Understanding Parental Alienation


In this episode of The Intelligent Divorce with Mark Banschick M.D., we explore Parental Alienation with clinical and forensic psychologist, Dr. Abe Worenklien.

Parental alienation is a social dynamic, generally occurring due to divorce or separation, when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. These feelings may be influenced by negative comments by the other parent and by the characteristics, such as lack of empathy and warmth, of the rejected parent.

Many people learned of parental alienation when a voice-mail of actor, Alec Baldwin, was leaked to the press by his former wife. To the uninformed ear, Alec sounded overly harsh in a message he left to his ten-year old daughter.  Alec, apologetic for his harsh words, explains his behavior as a result of the growing frustration of being a “targeted” parent in his book A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce. (This book is available in our bookstore under the “Recommended Reading” tab).

This is a “must hear” program for any parent going through divorce and Dr. Worenkien provides insight of why a seemingly “normal” parent might attempt to drive their child away from their biological mother or father during or after divorce.

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