Parental Alienation: Coercive Control or Children’s Choices?

Karen Woodall

Posted to Huffington Post on 1.2.2016

Parental alienation is a corrosive pattern of behaviours and beliefs which are played out around a child after family separation and which eventually leads to a child either resisting a relationship with one parent or rejecting it completely. The subject area is controversial, however working with children who are alienated allows one to see at first hand that this issue is one which is serious for children and one which fits a pattern of coercive control by one parent against the other using the children.

Children do not make a choice to resist or reject a parent after separation, even though some believe that they do and that they should be supported in doing so. When children resist a relationship with a parent or reject it outright, it is most often because they are in an intolerable emotional position where their loyalty to both…

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