Protecting The Vulnerable: Differentiation Skills for Rejected Parents

One of my biggest fears for parents who suffer rejection by their children is the way in which this causes emotional and psychological vulnerability. Loss of critical thinking skills does not just happen to alienated children, it happens to rejected parents too.

This is because the problem of induced psychological splitting in an alienated child, which occurs in the child first and then radiates outward to the parents, the wider family and beyond to friends and even to family pets, is a negative projection that the rejected parent has to deal with.

Negative projections are a mechanism for dumping everything that someone cannot carry in themselves, onto others.  Receiving this is a bit like being used as a trash can.  Carrying all of the blame and shame of being rejected is disorientating and it is extremely anxiety provoking.  Mix that up with the potential for being in contact with psychologically unwell people on the internet, having to deal with the influencing parent and carry on with day to day living and there comes a time when break-down looms for many parents.

Differentiation skills are essential for rejected parents and the rules of coping are very clear.

  • Keep your own health and mental wellbeing firmly at the forefront of your mind. Choose where you put your energies and where you put your focus.
  • Find others who have recovered their children and ask them for help. Do not trust any who cannot show you their own capacity for successful change.
  • Take the greatest care when seeking advice from any non legal people about your court case. Too many parents have tripped into a nightmare by not knowing the very serious rules which apply in the family courts.  Do not share anything from your case with anyone who does not have permission to see your paperwork.
  • Do not talk about your personal case on the internet, do not name your children or the parent who is influencing.
  • Take the greatest of care with your online interactions with others and in groups.
  • People who lead groups should have the capacity to demonstrate their qualifications for giving guidance and should know the parameters of their role. Do not be afraid to ask for information about what qualifies someone to give you guidance.
  • Campaigning is great, it is not however the antidote to your case and nor is it the antidote to the problem of induced psychological splitting in a child. Well organised campaigns work wonders, poorly organised campaigns cause devastation in the struggle to raise public consciousness of the problems affecting children in the post divorce and separation landscape.
  • As I have said before, question everything, keep your critical thinking skills sharp, learn for yourself what is necessary to get through and do not put blind faith in anyone.

And finally, here are some things to keep firmly at the forefront of your mind, because it is not the case that we are all in this together, some are in it for very different reasons and as rejected parents you are vulnerable to not being able to see this.

Therefore as you navigate the online world of the rejected parent remember –

  • Not all parents who claim to be rejected are.
  • Not all allegations are false.
  • Not all claims of expertise are based in truth.
  • The problem of alienation is highly unlikely to be eradicated anytime soon, the problem is human, it has a history and like Covid 19 it is probably here to stay.

The National Association for Alienated Parents in the UK can be reached here

NAAP represents parents who have been unjustifiably rejected by a child and uses a differentiation approach to support of parents, ensuring that it is a safe and trusted space for parents who are suffering the results of rejection.

Training to members of NAAP took place in February of this year and counselling support for parents affected by alienation will be available through NAAP shortly, supported by my supervision.

NAAP is run by Peter Davies who is legally qualified and by Andrew Teague who  campaigns for change across the UK, organises training and who is developing educational materials in schools in England and Wales.

This is the only group that I am involved in supporting in the UK, this is because of the qualifications and experience of the team and their proven commitment to protecting rejected parents and their children from harm.


 

22 comments

  1. PA UK would agree entirely with the sentiments expressed within this blog.

    It is essential campaigns ARE effective. Too much is riding on this issue to be anything but.

    Which is why, after a year of research, we are yet to launch our own.

    The plight of target parents is too important to risk without vigorous pre campaign testing of messages to ascertain likely effectiveness.

    During our research we see many who purport to have similar aims, spending an inordinate amount of time – time best spent helping those in need – taking aim at others occupying a similar space.

    It’s perplexing.

    Only likely answered in the context of ego overriding issue.

    Not unsimilar to narcissist or BPD parents who put their needs above those of the child.

    Prior to launching our campaign, we are clear of one fact.

    That it is esssntial all parents going through the court system appoint PA psychologists with a proven track record. One they can openly share with their peers in order to genuinely evidence ‘best practice’

    Saying and doing are two entirely different things.

    We would also encourage a proper check of qualifications and BACP approvals.

    Otherwise it’s likely the court may dismiss your application on the basis of lack of qualification.

    Make no mistake. This is a battle. A battle to retain a relationship with your own children.

    Like any battle, it’s essential those who fight for you, are able to ensure an effective outcome.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, I am very pleased to see that your campaign supports these sentiments.
      Just to clarify a couple of your points –

      BACP doesn’t regulate court appointed experts.

      Qualifications for expertise in this space depend upon the Court’s acceptance of the instruction and that can differ from Court to Court.

      If you would like further information about the work of the Family Separation Clinic you can email office@familyseparationclinic.co.uk for our list of successfully completed outcomes. You can also email us for the names of families we have successful recovered children for, including mothers who were alienated and parents of teenagers.

      I completely agree with your sentiments about people taking aim at others in this space, having been the subject of sustained attack by so many people in this field, it is great to know that you understand the underlying reasons why people do that.

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      1. That’s great. So we are in agreement. Any denigration is intolerable, unacceptable and must stop. I can assure you it’s one directional.
        We are delighted you’re willing to share outcomes. We’re looking to develop a national checklist for parents to access so they can make informed choices.This survey will be shared with you soon.

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  2. Thanks for this Karen – a timely reminder.

    I know I was unguarded on Social Media for some while after the initial separation from my children, but I did realise it was unhelpful and potentially damaging to the girls then and to possible future reconciliation. I posted stuff there (mainly on FB) because I had no one to turn to. That situation has improved only a little, but I haven’t posted about the alienation for a while now and won’t again. I understand that what I’ve done in the past will always be there, but I can only try to be more conscious and more careful going forward.

    I still need help as things are continually getting worse. I have tried to contact my girls on the phone and online this year but all those avenues have now been blocked. The cruelty will never stop and I have been informed by my Ex’s second husband (now also her Ex) that she has every intention of ensuring I never see my girls again.

    I am just about coping I guess, but I fear so much for what may happen to my girls when in the future they have to confront all that their mother has done to them

    I cant go on like this. I will contact the NAAP today.

    Thanks again.

    Rob Lang

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    1. Dear Robert, I am sorry to hear about how difficult things are for you and your girls. NAAP can help you, they are well experienced in how to manage both emotionally and legally. You can put your trust in people who have a track record of success in helping. When you are vulnerable you need people who can walk with you and support you until you can walk on your own again. There is a journey that all rejected parents have to go on, it is far better to share that journey with people with proven records in successfully helping. The internet is like the Wild West and rejected parents are incredibly vulnerable. Trusted sources of support are essential. Sending you my very best support. Karen

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      1. Thanks again. I went through to the NAAP Link and liked the FB Page, but when I attempted to Sign Up I was informed I had to go to another page, review a Domain…. and I didn’t understand the instruction. This seems to be pretty much the norm online recently – nothing is straightforward. is there another route to connecting with NAAP ?

        (p.s – Im still being asked to re-register to receive your posts every time I reply to one. This is odd as I do get stuff from you regularly so clearly am already registered to receive everything..??)

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      2. I will have a look at that issue on wordpress Robert. I will also ask Peter to contact you – if you email me at karen@karenwoodall.blog with your email, I can pass that on. I will ask NAAP for an easier route to register too K

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      1. Hi Heather – I’ve been puzzling over your comment. I thought perhaps I hadn’t expressed myself clearly in my comment, but re-reading it I do make it clear that I’m specifically talking about my girls, not generalising. Of course there will be fathers who have alienated children from their mothers, but that’s not my personal issue or specific concern. I’m sorry if that’s happened to you. I can’t think that you were suggesting I have ill treated or abused my daughters at all, which I certainly have not.

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  3. I’ve messaged NAAP and sent them a copy of the message I got when I tried to register which was : Warning! Domain mapping upgrade for this domain not found. Please log in and go to the Domains Upgrades page of your blog to use this domain.
    Have given up trying to connect to your podcasts Karen (see emails) When I send large files (through my website) I use MailBigFile, it’s easy and everyone can access it no matter what platform they use. I have the full version (paid for) but a free version is available online and is as good for sending one off files.

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    1. Then I will try it that way Willow!! xxx I’ve let Peter know about the Domain issue – I will publish an email address you can use to contact NAAP shortly. x

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  4. Hi Karen

    I wanted to reply earlier but I was helping in two separate cases. That means three children will now be seeing their parents again very soon. That is the reason why I do this. I know how that feels. I was lucky to be able to do this for myself. Not everyone is so lucky.

    NAAP provides advice and guidance for vulnerable parents who are facing rejection by their child after divorce and separation. We always ensure that our checklist for differentiating those who are being rejected unjustly is followed when interacting with parents who come to us for help.

    The problem of parental alienation is too serious for it to be used as a way of gaining access to vulnerable parents. These parents have suffered enough and they must be protected in every possible way.

    As parents ourselves who have recovered our children through the Family Courts, we know that this experience can additionally cause harm and that parents need urgent help to properly find their way through the maze. We give back because we care about parents and their children and we give back from a place of knowing how to ensure the right outcomes for children.

    Our concern about campaigns and campaigners who gather around themselves people who are presented to parents as experts, is that there is an intention to create a belief in vulnerable parents that expertise exists where it does not. Some of the people presented by the campaign in question have unquestioned expertise, others do not but are presented as if they do. Similarly, asprations and goals, dangled as click bait, are sometimes unachievable and give vulnerable parents false hope. This is misleading vulnerable parents and presenting as fact, things which are only true in the imagination.

    It doesn’t take much time before the veneer is removed and the risks to parents are exposed. Our consistent concern has been that vulnerable parents are exposed to manipulative and in the case of Stephen Best, proven risk, through joining groups which are indiscriminate in their acceptance of parents and yet seek to represent the issue of PA as if they are expert in the field.

    NAAP continues to represent parents at every level, including government and to provide parents with the safe place they need as they negotiate the uncertain world they are forced to live in.

    Announcements about new services will made soon and the website is undergoing reconstruction now in order that parents can more readily make contact. Until then parents can PM me, Peter Davies, at NAAP or personalty on Facebook.

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    1. Hi Peter, I replied to this post yesterday and subsequently went to register with NAAP from the FB page. As at least one other contributor to this post has pointed out, that results in only very confusing and presumably incorrect information about Domain renewal..???
      Karen kindly suggested I email her directly which I did…with a view to her passing my details on to NAAP. I can fully appreciate how busy you must be, but if anyone can give me a shout or send me an e-mail, just to make that initial contact and deal with any registration process, I’d be grateful. Thanks.

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      1. Robert, if you PM Peter Davies on Facebook he will contact you to help you to register and get the support that you need. Kind Regards Karen

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      2. I don’t really understand why I haven’t heard anything – or can’t get a response as previously suggested, after e-mailing you yesterday Karen? But, I’ve taken your further advice above and have now just searched on FB for Peter Davies and for Peter Davies + NAAP and also looked in the NAAP FB page timeline for a link to Peter Davies – no joy anywhere. Maybe it’s me – I am not good on IT, but this feels hugely frustrating.

        My email is rpl44@yahoo.com. If someone could message me there that would be great. Thank you again..

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      3. Hi Robert, I will make sure Peter sees this, it is because NAAP is run by volunteers and if they are in court with families it is difficult to bet back to people on the same day, they will get back to you. I will keep on it. K

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      4. Thanks Karen, hugely appreciated. I do understand how busy NAAP must be. I have now had an email from Peter and have phoned him as he proposed and left a message and my number. Thanks again.

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  5. Hello Karen, I’m wondering if the third podcast has come out and I’ve accidentally deleted it. Your emails go to a social folder and I usually move your emails before deleting the rest. I might have missed one.

    Sincerely, Kathy Mohrhardt

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    1. Hi Kathy, no the third one isn’t out yet, we are working on the EAPAP Conference which will be announced shortly and then I will release the third podcast K

      Like

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