The Remarkable Ryan Thomas

Ryan Thomas is a grown up child of Alienation. Triggered by chance by what a work colleague said, he realised as an adult what had been happening. Eventually he reconnected with his Dad.

Ryan has now created a goldmine of online resources. He is a remarkable blast of fresh air in the miserably frustrating field of high conflict family separation and Alienation. It would take too long to list all that makes Ryan and his work so remarkable. So just start with his new website: Ryan Thomas speaks

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 14.03.17Speaking’s just the start of his talents. Generous and engaging, always with his trademark cap on, Ryan hardly pauses in his friendly positive clear logical enthusiastic fluent talk and thinking as he shares his detailed and deep personal story and his experience-based ideas, through his videos and webinars and writing.  You may need to pause, but do try them all.

Many people have told their own story. But Ryan has done more. He has turned his special talents into a new and powerful approach to helping us all understand how Alienation works, how we can be less defeated, more in control of how Alienated parents can take action to reconnect with their child – for the child’s benefit – not just wait and see. Ryan is constructively angry about what happened to him. But he doesn’t tell his story to complain. It is to help others.

When GIRFEC means: Getting It ‘Rong

For example, in They Ambushed My Dad Ryan gives a blow by blow story of a hellish drama around one of his father’s visits and then at the police station. His mother’s family celebrate their performance with high-fives all round. You can clearly see, in the raw, Ryan’s realisation and anger, looking back, that is now turned into his dedicated mission to help others.

This ambushed video on its own teaches us loads. It is, for example, a great test for professionals who have to assess families and make decisions in court: The police are flummoxed by the two contradictory accounts from each parent’s side. Usually – conveniently setting aside the principle that children should not be made to choose sides – legal and other professionals will turn to their star witness: the Alienated child. Of course, Alienation means that the child has been well and truly nobbled as an objective witness.

The outcome? The average professional earns their living from unwitting errors that authorise the children into their continuing worst welfare. Just by watching this one video of Ryan’s, professionals will begin to get their wits back.

The video raises the question: Which ‘child’s voice’ do we believe – the young Ryan or the adult one? Obviously we (wouldn’t we?) believe the adult Ryan. So what are the signs we need to look for (back then) to get it right for every child now? ‘GIRFEC’ as we say in Scotland. This video means that, for these children, we can stop getting it precisely ‘rong.

A rare combination

Of course, as a child of Alienation, Ryan is thoroughly child-focused. But he has been unusually able to rise above his own particular story and its genders to be useful and objective for all families. He is gender-neutral when he talks in general. He blends the vivid details of his own story into a constructive approach for everyone. That combination is rare.

He says he is no professional, but all his material and ‘deconstruction’ is top quality. Some is free through the website (e.g. blog, videos, articles, live webinar). Some is cheap (e.g. the e-book “Sabotaged”). Some is not so cheap (e.g. his courses).

As he says, none of what he’s got is rocket science. In the webinar, Ryan does some textual analysis … i.e. he goes line by line through a typical text message to ‘Amy’! He shows why the typical rejected parent’s message to their child is going to confirm rejection, not connect with them. Then Ryan suggests several versions of a shorter text message that will work better. So we can immediately see that his non-rocket science is good useful stuff, probably better than you’re going to get most places just now.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 14.03.57

From Ryan’s website: http://www.ryanthomasspeaks.com

About the course and the costs

Take a moment to think this through if you’re wondering about the cost and commitment of doing his five-week course:

  • Compare the depressing harmful life-long outcomes for those facing established Alienation – children and parents.
  • Remember that the child rejects but badly needs the missing connection with their other parent to compensate for the inherent limitations of their favoured parent’s excluding care.
  • Remember how all-consuming the field of high conflict separation and Alienation is for any of us. It takes us every bit of time and energy we can muster. It drains our souls.
  • Think how much we long for someone who can give us hope and answers. There are few quick or easy answers once it’s got established.
  • Think of the life of 24/7 commitment that Ryan has put in to produce his stuff.
  • Remember that we all need to make a living and – however remarkable he is – Ryan does have to eat and live somewhere.
  • Note the hours and years of lawyers and other kinds of help that often doesn’t work, may make it worse, and can cost vast amounts more than Ryan asks for his intensive five week course.
  • Note that his course comes with generous extras – lifetime access to hours of video, plus even more of his video library, plus a free start on his online Reunite group coaching. You get much much more for your money with Ryan.
  • Look at Ryan’s (free) repeating world-region-timed webinars and the (pay for) course and its realistic, hopeful but no promises, detailed, structured, packed full, strategy-planning approach with help to shape up your very own action plan – even if you have no contact at all with your child.
  • If you add that all together, you will surely think Ryan’s course is worth it … Cheap at the price even.
  • Even if, in the end, it does not help you to a better connection with your child, you will be in a much better place than you were before. You will have done all you can.
  • Lastly note that I have no vested interests in recommending Ryan’s course to you! My pension is enough living for me!!

In summary

Please tell us here what you think too. Is this enthusiasm right?!  Feedback if you do Ryan’s course. If it works for you, make sure as many people as possible get the benefit as early as possible.

The lessons Ryan teaches should be made available from the very start when people realise they’re facing Alienation. Ryan promotes positive proactive skills that can hardly do any harm to anyone’s relationship. Set going early, they would be a powerful prevention against things escalating as they tend to otherwise.

Lastly, if more talented grown-up Alienated children can be inspired to speak out in the bold detailed constructive way Ryan has online, we will have a whole lot more powerful anecdotal evidence for research and training. As a developing field, we are too reliant on anecdotes. Let’s build our science up because: The plural of anecdote is data.  (see Don DeLillo in Underworld (1997) p 544)

Nick Child, Edinburgh

About Nick Child

Retired child and family shrink and family therapist living, working and playing in Edinburgh.

5 comments

  1. This looks interesting.

    I wonder if he might offer his services to the Children’s Commissioner … http://www.cypcs.org.uk/news/in-the-news/child-contact-and-domestic-abuse-are-childrens-rights-in-scotland-being-denied/

    John

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  2. Thanks for picking up the core of this, John. The need is widespread for less blinkered thinking and leadership in the complex field of high conflict families and risk assessment. But yes, it is especially acute for us in Scotland.

    Ryan is already busy doing what he does so well. I doubt he’d be willing or able to come and offer his services to any particular country. This kind of thing anyway needs more than a short visit from some outside do-gooder who may persuade some folk until Monday.

    I think we can use his material ourselves to help us do our own long term work here. My point in this post was to suggest that – without flying Ryan across the Atlantic – if people would remove their blinkers for just the 20 minutes Ryan’s online video takes to watch, then they would begin to get their wits back.

    The trouble is that you can take a horse to water – force his blinkers off even – but you can’t make him drink – or even open his eyes!

    In Scotland I suggest we have to find a subtler and broader awareness raising approach so that more people take their blinkers off and see that the blinkered approach is not getting it right for every child. Any suggestions for how we promote that here in Scotland are most welcome!

    Nick

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  3. Alienated Parent

    Hello Nick,

    I have watched/read much of the material produced by Ryan Thomas, and I agree that he has some valuable things to say, though he does not go into the “why” of Parental Alienation, nor, I think, does he particularly understand the theoretical underpinnings. His is more an instinctual approach from what worked for him in his personal situation. However, that is not to say it cannot be extrapolated and used for others. It can indeed. So many of us are searching intently for a practical approach. What can we actually DO to turn around this utterly miserable PA situation?

    I have also read the recently published book by his father Leo Thomas, entitled “Blind Hope.” It seemed obvious to me from the information father/son have shared that Ryan’s mother has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is exceedingly common in Alienating Parents. It is the form that their Attachment Disorder takes (https://drcraigchildressblog.com/2019/01/05/ab-pa-the-scientific-method/). In fact, upon reading “Blind Hope,” I came to the final page and concluded that Leo Thomas had married a second pathological Narcissist as well, who then betrayed him by triangulating with his first wife after she left him. Again, it is common with pathological Narcissists to betray/triangulate by allying themselves newly with enabling family members against the targeted spouse. I wanted to suggest to Leo Thomas that he read “The Human Magnet Syndrome” by Ross Rosenberg, to become aware of his need for less self-sacrificing and more self-love. In other words, on the Spectrum of Personality where one polar extreme is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (or even Sociopathy/Psychopathy), and the other polar extreme is uber-Empathy to the detriment of the Self, both types of polar extreme personalities need to move closer to the centre. In fact, Aristotle’s “Via Media” of living the middle road between the extremes is a very wise philosophy to follow for life in general. Take the middle ground between extremes, whether it be in personal relationships or politics.

    Another good real-life example of this can be found in Juliet Butler’s “The Less You Know the Sounder You Sleep.”

    The Thomas saga left me wondering how Ryan Thomas avoided becoming a pathological Narcissist himself. After all, growing up with an NPD mother and NPD extended family members, with little input/influence from his non-NPD father, was a formula with high potential for developing NPD oneself. There are few children of pathological Narcissists who escape becoming parentified in one form or another themselves, although one option available to them is uber-Empathy/Co-dependence, at the opposite end of the spectrum from NPD, though no less damaging to oneself.

    And yes, the thought has crossed my mind that perhaps Ryan was indeed molded by “the vampire’s bite.” I truly hope that is not the case, however. I simply wish Ryan offered more explanation as to how he turned out to be seemingly empathetic and stable despite enormous odds against that. He and his father, according to their materials published, appear to have little or no awareness of the personality disorders at the root of Parental Alienation. I find that odd, for those acting as spokespersons for Parental Alienation. At any rate, if it works, it works.

    One further resource here. Alienated parents might look into the website of Australian Melanie Tonia Evans, who deals with the fallout from Narcissistic Abuse in general, including the form it takes in alienated families. Again, she speaks from personal experience, rather than professional credentials and theoretical background, but she appears to have grasped some important ideas about the right way to handle the fallout.

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  4. Thanks for these rich thoughts and suggested reading (that I’ve yet to do).

    About your theories about PD as they affect (or not) Ryan, his Dad, and various partners: I’d refer to my other response / comment (under this blogpost) explaining my reluctance to enter into debates hinged around PD labels. In summary, PD labels are not yet, in my view, strong enough entities to be treated as you are trying to do here.

    To answer your questions – which are good questions indeed to ask about Ryan and his Dad – you would need to be a suitably skilled professional and to have full access to them – and their ex-family too – as your clients or subjects in order to get the full story. In my view, you would not, in that close up job, be referring much to PD labels or assessment. You’d be guided by more specific accounts and stories and by general principles eg of Attachment and its assessment.

    So it’s tempting – and not illegal! – to have remote discussions about questions like the ones you raise. One might learn something from those. But they don’t attract me because there isn’t enough information to go on, so they can’t be grounded or real enough when added to the insubstantial status of PD and its labels. … But I certainly think your questions are great ones to see if Ryan (and his Dad) might like to answer!

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  5. Alienated Parent

    Hello Nick,

    Thank you for the comments. If Ryan Thomas is going to gain credibility and the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” from the various blog -writers (how I dislike that word, “blog”) discussing PA, remote discussions such as these absolutely need to take place. Otherwise, all he is offering is a product — like several million others on the internet — without much behind it but his personal claims. The Ryan Thomas product is sold as a cure-all for a very serious disorder, so I would think that the least the rest of us in the PA community should do is to pull apart the RT whys and wherefores, and see what makes this particular product tick….or not. The deeper we dig, the better basis we will have for judging. Remember, most alienated parents cannot afford, financially or emotionally, to be duped again. The devastation would take them out. Therefore, I think it is fully justified to put the RT methods through a strong background check/in-depth questioning. Perhaps it is indeed as wonderful as claimed. I am not saying it isn’t. I simply refuse to take things on faith these days……having been married to a pathological Narcissist will do that to you.

    And about the “label” business, Nick — I will discuss that elsewhere in comments. We will have to agree to disagree. I have no fear of professional medical liability over supposed labels, since I am not a medical professional; I am far more free to call them as I see them.

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