A child asks, "Who Do I Pick?!"
I received an email last week that read as follows:
From what I understand, you attended the conference on parental alienation last weekend. As a ‘Target Parent’, I wish I could have made it! However, in your article, you stated that you were ‘trained in differentiating parental alienation and estrangement’. Can you share any of the criteria to look for when making such a differentiation? How does one tell the difference?
I’m hoping you can post this important information on your website. You also stated in your article that ‘Tomorrow, I`ll tell you more about the conference and all the speakers’. I am really looking forward to reading everything you have to say about it.
Thanks a million for taking the time to read my e-mail. Anything you can do to spread awareness and education about this issue might help save my family from indescribable pain.
I am going to answer in a 4-part series because I believe this issue deserves our full awareness, attention, education and understanding.
In Part One, I will be discussing the behaviors quite often seen in high-conflict divorce situations which was referred to by one of the experts at the Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome, Dr. Terence Campbell, as ‘Mild to Moderate Alienation.”
Part Two will begin with an explanation of the difference between PAS and Estrangement, and then point out some of the behaviors of both the “Alienating Parent” and the “Alienated Child” and offer some tips on what you can do if your child is being alienated.
Part Three will offer tips more specific to how a teacher, friend of the family, clergyman, and counselor or coach without professional training in dealing with PAS can do.
Part Four will provide information on the speakers at the Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome and offer a list of all of books and websites for further information.
But, before I even begin, I want to make my view very clear.
My belief is that Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS, is both a very serious infringement on a child’s right to having a relationship with each of their parents, and it should be seen, understood and classified as a form of child abuse and/or mental illness (in the DSM-5). Since my own high-conflict divorce, in 1982-4, I have believed that even mild to moderate parental alienation is child abuse, yet a form of abuse that even many professionals do not fully understand and/or know what to do to stop it from progressing into full-blown PAS. Having personally seen the harmful effects it has had on hundreds of innocent children, my own and those that I have spoken/worked with over the years, I continue to be vigilant in helping couples to work on “a family reconstruction without destruction!” I know from work experience that many mild-to-moderate cases can be prevented from turning into severe levels of PAS if caught and properly dealt with soon enough.
“Just as early detection of cancer can save lives,
Early detection of PAS can save families.” Dr. Terence Campbell - - and me!
Please come back to read this important series, hopefully beginning tomorrow!
Sharon Shenker, Marriage & Family Coach
After many years of already working with children and their families, in 1999 Sharon founded Divorce Support Plus to help couples prevent family breakdowns or to assist them through and beyond a family reconstruction - without destruction!
For further information,