Although I have not found any different studies, I am not certain the below information is fact for everyone. I believe anyone can be enlightened with opportunities to experience a change of heart when it comes to alienation. I do not believe any one can force this change, but I believe the alienation can change themselves.
The average person is utterly perplexed how to react to such behavior of an Alienating Parent. They quickly run out of techniques that would normally work with a rational person especially because so little is known about Parent Alienation, Target Parents often do not even know that there is a name for their child’s increasingly hostile behavior called Parental Alienation Syndrome. Without a proper understanding of Parent Alienation, it is easy to take sides and even provide evidence that the truly abusive person is a wonderful parent.
Alienating parents have a really good presence in their child’s life. They may say things such as, “Too bad the other parent isn’t involved” when in fact they are playing keep away. Their life is devoted to being a shield and what is also called a “Helicopter Parent”.
Therapy and the Alternator
What about therapy? Surely a therapist can fix them! Individuals who will brainwash a child are the worst candidates for therapy, because therapy implies that a person realizes that there is something wrong with them and that they are motivated to do something about it. These people are not able to self-correct behavioral or emotional errors. The wiring of their brain will not permit it. Therapy doesn’t work because one can’t have a conversation about the problem when the problem is doing the answering! As soon as a Therapist suggests that they behave better or that what they are doing is harming their child, splitting occurs. The Therapist then becomes the bad guy and the Parent Alienator leaves, taking the child with them. These people do not form trusting relationships with others unless they believe that they are getting their way. Therapy can, in fact, make these troubled individuals worse. Since they do not feel moral emotions of pity, empathy, sympathy, or compassion, the therapist may unwittingly teach compassionate gestures and language that their client can use to more effectively to manipulate people. They are most likely to end up being a warm body sitting in a chair for the required number of times; they may even be patronizing about how the Alienating Parent is saving their life.
However, the result is that they are unfazed by the efforts to make them healthier. Despite what they say, they are unable to act in the best interests of their child. It takes a truly disturbed and obsessed person to harm a child by brainwashing them, to remove from a child’s life a loving Parent and their extended family and friends who care deeply about the child. The programming of a child is done for personal gain. These are not people with good Parenting skills. Children are in their lives to serve them and to help them get their way.
They are not nurturing and attentive to their child’s needs, nor do they know how to nurture their child emotionally. A child is not allowed to grieve for the loss of the target Parent, extended family, and friends; they are kept busy taking care of the disturbed Parent. Despite admonitions from judges and mental health professionals to stop alienating, they cannot. One of the most difficult ideas for the target Parent to understand is that the mentally disturbed Parent is unable to act differently; nor can a child experiencing Parent Alienation act differently. The obsessed Parent and child are likely to be experiencing a shared psychosis.
There is no protocol to fix the alienating Parent —not legally, not therapeutically, and certainly not by reasoning with them. It is also unlikely that they will ever stop trying to perpetuate the alienation, because it has become a gut- wrenching survival issue to them! This is where resilience training is needed for the other family members.