Friday, December 25, 2009

Holidays for the Targeted Parent

Each year about this time I have every intention of creating some sort of conversation, or an audio course, or something that addresses the uniquely piercing experience of the Targeted Parent during these holiday times. While, as you look around your world, it may seem like the neighbors and most strangers are having a very different holiday experience than you are, I would offer you this. If we have learned anything from the growing research regarding the alienated child's inner experience, we have learned that the surface behavior of the child is only part of the story. Granted, it is a big and often loud part, but it does not overtake the entirety of the child's experience. We have learned that, even when there is no outer splinter of evidence of the child still being connected to the targeted parent, we now know more clearly than ever that it is most likely still there, albeit silent and mute. Therefore, even in the absence of all evidence to the contrary, the deeper reality is f that the powerful connections of early childhood are still there.

Therefore, if I can offer anything during these holiday times it would be to suggest that this quiet but clear reality be focused upon. I would ask that you try to locate this and try to take refuge in it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Pressure on the Courts for Enforcement

I received a note from a fellow professional who works with parental alienation cases. I have cleansed it of any identity clues and have cut and pasted it below. It follows:

I just received a desperate email from a parent who has been enduring outrageous behavior from their alienated children. These children are obviously acting out a mission on behalf of the other parent. In this case, this is transparently clear. The court had even warned that both parents must cooperate. The court had issued this "warning" before, however with no action. This case had a Parenting Coordinator, Evaluators and virtually all of the tools at the Court's disposal, and all basically agreed that one parent was orchestrating the alienation. There was not much debate. However, even with all of this unusual clarity, little - no nothing - had been done to hold this alienating parent accountable.

If there is a single failure (of all of the many minor ones) that is most tragic, it is the failure of the Family Court to act decisively and with the courage and integrity that was intended to have. The Family Court System has so very much to explain regarding its failure of doing what is best for the children it is charged to protect. We must make it our business to make it clear that the lazy and toothless responses that it so favors, will cannot be accepted.

This person goes on to advance various political suggestions which I did not include. I would however ask for responses from those who agree or disagree.

Thank You.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Problem of Custody Evaluations

I got an email yesterday from a dad who underwent a custody evaluation that basically “got it all wrong.” The evaluator apparently believed the untrue things said about this dad, and it sounded like the evaluator did not even investigate the veracity of the claims against the father.

I get about two to three of these kinds of emails each week. They always describe a custody evaluation that got it wrong, was not properly investigated, but was nonetheless accepted uncritically as “the truth” by the court. Most of the victims of this - could be mothers or could be fathers - do not understand why all of this went so wrong. When I have talked to these parents I mostly hear that they were either given no preparation or advice about how to approach being evaluated; or I hear that they were given very bad advice that actually harmed them.

On a personal note, and as a former evaluator, I can readily say that I am routinely frustrated and even sickened by the systemic injustices that are committed under the banner of “psychological objectivity” in the performance of many custody evaluations. The fact of the matter is that custody evaluations are notorious for getting it wrong about as frequently as getting it right.

In response to this, I am preparing a document that basically tells you what you need to know about sitting through a custody evaluation when parental alienation is involved. It provides you with the tools to maximize your chance of being accurately heard by the evaluator.

In addition to this document, I am in the process of creating a much more detailed discussion in the form of an audio course, that takes the points made in the aforementioned document and expands on them with specific examples and suggestions.

If you are in the position of being evaluated or re-evaluated, I know that these resources will be of great assistance.