Rose Medical Center
4500 E. 9th Ave. #660
Denver, CO 80220
Phone:303-388-4211
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Parental Alienation Assessment and Treatment

Looking for psychological assistance with parental alienation?

Parental alienation occurs when a parent attempts to turn children against or withhold them from contact with the other parent.

If this behavior appears to be happening to your child or children, and if you live in the state of Colorado, you have found the right place.

Parental alienation

  • Harms children.
  • Deprives parents and grandparents of their rightful parenting and grand-parenting role.
  • Is increasingly considered a form of child abuse
  • Is a child protection issue.  Is also an assault on parental and grandparental rights.

Dr. Heitler’s Parental Alienation Assessment and Treatment Center aims to

  • Refer you to specialty-trained psychological evaluators who assess whether there is abusive behavior on the part of either parent
  • Help parents to clarify a course of action to repair the family relationships
  • Suggest specialty-trained therapists for reconnecting children with the alienated parent
  • Conduct psychological evaluations for purposes of court decision-making
  • Offer treatment to reintegrate children with an alienated parent

Contact the Parental Alienation Center at the TherapyHelp psychology offices.

Reach us by phone or email.  Our staff is in the office from 8:30 to 4:30, Mondays through Thursdays.  They are there to discuss your concerns and to refer you to appropriate helpful professionals.

  • 303-388-4211
  • psychologysecretary at msn.com
  • connect with us via the Contact Us form

Resources for understanding parental alienation

Parents who find themselves in an alienated situation typically experience a painful fog of confusion.  They reel in defensive feelings, confused about how they could be being accused of actions that they have not done.  They look back on the many ways they have been a good parent and do not understand why these no longer appear to be in either the child’s or the alienating parent’s memory.  They feel depressed at seeming to have lost their child, fearful about the harm being done to their child, and angry at being blamed as the toxic one.

Defense therefore against an alienation situation must be to learn about at least the following five facets of alienation:

  1. the psychological roots of alienation
  2. the typical progession of alienation situations, from mild to moderate to severe
  3. how alienation can be evaluated
  4. how alienation is best treated psychologically
  5. how to handle the legal proceedings necessary in most cases to rectify an alienation situation

Parental alienation information on the internet.

The following websites offer much excellent information on all of these topics.  Read up. Information is power.

  1. On psychologytoday.com, search the topic of parental alienation.  I have posted several articles on alienation on my blog there. In addition, psychologists Amy Baker, Linda Gottlieb, Edward Kruk and others also have posted articles on the site that can give you a strong foundation of alienation understanding.
  2. This is the most recent and most authoritative academic journal article on alienation.  It’s excellent, and published in one of the very most respected psychologist journals.  It makes very clear that parental alienation is a severe form of child abuse.    Bravo to Drs. Harman and colleagues.    https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/Parental%20Alienation%20is%20a%20Form%20of%20Family%20Violence%20–%20APA%20Paper.pdf?token=AWykqjBnJrvfehR7ypRjvJo6g4Q7dIwzkaf-xN5cd7vNu-_C7ptUqz8UzwcmU0THeyeXnE2ZumZTbZ-eiW1Qk2TjGnVBR6FzSjwq9zavN73aeRaVKw4942AIe8SI2s_WoU2BmN5hwf433MseSdnxpki_I3ue1SCo_SvhugmegeEWMWp2cPI-XPCBFivb2j26QHu-bxHY6Z30olsN8JHNZnJM
  3. Check out these web pages:  http://nationalassociationofparentalalienationspecialists.com/ and also Simply Parent for more information and programs on parental alienation.    
  4. See this article on alienation which has a particularly good graphic explaining the phenomenon.  You can use this graphic to respond to those who oppose the use of the alienation term.  It hopefully can help you in court.
  5. Join the Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG).  Their articles collection is among the best I’ve seen.  I’d recommend that you download and print out a number of these articles to use for educating the legal and psychological professionals you work with.
  6. Dr. Craig Childress has written extensively on alienation.  Read his work here.
  7. Linda Gottlieb has excellent articles on her website.  She’s the very best on treatment to help kids reconnect with the targeted parent and to overcome the abusive impacts of the alienation.
  8. For a comprehensive and excellent list of further resources from Europe as well as the US, see this listing by Nick Child of Edinburgh, Scotland.  Parental alienation is a global phenomenon that legal, psychological and parent groups worldwide now are addressing.
  9. One of the best and for sure the most current overall articles, especially for giving to lawyers, judges, and therapy professionals.  Very clear that PAS is child abuse.  Clear about what the courts need to be doing. Boch-Galhau, W. von: Parental Alienation (Syndrome) – A serious form of psychological child abuse:
    Ment Health Fam Med (2018) 14: 725 – 739  http://mhfmjournal.com/pdf/MHFM-117.pdf (English translation/double blinded peer-reviewed)
  10. Jennifer Harman, PhD has just published an important paper on alienation in the highly respected journal Psychological Bulletin.  See this review of the article.
  11. Scroll down for a list of. professional articles sent by Dr. Boch-Galhau to the Parental Alienation Study Group for sharing.  These articles are especially helpful on the subject of treatment methods for severe alienation cases.

Books on parental alienation

  1. Books by Amy Baker offer a good starting point.
  2. This  Parental Alienation Handbook is a more academic and very comprehensive book that legal and psychological professionals might want to check out.
  3. Search parental alienation on Amazon for many more titles.

Support groups for parents and grandparents of alienated children

  1. In the Denver area, a therapist named Phillip runs an excellent free monthly support group.  You can find out more about this group here.
  2. Familyaccess offers a monthly free telephone-based lecture and question-answer session.  These Sunday programs are  generally attended by over 800 alienated parents and grandparents and by both legal and psychological professionals from around the globe. Get both support and current cutting edge information at these monthly conference calls
  3. Join the free group at PASG.info.  They have excellent information.

Treatment for alienated children

The article at this link, which is by Linda K. Gottlieb, explains the kind of therapy that works with severely alienated children.  Less intensive versions work with less fully alienated children.

Not that in most cases, for therapy to be effective, the child and the alienated parent need to be in the same room, talking with each other.  If “reunification therapy” does not include the alienated parent in treatment with the child, it most likely will not accomplish anything and may even intensify the alienation.

Colorado Professionals Who Understand Parental Alienation

David Littman is a highly skilled Denver professional, a lawyer with a strong mental health background who has handled cases of parental alienation for many years. Excellent CFI (Child/Family Investigator).

1772 Emerson Street, Denver, CO 80218
Tel. – 303-832-4200   Fax – 303-832-9322
Family Law, Collaborative Law, Mediation & Arbitration
Child & Family Investigator (CFI) and Child Legal Representation (CLR)
David@LittmanFamilyLaw.com    www.littmanfamilylaw.com

Jennifer Harman, PhD is a professor in Fort Collins who can serve as an expert witness explaining parental alienation to courts.  Her recently published article on parental alienation in Psychological Bulletin takes a giant step forward in explaining this phenomenon to the psychology profession.  For more information on the kinds of testimony she can offer in court cases, in person or via Skype, see here.  See this overview of her important article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181127171419.htm

Research and Academic Articles on Parental Alienation

The following letter and list of articles was sent to PASG.org.  It’s an excellent and updated list of articles that are must-reads by every professional, and by parents and grandparents as well, who deal with alienation cases.

January 2019
Dear colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a retired specialist in psychiatry, neurology, psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy, I have for many years been concerned with the subject of parental alienation, both in theory and in practice (see also my publications on www.drvboch.de and www.pas-konferenz.de).

Given the “complex situation” of cases of parental alienation (particularly in German-speaking countries), may I refer you, for the sake of simplicity, to my article “Parental alienation (syndrome) – A serious form of psychological child abuse”, recently published in the Austrian peer-reviewed journal “Neuropsychiatrie” (2018) 32 (3): 133 – 148. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40211-018-0267-0. English translation: in: Mental Health Fam Med (2018) 14: 725 – 739, http://mhfmjournal.com/pdf/MHFM-117.pdf (double blinded peer-reviewed).

Another (peer-reviewed) article written in English is a review of the well-known “Parental Alienation – Handbook for Mental Health and Legal Professionals”, C. C. Publ., Springfield, IL., USA, 2013, by D. Lorandos, W. Bernet & S. R. Sauber, which I would like to recommend to you. (in: EC PAEDIATRICS (2018) 7.8: 820 – 822. (https://www.ecronicon.com/ecpe/pdf/ECPE-07-00320.pdf).

Other scientific works about interventions in severe Parental Alienation-cases:

Warshak, R. A. (2018, October). Reclaiming Parent-Child Relationships: Outcomes of Family Bridges with Alienated Children. American Journal of Divorce & Remarriage. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10502556.2018.1529505; https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/XgUAi2nnTyNhmmHT8JSd/full

Templer, K., Matthewson, M., Haines, K. & Cox G. (2017). Recommendations for best practice in response to parental alienation: findings from a systematic review. Journal of Fam. Therapy 39 (1) 103 – 122, https://doi/abs/10.1111/1467-6427.12137

Reay, K. (2015): Family reflections: a promising therapeutic program designed to treat severely alienated children and their family system. American Journal of Fam. Therapy, 43 (2): 197 – 207.

Gottlieb, L. J. (2013) The application of structural family therapy to the treatment of parental alienation syndrome. In: Baker AJL, Sauber SR (Eds.) Working with alienated children and families – a clinical guidebook. New York: Routledge, p. 209 – 31.
Harman, J. J., Kruk, E. & Hines, D. A. (2018) Parental Alienating Behaviors: An Unacknowledged Form of Family Violence, Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 144, No. 12., 1275 – 1299, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bul0000175

Gebhardt, G.: Sarah Cecilie, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qgj3WXYHyo. You can view all versions of this film made by Action Against Abduction (website at https://www.youtube.com/user/PACTonline.)

The term “parental alienation” does not yet feature as such in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). But the internationally
used “International Classification of Diseases” (ICD 11) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) refers to “parental alienation” since 18 June 2018. (Code QE 52.0, under caregiver-child relation problem: (https://icd.who.int/dev11/l-m/en#/http://id.who.int/icd/entity/547677013)

The website www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/pasg of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine at Nashville, TN in the US today lists around 1,300 publications of scientific relevance from about 50 countries worldwide on the subjects parental alienation, parental alienation syndrome and related subjects.

International developments

Parental Alienation is an international phenomenon, which empirical studies have shown to exist in various countries (Dum, 2013 a, p. 425 – 467), and which is reflected in more than 600 court rulings, for instance, in the United States and Canada (Bernet, 2010), (Lorandos, 2013), in the Brazilian law on Parental Alienation/Law 12318 of 2010 (Brockhausen, 2013), in the laws of some other South American countries (Dum, 2013 a, p. 425 – 467) and in rulings by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for instance, Sommerfeld v. Germany (2003); Koudelka and Zavrel v Czech Republic (2006 and 2007); Plasse-Bauer v. France (2006); Minecheva v Bulgaria (2010); Bordeiana v Moldava (2011) and others, (Dum, 2013 b, p. 439 – 444); and recently: K. B. and others v Croatia (2017) (https://strasbourgobservers.com/2017/04/25/k-b-and-others-v-croatia-the-courts-first-steps-to-tackle-parental-alienation);
in France by the national court of appeal Cour de Cassation (No. 660 of 26th june 2013; 12-14.392) https://www.courdecassation.fr/jurisprudence_2/premiere_chambre_civile_568/660_26_26933.html), and in rulings by the higher regional courts of several European countries, for instance, England, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland and others (Bernet, 2010).

In German-speaking countries, there are still not many therapists who are familiar with the subject and have completed suitable (further) training. In London, UK., however, a clinic run by Karen and Nick Woodall (https://www.familyseparationclinic.com) and in cooperation with the “Child and Youth Protection Center” in Zagreb, Croatia undertakes serious and competent work in the complex field “parental alienation following separation or divorce” (see also their book “Understanding Parental Alienation, learning to cope, helping to heal”, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL., USA, 2017).

In the United States, Canada, Australia and Spain, some similar programmes of intervention are used and evaluated in cases of parental alienation (see also my article “Parental alienation (syndrome) – A serious form of psychological child abuse” in Neuropsychiatrie, 2018, 32 (3): 133 – 148). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40211-018-0267-0 (German language) and in Mental Health Fam. Med. (2018) 14: 725 – 739; http://mhfmjournal.com/pdf/MHFM-117.pdf (English language)

Best regards
Dr. med. Wilfrid v. Boch-Galhau
Oberer Dallenbergweg 15
97082 Würzburg
Germany
www.praxis@drvboch.de
www.pas-konferenz.de
Member of the International Parental Alienation Study Group (http://pasg.info)

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