2014 Shows

Sara says after her 23-year marriage fell apart, her three children turned on her -- and she blames her ex-husband, Mark, for brainwashing them against her. Mark says Sara is irrational and hostile and has harassed their kids with angry emails and phone calls, causing them to withdraw from her. Sara says she’s so determined to reclaim a place in her children’s lives, she started a campaign to fight Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), and even launched a website, using examples from her own life to make an impact. Mark claims the website is filled with lies and has become a personal attack against him -- and only fuels their children's anger. Hear why Mark and his new wife, Mikel, say they are afraid of Sara and each obtained a restraining order against her. After cutting off contact with Sara a year ago, Mark and Mikel temporarily lift their protective orders to face her on Dr. Phil’s stage. Can these exes put the past behind them and make peace? Plus, Sara and Mark’s 22-year-old daughter, Julie -- who hasn’t seen her mother in more than four years -- joins the discussion. Is she open to fixing their broken relationship?

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: drphiladvice on Sep 10, 2016, 1:50PM
For most extreme cases of parental alienation, a dangerous condition

affecting tens of millions of separating/divorced parents of minor

children who used litigation to (try to) resolve child custody/access

issues; it is neither parents nor children who are to blame.  It is normally

the result of one or more orders, typically beginning with an

ex parte protection order entered by a family court judge, as well as

the preceding conduct of family lawyer(s) encouraging/counseling,

his/her client to "defeat" the co-parent, which is to blame.  Alienation is also

sometimes exacerbated by a custody evaluation--i.e., wherein a psychologist

proposed by a family lawyer--used to help create intense, long-term inter-parent

conflict.  The solution to the parental alienation crisis in the US is to properly

select and then train, pre-service, all family court judges in the US.  This would

be a wonderful cultural reform that could reduce the poverty, incarceration, homicide,

suicide and community massacre rate by approximately 50% in the US.  Future

family court judges would remain zealously neutral throughout these cases,

and would focus nearly all of their efforts on encouraging, ensuring and

ordering, if necessary, inter-parent communication and mediation

of all issues affecting minor children.
Replied By: tvphan on Oct 27, 2015, 8:23AM - In reply to strine
I also hated the way Dr Phil allowed the audience to laugh at Sara.
Replied By: cereta on Mar 19, 2015, 10:59AM - In reply to namedeclin
The dad hugged her because he had just learned that she had cut herself when she was younger.  He was apologizing for not knowing.  Mom, OTOH, immediately tried to depict the girl as a liar.

Look, I'm naturally inclined to take women's perspectives in situations like this, but you clearly have an agenda that has little to anything to do with this case.  How do you even know the father is Jewish?  Or Mom, for that matter?  Am I missing something other than stereotyping?
Replied By: trudysn on Jan 7, 2015, 6:38PM
Do you have an update on this family?
Replied By: josephgoldberg on Dec 24, 2014, 1:18AM
FOR CHRISTMAS, by Joseph Goldberg

I know many parents will not be spending time with 
their children during the Christmas holiday and not for 
a lack of wanting or trying to make it happen, but 
rather because some children reject their parents for 
unjustified reasons as in cases of parental alienation.

Many family law judges are not educated in alienation 
so they do not know how to recognize malevolent 
parents committing acts of child psychological abuse. 
In order to adequately educate the judge a lawyer will
need “litigation support“ from a parent child relational 
problem consultant ( a PCRP consultant ).

This is a sad dynamic for rejected parents and for their 
children, its sad for the extended family members on 
the side of the rejected parent - it's sad for people who 
are not in this situation because many empathize with 
the child or the rejected parent.

It''s also unfortunate that many professionals who are
not trained in this dynamic are unwilling to step aside
so that more qualified mental health professionals can
take over the treatment of the family members and its 
sad because there are professionals that can help, but 
they are very difficult to find, and the vetting process 
is something that needs to be put in the hands of a PC-
RP consultant.

The rejected parent may be new to this experience or
living with the dynamic for many years, it should be 
emphasized that I'm talking about “ unjustified reject-
ion “ by a child not “ realistic estrangement. “

We all know children reject parents for good reasons.
A parent may have been abusive, neglectful, they may
have a parenting style that is overly rigid, excessively
passive - uninvolved or disinterested in the child, the
parent might be overly controlling or, highly critical;
they may have committed acts of domestic violence, 
they may have a criminal profile - but “ unjustified
rejection “ is all about illogical reasons for rejection, 
ie cases of alienation where the justification is simply 

In cases of child psychological abuse, the rejection is
beyond the insight of the child, and it's impossible for 
the child to understand how the rejection was incul -
cated by an offending parent, often with support from
elder siblings, grandparents and other friends aligned
with the offending parent.

Parents rejected for unjustified reasons are at great risk 
of overly reactive behaviour which could further comp-
licate or compromise their ability to repair the parent - 
child relational problem. These parents are pushed into
acting in a defensive manner. They're hurt, confused,
angry, and they do make misguided mistakes that later
become the focus of legal proceedings to interfere with
their visitation and custodial rights.

My comments are not intended to echo what a rejected 
parent already knows, my article is dedicated to their 
extended family members, to their significant others, 
to their friends, or anyone else searching for sound ad-
vise to give comfort and support to the rejected parent.

Let me begin by saying that there's a long list of
professionals involved in helping to repair parent-
child relational problems ( PCRP's ) : Lawyers, 
mental health professionals, counsel for children, 
parenting coordinators, friends of the court, special 
masters, mediators, arbitrators, CPS investigators, 
DV advocates, supervisors of visitation, CDFA's, 
TSV's, divorce education instructors and in a new 
category, the “ PCRP consultant “.

Don't ask anyone to explain what a PCRP consultant 
does - its a profession I invented and for that reason
it's pointless for rejected parents to ask a lawyer “Do
I need one ? “ This is to new a field to be understood
by lawyers that have never worked with a PCRP con-

The PCRP consultant has studied the social science 
research in PCRP's and stays current in their con-
tinuing education, the PCRP consultant has a hybrid 
expertise in understanding psycho-legal issues, and 
interventions in dealing with PCRP''s. The PCRP 
consultant can do a forensic analysis to formulate a 
reunification plan and do a quasi-clinical differential 
diagnosis to determine whether the problem is root-
ed in alignment, enmeshment, alienation or estrange-
ment, and whether or not the problem has a singular 
etiology or a hybrid one. You can't treat a problem if 
you don't first diagnosis the condition.

There are only 2 ways to arrive at a differential diag-
nosis: 1. Through a custody evaluation, or 2. With 
the help of a PCRP consultant. In both situations 
neither the evaluator or PCRP consultant is treating 
the problem. This is just an assessment phase.

If the rejected parent is seeking a way to turn around 
the obstacles in repairing the PCRP, then it can only 
be expedited by a PCRP consultant. Trying to obtain 
a custody evaluation could take a number of years to 
get court ordered, completed and reported to a judge; 
and at a huge cost, especially if the recommendation 
of the evaluator is later disputed by the non-favoured 
parent ( who may want to contest it by going to trial.)

What rejected parents need to do differently is retain
a PCRP consultant regardless of how much they trust
or don't trust their lawyer to succeed, regardless of a
court ruling that has caused them to give up or accept
a court order that they feel can't be modified. There is
never a wrong time or a bad time to retain the PCRP 
consultant. Regardless of the cost a consultant is now
the only way to lower your global case expenses and
get the court ordered reunification needed to repair a

Many rejected parents are just fed up. Some of them
have been tormented by the legal process and all 
the well intentioned professionals that have failed to 
help them. It's not surprising that many of them 
distrust anyone offering a helping hand. Regardless 
of the fact that many people are to shut out and hurt
to continue to pursue a remedy, my focus is fixated 
on helping to rescue children that remain trapped in 
homes with abusive parents and I offer support that
is based on education and social science facts. It is 
crucial to help others understand treatment plans 
that work from those that don't and to refer them to 
evidence based treatment of PCRP's.

If you are a parent rejected for unjustified reasons this 
is important to pay attention to because children court 
ordered into counseling do not all share the same sets 
of motivation to attend.

Many children who have been victims of real abuse
still are motivated to repair a relationship with the 
parent that mistreated them, and they frequently get
support for the conjoint counseling from the non -
abusive parent; in another category - children who
were kidnapped and have not seen their other parent 
also have a strong motivation to repair the PCRP;
and children who have had a parent in jail for a long 
period of time also express an interest in attending 
counseling to rebond with that lost parent - all of the 
children in these categories are motivated to restore
a relationship with their parent, but these children 
are also polar opposites to children that have been 
alienated from a parent. Alienated kids do not have 
motivation to be reunified with a parent they reject.

A therapist that does not have education and training 
to help alienated children will always fail. This fact
comes straight out of social science literature, yet this
fact is rarely understood by non-experts that become
embroiled in making treatment decisions.

A PCRP consultant can identify the right practitioner
to treat your child by making a preliminary, quasi-
differential diagnosis based on an understanding of the 
continuum of PCRP's and hybrid factors. A PCRP
consultant can also screen for the right lawyer to work 
on the case and help that lawyer to get back on the right

As a PCRP consultant I've had people contact me for
help claiming they were parents being alienated
from their children, some are truly alienated parents -
but some are alienators looking for a way to protect 
their children, children that need no protection. I have 
talked to parents that are alienated from their children 
only to find out that at the same time they were doing 
tit for tat, I have talked to parents that never heard of 
parental alienation, and I talked to many parents that 
felt they were educated on this topic but in fact knew 
only a few facts and that a substantial amount of in -
formation they thought was true ...was in fact wrong.

Retaining a PCRP consultant means you won't be guess-
ing at the next thing you should do ( or not do ) and hav-
ing a PCRP consultant will help you to minimize much
of the psychological harm caused to the child by avoiding 
the mistakes you thought were the right things to say and 

Perhaps the biggest impediment to rejected parents is the 
cost of solving their problems. A voluminous number of
parents I provide free consultations to have said, “ I've
already spent ( $20,000, $50,000, $100,000 ) to solve my
problem and got nothing or very little for it. “ I've also
heard an equal number of parents say something like, “ I
wish I had found you a year ( two years, five years ) ago.”
They feel drained financially, and suffer from emotional
burnout. Many have new spouses that are not supportive
because they have a new family or live within a blended
family and their new spouses are sick and tired of the cost 
effecting them and their new lifestyle. Some spouses that
are supportive are at risk of walking out leaving a rejected
parent in agony of losing what little they have left in their 
lives. If they had a PCRP consultant, the crisis could be a
great deal more manageable. It takes a PCRP consultant 
to scaffold these deteriorating relationships.

Let me begin by saying that beyond the necessary cost of
retaining a PCRP consultant, the remaining costs can be
drastically reduced in a variety of ways, there are legal
retainers that can be waived or reduced with the help of a 
PCRP consultant, they can also negotiate lower hourly 
rates and eliminate time on work that is not necessary. It
is possible to obtain lawyers for very little money, even
the most competent and expensive lawyers for a fraction
of the cost with the help of a PCRP consultant. It is also 
important for the rejected parent to know that at the start-
ing gate a PCRP consultant will recalibrate the therapeutic
and legal intervention approaches to repair a PCRP and a
PCRP consultant can reduce the ost of these interventions 
to very affordable fees borne by both of the parents.

A PCRP can also exit you entirely from the legal system 
and not through mediation, but through other legal inter-
bention strategies that are faster, cheaper and most of all
smarter ways of handling the problems you are facing. A
PCRP consultant is not only the 1st person you should be
turning to, they are frequently the last option on the table
for the rejected parent to solve all their problems ( includ-
ing many financial issues that need to be resolved ). That
is a fact that needs to be understood and only by having a
consultation with a PCRP consultant can you know why I
am pointing them in this direction.

For more information visit my website at 
www.ParentalAlienation.ca and my educational website
at www.ParentalAlienationEducation.com

Share this article and like my Facebook page at:
Parental Alienation Consulting Services
Replied By: dbstringer on Dec 7, 2014, 3:38PM - In reply to mesdad
I did check out Dr. Craig Childress' blog and YouTube posts. Very imformative and helpful!! The only thing I don't know is how to continue to deal with it indefinitely. Untill she's out from under her father's influence I will always be targeted. It's sad that I know it but defenseless to do anything about it...
Replied By: gerard2015 on Nov 22, 2014, 12:26PM
Wow a lot of medics claiming all kind of diagnoses. 

Yes parental alienation is real. May be the mother does have some shortages in her parenting ( all parents have) but often these shortages are enlarged by the other parent to start alienation in cases where children do not want to see the other parent anymore.

The father tells he doesn't forbid the children to see their mother and he wants them to have have a good relationship with the mother. I hear the mother of my children speaking. 

I have taken care of my children for seven years with the mother, after we divorced we co-parented another seven years. And suddenly the children left and never came bakc, that has been two years ago. Yes i had the usual problems with my starting to be a teener son. And yes i can be a strict parent. From day one i tried to get in touch with the mother (we live 300 yards away from eac other) to solve the problems. She refused, instead she started accusing me of being agressive to the children, threatening to the children ,stalking them (when walking in my neighbourhood to do some shopping) at the same time not trying to get in touch with them...........
I consulted a lawyer and did several attempts to get in touch with the mother. After ten months i decided to go to court. She accused me of living my own life while the children stayed with me (rather strange as my friends experienced the other side), not loving them. that they only had to listen. She accused me of all those things while she never entered my house in the seven years we co-parented nor did she want to speak personnally she only wanted to email).
The judge spoke with the children and did not find anything regarding the accusations of aggresion etc. I told the judge that i wanted to listen to the children and hear what their complaints were. The mother refused all proposals of the judge in order to try to solve the problems. Finally the judge told us to go to a commercial education center (this is on a voluntary basis). And again the mother did not cooperate. We had to go back to court i proposed several other things to the mother, she refuses. So in october this year the judge ordered an investigation by the authority of child welfare. (this is not voluntary). Mother reacted: he has to improve his relation with the children and acknowledge his bad behaviour to the children.
Now how i am to improve while their mother refuses all kind of consulting/mediation. What do i need to acknowledge. I have no clue what the complaints are of the children. I want to hear it from the children and not from the demonizing mother of my children. A mother who told my daughter when she was 8 years old that she could change her name into her mother's name a mother who told my son of 11 years old that i had been on softdrugs when i was 18-21 years before i met their mother. A mother who played powerball regarding the remains of my other son ( she finally took the remains of my deceased son) as she was afraid that i would throw away the ashes of my son (sick in her head)
Replied By: ainnat on Oct 24, 2014, 4:26PM
I think this women needs help because she's mental unstabe. 

That was my impression from the show.

So i hope with therapie and help frol dr Phil she'll feel better and can see everthing.in a normal perspection .

mayby that wood help the situation. 

Replied By: strine on Sep 1, 2014, 12:15AM
I saw a woman being made fun of and an incomplete picture. The whole episode the audience were encouraged to laugh at her. If she has a mental problem, she would have felt bad afterwards being targeted as the only one with a problem there. After being laughed at repetitively.

I don't know that he alienated her from the kids, but it sounds like she doesn't know how to express herself and feels alone and the kids have been separated from her for years. What happened after the divorce? Did the ex husband not let her see the kids? Did he get them because he had more money? Too much was left out to justify making fun of her and fully believing the ex husband (including believing he doesn't rort money because he knows a religious person).
Replied By: mesdad on Aug 14, 2014, 2:22AM
At this time, I would like to share the resource that has been far and away the most useful in helping me understand and deal with the dynamics that are involved in PA. If you are a targeted parent experiencing Parental Alienation, if you are a mental health professional, or if you are an advocate for kids then you really should check out the work that Dr. Craig Childress is doing.  He totally connects the dots on how PA happens and supports everything that he says with a tremendous amount of scientific rigor.  

He takes the explanation of PA to a completely different level than what others have contributed to the field. If you are experiencing PA, you will continually nod your head in agreement with what he has written on the topic.  If you are a mental health professional, you will be impressed by the work that he has done and you will appreciate that Dr, Childress has done the heavy lifting that will allow mental health to speak with a unified voice to address this egregious form of child abuse which results from pathogenic parenting.

For your sake, please check out

1) his blog


2) his website


3) the Youtubes that he has put together which very clearly and thoroughly explain the dynamics of PA.  

For other's sake, please share this resource with as many other target parents and PA advocates as you can.  

His Attachment-Based PA theory involves 3 levels of analysis 1) the Family Systems Level  2) the Personality Disorder Level  and 3) the Attachment System Level.  Dr. Childress has a knack for making what is complex on the surface very understandable.  Furthermore, everything that he writes is at all times supported rigorously by established psychological constructs as opposed to anecdotal indicators.

Once again, I strongly urge you to study his work and just as important to share it with others who are in positions that involve making decisions that are made on behalf of the best interests of children.

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