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Does this qualify for PA?

Stepmomkate1's picture

SS12 goes to a therapist once a month for a mood disorder. BM and DH go in together and talk to the therapist without SS12 about how things are going with SS12 then he goes in alone without the parents. DH just found out( from older SS16)  BM has been going back and telling SS12 that all DH does is complain about SS12 to the therapist and she spends the whole time "defending" SS12. DH will bring up issues SS12 has had at school or home BUT BM makes it sound like DH never has anything good to say about him and is talking behind his back. BM will then "rehearse" with SS12 what they are going to say at these appontments and BM will tell/encourage SS this is his chance to complain about DH and Me.  BM has even come up with "hand signals" for SS12 to let him know what DH brought up so SS12 will know before he goes in to talk to the therapist. For example if BM pulls her right ear that means a "school issue" was brought up. Older SS16 over heard BM coaching SS12 and told us so DH knew what to watch out for. BM does this at school meetings too.

The reason is clear. The same reason she told SS he was not biologically DH but came from a sperm donor. BM is trying to alienate SS12 from DH by making him out to be the bad guy and she's the good guy. Does this qualify for parental alienation and do you think IF we could get SS12 to tell the therapist or judge BM is doing this anything would come of it?


tog redux's picture

Yes, this is alienation - BM here did similar things (not sure about hand signals, but coaching and vilifying DH - yep).

DH needs to let the therapist know. But chances are good that if the therapist catches on, BM will fire her/him.

Who knows if anything will come of it in court - in my experience, no.

Stepmomkate1's picture

so he was the one to hire the therapist. That being said BM can’t fire The therapist even if she wanted to. BM had joint Legal custody with DH until a few years ago. Due to her Refusing to coparent with DH and doing some Sneaky shit the judge gave full Custody to DH. I think BM is now taking Matters into her own hands and stepping up her game in trying to “win” SS over and Alienate him from DH so  he will want to come live with her more and get the Custody changed. DH could tell the Therapist what older SS16 told him but not sure what good it would do if the courts won’t do anything 

lieutenant_dad's picture

If your DH can tell the therapist, the therpist could have a special session with SS and DH, or stop doing joint sessions with BM and SS, or change how SS sits in the office so he can't see BM. Could also lead to the therapist writing a letter of support for DH in regards to any custody issues in the future.

Your DH needs to nip this, and the therapist can help by giving SS the facts about what is discussed. The therapist can also put BM on notice that if she is going to intervene in such ways, she won't be welcome to the appointments and will have to join by phone or just get notes after.

ETA: I'd also ask your attorney if this is something that should be filed in court or documented in some way, just to cover your bases. Your DH has the benefit of being CP and having full custody, so use it to the fullest extent.

tog redux's picture

Yes, this - tell the therapist. If he/she is on your side and will support it, take it to court. I didn't realize DH already had full custody and the court has BM's number - that makes a difference.

Thumper's picture

Not all things are Pathogenic Parenting.

First is to remove "Parental Alienation, PA, PAS" from vocab when talking with your lawyer and the kids therpist. Likely get a pfftttt from them anyway. . Courts wont touch it for a number of reasons.

Here is a link so YOU can draw your own conclusions based on what dh/you are privy to. Then I would dig deeper on Dr Childress website and print out the PDF letters of introduction he wrote, to hand to your lawyer and the kids therapist. IF they reach out to him, Dr. Childress will consult with them for free....FREEEEEEE also check out youtube videos Dr. Childress posted.


Rags's picture

Absolutely it does qualify as PA. Time for DH to set up a 1:1 with the therapist to review BM's coaching and signaling of SS-12.  

It is also time for DH to start flasing the signals in a very confusing manner so BM freaks out in front of the therapist.  DH also needs to season the teachers and school administrators on BM's manipulations and signals to SS-12. 

"Yes son. I did tell the therapist about your issue in school this week.  I am happy that you are working with the therapist but the therapist needs to know about things that you are struggling with. I love you and I will work with you and the therapist. I do not criticize you to the therapist regardless of what your mom tells you. Her tugging her ear or giving  you other signals has nothing to do with how much I love you and in fact is a clear example that your mom does not love you and is only interested in disrupting the love that you and I have for each other.  Your mom needs to work with the therapist on her own issues and not pollute you with her manipulative crap."

Then let BM stammer and wail.


This BM needs to be drawn and quartered for this crap.

Bravo to SS-16 for baring his toxic idiot of a BM's ass.

Stepmomkate1's picture

And her “signals” to SS12 Are very subtle and easy to miss unless you are watching her closely. If the therapist and DH both start Closely watching BM when at Appointments when SS12 is around she may catch on and stop or change what she is doing. 

Stepmomkate1's picture

SS16 also told us BM will make jokes to SS12 about DH Thinning hair and weight gain. SS12 will join in with these “fat jokes” and BM will Encourage this by laughing hysterically when SS12 makes fun of DH. Now SS12 has NEVER said to DH about his Thinning hair or weight and we asks SS12 friends parents if they heard SS making fun of DH and they all said no. So it seems like it’s only when he’s with BM he does this. SS16 also has told us SS12 has lied to BM about us. Telling her DH took away his toys and sold them on EBay and Kept the money for himself.This is not even remotely true. SS12 is very Loving to DH but when he’s at BM’s house he tells her he does not like DH. Again not true as SS12 is always hugging And affectionate to DH. So my question SS12 seeing BM for who she really is and just going along with what he knows she wants to hear or could he be in the Beginning stages of being alienated from DH

Rags's picture

It is the extremely rare 12yo who has the maturity and intellect to recognize that this BM is a toxic manipulator.  As  12yo he knows that his BM smiles when he joins her in bad mouthing his father.  He is the targeted victim of BM's PA efforts.   It would be interesting to know if the 16yo was targeted by BM with the same crap and if so, how did he deal with BM's crap.

Hopefully the 16yo is not manipulating DH by making BM out to be something that she is not or making her sound worse than she is.

There I go looking at something not specifically mentioned as a problem.  Hmmmmm. Maybe the deeper dive philosophy is getting to me.

Good luck.  This is a tough one.

Stepmomkate1's picture

We had thought of that also intill SS16 told us the “ “Secret signals” and what they mean and then Actually saw BM do it at the Therapy appointment to SS12. Plus the fact BM has been Reprimanded in court for doing Sneaky underhanded stuff in the past. SS16 was Targeted to but he was older at the time and SS12 is more Immature mama’s boy than SS16 ever was.