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counseling on building healthy families,
family constellations, healthy relationships and parenting stress.
PAS Part 1: Before Adolescence
. Emotional Incest
Parental Alienation Part 2 - After Adolescence
Children often perceive a simple world of good or bad;
of black or white. Following parental alienation, children may perceive one parent as rejecting
- as a victimizer or a tyrant, and the other parent as rejected - as a victim
or wounded. Such childish perceptions can have unpleasant long-term consequences.
During adolescence, children become
biologically ready for partnership and parenthood. Adult children who
unhealthy relationships as normal may not be emotionally
ready for partnership - they may feel unable to fulfill
these emotional needs. Instead, as teenagers, they may emotionally withdraw or emotionally
act out. The consequences can include:
Before adolescence (which may be delayed), children are likely to accept and express a rejecting parent's qualities.
On gaining emotional maturity,
young adults may accept the rejected parent in a number of
- live with the rejected parent (may avoid the rejecting
- identify with the qualities of the rejected partner
- oscillate between mother's and father's behavior
- partner a person who has qualities of the rejected parent
If ignored, this unpleasant drama often seems to repeat itself in subsequent
generations. The rejecting parent, the rejected parent and adolescent children
can benefit from systemic coaching, which we can provide personally or online.
Parental alienation syndrome (PAS) affects the
sense of life of children. People
affected by PAS may become unable to feel joyously connected to their friends, partners,
families, humanity and to their God. If human connectedness can be replaced by depression
and suffering, then PAS is a deeply spiritual issue.
Chronic Anger, Conflict and Guilt
A symptom set commonly associated with Parent
Alienation is identification with a
If the child perceives a parent as a victim, the child may identify with
that parent and express anger or rage to the
other parent (the perceived victimizer), perhaps explosively.
adolescence, the same child may identify with the rejected parent (now
perceived as the real victim) and express anger to the rejecting
parent (now seen as the real victimizer). This person may feel anger
about anybody else who pretends to be a victim.
If a child tries to remain loyal to both parents,
and those parents are in conflict, the child may suffer inner conflict. The
side of the child that supports the father will object to the side of
the child that supports the mother. We call this
My ex-partner played a victim role very
well, gained the
sympathy of the judge and
was awarded custody of our two children ... our older child is perpetually
and the younger suffers from
endless indecision. Portland
Children of separating parents
my feel guilty but not know why. If, during the separation, they sided with one
parent against the other, then they may feel that they abused one of their
parents ... in which case guilt would be normal.
Power & Privilege
Emotional blackmail is a common way to gain and
maintain the benefits of child custody, even though a mother
who disrupts father-child contact defined by court order
may be acting illegally.
In a court of law, the best interests of the child
may not mean the child’s best interests. Parents can vote, parents
can file lawsuits and parents can pay lawyers, so the child’s interests
and rights are usually subordinate to the parents' interests.
Children of divorce are rarely represented in court, and may be
emotionally crushed during their parents' power games.
Pleasure may become senseless for parents who have alienating a once-loved
partner and damaged their own
children. Later many parents depress
their own lives. Some symptoms of unassimilated guilt are adults who:
- Ignore personal hygiene
- Avoid financial responsibility
- Avoid completing tasks
- Ignore important problems
- Sabotage their own careers
- Consider self-harm or suicide
A Parental Alienation Scenario
Either parent can initiate parental alienation. Here is a common scenario:
- A separated parent states that a child does not wish
to be with the other parent
- A social worker confirms that the child
does not want to visit the other parent
- The custodial parent and social worker report to a
- The court limits the child's contact with the other parent
- The child and rejecting parent bond by their rejection
of the other parent
- The child and rejected parent lose contact until the child is
- After adolescence, the child may visit and bond
to the rejected parent
- After bonding to the rejected parent, the child may
reject the custodial parent
Many people who suffered PAS told us that they
could not cope with this situation as children, and that they
only avoided, not hated, the other parent, to avoid problems with the
custodial parent. Later, after emotional adolescence (which may be delayed),
they often tell us that they now avoid the custodial parent.
If I did anything my mother didn't like, I
heard her worst insult, "I was just like my father". I avoided meeting him,
mostly to avoid problems with my mother. I left home at 16, and found
that my father wasn't at all like my mother's descriptions. I'm 37 now, but my
mother refuses to discuss anything about my childhood or my father. I still
can't visit my mother without feeling anger towards her. Maybe I am "just like my
If a parent continues to reject the other parent, their adult
children may avoid, dislike or even hate the rejecting parent. If this is accompanied
by chronic anger, this person may
be expressing a
victim's unexpressed rage.
The toxicity of PAS is not only in
the description of the syndrome
but also in the solutions chosen by courts.
Sometimes, if PAS is diagnosed,
the hated parent may be given custody of the child,
against the child's own will.
Soulwork, Maturity & Child Abuse
We often acquire virtues under challenging conditions. If you experience danger, you can
develop courage, and if you experience lack, you can develop generosity.
If you experience guilt you can develop purity, and if you experience
depression, you can develop compassion.
Children may suffer from the tactics that parents use to
hurt each other. Although immature parents are expressing their depression,
aggression by withdrawing love, alienating a child's parent is child abuse. We
help people manage the consequences of:
- betrayal of one partner by the other
- physical, emotional or sexual abuse
- instilling children with false memories
- using children as 'dependent hostages'
- emotional incest & passive aggression
- court ordered suffering - custody by a hated parent
Contact us to solve emotional and relationship problems.
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