Alienated children want to reunite with their Targeted Parents despite what the Alienator may say.

Pathways to reunification by the Targeted Parent include:

-No action by the TP. The child through life experiences (such as getting married and having children or the Alienating Parent obtaining a new partner) and contact with other people decides to reunify weakening the bond of Alienation.

-TP puts in extra effort to re-establish contact by contacting the child

(this is very slow and likely thwarted by the AP and the child)

-TP puts in effort using Psychologists to re-establish contact

(this is unlikely to succeed without support from the Court to cut the child's contact with the Alienating parent for 3 months or more)

-TP puts in efforts using trusted people that the family knows

(be prepared for backlash from the Alienator)

There are many therapists who according to Dr Steven G Miller (Psychiatrist and former academic at Harvard University) have had no education in parental alienation who take Alienated children on for reunification therapy. The therapy by these people is not only likely not to work it will do the child and the child/targeted parent relationship much damage. Dr Miller outlines some 25 counter intuitive pitfalls that many therapists make at a Conference in London in 2018. In this Conference Dr Miller refers to a paper written by Dr Kathlean Reay where she states that:

“All in all, the reality is that typical or conventional office therapy is virtually never successful in severe cases, and often makes things catastrophically worse.” (Family Reflections: A Promising Therapeutic Program Designed to Treat Severely Alienated Children and Their Family System. American Journal Of Family Therapy. 2015)

Most expert Psychologist's require that the child refrain from any contact with the Alieantor during therapy and for 90 days or longer after the therapy to prevent regression. See for example Linda Gottlieb, Dr Childress and the Parental Alienation Study Group. Dr Childress explains it like this:

'We cannot ask the child to reveal their authentic love for the targeted-rejected parent until we are first able to protect the child from the psychological retaliation that would be sure to follow from the narcissistic/(borderline) parent if the child shows any bonding toward the targeted parent.' (see: Facebook)

So far there has been very little verifiable data published about the reunification of Alienated children through court ordered treatment programs or any other programs. There are a lot of non verified claims that after children have been reunited using these programs they later regress and fall under the spell of the Alienator again. If this is true, an explanation might be that the Alienator and Regime are so powerful that the child will always be vulnerable if they spend much time with them.

Before you meet your Alienated Child prepare your Father or Mother Resume' listing all the effort and great things you have done for your kids. Your child might call it propaganda however it is the only way you can concisely list what you have done for them as a child. If you hand it to them they might just reject it or throw it in the bin. It might be better to email it to them so they may feel inclined to store it without the Alienator's knowledge in Hotmail, Yahoo etc and perhaps they can look at it later on when they are in the right frame of mind.

Re-uniting should be easy once you know where they are, just go and see them, give them a kiss and a hug and life will be back to normal, after all they are your children. Wrong !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Alienation takes an unshakable grip on their minds. Many writers comment that the Alienated Child will avoid letting you contact them at all and the rejection will be emotionally hurtful to you.

To quote from Amanda Sillars:

'At age 18 when I tried to reunite with my mum after 7 years, my heart wanted to say I love you but my mind couldn’t speak for itself.?

Just because you don’t hear your alienated child say “I love you,” doesn’t mean they don’t love you anymore.?

The alienator wants you to feel unloved. But the love is there, it’s stored away till they are free to love again. They want to, but can’t.?

All those loving foundations you gave your child are there. Their love is #HiddenLove. Hidden so the alienator doesn’t see it. Hidden so your response to a positive crumb of communications doesn’t upset the alienator and put them under more pressure. ?

If you get a little #LoveCrumb back try not to announce it all over Facebook wall or your child may withdraw out of fear the alienator finding out or perhaps even out of guilt as they know contact will make the alienator unhappy. Keep it secret or quiet amongst friends and family till your connection is strong.?

I see many parents make this mistake and the alienating parent comes down hard with the negative emotional responses and pressure. Then it can be months or even years before a connection can happen without legal intervention.?

Keep in contact with your children. Don’t swamp them. Gently say hello and I love you, keeping it short and light. Never burden them with your emotions or your story of what really happened. ?

Alienated children have been through enough. They need you to lead by example, be the best version of you by self-caring every day, and never give up.?' (5 March 2019)

Don't be surprised if when you meet your Alienated Child after not seeing them for a long period of time you feel it is like meeting with a ghost and there is no bonding at all. Be prepared that they will likely call you by your name, not mum or dad. Whatever you do, do not get upset with them as this reinforces the negative image the Alienator has cultured about you.

Try and understand where they are at. In most cases the Alienator has feed the child information that the Targeted Parent has abandoned them. This might seem strange to a targeted parent who has perhaps spent years in court fighting for the right to see their child but in most cases this is what the child believes. The child will be seeking an apology for the abandonment. Formally Alienated child Ryan Thomas explains that the targeted parent has to show empathy for the child's belief but not admit something they did not do.

Abandonment has a severe psychological effect on the child as you can see from the above video by Psychologist Guy Winch.

To help reunite with your alienated child you need to read up and understand as much as you can about Parental Alienation. Learning from a child who grew up as an adult to escape Parental Alienation such as Ryan Thomas is a great place to start. One of the things Ryan explains to us is his belief that there are two types of Alienated children:

The Oblivious child – this child believes everything the Alienator tells him/her and has no concept that they are Alienated.

The Hostage child – they have gained some awareness that there is something not quite right about the narratives that the Alienator is saying about the Targeted Parent. They would like to query some of the information they are given however they are fearful of the wrath they would face from doing this.

Deep down Alienated Children want to reunite with their Targeted Parent as confirmed by the study that Amy Baker did of 40 adult children who had ultimately reunited with their Targeted Parent.

Aimee Nichols as a child survivor of Parental Alienation gives some excellent advice to Targeted Parents.

Be prepared for anything. A classic example is a Targeted Parent may have put aside a lump sum of money for college or some use for when they are grown up such as a deposit on a house. The Targeted Parent may have paid the entire amount themselves, however the Alienator may have conditioned the child to believe that they either paid half or the whole lot. If you argue with the child it will just make them angry. One approach might be to show receipts proving that you have paid the money. Some Psychologists feel that doing this will make them angry because they will not believe your proof. Despite this it may still be worth at least emailing these receipts so that at some point in time the Alienated child may start to not only doubt the Alienator on this issue but be a chink in their armour for other issues to help with reunification.

If you want to reunite with your child you have to forget about needing to prove you are right on issues. Sometimes it is appropriate and other times not, so more often than not you have to let issues slide.

The problem that you have is if the Alienating Parent tells the Alienated Child that the white wall over there is black there is no way that you can convince the Alienated child by yourself that it is white. Maybe it is possible with the help of several other people that Alienated Child knows and trusts. Not however by yourself.

Dr Richard Gardner has made mention that while the child is living with and under the control of the Alienating parent it is near on impossible to reunite with the child. Your best chance is when the child has grown up and living independently or living away while at college. Some children have been known to remain Alienated years after the Alienating parent has died and it is quite possible the Alienation will last the child's lifetime. Dana Laquidara was alienated for approximately 40 years. Dr Baker recorded a case where one child was alienated 47 years after the child rejected the Targeted Parent.

If you watch the above video you will hear Dr Sheehan a Clinical Psychologist who has spent much of his professional life working with children and the Family Court in Indiana USA, state among other things, '...the single most important thing for parents to understand is that the conflict that they are going through doesn't hurt their children just temporarily it hurts them permanently it causes them permanent damage, it isn't conflict per se it is unresolved conflict and it is very resolvable just by sitting with the kids and both parents saying mum and I talked it out and we made an agreement so everything is ok. It is that simple, and yes it is permanently damaging to children, permanent...'

Oprah has a number of excellent shows helping children to reconnect with their parents.

Oprah & Iyanla working to reconnect Father and Daughter

Oprah & Iyanla working to reconnect Father and Son

'A son missing his father has a hole in his heart'

Oprah & Iyanla - 21 year old son of single mother – 'only my father can teach me to be a father'

Oprah & Iyanla working to reconnect Mother and Son

Psychologist Linda Nielsen has written an excellent coaching article to help daughters who have damaged relationships with their father to repair the relationship. It is likely to be more effective with daughters who have have had more of an estrangement problem than an Alienation problem.

Psychologist Linda Gottlieb has directly worked with over 550 Alienated children and had a claimed 100 % success rate with the ones she has treated for reunification.

'In other words, when the child expresses rejection and hatred for, and fear of the rejected parent, the sentiments are not genuine to the child. The child is merely going along to get along and is doing the bidding of the favored/alienating parent. This being the case, the child will flip like a light switch should the favored/alienating parent grant the child permission to welcome the rejected parent back in her/his life. But such reversal of behavior on the part of severe alienating parents rarely occurs spontaneously. It generally occurs only in the face of legal consequences.'

'It is necessary that the favored or alienating parent provide a letter to the child stating genuine support for the restoration of the child’s relationship with the rejected parent. It is also necessary to include a statement as to why the child needs the rejected parent meaningfully in her or his life—that is, to state clearly and explicitly what the rejected parent has to offer their child.'

It is well worth reading the material Mrs Gottlieb has written on the subject of reunification.

The most iconic and comprehensive work on reunification has been done by Dr Gardner.

Psychologist Richard Warshak has prepared some excellent material to be used by professional Psychologists to conduct reunification workshops. He also has jointly produced with Dr Mark Otis an outstanding DVD titled, 'Welcome Back, Pluto'. The DVD is likely to be helpful to children before they are Alienated to defend against it. It may be of assistance as part of a carefully thought out reunification strategy, however simply giving it to an Alienated child to watch it is unlikely to be of any help and it could be counter productive.

Chapter 6 above can be viewed free of charge from You Tube. The DVD can be purchased from either Dr Warshak's website or Amazon.

The proven way to fix a severed relationship with an absent parent is to remove the child/adult away from all contact with the Aligned parent for 90 days or so and reintroduce the child/adult to the absent parent. If the child lost contact from the absent parent due to estrangement then the aligned parent is likely to genuinely foster rebuilding the relationship with the absent parent. If the child lost contact from the absent parent due to Alienation then the Aligned parent is unlikely to genuinely foster rebuilding the relationship with the absent parent. Support from family and friends will help greatly. If this strategy is not working, do whatever you can to explain to significant figures in the child/adults life like school friends and girlfriends/wives and boyfriends/husbands the situation. Do this as tactfully as you can.

There are many known cases where children/adults have escaped Alienation due to the prompting and encouragement of significant figures in the child's life. The problem unfortunately is that very few people know how to recognise if someone is alienated and what to do about it. They need information to assist them.

Professor Linda Nielsen an expert in father daughter relationships wrote this excellent article as a guide to help repair damaged relationships that young adult daughters have with their fathers. Conceptually this exercise is more likely to be effective if it is given to these daughters by someone other that the Alienated Parent or people seen to be on his side by the child.

The problem is that the intense loyalty that the child has to the to the Alienator is often founded on severely distorted or false negative information about the targeted parent. When the child realises their whole existence has been built on lies for years or even decades they can have a very adverse reaction to the Alienator. The important thing is to not let this happen as the child needs a relationship with both parents. Thinking that one parent is all good and the other is all bad is never good. Ryan Thomas discusses his reaction in the video below to his Alienator and Regime after he realises that so much of the information his mum told him over so many years was false.

All of us could well by listening to some ancient wisdom such as from the above video.

Dr Craig Childress uses attachment theory to hypothesise that if you can convince an alienated child to hug their Targeted Parent this triggers attachment to the Targeted Parent and reunification. He uses a series of videos to motivate an Alienated child to want to hug their Targeted Parent. We suspect that this theory works, however the likely problem is that the rebonding with the Targeted Parent may only be temporary if the child needs to stay living with the Alienator for accommodation.

One Targeted Parent found that by trying to persuade her two daughters to call her mom rather than by her name resulted in improved contact with one daughter and caused her to loose all contact with the other daughter. The daughter that gained more contact with her had responded positively to the request whereas the other daughter did not.

It could be that the first daughter had her damaged attachment bonds partially repaired when she responded to the request to call her mom, mom and not her name. The second daughter may not have come close enough to have her attachment bonds repaired but close enough to have an adverse reaction to the rebonding attempt. These failed rebonding attempts sometimes not only diminish the contact the child has with the Targeted Parent but also any close friend or family member who tried to facilitate the reunion.

Some alienated parents do eventually get an opportunity to reconnect with their alienated children however one mistep can easily prevent this from happening. Dorcy Pruter a formally aliented child and founder of the Concious Co-Parenting Institute advises:

First, when your child begins to re-bond (even before), make it easy on them.

Second, moratorium on the past, do not discuss the past. If they bring it up, deflect it into general statements that allow everyone an out.

Third, do not try to educate your child about what is happening, recovery will occur along emotional-relationship networks, not cognitive insight networks. This becomes important because of 4...

Fourth, don't guilt your child. It's called moral suasion, I know all about it... don't do it. Return to number 1... Make it easy on your child.

(as per Dr Craig Childress Alliance to Solve Parental Alienation Facebook Group)