“Your dad has cancer that has spread all over his body…” was the text message that I received.

Blogs Followed

Forgiving a Dying Deadbeat Dad

Your dad has cancer that has spread all over his body…” was the text message that I received from my sister Keisha who heard the information from our Uncle Barney who has been more than a father than Bobby could dream of. I texted back, “That’s unfortunate.”

Forgiving a Dying, Deadbeat DadI didn’t talk about it anymore until 4 days later when Keisha sent another message from Uncle Barney letting me know that Bobby wanted to speak with me and shared the phone number to his hospital room in Florida. I contemplated … and then made a decision. I figured as a growing Christian and as a man with morals that I couldn’t let another human being die without honoring a simple request to hear my voice.

Men have an identity issue!

Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, Petitions, Presidential Election

That’s My Dad Movement

One example of this lack of respect for fatherhood may be best illustrated by a recent survey of holiday church attendance. At the bottom of the list with Independence Day was, you guessed it, Father’s Day.

As a matter of fact, MOST people no longer can even tell you when Father’s Day is! Why has this once welcomed day to honor fathers become little more than a footnote to church attendance or the evening news?

Despite the fact many of us have fallen for that misrepresentation, there are many good men who are great dads who have embraced the God-given role of fatherhood and are making an impact in the lives of their children and helping them to build and live successful lives.

Conversely, the one common denominator of many of society’s ills—pornography, human trafficking, abortion, rape, murder, alcoholism, teen suicide, and incarceration—can be traced to absentee fathers.

The psychological effects of divorce.

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, Petitions, Presidential Election

DivorceCorp - Consulted a minister and psychiatrist NOT Lawyer - AFLA Blog 2016

The psychological effects of divorce on children may include depression and conduct disorders, notes Psychology Today. Breaking up a family leads to feelings of confusion, abandonment and separation anxiety due to children’s dependence on their parents for love, support and guidance while growing up.children4justice -Psychological Damage - 2016

Children’s psychological reaction to divorce varies a great deal, according to Psychology Today. Their reactions depend on the nature of their relationship with each parent, the intensity and length of their parents’ divorce, how much they see each parent after the divorce and their personality.Psych Eval Family courts - 2016

Boys and girls suffer equally if their parents go through a lengthy and messy divorce, explains PsychPage.

Judge used psychologist as scape-goat - Stand up for Zoraya - 2015However, boys act out their frustration and anger. Girls are more likely to internalize their emotions, which can result in depression, physical discomfort or changes in their eating and sleeping habits.

When parents divorce, it is important to maintain routine and stability in their children’s lives, explains Psychology Today.

Stop using Psychiatry agaisnt Dads in Family Court - 2015It is all too common for children, especially adolescents, to become isolated from their divorced parents. Sometimes this isolation can take years to overcome. Children who continue to have a balanced relationship with both parents after a divorce typically cope better in the long run.

LEARN MORE ABOUT PARENTING
Sources: psychologytoday.com  psychpage.com  life.familyeducation.com

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Civil Rights in Family Law Florida

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Hold Family Courts Accountable

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election

…is a psychic injury, not a mental illness.

DR KAREN HUFFNER - AUTHOR - LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROMELegal Abuse Syndrome (LAS), a condition proposed by marriage and family therapist Karin P. Huffer, whose books on the subject of post-traumatic stress stemming from court-mediated violations are   Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome(1995) and Legal Abuse Syndrome: 8 Steps for Avoiding the Traumatic Stress Caused by the Justice System(2013).

“Develops in individuals assaulted by ethical violations, legal abuses, betrayals, and fraud” and that’s exacerbated by “abuse of power and authority and a profound lack of accountability in our courts.” ~  Karin P. Huffer

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Never doubt why so many are working so hard to ‪#‎fixfamilycourts‬ Every parent starts out equal but does not remain that way in the So-called family courts.

Once you enter that court you feel nothing but attacked. Your life and decisions are no longer your own. Your children are stripped from the life you thought you were protected to live. People in the family court process step in between you and your child regardless of whether you are for or not.

Some like Chris are left with no hope of ever recovering. What do you do when the court you thought would protect you and your child from vicious attacks on your fundamental rights fails you? Where do you turn when you cannot afford justice and when there is no hope for it?

Let’s make 2016 the year of ‪#‎noexcuses‬ and restore justice and protection in every parent and child’s life. Let’s make 2016 the year of no more lost lives and ‪#‎fizfamilycourts‬ once and for all! ‪#‎neverfear‬‪#‎neverforget‬When a Parent wins in Family Courts KIDS LOSE - 2016

Thomas Fidler  —  December 29, 2015 at 10:36pm · Funny River, AK · 

Exactly two years ago today Chris Mackney took his own life after enduring the horrors of family court as long as he was able.  The ex-wife (Dina Mackney) of Ch… See More29948-torture

Bullied to Death:  Chris Mackney’s Kafkaesque Divorce There is no one way or no best way to tell the story of a man driven by others to…Read More

How Do You Tell This Story?

There is no one way or no best way to tell the story of a man driven by others to take his life. I know, because I have been trying to explain to state leaders, media, and professionals how this is happening to good people who trust our legal system to work to protect them and their children. Challenging doesn’t even touch it. Author Mike Volpe…Read More

Where is the LOVE? …where on Earth.. ….not in Family Court or the hearts of those within the CPS, CYFS, SS. CAS or any other child…Read More

Gary Treistman explains how the Family Court System separated his daughter from him.

Listen to the TRUTH about Family Courts

“The Smoking Gun” …Read More

76. Father’s Open Letter To The Family Courts.

Owen Lucas films his open letter to the court admitting that he is in contempt of court for doing so.

He tells us of his grief and impotence in the face of the family court system.

Owen speaks for so many fathers who find themselves in the palm of ex-partners colluding with a system that in many cases, strips fathers of their homes, their children and their dignity – and often their jobs and financial stability too.

Mothers are given legal aid and fathers are not unless there is already proven child abuse.

In cases where abuse is suspected or even confirmed, a father has no clout to impact the family court system in many cases.

NB. If you know a child is being abused, ensure that a. you take photographs b. you film them speaking of the events and c. you inform the police without delay. These three steps may well be the difference between whether you become alienated from, or the main caregiver to your child/children.

Open Letter to Family Courts  —   YOUTUBE.COM

You are Disgusting - 2016.png

Stand Up For Zoraya

stand up for zoraya causes pic - 2015

The Cause “Stand Up For Zoraya” celebrates the love fathers have for their daughters, inspiring them to embrace the important role they hold in their daughters’ lives and to provide the love, nurture, and emotional support that only they can give. Every once in a while I feel like this blog was written by someone else, maybe a long lost friend,…Read More10943-logo2b2-2b2016

Yesterday I gazed out the window watching fireworks and was really missing my angel but I cannot call her because I am scared of her mom’s false allegations and lies, she doesn’t call me and knowing she is…Read More

WLYB……I have tried to educate this board of 4 Florida Judges (Chief Judge Bertila Soto-11th Jud. Cir. FL, Judge Garber-3rd DCA FL,…Read More

 · Courts must work toward a shared parenting norm – Miami Herald  

Judge Judy on Timesharing - 2016

While it is true our family courts must do more to move toward shared parenting whenever there is a divorce or separation in a family, an old saying…

CHILDRENSRIGHTSFLORIDA.WORDPRESS.COM

Kids Need Fathers NOT Visitors - 2016Family Courts Deny Fit Parent Visitation – Custody

CONTACT DENIAL IS CHILD ABUSE - 2016

July 16, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization This article isn’t new, but…Read More

Studies Show Judicial Bias Against Dads

I write about it because it’s too important not to. The subject is judicial bias in family courts. Now, we’re frequently told that there is no judicial bias on the part…

My opinion on the origin of mental illness is controversial to many in my profession. I maintain that emotional disturbances are…Read More

Preponderance of Evidence and Mental Health Disorders

If You Seek a Bio-chemical Cause for Mental Health Disorders, You will become the “Little Train that Couldn’t” By Linda J. Gottlieb, LMFT, LCSW-r My opinion on the origin of mental illness is controversial to many in my profession. I maintain that emotional disturbances are situationally and not bio-chemically caused. But this position did not…

Letter sent to David Inguanzo on December 24th, 2008. October 5th, 2008 – After spending a “family” day out (Mom, Dad, my son David, and…Read MoreStand up for Zoraya Causes Petition 2015.jpg

CONTACT DENIAL IS CHILD ABUSE - STAND UP FOR ZORAYA - 2016

Judge Manno-Schurr - 11th Jud Cir Miami FL - Family Court#StandupforZoraya

– October 5th, 2008 – feb-3-2015-4-hearing-judge-manno-schurr-miami-dade-county-fl-11th-jud-cir-family-court-judge1
ee2af-family2bcourt2bmafia

Judge Tears Down House of God

NBC 6 South Florida

Overtown church and neighboring crack house to be destroyed. ~ By Todd Wright | Email …

Judge Valerie Manno Schurr appointed Mark Meland as a receiver for a company after finding it in “default” for failing to turn over…Read More

South Florida Lawyers: Can Someone Explain This?

schurr-manno-valerie-jad-1Judge Valerie Manno Schurr appointed Mark Meland as a receiver for a company after finding it in “default” for failing to turn over financial records to South Florida power broker Chris Korge, who is represented by Kendall Coffey. Huh? Was the “default” a discovery sanction?  Did the Judge strike the defendant’s pleadings?  Is that what the…Read MoreCauses - STOP ABSOLUTE DISCRETION AND IMMUNITY OF FAMILY COURT JUDGES - 2015

“Anyone who has ever worked in a legal aid office or law library has met people whose lives have come unhinged after a bad contact with the…Read More

Family Court is Traumatic - 2016

Courthouse Violations and PTSD:My PTSD is NOT Military Related 2- 2016

What Is “Legal Abuse Syndrome”?Family Court causes PTSD - Copy

This is the first post on this blog to introduce Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS), a condition proposed by marriage and family therapist Karin P. Huffer, whose books on the subject of post-traumatic stress stemming from court-mediated violations are Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome (1995) and Legal Abuse Syndrome: 8 Steps for Avoiding…Read MoreDouble Standards in Family Courts - 2016

Across the country women, children, AND MEN are becoming the victims of judges and the court system. It is time that we take a stand, and…Read MoreRigged Media - 2016

Re-abusing children in court |Stop Abuse Campaign

Judges re-abuse children worse than abusers

When someone hurts us and/or our children, our first reaction is to protect ourselves or to call the police.  We think that as victims that the authorities should be there to help us; that as innocent victims the police, and court system should there for the best interest of the…Read Morea3385-court2bordered2babuse

The death of Christopher Mackney and his suicide note

First Amendment Rights from Beyond the Grave: Defense of a Suicide’s Publication of His Final Words by the Randazza Legal Group.”

The circumstances that conduced to Mr. Mackney’s taking his life are chronicled in a forthcoming book by investigative journalist Michael Volpe, which is titled, Bullied to Death: The Chris Mackney Story.

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Denial of reasonable access to your own kids is child abuse

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election

Child Abuse and the Role of Parental Denial

I recently had the opportunity of revisiting a question that I have struggled to find answers to for many years. The question is, why, in the face of a parent sexually, physically or verbally abusing a child, does the other parent remain silent?

Do NOT hurt Zoraya - Facebook.comStandupforZoraya - 2016This is a phenomenon I have been aware of in countless numbers of cases reported to me by patients who are now adult and clearly recall not only the abuse but the fact that the other parent offered no safety.

The question others have asked me and that I ask myself is, how or why would a parent remain silent in the face of children being abused. Here a few hypotheses.

1. Denial is a powerful and primitive defense mechanism. Someone who is dependent, frightened and themselves the victim of abuse, can remain silent and not even see or hear the abuse in order to maintain the desperately needed relationship with the abuser. In a way, it is a variation of the old saying, “Hear no evil, see no evil.” Well, people do hear it and see it and fail to act.PAS Monkeys - 2016

32d7c-denying2ba2bchild2bto2ba2bparent2bis2bevil2b-2b20162. Both abuser and spouse can be mentally ill people who collude out of mutually shared sadism. In others words, there are a few people who can get a sense of pleasure out of treating children abusively.

3. Over the years, I have known a few cases in which the wife has such a deep need to avoid sexual relations that they prefer their husband engage in Oedipal relations with a daughter. This is usually unconscious with full denial in operation.

4. Chronic and severe drug and alcohol abuse loosen inhibitions that otherwise sober and sensible people do things that would shock them if they were not under the influence of certain types of drugs.

5. There are parents who, having been raised in strict and abusive environments, then repeat the pattern once they are parents. Saddest thing in the world - 2016The vicious cycle of abuse is probably the major cause of domestic violence in the United States.

One of the distressing and utterly frustrating and despairing things that survivors of abuse discover as adults, is that their parents deny that anything ever happened.

Patients have reported to me that parents, when confronted by their adult child with the abuse they committed, tell their son or daughter that their memory is wrong.

It is natural to ask why an adult would now confront their parents about abusive acts that happened during childhood? Apparently, the answer is that these survivors are seeking an apology and an affirmative statement admitting their wrong doing. This is what makes the discussion so filled with despair for so many survivors.

Society Do Nothing - 2016.pngThe despair results not simply by the refusal of an apology, but the complete denial that anything happened. This is further exacerbated by the fact that neighbors and friends of the parents think them very “nice people” who would never do such a despicable thing as abuse a child.

When Joan Crawford’s daughter published the story of her childhood, a story that depicted Crawford’s cruel and outlandish acts of abuse, there was a public outcry that this never could have happened. Later, the outcry vanished when the truth and accuracy of the story emerged for the public to see.

Change, applying to one’s life the wisdom and philosophy found everywhere.

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election

Change, the double-edged sword that’s worth mastering

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Eea981-gandhichangexcerpt:

The first thing I did when I doubted myself and my decision to take a new job and move to a new city was talk to people who know and care about me — my wife, family and friends.

They helped, but I also needed an expert on my career, so I reached out to my old boss. He met me at a diner after work and gave me so much good advice that I wrote it down and referred to it often in those early weeks.

Fortune favors the bold

Simply thinking about past challenges in which you came out on top — or at the very least unscathed — is a reminder that you will do so this time as well. There’s also that old linguistic chestnut that the Chinese word for “crises” is also “opportunity.” (It’s true, by the way.) Sometimes our greatest difficulties become our greatest moments of triumph.

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This essay is part of a column called “The Wisdom Project” by David Allan, editorial director of CNN Health and Wellness. The series is on applying to one’s life the wisdom and philosophy found everywhere, from ancient texts to pop culture. You can follow David at @davidgallan


WWLP.com

(CNN) — In the 1989 James Cameron film “The Abyss,” an underwater crew is faced with a dangerous rescue operation in a deep-sea trench.

At those depths, the pressure is so great that the Navy invents a (fictional, for the film) diving suit filled with oxygenated water that relieves the pressure but requires breathing water through the lungs.

To demonstrate how it works, a Navy SEAL submerges a rat into a small container of the oxygenated water. The rat thrashes frantically (thinking it is drowning) but soon is able to swallow the water and get the oxygen it needs to survive.

“She’s diggin’ it,” the Navy SEAL says.

“She’s doin’ it, she ain’t diggin’ it,” replies the rat’s owner, insisting his pet be freed.

When I began a new job six months ago, I was that rat.

Like many people at new jobs, I had to quickly learn the ropes…

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The Root Of The Problem Is This…

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election

Root of Problem - 2016Spending time with our children is more important than spending money

Child Support Laws Are In Need Of ReformREFORM CHILD SUPPORT NOW FLORIDA - 2016

 Reblogged from The SoCraddock Method:
An opinion piece by Brenda Manghane-Washington from the Chattanoogan.comProject Fatherhood FL 13- 2015 Excerpt:

I still believe there’s a need of reform in child support laws. As they stand, there is no distinction between a parent who can’t pay and a parent who refuses to pay child support. By incarcerating non-custodial parents who do not have the means to pay nothing is accomplished, the children still go without…

Part Time Dad’s

Why is it acceptable for divorced fathers to decide when and where they are going to parent their kids?  Even in this day and age, most children of divorced homes live with their mother.  Custody can be split anywhere from 50-50 to 30-70 like my arrangement. So we ship the kids off every other weekend to dad’s house with suitcase in hand.  Read more… 324 more words

“My children are a gift that God gave me. The state did not receive those children from God and then forward them on to me with conditions. God gave those children to me. I will stand before Him to be judged on how I raise my children, and I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the state to step in and either play God– or play parent.” https://www.causes.com/posts/930187-our-childrenYou won't let me be with Zoraya - 2015

Threats to impeach state judges have ramped up in the last month. Check out the latest post in “Gavel to Gavel”: http://gaveltogavel.us/ — at http://www.Causes.com/ChildrensRights.Men's Conference 2016

family-court-sponsered-child-abuse-via-pas-2015

Daveyone Familylawman World4Justice Campaign

HOW TO SELECT AN EXPERT IN PARENTAL ALIENATION

Parental alienation, a family dynamic in which one parent engages in behaviors that are likely to foster a child’s unjustified rejection of the other parent, is all too common. By some estimates 80% of all divorcing parents engage in some PA behaviors (Clawar & Rivlin, 1992). Although, not all children exposed to PA behaviors become alienated (unjustifiably reject one parent and align with the other), rates of alienation in children may be as high as 1% (Bernet, Boch-Galhau, Baker, & Morrison, 2010).

A body of research now exists establishing the negative long-term effects of exposure to PA behaviors for children (e.g., Baker & Eichler, 2014; Bernet, Baker, & Verrocchio, 2015; Verrocchio & Baker, 2015). Some research, along with a host of memoirs, also documents the extremely painful experience of alienation for the targeted parents (e.g., Baker, 2006; Baker, & 2006; Baker & Fine, 2014). Many targeted parents find themselves involved with legal as well as mental health professionals as they navigate their parental alienation journey (Gardner, 1998). Although there is considerable research and clinical wisdom in our current knowledge base, PA is still an emerging field. Presently, there is no credentialing body to provide professionals with an evidence-based training protocol and/or related information to address the problem of parental alienation.

This parallels the progression in other mental health fields. For example, although addictions existed well before the 1980’s, it wasn’t until 1988 that the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders was created to provide credentialing as a Certified Addiction Specialist. Prior to that, anyone could claim to be an expert in the treatment of addictions regardless of his or her knowledge, experience, or skill.This is problematic because—as a bona fide specialized field of practice—there is a knowledge base and core content that experts must have to properly assist families affected by parental alienation and to avoid common errors that can result in poor outcomes for such families. Such errors are very common among non-specialists because many aspects of parental alienation are highly counterintuitive. The field is counterintuitive because the human brain is hard-wired to commit certain types of systematic cognitive errors that are particularly common in PA cases (Miller, 2013).

Consequently, non-specialists who attempt to evaluate or manage such cases will often fall prey to a variety of cognitive and clinical errors, particularly if they rely on naïve intuition rather than a highly-specialized knowledge base. Furthermore, such clinicians are likely to have great confidence in their incorrect conclusions. Indeed, the usual repertoire of clinical skills is often inadequate in such cases and will often result in poor clinical and forensic outcomes (Miller, 2013). To avoid such errors, clinicians require highly-specific training in PA and related family dynamics such as pathological alignment and pathological enmeshment (Minuchin, 1974; Wallerstein & Kelly, 1980). PA-specific training and knowledge is required in order to avoid such mistakes. Three examples are provided here (and mentioned below as axiomatic positions within the field). The first is that mental health professionals are trained to rely on their clinical judgment and impressions when meeting and working with clients.

These impressions form the data points that clinicians draw on when making decisions about client’s mental health status. This is problematic for PA cases because targeted parents often present as anxious, agitated, angry, and afraid. Having sustained severe psychological and emotional trauma, they are in crisis mode and will therefore often make a poor first impression. They may have pressured speech. They may display psychomotor agitation. They may avoid eye contact. They may interrupt the clinician. They may appear to have an agenda and may even appear paranoid or delusional because they are likely to believe—accurately, if the case is indeed one of PA—that the other parent is trying to undermine their relationship with their child. They are also likely to appear defensive and—not unreasonably—be unwilling to take responsibility for causing the crisis. In contrast, alienating parents are likely to make an excellent first impression. They present as cool, calm, charming, and convincing. They are poised and in command of their emotions. They are basking in the glow of victory—of their children’s professed preference for them and emphatic rejection of the other parent.

To a PA novice (regardless of how experienced the clinician might be with other types of cases) the parents’ contrasting presentations may seem genuine and come to dominate hypothesis generation and clinical decision-making as to the family dynamics. The children’s complaints about the targeted parent may appear well-founded and their preference for the alienating parent may appear reasonable.Causes - Stnad Up for Zoraya - Lrg Pic - 2015

Non-specialists who fail to recognize this characteristic pattern—i.e., that targeted parents generally present poorly and alienating parents generally present well—are likely to accept the alienating parent’s version of events, especially when provided with an almost identical history by the child(ren). They are also likely to find the alienating parent more pleasant and likable, and thus more sympathetic.The second counter-intuitive aspect of PA, one that is rarely appreciated by non-specialists, is that in moderate and severe cases the alienation is usually accompanied by pathological enmeshment. This is problematic because unless the observer or evaluator has extensive expertise in this area, pathological enmeshment appears to be—and could be mistaken for—healthy bonding—a close, loving, healthy, parent-child relationship.

Evaluators who mistake enmeshment for healthy bonding fail to appreciate the serious psychopathology that is typical of enmeshed parents including pathological dependence or co-dependence, delusional thinking, and severe boundary violations. Such observers may also fail to appreciate that an enmeshed child has lost his or her identity, sense of self, individuality, autonomy, and critical reasoning skills to the point that he or she has become an extension of, and proxy for, the parent. This is potentially catastrophic in the setting of a custody dispute because the clinician or custody evaluator, having made these mistakes (often with great confidence), may then recommend that sole custody be awarded to the pathologically-enmeshed parent.

If this happens, the child has been entrusted to a deeply-disturbed, personality-disordered, abusive parent who is incapable of putting the child’s needs ahead of his or her own. Indeed, in our collective experience, when cases of severe alienation and enmeshment are evaluated by professionals who are not bonafide specialists in alienation and estrangement such errors are common. Third, a non-PA specialist is unlikely to know how to differentiate an abused child from an alienated child. Alienated children present as extremely angry, rude, aggressive, and provocative towards the targeted parent. They are likely to deny ever having had a good relationship with that parent and are unlikely to express any interest in repairing the relationship in the future. While this may appear to be a rational response to abusive parenting, it is actually not the expected response from an abused child.

Research and the clinical literature consistently report that abused children generally cling to and are protective of the abusive parent. They want to repair the relationship and forgive the abuser, and they are likely to deny or minimize past abuse (Baker & Schneiderman, 2015; Clawar & Rivlin, 2013; Gottlieb, 2012).

In fact, it is only alienated children who demonstrate a particular clinical picture which may—to the untrained clinician—appear to be consistent with maltreatment. In sum, there is a knowledge base in the field of parental alienation that has been gathered through academic research and expert clinical observation and shared among experts but that is not yet routinely available to front-line clinicians in the form of a credentialing or training protocol. In the absence of such credentialing, any mental health professional can assume the title of an “alienation expert” with respect to diagnosis, intervention, or treatment regardless of his or her level of actual knowledge. Because we believe that some mental health professionals naively or otherwise claim to be PA experts when in fact they are not, we have come together to provide targeted parents with some guidelines for differentiating true PA specialists from non-specialists or pseudo-specialists.

Our motivation for undertaking this effort was that we understand how horrible it is for targeted parents to have their relationship with their beloved child undermined, disrupted, or damaged by a third party, either the other parent or some other alienator. Collectively, we have worked with several thousand parents who want to protect their children from this terrible form of child abuse. We know that many targeted parents are avid consumers of PA knowledge and strive to educate themselves about this problem.

We have come together, as experts in the field, to help such parents weed through the myriad resources now available on and off-line and to help them identify accurate and reliable information. Regrettably, some professionals claim to be experts in PA when, in fact, they lack the necessary background, credentials, or expertise to properly advise parents in this regard. Worse, some of these self-proclaimed “experts” promote ideas that are inconsistent with well-established scientific principles—that is, their opinions and theories are in conflict with generally-accepted, evidence-based scientific understanding about what PA is and how to remedy it.

 

Unfortunately, it is not always easy for non-scientists to distinguish between good science and bad science—or between science and pseudoscience. As the field has grown, and as more and more is written, there has been an explosion of information on the subject of parental alienation. There are multiple websites, YouTube videos, blogs, and Facebook pages devoted to the subject. When sifting through this abundance of information, it is important to understand that some statements and sources are more accurate than others. Likewise, some “experts” are more scientific than others.

The purpose of this brief paper is to help targeted parents identify who is and is not truly an expert in the field. The rest of this paper is divided into two sections. First, we present some guidelines as to what a targeted parent should look for with respect to the background, experience, and credentials of a genuine expert. Second, we identify core information, fundamental points, and basic concepts to which an expert should subscribe. These basic premises have been scientifically validated and are neither controversial nor debatable among genuine experts who are credible specialists in alienation and estrangement. No genuine expert in PA should disagree with any of these ideas—they are axiomatic within the field.

Factors to Consider When Selecting an Alienation Expert

The qualifications below can be used as a checklist to identify true expertise as opposed to limited or pseudo-expertise. It is imperative for the expert to have a strong background and training in relevant areas—rooted in sound science and the scientific method. While experience as a targeted/alienated parent, or perhaps a formerly-alienated child, can be very helpful, personal experience alone is not enough. We believe that it is this scientific educational background—applied to the phenomenon of PA—that separates truth from ideology, fact from fiction, and good advice from bad. Though a genuine expert might not meet every one of these criteria—for instance, an excellent clinician might not have published any scientific papers—a true expert should have most of these.

1. An advanced degree (masters or doctoral) from an accredited educational institution in a relevant discipline or field. This is not meant to trivialize the importance of some lay counselors and coaches who, through experience and/or “on-the-job training” may have much to offer, but it is critical for targeted parents to understand that, in general, PA is a complex, complicated problem that generally requires substantial scientific understanding and professional expertise.

2. A deep, extensive knowledge of the clinical literature regarding pathological alignment, alienation and estrangement, and pathological enmeshment, as well substantial knowledge and understanding of borderline, narcissistic, and sociopathic personality disorders. The reason for the latter point is that such personality disorders are not only common among alienating parents (and virtually ubiquitous among severe alienators), but are often missed by non-specialists, in part because individuals with these disorders tend to be master manipulators who are charming and highly-skilled at managing first impressions. They also tend to be pathologically dependent which helps to explain the pathological enmeshment with the child.

3. Authored or co-authored published works regarding PA in peer-reviewed publications. (Self-publication does not meet this criterion.)

4. Completed educational programs or other training by qualified experts in relevant areas. These training programs should be recent and should include advances in research and evidence-based practice.

5. Provided Continuing Education (CE) training to mental health professionals or Continuing Legal Education (CLE) to legal professionals on parental alienation. CE and CLE training experience suggests the presenter is a recognized expert in the subject matter he or she is teaching.

6. Qualified as an expert in a court of law with respect to PA and related issues.

7. Maintained an ongoing, collaborative communication with other experts in PA in order to benefit from an exchange of ideas and recent advances in the field.

Scientifically-Derived Consensus Regarding Parental Alienation

PA was first described decades ago, and has been given a variety of names. As the problem has become better recognized, our understanding has become increasingly refined. Evidence-based practice dictates that the key elements—the various “moving parts”—of PA must be examined and tested through using the scientific method. The following expert consensus opinions are the result of this process and form the foundation of our current understanding of alienation and related issues.

1. Alienated children present very differently than estranged children. The similarities are superficial. Although both alienated children and estranged children will often align with one parent over the other, to expert eyes—by which we mean a professional who specializes in alienation and estrangement—it is usually straightforward, if not easy, to distinguish between the two. On the other hand, the differences are often missed by non-specialists.

2. Many aspects of identification and treatment of PA are counter intuitive. For example, alienated children often appear to have a healthy bond with the alienating parent although it is actually an unhealthy, enmeshed relationship. Many alienating parents present well to evaluators and courts although they are actually engaging in destructive behaviors. Many targeted parents appear anxious and agitated despite being healthy and competent. For this reason, only a qualified PA specialist should conduct this work.

3. Children rarely reject a parent—even an abusive parent. Therefore, in the absence of bonafide abuse or neglect, when a child strongly aligns with one parent and emphatically rejects the other, that pattern strongly suggests alienation—not estrangement.

4. Clinicians and other professionals should carefully consider severity. PA is typically a progressive process in which—sometimes gradually, sometimes suddenly—the child begins to resist contact with and/or reject the previously-loved targeted parent. Severity should be identified as mild, moderate, or severe. This is important because, among other things, it allows the examiner to identify early warning signs of PA which, in turn, permits a qualified clinician to provide interventions in ways that are customized and appropriate for the level of severity.

5. The work of Dr. Richard Gardner (e.g., 1998), a child psychiatrist, provided a theoretical framework and conceptual model for understanding the phenomenon. His original insights have since been validated by both researchers and clinicians. His work was based on sound scientific principles and generally-accepted standards of psychiatric practice.

6. The eight manifestations of parental alienation first identified by Dr. Gardner are generally-accepted and valid. Although others have been identified, the original eight are well-established as valid and useful indicators of alienation, and are rarely, if ever, seen with estrangement. They have been tested empirically and found to be accurate, valid, and reliable.

7. The seventeen alienation behaviors described by Dr. Amy J.L. Baker are research-supported and evidence-based. They provide a valid and reliable set of useful indicators with which to assess the behavior of favored parents with respect to PA.

8. Although some cases are hybrids, the assertion that most cases are hybrids (meaning a mix of alienation and estrangement) is not supported by the clinical literature.

9. Children do not have the cognitive maturity or the capacity to make an informed decision about whether to have a relationship with a parent.

They cannot imagine the implications of having a parent absent from their lives, and do not necessarily know what is in their best interest. Nor do they genuinely want the power to cut a parent out of their lives.

10. Children (and adults) can be unduly influenced by emotional manipulation to act against their own best interests. They can be misled to believe things that are not true, even about a parent. It is possible to induce false memories in children and/or to program children to relate events—often sincerely and convincingly (at least to naive or unwary observers)—that, in fact, did not take place or did not take place in the way described.

11. Many, but not necessarily all, alienating parents have one or more personality disorders (typically of the borderline, narcissistic and/or sociopath type). The more extreme or severe the alienating behavior, the more likely it is that the alienating parent has an underlying personality disorder.

12. Parental alienation is a form of child abuse, specifically psychological and emotional abuse. It meets the diagnostic criteria for child psychological abuse as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association (2013).

13. Although Dr. Gardner popularized the concept and clarified many of the definitions and subsets inherent in the determination of what PA means, its development, and its deleterious effects upon the family, the concept appeared long before Dr. Gardner first wrote about the problem in 1985.

14. The model provided by Dr. Gardner has provided an excellent framework for both diagnosis and treatment. Although it has been refined and enhanced over the past 30 years, the basic concepts remain valid. Virtually all of the successful treatment programs for PA are based on his original model. Despite unsupported claims to the contrary, no alternative model has been shown to be clinically, theoretically, or scientifically superior. For the most part, proposed alternatives provide little or no outcome data and/or appear to be neither clinically, nor theoretically, nor scientifically sound.

15. Only reunification therapy provided by a PA specialist who thoroughly understands the clinical and scientific points in this paper, and whose treatment plan is highly-customized for PA based on sound scientific evidence and clinical outcome data, is recommended. Team-based “intensive reunification therapy” is appropriate in treating moderate to severe alienation while traditional in-office, out-patient reunification therapy may have its place when considering treatment for mild alienation. The treatment should be appropriately matched to the family.

We hope this information will be helpful in obtaining qualified advice or assistance.

Amy J. L. Baker, Ph.D.Steven G. Miller, M.D.J. Michael Bone, Ph.D.And in alphabetical order

Katherine Andre, Ph.D.Rebecca Bailey, Ph.D.William Bernet, M.D.Doug Darnall, Ph.D.Robert Evans, Ph.D .Linda Kase Gottlieb, LMFT, LCSW-RDemosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D.Kathleen Reay, Ph.D.S. Richard Sauber, Ph.D.

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The Love and Iron Project

One of the huge problems we have in our fight for Family Law Reform is the problem of “enablers”.

We’ve got so many people enabling and empowering the horrific behavior going in within Family Law.

We’ve got lawyers counseling clients that it’s right and good for them to limit or eliminate the relationships between children and NCP’s to gain freedom and child support. We even have lawyers who will subtly coach clients on how to make false allegations to gain an advantage.

We’ve got judges who absolutely detest hearing custody disputes, so they use a variety of direct and indirect methods to make the cost of enforcing visitation prohibitively expensive (child support, litigation, procedure, unequal enforcement of family court orders)

We’ve got court-appointed social workers who are making a killing by mining data the necessary data to support a decision they already know the Court wants to make.

We’ve got…

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To Protect Father-Child Relationships Judges Must Do More

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election

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Over the past few decades, research has shown the importance of fathers to their children’s well-being. These studies show children in father-absent environments are almost four times more likely to live in poverty, are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, have significantly lower educational attainment, and are more likely to be sexually active.

Over the past few decades, research has shown the importance of fathers to their children’s well-being. These studies show children in father-absent environments are almost four times more likely to live in poverty, are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, have significantly lower educational attainment, and are more likely to be sexually active.

Judges Pen - 2016Children in father-absent environments are also more likely to engage in juvenile delinquency, have higher risk of being victimized by crime including sexual assault and domestic violence, and are more than twice as likely to commit suicide

Despite this information, many people still fail to understand the importance of fathers. According to research by Joan Berlin Kelly, 50% of mothers “see no value in the father’s continued contact with his children after a divorce.”

In light of this alarming statistic, it is perhaps not surprising that a study published by the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry found that “40 percent of mothers report that they had interfered with the noncustodial father’s visitation on at least one occasion, to punish their ex-spouse.”judge You Failed - CRBlog2016

A recent report by the Federal Administration for Children and Families describes a harmful phenomenon called “maternal gatekeeping,” in which mothers interfere with fathers’ access to their children. According to this report, “more than half of nonresident fathers offered accounts of gatekeeping behavior, ranging from refusing to grant physical access to making frequent last-minute schedule changes.

Gatekeeping also came in more indirect forms, such as refusal to communicate in person or by phone, withholding information from the father about the child, or berating the father.”

Motives for maternal gatekeeping vary. In some cases, mothers use children as a weapon and deny fathers access to their children as a way to punish them. In other cases, mothers use children for financial gain.

According to the ACF report, “mothers would sometimes restrict access when a father failed to provide ‘extras’ over and above the required child support.”We need a winner - 2015

Given the importance of father-child relationships, Judges need to do more to protect them. First, judges need to ensure fathers who live apart from their children’s mothers have adequate parenting time with their children.

Parental Alienation…Bubbles

#StandupforZoraya #SayHerName, Blogs Followed, Family Court Insanity, Fathers' Rights, PAS is Child Abuse, Petitions, Presidential Election, Uncategorized

The Bubbles of Love Annual Celebration focuses on the need to educate the world about parental alienation. Divorced parents must stop using their children as weapons of emotional war against their former spouses. It is not fair to the children or the other spouse.

Helping to bring awareness that by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers it will improve the well being of children.

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Parental Alienation is a term used to describe the behavior of a parent and often other family members who manipulate a child’s mind with the motive of severing all ties between the child and the other parent. The agenda is packed with various tactics and actions are pre-meditated. When the pressure on the child to remain loyal to the alienating parent becomes too intense, the child gives up, and total rejection of the other parent becomes reality.

It may appear as though the child is happy about their new, parentless status, but suppressing a relationship with the other parent is emotionally unhealthy and impacts them for a lifetime. This is a reality in Albion, PA, where children and parents are impacted, just as it is a reality all across the World. We need to find people who can help.

Interestingly enough, one elementary school counselor took a brochure but told me she is told “not to get involved” with these situations. My response to her was, “That is a problem.” I have to question if people understand that parental alienation is emotional bruising just as physical abuse leaves visible marks on a child’s body. It harms a child’s development. Do people care or are they ignorant? Are we failing our children by not facing reality? What kind of society do we live in?

Parents who are on a mission to destroy a bond between a child and the other parent can only be punished through the courts and by God. There is little we can do about them and their behavior. They tell others they are “protecting” their child and make the child feel like the other parent is unworthy of a relationship with their child. Something no child should have to hear, for that parent is parent of who they are.

Parents who are on the receiving end of the alienation are often helpless. There is little they can by themselves. They stand helpless, as they watch the relational death between themselves and their children. They watch their children construct a wall between them as a result of the brainwashing. The parents witness the joy being drained out of their children’s lives, as they are asked to spy, lie, and even partake in the intense denigration. They watch their children sabotage their time with them in order to remain abnormally loyal to the alienating parent (and family). Alienated parents cannot help their own children because they are portrayed as the enemy. The courts fail them too.

Family courts embrace adversarial situations and often empower the alienating parent. Alienating parents have passed the course in manipulation and are very convincing. As a result, the courts lack of education, empathy, knowledge of children development or need for power further hurts the child.

Why are you denied contact - 2015

The damage caused by the breakup of families is not going away, especially if we continually turn our backs on the abuse. Research shows that 20-25% of children in divorce situations are alienated from a parent. The impact lasts a life time. That was evident as I spoke to adults, in Albion, PA, who were alienated from their children.

Teachers, college professors, pastors, ministers, doctors, counselors, coaches and many others can begin to help children in an area that is desperately needed. Right relationships are what life is all about! Parental alienation is real, parental alienation is child abuse!

CONTACT DENIAL IS CHILD ABUSE - STAND UP FOR ZORAYA - 2016

Parental Alienation Awareness

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So, I’m wondering how ADHD and Parental Alienation have become intertwined.  ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able control behavior, or a combination of these. For these problems to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for a person’s age and development. I’ve heard many people in the PA community also bash ADHD.  Here’s my problem with that argument: ADHD encompasses a much larger community than that of the PA community, or single parent community for that matter.  In fact ADHD  is so prevalent, that the number of children ages 3-17 ever diagnosed with ADHD equal 5.2 million children (source: CDC).  That is a huge statistic.  Boys by far outweigh girls.  WHY is this? 

First, I have to say that my opinion on the cause greatly differs from that held by some in…

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