Providing Emotional Support for An Alienating Parent

Our last post ended with the following suggestion for dealing with Parental Alienation:  Providing emotional support. The AP [Alienating Parent] may need a great deal of emotional support for correction to take place, as the breakdown of the alienation may bring to the surface serious problems for the AP.

Our alienating parent survived an incredibly traumatic situation from her childhood.  Many people who have had contact with her over the ensuing years have commented about her need to get some sort of psychological or emotional support.  We, obviously, are the last people who can provide that support.  All we can do is keep her in our prayers and hope that, someday, she finds some relief from her ongoing issues.

But, for those in a position to help someone who has chosen to alienate their children from the other parent, here are some suggestions:

How to be there for someone who isn’t ready to get help

If you’ve been offering advice and support to someone, and they haven’t been responding very well, there are some things you should avoid doing, and some new strategies you can try.

DON’T

  • Try and force the issue
  • Put pressure on them
  • Avoid them

When people try and pressure or force a friend to get help, it always comes from a good place, but it can actually have the opposite effect to what they intend – and could turn their friend off help seeking altogether. Avoiding a friend is also not a great idea –it’s likely to make them feel isolated, and it means if they do become ready to seek help, they might not feel comfortable about going to you for support.

DO

Continue to be supportive. You can:

  • Be available to listen to your friend when they need.
  • Offer help or suggestions if and when your friend reaches out to you and asks for your advice.
  • Get informed. Do a bit of research into what help is available in your area that could be useful for your friend. That way, if they decide they’re ready to seek help, you’ll be able to give them some direction about who they can go and see.
  • Talk to someone yourself. You need to look after yourself as well, and feeling like you can’t help someone is really frustrating and can make you feel pretty helpless. Talk through how you’re feeling with someone you trust.
  • Set boundaries. You need to look out for yourself, and you’re not going to be able to be there for someone at every moment of every day. Set some limits on things you are willing and not willing to do – and stick to them! (e.g. work out if you’re comfortable accompanying them to appointments).

If things are really serious

While in most circumstances, it’s a good idea to give a friend time to ready themselves to seek help, if you think someone is in danger or at risk as a result of what is going on, it’s important that you seek help immediately.

If you think your friend is in danger or at serious risk, but they don’t want help, you might be worried about going against their wishes. However, it’s better to have an angry friend than a friend who is in serious trouble or is seriously hurt.

[Source:  au.reachout.com ]

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