What is parental alienation?
Simply defined, Parental Alienation is “when parents attempt to alienate the child and it results in the child’s strident rejection of a parent accompanied by strong resistance or refusal to visit with the alienated parent.”
Alienated children reject a parent without guilt or sadness and without an objectively reasonable cause. Their views of the alienated parent are grossly distorted and exaggerated.
What is estrangement?
When the parent’s past real behaviors have created an uncomfortable situation for the child. Unlike parental alienation where there is no valid or realistic reason for the rejection, estrangement has a reasonable reason for the resistance.
What is a “team approach?
Our treatment approach consists of a minimum of two therapists treating the family depending on the assessment of the family situation and the subsequent recommendations. The team will create a treatment plan and work closely together sharing all information as needed.
What do you mean by “thinking outside the box?
We are committed to a team approach working with families, but we also want to bring creativity to the therapeutic process and tailor the therapy to the assessed needs of the family.
What is a Case Manager?
The Case Manager coordinates the work with the therapists, with the family and may also liaise with the lawyers involved and the courts as needed.
How long will it take?
If the treatment team and treatment plan can be in place early on when parental alienation or estrangement is only just beginning then the time it takes to get a family back on track can be relatively short. If it has been entrenched for some time then the therapeutic process may take several months. Sometimes significant shifts can occur early on, even in situations which are quite entrenched, which will shorten the duration of therapy.
Do the courts have to be involved?
Often this type of treatment process is more effective when the treatment plan is part of a court order. This keeps family members in the process and not dropping out when the work gets challenging.
What will it cost?
The cost of this type of program can be significant depending on the ability or willingness of family members to make changes. If shifts in the emotional process supporting parental alienation or estrangement happen early on, then costs can be kept reasonable. If the emotional process is more entrenched then the therapy will be longer and thus more costly.
Do we really need all those therapists?
Situations where parental alienation or estrangement is occurring can be very complex; often more than one therapist can manage effectively. While each therapist works with their family member, they also contribute to the team “seeing” the emotional process of the family as clearly as possible, which helps the team keep perspective and the treatment plan on track.