Parental Alienation comes with a gamut of issues in both the mental health field and legal field.
I have decided to focus on the mental health professionals that have missed the mark in my case. As a target parent, I would hope and believe that people who are working in this profession would have some knowledge about parental alienation. Unfortunately I have been mistaken. I truly believed that these people would help my daughter but the result was one where spending time with these professionals has affected the outcome of the alienation.
The school counselor is a prime example of someone who didn’t get it. At the time – neither did I. After carefully evaluating things – I soon realized that this counselor had a hand in closing the deal on the alienation of my daughter from me.
My daughter was seeking help with the counselor for issues she was having with some of her classmates. The classmates were causing her stress and she wanted to talk to someone about it. The stress was related to bullying. That class had many issues – particularly with the girls and I completely supported my daughter in seeking help with the school counselor to deal with these issues. I signed a release and her Father signed a release for her to see the counselor at school. At some point, the discussions with the counselor had turned to discussing my daughter’s feelings about the issues she was having with the relationship between her Father and I.
At this point her Father and I had already split up. Things were getting more and more difficult between him and I – changes to the schedules were constantly being asked for – special occasions took on a whole new meaning – his new wife and him had “new family traditions” which meant that sharing of holidays were met often with requests for changes or more time. This was a point of contention. I always ended up giving in – I didn’t want to appear the bad guy and I wanted my daughter to enjoy special occasions. I was however, imperfect . . . often – I did get sucked into the back and forth exchanges through email with her Father. When her Father remarried the email exchanges changed to “we” decided “we” had a family talk with E*** and it was now the Father and Stepmother changing things as a united front against the Mother.
One day I received an envelope from my daughter that was sent home with her from the counselor it contained a pamphlet about getting along with my ex for the child’s sake – I was a bit taken aback. I did however read it and thought – ok I get it. Things are obviously upsetting my daughter and it is time to readjust. When I received a phone call from the school counselor to come in to discuss my daughter’s issues with our relationship, I was confused. I went in to have this session and was hearing things that were foreign to me. . . apparently my daughter had told the counselor that she had a very bad relationship with me. I said we did argue about things – typical things like her not cleaning her room, being on her phone too much, not helping out in the house etc. I was being a parent. Somehow, somewhere the line was drawn for me that I was being a bad parent and my daughter was complaining about her relationship with me. It was a black and white description. I was all bad and her Father was all good. I saw this counselor with my daughter a few times but had an uneasy feeling about her – I felt like she was judging me but I never knew what she was judging me about. There was an incident with my daughter and her Father where her Father got angry at her for doing something inappropriate on her phone and got caught lying. Her Dad in one of his typical rages was uncontrollable. I was not in the house so I am only repeating what my daughter had said when she returned home for our visit. She told me he was pounding her bed with his fist and punching the headboard because he was so mad. I know that my daughter was terrified – I saw the look in her face as she described what had happened. When I heard this, I contacted the school counselor to make an appointment with her for my daughter and I to discuss this incident. When I asked my daughter to tell the counselor about this what had happened with her Father, the counselor brushed it off. It was the strangest thing I had experienced. I am just a lay person but I couldn’t believe that the counselor didn’t put much weight to what my daughter was telling her. This was extremely abusive behaviour and she was just brushing it off. She again wanted to focus on me and my relationship with my daughter. A few things that were brought up with my daughter was her need to create drama and tell lies about things. She once told my ex a lie about her own brother that caused a lot of heartache and anxiety for everyone. She told her Dad that she found drugs in my son’s bedroom – which was a lie. She would go back and forth telling stories and at points we didn’t know what to believe. The counselor spoke with her about the importance of telling the truth but that was all that was said.
Being the by-product of a broken family is difficult on children – when someone untrained is dealing with these kinds of things – they can do a lot of damage – cause confusion and hinder or affect relationships. My daughter was seeking help and reaching out but to the untrained individual it just seemed that my daughter had a great relationship with her Dad and a terrible relationship with her Mother. Later when my daughter didn’t return from her visit with her Dad, I contacted that counselor to see if she had spoken with my daughter at the school. I told her what happened that my daughter decided to stay with her Dad and not return home. Her comment to me was – “no family is perfect – there are many different kinds of families.” She also stated that my daughter had told her that she wanted to move in with her Dad a long time ago. This was something I was never made aware of when the meetings with this counselor were occurring. It is interesting to note that there was one other girl in my daughter’s class who decided to not see her Mother for an extended period of time and moved in with her Grandparents – this girl was seeing the same counselor.
Dr. Childress speaks about the issues that can happen when an untrained professional misses the mark about parental alienation in the video below. I hope he doesn’t mind that I share this on my page but I think it is so important to understand how things can truly go awry. I would like to mention that I am not blaming this woman at all for her inability to see what was really going on – she is not at fault for the alienation – she was merely part of the problem because she truly did not understand the situation or what was really going on. I do however wonder how she would respond now if I told her I have not seen my daughter for a proper visit for 15 months.
The next person that my daughter paid a visit to was someone I was unaware of. My daughter’s Father took her to see this counselor without my knowledge to deal with what was described as anxiety. After I had found out that my daughter was seeing this counselor I asked her Father for this woman’s name and contact number. I did receive the information from him but found out that she had only seen my daughter once.