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Understanding Parental Alienation: Learning to Cope, Helping to Heal
Woodall, Karen and Nick Woodall
Charles C. Thomas, Publishers / Softcover / 2017-08-01 / 0398091757
Divorce (Self Help) / Couple Therapy
price: $59.95
252 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Understanding Parental Alienation is intended for parents who are living through a nightmare—the loss of their relationship with a child—which seems impossible to understand and extremely frustrating to turn around. This book, written by two leading experts in the field, provides a balance of theoretical background and practical hands-on information to guide both parents and practitioners through this devastating phenomenon. The authors’ many years of experience have shaped their understanding of the causes of parental alienation, the manifestations of this serious mental health condition, and interventions that are likely to be helpful in the short-term and the long-term. The book is written in a readable, engaging manner interspersed with interesting case vignettes. As well as introducing some new theoretical concepts, such as the transition bridge, and helping the reader to understand the unique dynamics of the child's rejection, perhaps the most original parts of the book focus on taking action to deal with the problem and strategies for healing. The authors provide practical advice on preparing for court including how to develop a chronology of events and how to prepare a written submission, even down to choosing a writing style that is most likely to be read by the judge. Specific guidance is also provided on how to help alienated children heal through reunification. Understanding Parental Alienation is a highly valuable resource for parents and a must-read book for every mental health professional, social worker or legal professional working with families in divorce.

Table of Contents:

Foreword
Introduction


PART ONE: UNDERSTANDING

1. ABOUT PARENTAL ALIENATION
A Very Brief History of Parental Alienation
Understanding Parental Alienation in a Social Context
Understanding Parental Alienation in a Historical Context
Who this Book is for
About the Terminology Used in this Book
Recognizing an Alienation Reaction in a Child
The Particular Problems of Listening to the Voice of the Child in Alienation Cases
The Signs that a Child is Fully Alienated
Understanding the Experience from a Child’s Eye View and the Risks to the Child
Key Players in Treatment Routes
Beginning the Process of Change

2. DIFFERENTIATION
What Does Differentiation Mean?
About the Differentiation Tools Used in this Book
Determination of Severity of the Alienation
Mild Alienation Reactions
Moderate Alienation Reactions
Severe Alienation Reactions
Determination of Category of the Alienation
Justified Rejection
Justified Rejection or Not
The Use of Justified Rejection by Alienating Parents
Understanding the Child Who is Being Alienated Through a Justified Rejection Narrative
Hybrid Alienation Cases
Pure Alienation
The Behaviors of Alienating Parents
The Double Bind in Pure Alienation Cases
How a Parent Alienates a Child
Pure Alienation is a Child Protection Issue

3. DEEPER UNDERSTANDING
Analysis of Power and Control Dynamics Between Parents
Analyzing Power and Control
Analyzing Power and Control Dynamics for Alienation Risk
Relationship Control Analysis
Power Over the Child
Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma
Family Trees and Psychogenealogy
The Transition Bridge
Assessment of Attachment Relationships
Other Attachment Problems Seen in Alienation Cases
Separation Anxiety
Collapsed Attachment Hierarchy
Enmeshment
Spousification
Parentification
Boundary Violation
Triangulation
Psychological and Psychiatric Problems
Understanding Psychological or Psychiatric Problems
About Personality Disorders
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Other Disorders that May Be Seen
False and Fabricated Allegations of Abuse
False Allegations
Fabricated Allegations

4. THE TRANSITION BRIDGE
A Little Bit About Attachment Theory
Maintaining Connectedness
Encountering the Transition Bridge
Crossing the Transition Bridge
Partitioning
Splitting
Making Sense of the Transition Bridge
All Children are Different
It is Parents that Create the Conditions
High or Ongoing Conflict
Ongoing Litigation
Undermining
Triangulation
Poor Parenting Skills
Disparate Places
Enmeshment
Abandonment and Alignment
When Might is Met with Meekness
Parents Moving On
The Transition Bridge in Summary

PART TWO: COPING

5. DEVELOPING COPING STRATEGIES
The Impact of Alienation on Rejected Parents
Understanding the Psychological Adaptation to Alienation
Coping Strategies
Coping with Your Child’s Behaviors
Signs of a Child’s Descent into Alienation
Managing Your Child’s Behavior Using Empathic
Listening and Responding Skills
Helping a Child to Cope with a Parent’s Unhealthy
Behaviors
Helpful Coping Strategies When You are Alienated from
Your Child
Solution-focused Coping for Stress
Becoming Solution Focused
Developing a Mindful Approach to Coping
Combining Solution-focused Coping with Mindful
Strategies
Developing New Relational Patterns
Owning Your Own Stuff
Remaining a Parent
Committing to Coping

6. ANALYZING YOUR CASE
Recognizing the Dynamics
Reframing Your Perspective
Personal Behavior Inventory
Self-inventory Questions
Mapping the Route into Alienation
Creating a Timeline
Analyzing Your Family Dance
Recognize the Key Players in the Dysfunctional Family
Dance
Using Your Analysis to Build a Strategy
A Note of Caution About Treatment Routes
Concluding Your Analysis

7. TAKING ACTION
Understanding the Reality of Your Situation
Countering the Alienation Process
Examining the Dynamics
Remaining Present
Transformative Parenting
Encouraging Critical Thinking
Calming and Soothing Anxious Children
Empathic Listening and Responding
Maintaining Boundaries
Conscious Decision Making
Force Field Analysis
Risk vs. Reward Analysis
Sometimes You Have to Do it for Your Own Sanity
When You are Unable to Bring About Change by Yourself
Deciding to Use the Courts

8. PRESENTING YOUR CASE IN COURT
The Need to Win
Creating a Chronology
Preparing Your Statement to the Court
The Elevator Pitch
Less is Definitely More
Dealing with a Child’s Wishes and Feelings
The Dangers of Criticizing Professionals
Including all the Relevant Evidence
Telling the Court What You Want
Taking the Long View
The Importance of Remaining Flexible
Legal Representation
Non-legal Support
Meeting the Professionals

PART THREE: HEALING

9. SEPARATION, REUNIFICATION, AND HEALING
Separation: Healing the Self
Repositioning the Locus of Control
Learning to Reframe
Dealing with Frustration
Using Counterintuitive Behaviors to Reduce Frustration
Treatment for Complex Traumatic Stress Symptoms
Choosing to Heal
The Tasks of Acceptance
Mindfulness
Retaining the Essential you
Reunification: Healing the Child
Spontaneous Reunification
Helping Children with Spontaneous Reunification
Assisted Reunification
Forced Reunification
Reunification After Removal from a Parent
The Tasks of Reunification for Children

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