Parental Alienation: ‘The Judge must be reminded that the relationship deteriorated when the child had little contact with the parent’

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 Part II of my Q & A with Dr. Bone. Part I can be seen at ‘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…’

Glenn Sacks: What are the key things that a parent who is the target of Parental Alienation needs to do in order to get their judge to understand what is really happening in their case?

Dr. Bone: I believe that the most important issue to keep in mind pertains to the history of the relationship between the child and the alienated parent. In these cases, this relationship will be dramatically different before and after the separation, or soon thereafter. The audience (the Judge) must be repeatedly reminded that the relationship between the child and the parent deteriorated during the time when the child had little or no contact with that parent. This is exactly the opposite of what one would expect if the child had become resistant to seeing a parent who had, let’s say abused them. Therefore the historical picture, one that clearly and vividly conveys the relationship between the child and the targeted parent, and how quickly it fell apart, for reasons that do not justify the child’s reaction, is the issue that the judge must be made to wrestle with.

Glenn Sacks: Dr. Bone, you warn parents who are targets of Parental Alienation not to agree to “Counter-Productive Recommendations.” What are some examples of this?

Dr. Bone: Recommendations that do not work are those that do not cause the damaged and alienated relationship to be healed and returned to normal. In many PAS cases, these recommendations are outpatient counseling.

It is not uncommon for Family Law Judges to believe, and reasonably so, that counseling could and should be helpful. However, when parental alienation is present in the PAS form, such outpatient counseling often turns into a format for the child to act out their alienation to the therapist. Under these circumstances, the child”s job becomes the convincing of the therapist as to why they should not see that parent.

If the therapist does not understand the PA dynamic, they will most likely be pulled into the alienated view of the child. If the therapist does understand the PA phenomenon, then the child will begin to protest the therapy and will begin to say things such as it “…is not helping.’

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