own choices, PA suddenly changes to Estrangement. Taking into consideration all the circumstances in my case I certainly do not think mine is a case of estrangement. Very interested to hear everyone’s comments. Many thanks Linda
27 Jun 2016 at 5:59 pm
well I can reply as an alienated adult child who believed I was an estranged adult child for many years and struggled with it immensely. It wasn’t until I understood that the estrangement was caused by alienation that I really began to tackle the issue personally and as a result of course that led me into professionally being able to see the difference much more clearly.
As far as I am concerned once an alienated child always at risk of being alienated again and once an alienated child, always left with the legacy of alienation. Psychological splitting, which is the underlying pathology in alienation causes immense struggles with perspective, sense of self, lack of esteem ability to hold ambivalence and more.
Therefore, a child who is alienated remains alienated beyond the age of 18 and until the alienation is tackled as alienation and that part is properly recognised and acknowledged, alienation reaction remains a risk.
An alienated adult child has a lifetime of recovery to undergo. As the once targeted parent if you are back in relationshiop with your adult child keep that in mind at all times. Alienated adult children find it very very hard to stay focused and balanced, their perspective is poor and they are at risk of alignments and rejection all the time and have to work very very hard not to react in an alienated manner.
Estrangement is when someone does something hurtful and is rigid in their blame of other people, alienation is when a third party acts to encourage or make estrangement happen (which is sometimes expedited by the reactions of the targeted parent who acts unconsciously).
PA certainly does not change to estrangement at the age of 18 and alienated young people often remain that way because of the conditioning of their mind. It is entirely possible for example for a 25 year old to continue to remain alienated because of the way they have been brought up to think and feel."
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