Alienated Parents, Alienated Children

Published on August 19, 2014

Professionally and personally, my heart goes out to parents and children who have become heartbroken and "alienated" in their relationship. I am grateful to families - both parents and children - who have shared with me their painful experiences in our sessions together. They are just too many to count. They have taught me much about the conflicts and distancing between parent and child and about how to protect the children from their parents' battles.

A married mother, who committed infidelity and lived in with another man in another country, secretly went home to fetch the kids without the knowledge of the custodial father. She brought the kids away to overindulge them and attend their daughter's college graduation, excluding the father.

Such is one of the many examples of what psychologists label as "manipulation" in well-documented clinical cases of parental brainwashing and alienation. One noted author/psychotherapist, Dr. Richard Warshak, refers to this type of child abuse as parental kidnapping or "stealing the soul" of the children.

Millions of adults around the world did suffer some degree of estrangement from their father and/or mother when they were children. In most cases, the alienation was produced in the aftermath of their parents' separation or divorce. At such a vulnerable time in their lives, children especially need and deserve as much care and love as they can get.

Blinded by anger, numerous parents "corrupt reality" and undermine their children's affection for the other parent through manipulation, false accusations, and brainwashing. This accounts for much deep "psychological wounding" for both parents and children unless healing steps are taken.

We hear a lot about brainwashing and manipulation of religious cult or gang leaders in the media. Brainwashing, bad-mouthing mothers and/or fathers claim far more victims than these cult/gang leaders. And many more are added to the list each day.

Yet, up to now, there appears very little professional attention and competent guidance that are available for this type of psychological abuse, which violates children in a most cruel manner. Mental health professionals, lawyers, judges, and others who are involved with families will find it so important to pay special attention to this destructive phenomenon in our society.

Category(s):Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues, Divorce / Divorce Adjustment, Parenting

Written by:

Dr. Angelo Subida, Psychotherapist

Dr. Angelo Subida is a clinical psychotherapist, author, and speaker. He is author of books "Inner Healing," "Secrets Of Your Self," "Chess and Life," among others, blogs, and articles. He has appeared frequently as an expert on psychotherapy/life recovery issues on national television, radio broadcasts, print media, and webcasts, including GMA 7, TV 5, ABS CBN 2, Q-11, 700 Club, Radyo Veritas, Inquirer Radio, Smart Parenting Magazine, Business Mirror, among others, and has served as resident therapist/counselor for parents and kid-artists in the highly popular ABS-CBN 2 Voice Kids TV singing reality show. Dr. Subida is an eclectic, multidisciplinary therapist and originator of his own revolutionary high-tech, high-touch counseling plus model. His areas of specialization include parent-child therapy, clinical infidelity treatment, relationship/marital counseling, separation/divorce therapy, anger management, depression, addictions, psychotherapy-spirituality integration, and innovative chess therapy. For more of Dr. Subida, you can find him at

Dr. Angelo Subida, Psychotherapist belongs to Dr. Angelo O. Subida Psychotherapy Clinic in Philippines