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Parental Alienation Advice

Alienation is occurring as a result of a personality disorder on a part of the child's (11y/o) mother although the single expert witness stopped short of calling it a disorder or diagnosing it as such

Hi, not posted before so thought id post here.

I have a matter in the Family Court that is on track for trial. Several court reports have been done and they are indicating an alienation issue due to mothers behavior and personality. Like most people in this situation I've known this for years but now it seems to be coming to light albeit no-one commits to calling it 100%.

My case is that alienation is occurring as a result of a personality disorder on a part of the child's (11y/o) mother although the single expert witness stopped short of calling it a disorder or diagnosing it as such.

I am asking for a reversal of residence on the basis of the necessity of removing my child from the alienating influence and having therapy to reverse the effects that have instilled by the mothers actions and then hopefully moving back to a shared routine once I have reestablished my relationship with my daughter and she has some tools to deal with her mothers behavior.

One hurdle to overcome is the fact I haven't seen my child for 8 months and the alienation is complete in so much there is total opposition to contact. The expert has indicated the change of residence would be very traumatic but there needs to be some change otherwise things look bleak for our relationship.

This is all simplifying things a fair bit but for the purpose of my questions I hope it is enough.

What I would like to ask is does anyone know of any psychologists/therapists working in WA that deal with children and the effects of Parental Alienation? Who are the Parental Alienation experts, psychs or otherwise, doing research on this issue in Australia?

Thanks in advance!
Without the direct support of the report writer or single witness in the family report you will find it extremely difficult to reverse residence. Parental Alienation per se,  is not considered 'abuse' in the Act but s60CC sets out a range of best interest provisions. The fact you have not had contact for eight months will almost certainly ensure you will not change residence status anytime soon.

We have had a couple of cases recently in WA where in one case we ended up with a reasonable therapist who was able to re-establish a relationship for the father after some considerable time. I will obtain details.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Thank you. I'm definitely under no illusion as to the uphill battle that I face. How relentlessly manipulating the child until they finally adopt your distorted and vitriolic views to the detriment of the relationship with a parent and entire extended family is not abusive I'll never know. Is this behavior mentioned specifically in the Act? or is it just that it isn't really addressed and there doesn't seem to be any consensus among the psychological professionals as to the short and long term harm? Obviously the impact of removing her from her mother is taken seriously yet the the impact of this pathological behavior is not. It is heartening that there are therapists out there that are taking it seriously and working to undo the damage that gets done. I am hoping to get my child back to 'normal' however that occurs and by whatever means possible.  
positive74 said
Hi, not posted before so thought id post here.

I have a matter in the Family Court that is on track for trial. Several court reports have been done and they are indicating an alienation issue due to mothers behavior and personality. Like most people in this situation I've known this for years but now it seems to be coming to light albeit no-one commits to calling it 100%.

My case is that alienation is occurring as a result of a personality disorder on a part of the child's (11y/o) mother although the single expert witness stopped short of calling it a disorder or diagnosing it as such.

I am asking for a reversal of residence on the basis of the necessity of removing my child from the alienating influence and having therapy to reverse the effects that have instilled by the mothers actions and then hopefully moving back to a shared routine once I have reestablished my relationship with my daughter and she has some tools to deal with her mothers behavior.

One hurdle to overcome is the fact I haven't seen my child for 8 months and the alienation is complete in so much there is total opposition to contact. The expert has indicated the change of residence would be very traumatic but there needs to be some change otherwise things look bleak for our relationship.

This is all simplifying things a fair bit but for the purpose of my questions I hope it is enough.

What I would like to ask is does anyone know of any psychologists/therapists working in WA that deal with children and the effects of Parental Alienation? Who are the Parental Alienation experts, psychs or otherwise, doing research on this issue in Australia?

Thanks in advance!

This is a recommendation I received personally from Dr Richard Warshak for a specialist in Australia working with parental alienation,  You should note that Ms Cherubino is a family reporter for the family court in WA.

"I recommend that you get in touch with the following professional in Australia:

Margaret Cherubino
B.Psych, M. Psych. (Couns), MAPS
Clinical, Counselling & Forensic Psychologist
 
Tel: 08 9381 6656
Mob: 0437 616 400
E-mail: mcherubino@bigpond.com
          info@counsellingpsych.com.au
Website: www.counsellingpsych.com.au"


Richard A. Warshak, Ph. D."

Hope  this helps.
What did the report say about you?

Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher
srldad101 said
positive74 said
Hi, not posted before so thought id post here.

I have a matter in the Family Court that is on track for trial. Several court reports have been done and they are indicating an alienation issue due to mothers behavior and personality. Like most people in this situation I've known this for years but now it seems to be coming to light albeit no-one commits to calling it 100%.

My case is that alienation is occurring as a result of a personality disorder on a part of the child's (11y/o) mother although the single expert witness stopped short of calling it a disorder or diagnosing it as such.

I am asking for a reversal of residence on the basis of the necessity of removing my child from the alienating influence and having therapy to reverse the effects that have instilled by the mothers actions and then hopefully moving back to a shared routine once I have reestablished my relationship with my daughter and she has some tools to deal with her mothers behavior.

One hurdle to overcome is the fact I haven't seen my child for 8 months and the alienation is complete in so much there is total opposition to contact. The expert has indicated the change of residence would be very traumatic but there needs to be some change otherwise things look bleak for our relationship.

This is all simplifying things a fair bit but for the purpose of my questions I hope it is enough.

What I would like to ask is does anyone know of any psychologists/therapists working in WA that deal with children and the effects of Parental Alienation? Who are the Parental Alienation experts, psychs or otherwise, doing research on this issue in Australia?

Thanks in advance!

This is a recommendation I received personally from Dr Richard Warshak for a specialist in Australia working with parental alienation,  You should note that Ms Cherubino is a family reporter for the family court in WA.

"I recommend that you get in touch with the following professional in Australia:

Margaret Cherubino
B.Psych, M. Psych. (Couns), MAPS
Clinical, Counselling & Forensic Psychologist
 
Tel: 08 9381 6656
Mob: 0437 616 400
E-mail: mcherubino@bigpond.com
          info@counsellingpsych.com.au
Website: www.counsellingpsych.com.au"


Richard A. Warshak, Ph. D."

Hope  this helps.

Thanks for your reply. Have heard her name before and is good to know she was recommended by Richard Warshak.
positive74 said
 Several court reports have been done and they are indicating an alienation issue due to mothers behavior and personality. Like most people in this situation I've known this for years but now it seems to be coming to light albeit no-one commits to calling it 100%.

They either say it is or it isn't. There are no inbetweens. What DO they commit to calling it?

positive74 said
My case is that alienation is occurring as a result of a personality disorder on a part of the child's (11y/o) mother although the single expert witness stopped short of calling it a disorder or diagnosing it as such.

Stopped short? Does that mean he actually didn't say that at all?  If it is not written there in black and white it is not a "diagnosis" (for want of a better word)

positive74 said
I am asking for a reversal of residence on the basis of the necessity of removing my child from the alienating influence and having therapy to reverse the effects that have instilled by the mothers actions and then hopefully moving back to a shared routine once I have reestablished my relationship with my daughter and she has some tools to deal with her mothers behavior.

What do the "several" reports recommend? Are they agreeing with you?

positive74 said
One hurdle to overcome is the fact I haven't seen my child for 8 months and the alienation is complete in so much there is total opposition to contact. The expert has indicated the change of residence would be very traumatic but there needs to be some change otherwise things look bleak for our relationship.

So the expert/reporters recommends what kind of change of care?

positive74 said
What I would like to ask is does anyone know of any psychologists/therapists working in WA that deal with children and the effects of Parental Alienation? Who are the Parental Alienation experts, psychs or otherwise, doing research on this issue in Australia?

If "several" reports including a single expert witness report has not mentioned this as an absolute fact due to the absolute fact that the Mother has a "personality disorder" you are flogging a dead horse up a hill.. no, make that a mountain

Sorry to ask again…. what did the "several"  reports say about you? (this is a very important question)  What care pattern have they recommended? (if any)
Cheerz

Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Hi Wolf, Thanks for your reply
As mentioned there have been several reports done over about an 8 year period so there is a lot to sift through. There have been allegations of abuse made of both sexual and violent nature concerning my relationship with my daughter. In these reports the SEW has found nothing to substantiate any of it. No substantiation in terms of evidence or that SEW has found me to be the sort of person to do such things. This is based on multiple interviews with me, my family, observations made of my daughter with me and my family both in a clinical setting and at home. In previous reports SEW has also said I have had a good relationship/bond with my daughter. In the latest report SEW has said that I am simply a concerned father seeking to maintain his relationship with his daughter however my relationship with her is now poor as I have not seen her for 8 months and she is refusing all contact and has a "globalized negative view". In previous reports a lot of the problems were put down to my ex's high level of anxiety. Also comments about her permissive parenting style exacerbating a lot of the problems. With regard to alienation some phrases used in the latest report when referring to my daughters behavior are 'This is more typical of an alienation case' 'I have no doubt the child has picked up on the mothers unconscious reactions and attitudes' and 'this is typical of the aligned child'. So I guess SEW has called it but I would prefer a more direct statement with regard to parental alienation causes and effects than those given since he is the expert. Perhaps I am being pedantic.
As mentioned I believe she has a personality disorder. However I am not a psych. But I do have the benefit of a lot more experience of her behaviors as I have been dealing with it for a long time. I guess in the time that he has to do his observations and reports he has not seen enough criteria to diagnose such and has used comments such as "much of it goes down to a core personality level" "personality inadequacy" "personality disturbance and weakness". I respect SEW's proffesional position but I believe this to be a shortfall.
As far as recommendations go, as I mentioned, the trauma to my daughter from a reversal of residence given her negative view of me is the issue. So SEW has said this is a terribly sad case with no easy answer and did not recommend anything rather just pointed out the pros and cons of removing her (traumatic and may or may not handle it) v's not removing her (no chance of a relationship with me and any positive memories that remain will be contaminated over time)
The purpose of trying to find a therapist who has experience in PA is twofold. If residence is not reversed then perhaps therapy could an option to repair our relationship whilst remaining in ex's care although SEW didn't put a lot of hope in this. Alternatively if residence is reversed then therapy could help my daughter adjust with what is occurring.
Again, so much has gone down that its hard to summarize but this is basically where its at.
Hope this clarifies my original post.
 
Thanks positive74 for a much better clarification. If the SEW did indeed write these things you could, with the correct question strategy get them to admit a more direct statement.

If no one has really fully negated a switch.. or (which i hope you have) a fall back position of 50/50 and only mentioned positives and negatives of both sides  your job is to lead the court to believe there are more positives than negatives with a care reversal.

Personally id have a bit of fun through the aforementioned questioning to back them into a corner where all they have left to say is that "it could be positive" in relation to a care change.

I saw a bit of a report yesterday that said a period of time with the dad possibly would overcome and help the alienation that had been caused  (almost word for word). Im not saying it relevant to your individual case, but, it is something a report writer has suggested ….

Whatever way you decide to jump, id forget the mothers mental condition in relation to YOUR personal views based on experience… because, if those words you wrote above ARE actually written somewhere… that is your "in" to her state of mind.. you don't have to say a word about what you think on her state of mind… just question those who have said or eluded to the same thing. (hope that makes sense)

Are you suggesting a slow transition or a "lets do it NOW" kind of thing in your orders?

Nothing i say should be taken as legal advice. I am not a Lawyer. If i help you it is of your own free choice to listen to what i say or not. I do not create documents for you. I do not represent you…. Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Yes there is definitely room to get a more direct statement with good cross examination its just incredibly frustrating that it comes down to having to corner experts into saying something that is so evident. Its like the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about because its just too difficult to deal with. The only reason anyone is having to deal with it at all is because I have spent a fortune on keeping it before the courts, paying lawyers, paying for the SEW, Paying to question the SEW and so on, all for the privilege of having and maintaining a relationship with my daughter. I get the impression that no one would otherwise give much of a toss about this sort of behavior. Anyway I'm starting to rant.
SEW did say that in these cases when residence is reversed it can go one of two ways. Either the child quickly adjusts and the alienated behavior falls away or they are traumatized by it all, don't adjust at all and the order has to be reversed.
I consider her behavior abusive and therefore there is no sense in a slow transition. She just needs to be removed from the toxic environment asap. That is what I believe will be best for the interests for our daughters long term wellbeing. 
Some caselaw relating to parental alienation.

It might be easier to get the SEW to admit the mother has traits of a personality disorder. The risks to the child of being isolated with an untreated psychologically ill parent are well known. This provides strong incentive for change of residence.

It might be preferable to seek orders for the child to be transferred from the alienator to a neutral environment, such as the grandparents, with provision for a gradual reintroduction of time with you. This might reduce the trauma concern of child being forced to live with a "feared" or hated parent.

However, if there is to be any chance of success there must be no contact or communication with the mother for three months. This allows the child to recover her own mind, rebuild the relationship with the alienated parent and develop resilience to further alienation attempts - see Dr Craig Childress – Parental Alienation Dynamics lecture series on Youtube.

Jollie & Dysart [2013] FamCA 762 (9 October 2013)
173.     The doctor concluded that the mother might not have a borderline personality disorder, but he continued to have significant confidence that she had borderline personality traits. This conclusion by Dr K is a positive one for the child. It suggests that the mother functions quite well in employment and in certain relationships. However Dr K did not step away to any extent from his view that the mother’s personality and inability to recognise her own contribution to emotional problems for the children, was a risk to the child’s proper development and a threat to his own personality.

Dr K described the mother as creating alliances against a common enemy as an aspect of her personality. Unfortunately the common enemy is the father and the alliances have been with teachers and the child himself.

McGregor & McGregor [2012] FamCAFC 69
Is a recent case before the full court regarding a change of residence due to parental alienation. The case turns on the judge's use of parental alienation literature in particular that of Dr Tom Altobelli, FM
"When a child rejects a parent"






 

Family report or Psychiatric report first or does it matter?

i
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