A closer look at Parental Alienation: on YouTube


That’s the monster in the distance. From: https://youtu.be/tir-0rIS8wY

Here’s a must watch video for you! It’s a great short educational YouTube video: Memories of a Monster: A closer look at Parental Alienation 

The video (30 mins) is based on a Desperate Housewives storyline. It’s only semi-realistic … for example, it’s not usually a by-stander friend who initiates a parent’s conscious alienating dirty tactics. But lots of the story and picture of Parental Alienation in the video is really accurate and very well explained. Stopping the scene and captioning sequences helps to underline how small behaviour and big nuances can make it happen.

The final movie scene is definitely not true to life. But here the Youtube video makes brilliantly creative use of this unreal contrasting scenario to show how healthy non-coercive parents deal with separation in the first place. The ending is a lovely constructive reminder of how most parents can and do put their children’s needs first, rather than harm them by making them into a weapon between the adults. It’s easy to forget when you’re lost in the misery of Alienation!

Do share this resource widely please. Thanks.



Nick Child, Edinburgh

About Nick Child

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


  1. Pauline

    Excellent. It is so tragic that the professionals at the top – by which I mean Glasgow [Scotland] Family Court Sheriffs – are not being hauled over the coals for their blind sidedness and downright incompetence in these desperately crucially important issues.

    I am currently watching my friend’s (a female) entire world being turned inside out and upside down, as she is slowly and daily further and masterfully alienated from her children. The eldest in particular – as unfortunately this horror used his eldest child as his most effective weapon.

    Total abuse of the F9 form being aided and abetted by the court system. [Ed: The ‘F9 form’ is the most minimal way in which a child’s voice may be obtained in the court’s proceedings. On its own, it’s an astonishingly irresponsible way to assess things!)

    And indeed this abusive parent does have serious underlying childhood issues with his own Father which I fully believe are the root of his now numerous personality disorders it would seem.

    This is uttetly heartbreaking and devastatingly life changing not just for the children and the alienated parent but for all the genuine friends and family who have to witness it.

    There is no real justice to be had while Qualified Therapist reports are being ignored and unqualified solicitors shoddy attempts at ‘bar’ (now known as ‘child welfare’) reports are favoured. This is alarming!

    It is an abuse of the child’s basic human civil rights and I think it’s like stealing their imaginations, among so many other dreadful catastrophic effects that it leaves the children with for no other good reason than one horrible twisted individual’s dishonest viciousness.

    In my opinion it is highly dubious if evidence lodged in proof is even looked at in these vitally important cases in our courts?

    We are all further alarmed and baffled that a domestically abusive parent won residency when not one shred of proof was ever established against the alienated parent at any point in time. This is because it was all dishonesty and fabrication yet the courts issued residency to the manipulating parent anyway.

    Good Luck to you all you aliented Parents out there. Try and never give up!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for telling us here, Pauline.

    It’s good to hear directly of particular cases and especially to have a friend like you tell us how strongly you feel … Often people directly caught up at the front line of these nightmarish situations find their family and friends kind of drift away.

    Your and anyone’s anecdotes are important. But so is the broader picture too. So here’s something of my broader – but still not complete – picture of Scotland’s family courts and how they deal with Alienation cases. I can confirm that there is some awareness and progress happening, but that it is desperately slow.

    If you read my overview – http://tinyURL.com/NickChildPA – and pick out the references to Scotland, you will find quite a long list of bad marks that put Scotland in general far down the league of nations’ good practice in family law and courts.

    In any country, the law of the land is a natural monopoly. Few if any have the authority to influence it. The legal system’s job is not ‘to be helpful’ anyway – it is to apply the laws of that land justly. Yet somehow, grafted on top of these ancient adversarial systems is meant to be the ‘helpful’ and throughly non-adversarial priority to make the child’s welfare paramount. That can only be lip service while the system has it’s ancient steam-driven engines running it.

    I’ve put in my editorial comment about that F9 form.

    You mention qualifications. Well, there are now a handful of experts around who can actually and genuinely claim some expertise at assessing these complicated cases. So that’s progress from when the so-called experts didn’t even accept the international field of knowledge, nor that the question of undue influence of a child (aka Alienation) is valid and very important indeed.

    However, there are no signs yet of anything happening about the official ‘long-awaited’ (?) government recommendations for training those lawyers who provide the Child Welfare (was Bar) Reports for the family courts,. Even when it happens, it will still be pitifully brief given the areas to be covered. Family lawyers are certainly trained in law, and some specialise in family law and are dedicated and good at it. But family lawyers do not (until someone acts on those new guidelines) have any specified training or qualification for the job of being a Child Welfare Reporter to the courts. So courts and families and the children just have to cross their fingers and pray that by chance they get a naturally sensible good one.

    You mention proof. My overview shows that there is widespread mystification over what the family court aims – initially at least – to be. While using some smoke and mirrors for effect, the family court should NOT initially be anything to do with proof. It is (another) more structured forum to try to establish an informal agreement between the parents. But in practice, the informal family court starts right out with a very tilted playing field. The resident parent’s prior actions are unquestioned. The non-resident parent is implicitly ‘guilty’ and ‘on trial’ without any of the due process or fairness that would be needed for them to ‘prove their innocence’ and their ‘worth’ as a parent. Think of the Red Queen’s court in Alice in Wonderland and you get close to this repeated and widespread scenario! 🙂

    In the hidden cause of trying to get informal agreement, there is often an unholy alliance going on to shut parents up about facts or issues that a parent wants to contest the truth of. Because it is an expensive and inevitably more adversarial business, sheriffs and lawyers are not keen on proof hearings. That’s fine when it’s fine. But it is not fine when it is not fine.

    Finally, let me add that some of the Glasgow family lawyers, courts, sheriffs are among the more aware and improving practice in Scotland.


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: