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Do you recognize “Parental Alienation?”

Do you recognize “Parental Alienation?”

Children should never be used as weapons in the spousal conflict of divorce.

The pathology called “parental alienation” represents a severe form of psychological child abuse called pathogenic parenting (the creation of significant pathology in the child through aberrant and distorted parenting practices).

Divorce ends a marriage, but not the family.  When there are children, there will always be a family.  The goal is to create a healthy post-divorce separated family structure of mutual bonds of shared affection and successful co-parenting.


  • Rejecting a Loving Parent: A child rejects a normal-range and loving parent following divorce.
  • Rigidly Fixed False Beliefs: The child’s rejection of the normal-range and loving parent are not warranted by the excuses and reasons given, and yet can’t be changed.
  • Narcissistic Symptoms: The child’s symptoms reflect the alienating parent’s symptoms of narcissistic or borderline personality pathology because the supposedly “preferred” NPD/BPD parent is covertly creating and then supporting the child’s rejection of the other parent, using manipulative parenting practices of psychological control and coercion. These child symptoms are the “psychological fingerprints” of control by a NPD/BPD parent.

When all three of these symptoms are present, the family pathology is being caused by pathogenic parenting creating Attachment Based “Parental Alienation” (AB-PA).

Symptoms 1 + 2 + 3 above ALWAYS = pathogenic parenting evidenced by attachment-based parental alienation (AB-PA) as described by Dr. Childress in his book Foundations.

Attachment-Based Parental Alienation (AB-PA) is a severe form of CHILD PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE. Pathogenic parenting that is creating significant developmental pathology, psychiatric pathology, and personality disorder pathology in the child is a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.


  • All parent-child relationships – mother-son; father-son; mother-daughter; father-daughter – are invaluable for the child’s healthy development, none of these vital relationships are “expendable.”
  • Children want to love both parents, and they want to receive the love of both parents in return. Children do not reject parents.  Spouses reject spouses.  Children should never be used as weapons in the spousal conflict surrounding divorce.
  • While the narcissistic/borderline parent may superficially appear to be healthy and supportive, and will even adopt a “protective parent” presentation, they are subtly transferring their own unresolved childhood trauma/loss to the child through manipulative parenting practices of psychological control.
  • The NPD/BPD parent manipulates the child’s natural sadness surrounding the divorce into anger, resentment, and blame directed toward the other parent (the other spouse in the divorce), weaponizing the child in the spousal conflict.

Children have the right of childhood to love both parents,

and to receive the love of both parents in return.

For more information and to BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION, contact:

Peter Knudsen, +4531196464

Dr. Craig Childress, Psy.D. (909)821-5398