Half of all marriages end, and, when they do, most parents hope to achieve a "good divorce" in which they can amicably raise their children with their former spouse. Unfortunately, about 20% of divorces are high-conflict, involving frequent visits to court, allegations of abuse, and chronic disagreements regarding parenting schedules.
In response to this conflict, some children become aligned with one parent against the other - even a parent who has done nothing to warrant the hostile rejection of their formerly loving children. These "targeted" parents suffer from the loss of time with their children, the pain of watching their children become distant, even cruel, and the uncertainty of not knowing if and when their children will come back to them. These parents are on a painful journey with an uncertain outcome. Surviving Parental Alienation fills the tremendous need for concrete help for these parents.
Too often parental alienation stories that are shared by word of mouth, on the internet, or in books depict unending pain and frightening outcomes. Surviving Parental Alienation provides true stories and information about parents who have reconnected with their lost and stolen children, and offers better insight and understanding into what exactly parental alienation is and how to handle it.
Targeted parents are desperate to be understood and to find cause for hope, even as they search for answers. Surviving Parental Alienation is where they can start to find this hope.
According to Baker and social worker Fine, 20 percent of divorces are high-conflict, involving frequent visits to court, allegations of abuse, and chronic disagreements regarding parenting schedules. Often resulting in the alienation of one parent, the 'targeted' person loses out on a relationship with his or her child and suffers a great deal of pain and uncertainty. The authors collect some of these heartbreaking stories, put them into their psychological framework, relate them to the academic literature, and finally, offer a last chapter on ideas for maintaining communication. VERDICT This is an important contribution to a rarely visited topic. While aimed at the estranged parent, there is a scholastic curve that makes the text more appropriate for social workers and mediators. That group would also benefit from this text, which is a suitable purchase for academic libraries. * Library Journal *
Poignant and heartbreaking, these stories shine a much needed light on the sometimes healing but always tragic journey of targeted parents. This book will help readers, like me, who are dealing with the pain of parental alienation to know that others have traveled this path and have survived. This gives me the strength to forge ahead in my personal journey of hope and healing, and bring others along with me and my foundation Stand Up for Gus. -- Jason Patric, actor and targeted father
Surviving Parental Alienation: A Journey of Hope and Healing, has given a voice to the hundreds of thousands of parents and grandparents that can only remember their children through memories and photos from days gone by. Amy Baker and Paul Fine have given us yet another piece to unlocking this puzzling form of emotional child abuse. Their continuous contributions to the parental alienation arena are priceless. On behalf of all target parents, we say thank you. You give us strength and the hope that someday our children will come home. -- Jill Egizii, president, Parental Alienation Awareness Organization USA
This powerful book evokes strong emotions such as anger, grief, compassion, and amazement. Although the personal narratives are from the perspective of alienated parents, we also glimpse the inner experience of alienating parents and their children. Thankfully, Baker and Fine are hopeful that alienated children sometimes find their way back to the parents they shunned for many years. The authors give wise suggestions for alienated parents to consider as they work toward that goal. -- William Bernet, M.D., professor emeritus, Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee
As a clinician in the field of high conflict divorce, many parents come to me having been told that their story is the worst and most painful case of parental alienation ever seen. In some sense they are right because every story of parental alienation is painful and tragic. At the same time, every story has something to teach the rest of us about this phenomenon of parents and children being ripped apart. In Surviving Parental Alienation: Journeys of Hope and Healing, Baker and Fine honor these stories and in doing so, honor the parents and children who have suffered because of parental alienation. But Baker and Fine do more than simply provide a place for others to tell their stories. They make meaning of the stories. They dig into the phenomenon of parental alienation to provide a deeper understanding of why people find and marry people who will eventually alienate their children from them, how the alienating parents "sell" the poisonous message to the children, and how - sometimes when it seems least likely- the alienated children and their lost parents find their way back to each other. This is a moving book and a must read for parents and professionals alike. -- S. Richard Sauber, Ph.D., ABPP, Family Forensic Psychologist and editor of The American Journal of Family Therapy
An important and powerful book - for parents and professionals!
Baker and Fine have combined tragic stories of children rejecting a parent with a solid analysis of the often-hidden behaviors that lead to such alienation. But most of all, they have included stories of hope and reconciliation (equally including fathers and mothers who have been targets of blame), with effective strategies for parents who want to reach out to their alienated children.
It would be hard to believe some of these stories (both of loss and of hope) if I hadn't known such similar stories first hand experienced by some of my clients in family court. This book helps show the importance of understanding alienating behaviors and, without focusing on blame, but rather what to do now with many excellent suggestions.
With personality disorders apparently increasing in society, we will (and already are) seeing more cases of alienated children. This is a problem that is not going away by ignoring it and leaving parents to cope on their own. -- Bill Eddy, family lawyer, family therapist, and co-author of Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
Amy Baker is one of the guiding lights in the field of understanding parental alienation. She has probably done more to bring the topic to public awareness than any other professional. In this new and important book, Baker and Paul Fine write with compassion and wisdom about the struggles of parents who are dealing with the trauma of parental alienation. More importantly, they provide concrete actions that parents can take to improve their situation and to heal themselves. I highly recommend this book. -- Joshua Coleman, Ph.D., author of When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Get Along
Surviving Parental Alienation is a work that will help reduce the emotional isolation that an alienated parent feels. The authors give the alienated parent hope and reason for not giving up and walking away from the children they love dearly. -- Douglas Darnall Ph.D., author of Beyond Divorce Casualtitesand Divorce Causalties