1st Edition

Working With Alienated Children and Families A Clinical Guidebook

Edited By Amy J. L. Baker, S. Richard Sauber Copyright 2013
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    This edited volume is written by and for mental health professionals who work directly with alienated children and their parents. The chapters are written by leaders in the field, all of whom know how vexing parental alienation can be for mental health professionals.

    No matter how the professional intersects with families affected by alienation, be it through individual treatment, reunification therapy, a school setting, or support groups, he or she needs to consider how to make proper assessments, how to guard against bias, and when and how to involve the court system, among other challenges.

    The cutting edge clinical interventions presented in this book will help professionals answer these questions and help them to help their clients. The authors present a range of clinical options such as parent education, psycho-educational programs for children, and reunification programs for children and parents that make this volume a useful reference and practical guide.

    Part I: Introduction to the Volume
    Chapter 1: The Problem of Parental Alienation and Possible Solution Approaches
    This chapter outlines the negative outcomes associated with PA (Parental Alienation) and the many challenges involved in interventions. There will also be a brief overview of theory of intervention and the different types available.
    Chapter 2: Primary Prevention in Parental Alienation: Creating Public Awareness
    Here an overview is presented of theory regarding public awareness and explain the mission and vision of the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO).
    Chapter 3: Clinical Decision Making in the Cases of Alienation
    Chapter 4: Alienation-Informed Custody Evaluations
    Part II: Working with Divorcing, Targeted, and Alienated Parents
    Chapter 5: Parent Education with Divorcing Parents: The Breakthrough Parenting Model
    In this chapter the developer of the Breakthrough Parenting Model describes the program and the ways in which it can be helpful for alienation situations.
    Chapter 6: Educating Divorcing Parents: Taking Them beyond the High Road
    The author of this chapter will present the 17 primary PA strategies and describe how they work to create a psychological breach between the child and targeted parent.
    Chapter 7: Psychotherapy with Targeted Parents
    Chapter 8: Supporting Targeted Parents: The International Support Network for Alienated Families (ISNAF)
    This chapter will present a brief history of the social support movement to help targeted parents and will describe the efforts of one such support group to meet the needs of parents at all stages of the spectrum. Unique issues will also be discussed, such as gender conflicts, the role of the step parent, and the tension between those who want to participate in advocacy and those who want emotional support.
    Chapter 9: Mediation in Cases of Alienation
    Part III: Working with Divorcing and Alienated Children and Families
    Chapter 10: Psycho-educational Work with Children in Loyalty Conflict: The I Don’t Want to Choose Program
    This chapter will present the rationale and research base for providing a school-based intervention for children caught in loyalty conflicts and the “I Don’t Want to Choose Program” as one possible program model.
    Chapter 11: Reuniting Alienated Children with a One-Way Mirror
    This is a model first presented by Dr. Jack Weitzman (chapter author) in the Journal of Child Custody.
    Chapter 12: Working with Alienated Children using Family Therapy
    This chapter will focus on a model created by Dr. Linda Gottlieb and favors healing parent/child alienation by working with alienated children, the favored parent, and the rejected parent.
    Chapter 13: Family Reunification in a Forensic Setting
    Cases of alienation that are seen in the courts are often referred for reunification therapy. This chapter will describe the authors’ model, highlighting the unique features that allow them to claim a high success rate.
    Chapter 14: Residential Reunification: Family Bridges
    Family Bridges is one of two programs. The chapter will present the psycho-educational model underlying the program and present some key clinical considerations.
    Chapter 15: Residential Reunification: Rachel Foundation
    The Rachel House is the first residential reunification program developed in the field of PA. This chapter will present the history of the program and provide a theoretical rationale for the philosophical underpinnings.


    Amy J. L. Baker, Ph.D., is the author of Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties That Bind, as well as over 65 peer-reviewed publications on the topic of parental alienation, psychological maltreatment, child welfare, and parent–child relationships. She conducts research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection.

    S. Richard Sauber, Ph.D., has been in practice for 30 years as a forensic family and clinical psychologist. He is certified in Family and Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology and licensed by the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec, Canada. He has also been the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Family Therapy since 1976.

    Working With Alienated Children and Families is a thought-provoking and stimulating read for professionals who want to understand different treatment protocols necessary to work with families in high conflict. Readers will learn that reunification therapy has unique challenges that require the therapist to rethink all they have previously learned about working with families in high conflict. This book should be required reading for therapist engaged in forensic reunification therapy. Many questions about how to work with these families will be answered.” - Douglas Darnall, Ph.D., Psychologist, Ohio; Author; Forensic Consultant; CEO, PsyCare

    “This work is an extremely timely and helpful collection, which leads and updates professionals, children, and their parents as the subjects of these high conflict parenting scenarios. The editors use their own expertise to cherry pick among the best guiding principles and writers to further illuminate the behaviors, results, and remedies found in parental alienation awareness.” - Robert Samery, Director, VP, Parental Alienation Awareness Organization

    "It would be too simplistic to say that Working With Alienated Children and Families is a do’s and don’ts manual for treating parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome. This work contains priceless information that will provide mental health professionals with the keys to unlock the difficulties in working with families and children who have had to endure the loss of a once loving relationship. It will arm the provider with the necessary tools to educate, support, and reunify clients who are traveling the road of confusion, heartbreak, and sadness. This book is a must have for mental health professionals who are trying to make a difference and save the souls of our most precious commodity, our children.” - Jill Egizii, President, Parental Alienation Awareness Organiztation, USA; Host of television and radio show Family Matters; Author, The Look of Love and Co-Author, Parental Alienation 911

    Working With Alienated Children and Families provides an important contribution to assist professionals in our challenging work. This book contains an excellent cross section, including chapters on clinical decision-making, evaluation and differentiation, the role of the mental health consultant, and a variety of informed psycho-educational and therapeutic approaches for children and their parents. A review of this edited volume is sure to impart the reader with many useful tools and other interventions to assist alienated children and their families.” - Barbara Jo Fidler, Ph.D., Acc.FM., Registered Psychologist; in Private Practice, Ontario, Canada

    “Alienated children and their targeted parents suffer tremendously and need the very best from the mental health practitioners who work with them. This book will provide clinicians with state of the art information as well as practical tools to effectively work with families affected by parental alienation. This book should be on the bookshelf of any clinician working with divorced/divorcing families and their children.” - Steven Alan Hassan M.Ed. LMHC, NCC, Freedom of Mind Resource Center Inc.; Author, Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs