‘Mental health professionals who don’t understand Parental Alienation will find small imperfections in the targeted parent as an explanation for the child’s alienation…’

Los Angeles, CA–Background: J. Michael Bone (pictured) is an eminent authority on Parental Alienation, and I’ve often quoted his work in my newspaper columns on the issue. Starting in late April Michael is going to be doing a four-part Teleseminar on how targeted parents can overcome Parental Alienation. The 4 week telewebcast series begins Tuesday April 29 from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. EDT, and runs each Tuesday through 5/20. To register, click here or go to Below is my Q & A with Dr. Bone. Glenn Sacks: You caution against employing “Unqualified Mental Health Professionals.” That’s often a difficult thing for a lay person to judge. What should a target parent look at in order to make this judgment?
Dr. Bone: This is a very difficult identification process, and one that most attorneys and judges could not be expected to perform. That said, let me try to take a stab at it, but please understand that I could go on for many pages about this. Since the vast minority of mental health professionals are not comfortable with or particularly familiar with going to court, the numbers of those who do this kind of work are relatively small. Within this relatively small number, an even smaller number profess familiarity with parental alienation. Among those who are familiar with parental alienation and how it works, the basic issue boils down to this: the understanding that it is possible for one parent to alienate a child from another parent. Once a child is alienated, only those who truly understand this will be able to successfully manage the child”s protest and vilification regarding the other parent, without being pulled into believing it. Therefore, the best way to identify one who is truly qualified is to ask them questions about how they have, in the past, dealt with children who did not want to see one of their parents when it had been determined that the non-favored or alienated parent had not been abusive to the child. When the truly qualified mental health professional is asked this question, they will have no trouble responding to it with fairly long and clear explanations of whatever successes or lack of successes they have had with this. What I look for is less about the “success rate’ and more about their ability to talk about the complex nuances of this very complicated problem. mental health professionals who do not really understand that a child can be alienated from a parent will very quickly begin to side with the child, and justify this by finding relatively small imperfections in the targeted parent, and use that as an explanation for the child”s position. Put another way, ineffective or “less than connected’ parenting might well produce somewhat estranged children, but this ineffective parenting alone will not produce alienated children. The necessary ingredient is the alienating behavior of the alienating parent. What one needs is a mental health professional who gets this.

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