The Lighthouse Project Learning Zone: Differentiation Skills for Rejected and Receiving Parents

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The Lighthouse Project is my name for the work we are doing in bringing light to the dark places where children are using the defence of psychological splitting.  The Lighthouse Project Learning Zone is where I will share with you proven strategies for assisting families to support their alienated children.

I am currently in the thick of writing a ‘how to’ handbook for rejected parents who have received their child in a residence transfer in the UK and around the world where I supervise such cases.  This handbook comes straight out of the work we have done in restoring children’s relationships with parents via residence transfer and then supporting them as the child recovers all of the healthy elements of an unconscious experience of childhood.

Which means this works.  It is proven to work by the parents who have used it to assist their children.  When this learning is combined with proximity to a child, the recovering from induced psychological splitting is complete.

The handbook will be available in time for our Therapeutic Parenting Workshop in London on March 14th and will be available for order online.  Here is a snippet of what to expect.

When your child is or has been using the defence of psychological splitting, no matter how old, their behaviour can look very much like typical teenage behaviour.  When your alienated child is teenager therefore, it can be incredibly difficult to determine the difference between what is normal and what is the result of splitting.

Below is a table which helps you to understand and differentiate the behaviours you see in your alienated child in recovery.  It is critical that you understand the difference because if you treat your child as if they are expressing splitting behaviours, when in fact they are expressing normal teenage behaviours, you risk entrenching them in the splitting by appearing to them as if you do not trust them.

Recovery for alienated children depends upon the receiving parent being able to provide the re-parenting for the child which helps them to integrate the splitting and begin the developmental processes they missed due to the split state of mind.  This requires patience and a high level of knowledge and understanding.  Children who have been using the defence of psychological splitting are suffering from disorganised attachment in which they may appear to come very close to you only to push you away again.  You cannot expect a child who has been alienated to return to a relationship with you in a straightforward way because the defence they have been forced to use causes patterns of behaviours which do not allow for that.

But you can understand these behaviours and you can and must learn to differentiate carefully so that you can provide for your child what they need.

Scenarios

Teenage Behaviour

Transitional Behaviour

Splitting Behaviour

Spending time in own room

It is usual for teenagers to spend over 50% of their time in their room

Goes to room on return from the other parent for up to two hours, doesn’t seem to be doing much but eventual emerges and joins the family.

Refuses to leave the room, wants to eat in the room, refuses to allow people into the room

Arguing with parents

It is usual for teens to argue with parents and at times become challenging. When the boundary is held, teen will fall back into line with the requirement of the parent.

Comes back from the other parent’s home being argumentative and challenging. Takes some time to settle but responds when the boundary is held firmly and consistently

Lacks any respect or empathy. Creates a sense that conflict is imminent and forces parent to shift their own behaviours in response due to fear of conflict erupting. Holding boundaries has little impact. Defiance and anger and intolerance of the presence of parent.

Critically absent on calming down is lack of remorse.

Rude to others and self absorbed

All teens become self absorbed at some point during the teen transition. Being rude to others and focusing upon the self to the exclusion of others is transitory in most teens who can be reminded that the values of the home they live in do not allow for this kind of self focus.

When parent lets go to enable child to self regulate child is able to do so.

Appears to be inward focused and speaks in monotone, is grumpy or monosyllabic during the first couple of hours after return from the other parent. May appear to be challenging position in hierarchy and competing for position with parent. When the parent holds the boundary ‘I am the parent and you are the child’ the behaviour recedes.

Silent, rude to extreme, selfish and lacking in empathy for others such as those connected to the parent being rejected. Refuses to consider other people’s feelings, appears to be unable to recognise that other people have feelings, increases this behaviour when challenged and escalates defiance and refusal. Stops looking at the parent, will not meet the gaze. (Denotes attachment shut down).

No remorse or resolution on calming down.

Letting go to enable child to self regulate has no impact, critically, lack of remorse when calm.

Idealisation of the other parent and family

Many teens will compare their parents and will find parental weak spots in doing so. This can feel cruel and sometimes deliberate. When the teen is challenged they will revert to a less difficult attitude.

Comes back from the other parent in a mood and compares everything to the other parent’s home, complains that things are not good enough. When directly challenged will argue but then let go of the complaints as the transition period ends.

Is completely lacking in empathy and is cruel to the point of deliberate comparison and denigration. Refuses to show any respect and sees the rejected parent as an obstacle to getting what they want. May make threats to run away if not allowed to return to their preferred place.

Critically, no remorse when calm.

The EAPAP Conference in Zagreb is entitled “Parental Separation, Alienation and Splitting: Healing Beyond Reunification” this is because we are focused upon treatment of induced psychological splitting and healing beyond the reunification of alienated children and families.

The Lighthouse Project Learning Zone, which is my name for the process of furthering education, information, training and support to families and professionals who work with them, gives access to information what happens after a child comes home as well as how to bring a child home.

I will share snippets of the educational materials I am writing on here and let you know when the handbook is ready for order.


 


THERAPEUTIC PARENTING WORKSHOP – LONDON MARCH 14th 2020

What you will learn

  • How children become alienated
  • The impact on children of alienation
  • How psychological splitting affects perception and memory
  • What the psychologically split state of mind does to you
  • How to change yourself to change your child
  • How to communicate with a psychologically split child
  • How to build the antidote to psychological splitting into everyday parenting
  • Setting boundaries
  • Developing new moral guidelines for family life
  • Trouble shooting with recovering children

Featuring co-trainers who are parents who have received their severely alienated child back into their life and used therapeutic parenting to heal the split state of mind, this is an interactive workshop for all rejected parents and those at risk of rejection.

Whilst this workshop is primarily aimed at parents whose children have been reunified with them, it will also be highly relevant for any parent who still retains some relationship with a resisting child and for parents whose children are at risk of developing an alienation reaction.

Only 5 Places Left

Cost £95 per person plus VAT

Book here


TRAINING FOR PRACTITIONERS IN CORK – IRELAND

Limited places are now left for this training for practitioners in Ireland.  We are looking forward to working with highly skilled clinicians who are joining with us in developing an integrated approach to understanding and working with families affected by a child’s induced psychological splitting.

Using evidence based principles and protocols for assessment and differentiation, this training enables established clinicians to adapt existing therapies and build structured frameworks to deliver interventions which release children from alienation.

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4 comments

  1. Have you changed the date of the London course? This article has two conflicting dates. Have emailed several times but no response. Booked and paid for course, need to sort out travel and accommodation 😔

    Like

  2. Just wanted to share with you. Got an addendum report where mum blames grandparents and says she is promotong contact and that everything is ok now she moved out of grandparents house. Expert changed his mind about transfer of residence. Today my daughter told me “you ruined my life”. Its not even a week since he published his report.
    i expected the alienation to continue after the final hearing but obviously these alienators are not bright people. I am very disappointed at expert opinion as its not even a week and we are back to tricks again. Why didnt he scratch the surface more and challenge what was being said?

    Finally had enough and phoned the police re emotional abuse done to my daughter under children and young person act 1933 and for abuse done to me under section 76 of serious crime act 2015. Good news is the police took me seriously and booked time for me to make a statement. Hopefully criminal law can help me where family law has and will continue to fail.

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  3. You might want to add to that table…

    No acceptance of wrong doing.
    Expects parent to apologise for their behaviour or else shutdown
    Will refuse opportunity to make up
    Will bring a full history of behaviours fictitious behaviours you have done
    Will over react to everything

    Interestingly enough an ipad or tablet will neutralise a tantrum within 5 seconds. My current wife and i are always amazed how disconnected these tantrums are from reality and how quickly they get turned off.

    Like

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