Parental Alienation, What is it?

The term parental alienation, was defined by Douglas Darnall (a U.S. psychiatrist) and Dr Amy Baker (a U.S. developmental psychologist) in 2007 as follows: “an unwarranted rejection of the alienated parent by the child, whose alliance with the alienating parent is characterised by extreme negativity towards the alienated parent. This happens when the actions of the alienating parent (deliberate or unintentional), adversely affect the relationship with the alienated parent.”

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) are the only UK government body to have officially recognised parental alienation as a form of abuse. However it has not yet filtered down to front-line Cafcass staff and is yet to be recognised by wider social services within the UK.