57 thoughts on “Parental Alienation Syndrome

  • September 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I just read this post and find it interesting, though tragic. I am trying to read the Narcissistic Mother’s Game link won’t open and your site keeps freezing terribly.

    • September 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      We’ve notified the site managers about the technical difficulties. Thanks for letting us know.

  • September 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    wow i just read this post, i cant believe it , is my problem and i couldnt understand and know i do. i thought is was just me.wow

  • September 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    i need a group or someone to talk with, sometimes i feel all alone i have my finally trail in a few weeksand i am a very good mom but i think i am going to lose.is there a group to chat with no one really knows what it like intil the go threw it.

    • September 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      Please click on the links. And especially the link to the Psychcentral forum.
      Hope you are able to connect to others in the same situation. It is a nightmare situation.

  • September 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    A know a lot of us have been aware of this problem for a long time but it is good to have the problem examined and explained so thoroughly and succinctly.

  • September 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for mentioning A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation in your post.

    More important, thank you for taking the time to raise the visibility of this destructive family dynamic. Awareness and education are the keys to helping legal and mental health professionals help families avoid these heartbreaking situations.


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

  • September 16, 2011 at 3:00 am

    I’ve co-parented my 5 year old grandchild for most of her life. My daughter lost custody due to an allegation of abuse by her boyfriend (not the dad). Her Dad got her and after I stopped enabling him and cut him off from his free ride with me. Using my grandchild as leverage. He left the state with her. And will not let my grandchild speak or see me. Neither parent really want her. They both use her to hurt the other. Now they are using my grandchild to hurt me. I’m doing everything I can to get custody or at least visitation. I feel lost and helpless. I’m so glad to hear that this is real.Thank You

  • September 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Please also remeber there are still genuine reasons why one parent has to prevent access to the child by another parent as in my case my ex husband and father to my two children tried to kill me, strangled my autistic son and physically, verbally and psychologically us all including my 14 year old daughter who the courts felt was at extreme risk from her dad and therefore prevented visitation or contact except through solicitors – I am not vindictive in fact I prevented my kids from having to testify against their dad in court to send him to prison. I understand that sometimes a parent will use their kids as a form of revenge but I believe my actions are purely to ensure the safety and emotional well being of my children – I do hope not all parents are labelled this way but understand the need to highlight this issue

    • December 15, 2014 at 1:23 am

      Great post, thank you. We love to pathologize everything in this country. There are some good reasons why some people divorce an abusive spouse and negligent parent. And it’s not anything clinical or pathological to make sure your children are not subjected to the abuser.

  • September 16, 2011 at 11:43 am

    As a step-father, I have had the experience of being “targeted” by the children’s biological father who would stop at nothing (lies, violence, slander, etc.) to prevent a good relationship between the children and myself.

  • September 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    This happened to me. I have come to the realization that I am a survivor of parental alienation. I am only 17 years old and feel that my mother has changed my whole life in a negative way. I now live with my father (for the past 2 years) but i am forever scared and affected by it. to this day i cannot even call my dad “dad”. just one of the many outcomes that hurt me everyday. i feel like i need help some days, because i have a lifetime ahead of me that i will have to look in the mirror and feel this way. parental alienation is real. you can have as many kids as youd like but you can only have one real mom and one real dad. i am blessed with a wonderful step mom who helps me day to day. i want to become fully involved in the community fighting against parental alienation.

    • September 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

      @ Britt Lee
      You have very mature insights into your situation and insight is the huge, first step you need in order to heal from it. We are so happy you are blessed with a wonderful step mother and that you are working on your relationship with your dad. Perhaps if your step mom and dad could follow the links or even if they don’t, they could find a therapist who has strong experience in helping people who were the victims of PAS move forward. It is important that if you do decide on this course of action, you really find someone who is very experienced in this area. Meanwhile, we are so impressed with your thoughtful comments.
      We wish you the best in life, Britt Lee.
      Richard and C.R.

  • September 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    This article gave me chills. My mother did this to me and it was horrific. I would never in my life rob my son of his wonderful family on his fathers side. This story made me realize im not alone. Although, Im pushing 40 I still RESENT the hell my mother put me through just because she couldnt stand my father. 36 years after the divorce and she still talks about it.. shameful.

  • September 18, 2011 at 1:19 am

    You only have to wander over to Adventures of a Bipolar Mom or whatever that blog is called to see this in action. The author has said her son reads what she writes and yet she sees nothing wrong with reminding the son how his father never cared about him or loved him and posts it on the internet for all to see. Nice. Talk about twisting the knife. Then, she turns around and says she has done nothing but encourage the relationship between father and son. Ugh.

  • September 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Yes, as a prospective Chapter of PAAO in Alberta(www.paawareness.org) we have been bringing this message to the public for some time now. Thank-you for adding to it. The 60% figure is new and tops the previous anecdotal estimate tossed around of 10-15%. So something has changed pretty dramatically.

    • September 20, 2011 at 7:34 pm

      @Alberta PAAO
      Wait! We need to correct that 60 percent figure. According to Amy Baker, via Chris Jones of the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization, the document we got the figure from from referred to the study as if it were a study of the effects of parental alienation on children when in fact, it was a study about the prevalence of parents that badmouth each other during divorces. Quite different!
      We apologize for the incorrect information.

  • September 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I’m sure the alienating parent often believes he/she is the target parent and truly believed he/she is protecting the children from the conceived threat.

    I think the true target parent, as a result, has the right to isolate the abused child from the alienating parent and his/her entire side of the family. But you know that the alienating parent will believe himself/herself the victim in this situation. This will make it very difficult to determine which parent is truly the problem. What a mess. Poor kids!

  • October 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Dr Zwolinski
    A very interesting read.

    I agree with maybe all of it, apart from the line: ”
    “Remember, though, the alienating parent is incapable of loving and caring for his/her children and will never put their needs first.”

    Which strikes me as a little too simplistic – I think the situation can be more complicated than that.
    I believe my wife loves my children very much and is thereby doing everything she can to keep good relations with me following our separation. However she (probably) unwittingly caused this (PAS) situation with our son – to whom she confided her unhappiness with our marriage.
    She was wrong to do that and I think she realises now that it was a mistake, however the damage is done.
    I am now seeking not a lawyer, but professional counselling help (with my wife’s agreement) for our son. My wife was wrong, but attacking her with a lawyer or otherwise will only make matters worse I believe.
    Of course I’m sure there are many, many more extreme examples of unreasonable and vindicative alientating parents, I simply wanted to make the point that the facts are not always as black and white as you imply.
    Sorry if I sound overly-critical, thank you for an otherwise very insightful article.

    • October 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      @M. Dupont
      I welcome your commments and am sorry that you had to go through any of this, even to a minor degree. Yes, you are absolutely correct–the experts say there are degrees. Some causes of PAS are unintentional and can happen even when both parents have the best intentions. Then, there is a moderate degree that is caused by behavior that is somewhat intentional. Then there is an obsessive, pathological degree of behavior that causes PAS. I didn’t mean to imply that all PAS behaviors are so extreme.
      I am reading and reviewing three books on the subject and hope to post about them soon, so please keep watching the blog for the topic.
      Thank you again, and I wish you great success with the counseling.

    • December 15, 2014 at 1:28 am

      Great point, and you have nothing to apologize for. Any parent of divorce may be branded as either a “target,” or an “alienating” parent, but those categories are artificial, and maybe they are applicable in extreme cases.

      To say that a parent who badmouthes another is incapable of loving his children is totally inadmissible! That would make ALL parents unloving.

  • October 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Earlier I posted a video that I think captures the essence of parental alienation and the effects it has on parents and children. Based on feedback from forums like this one, I’ve edited and improved it. I’d be interested in any additional feedback, and comments as to whether videos like this one might serve a purpose. Thanks!


  • October 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I have not seen my son in over 2 years. We were so close. She took him away from me when I went bankrupt. I phone all the time and never get to talk to him so I reach out on youtube. I pray he sees my videos and I wish she would learn about parental alienation, maybe then she would wake up.

    Chris and Weston Belanger

    • January 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for the link. We’ll be posting more on parental alienation and the way it wrecks lives.

  • February 9, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Max Troitsky, a Russian-speaking US Citizen from Pennsylvania is in a sad situation. His estranged wife ( Anna Troitsky a.k.a. Anna Demyanyuk ), a US-Russian dual citizen illegally abducted their US-born US-citizen toddler daughter Julie Troitsky in late November 2011, against the US Court Order, and all the details of this bizarre and unfortunate case are here:

    http://www.HelpBringJulieHome.com (site in English and Russian)
    and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HelpBringJulieHome
    and on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BringJulieHome

    Thank you for the help, leads and following of this case…

  • March 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    My ex and his 5th wife have participated in extreme alienation of my teen daughter. It is so disturbing and distressing to think she is being raised in such an inhuman environment of lies. She is now on two anti-depressants (she had never before needed medication).

  • May 27, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Dr Zwolinsky,
    Thank you for this article and the links. My mother did this to me and my sister and I still hate her for the years I could have spent with my father, who died when I was 18, and my lost aunt and grandparents, whom I never saw again. This was in Russia in te 1970s and fathers often disappeared from children’s lives because of alcohol or abandonment, but that was not us. I still remember my father coming to see us before we moved to the US and my mother convincing us to tell him we did not want to see him, that he was evil and violent or whatever the reason of the week was. I remember being proud to show my mother how I could provoke that look of anguish in my father’s eyes. I carry heavy guilt from those years, never having been able to ask his forgiveness.
    Recently I had these feelings powerfully reawakened when a friend sent me this short video about her friend’s children who were kidnapped by their mother to Russia, of all places. It was déjà vu, like watching a time capsule of my mother alienating us, with the mother doing everything your article covers (my life), right there on camera. I share it because I wish I could have seen this when I was 12 or 13, young enough to still be influenced but old enough to question what I was being told.
    I have been able to connect with some other lost relatives over the years in Russia. It took me time to reach out. I thought they would be angry. But all I have found were happy, welcoming arms from the people I was once taught to despise and fear.

  • June 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    FINALLY someone gave this a name and has examined it! YES it IS chid abuse! I’ve been going through this with my three step children for the past 20 years, it’s my story.

  • June 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    All these stories sound so familiar, and I can’t find it in me to tell mine just now, except that I have a 14yr-old son who was abducted when he was 4 mos. and the entire official world just stood by and opened doors for his mother. Even my own attorney laughed at the kidnapping element and refused to include it in arguments in my behalf. Everyone connected to this swindled me and hustled me through to serve their interests, and I have no reason to believe this site is any different. But this has been tearing me up for years, and as seldom as I see my boy I know it harms him too because of all the lies and allegations about me he has heard his whole life. THIS HAPPENS BECAUSE SOCIETY APPROVES OF MARGINALIZING MEN, it’s that simple. We are not beasts or rapists or deadbeats, and we have needs that deserve to be met. Just now I feel it’s a crime to be male if you aren’t some woman’s property so I don’t get out much.

  • August 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I was on another website yesterday and someone mentioned PAS. So today i goggled it and here i am. This seems to explain some behaviors my kids are having. My exhusband has had our kids for 6 years, and October 2011 CPS removed them from him because of abuse. I was the parent who rarely seen them due to my ex keeping them from me. When i did see them it was because it was convenient for him. For the last 6 years i seen him more than my kids because he would stalk or harass me regardless of protective orders. I wonder can a parent be the alienator when it comes to the kids but they themselves want contact with you to harass and scare you? I wonder is that a different diagnosis? Thanks for info on PAS.


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