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Beware of parents who manipulate, and then alienate

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:32pm

Ever hear of children who are manipulated by one parent to turn against the other?

Some children figure it out and reconcile and with their "lost" parent. Many, however, don't.

" Parental alienation syndrome occurs when a parent emotionally manipulates a child into turning against his or her other parent, in the absence of abuse or neglect," says Dr. Amy J.L. Baker.

That's why Baker has written " Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties that Bind," because it presents what has become a growing problem not only in families that are suffering from divorce, but also those that manage to stay together.

The book "describes the 11 different catalysts to having the realization that one was a victim of parental alienation, [and] describes the long-term effects of parental alienation syndrome," she said.

The book is based on research interviews with 40 adults who were alienated from a parent as a child, according to Baker's website,

Baker is a nationally recognized expert in parent-child relationships - especially children of divorce, parental alienation syndrome, and emotional abuse of children.

The book describes the three different familial contexts where parental alienation can occur, and explores the ways in which parental personality disorders provides the psychic foundation for alienation, Baker said.

It also compares PAS to emotional abuse of children, and compares alienating parents to cult leaders who use the same thought reform and emotional manipulation techniques.

The book is written for both parents and the mental health professionals working with adult children of parental alienation syndrome, as well as currently alienated children, Baker said.

"The book offers insight into this experience from the perspective of the children who lived through it and offers hope to parents worried about losing their children to this tragic and painful experience," Baker said.

"Adult children of parental alienation syndrome: Breaking the ties that bind," was published by W.W. Norton in April 2007 and is available in some bookstores and on Amazon.

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