Page 12 - Parental Alienation Conference 2018
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 Research Presentations
Parental Alienation Workshop: A pilot program for targeted parents
Presenter: Matthew Ferber
Intervention with cases of parental alienation may be therapeutically challenging, but treatment programs have been reported (Templer, Matthewson, Haines & Cox, 2017). These techniques are an enhanced form of family therapy but rely on court orders to ensure participation of the alienating parent. Additionally, there are no known programs in the literature dedicated to supporting the targeted parent. Despite this, Gardner (1998) recommends targeted parents persist in their efforts to reunite with their children but Darnall and Steinberg, (2008) suggest waiting for spontaneous resolution despite this being contraindicated in the literature (e.g. Templer, et al. 2017). Therefore, there is a need for intervention programs that support the targeted parent, provide them with accurate information about their experience and teach them coping skills that they can use during this distressing time. The aim of this study was to pilot a group intervention program for targeted parents of parental alienation in Australia. Workshop participants were invited to complete measures of psychological well-being and coping before and after participating in the group program. On average participants found the program very helpful and were very satisfied with the experience. Participants reported some improvement in their psychological well-being following the program.
A qualitative investigation of the experience of targeted adult children
Presenter: Caitlin Reed
This study was conducted to investigate the lived experience of targeted adult children who has experience parental alienation. The aim of the study was to develop an understanding of the meaning they ascribe to their experience of parental alienation. This was conducted via a 60 to 90-minute semi-structured, qualitative interview about their experience, how they coped with it, the impact it has had on their lives and the meaning they make from their experience. Findings indicated that targeted adult children had been severely impacted by their experience of parental alienation. Specifically, they reported experiencing anxiety and depression, low self-worth, guilt, attachment problems and difficulty with forming and maintaining healthy relationships. They also described the intergenerational transmission of alienation whereby they themselves are now alienated from their children. These results demonstrate that children’s exposure to parental alienation can have life-long ramifications for their psychological well-being and highlights a need for pro-active early identification and intervention with children who are at risk of experiencing parental alienation.
Eeny Meeny Miney Mo Foundation

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