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#13 – Resist Refuse Psychology and Reasons Why Children may Alienate a Parent in a Separation or Divorce

silhouettes of broken family

#13 – Resist Refuse Psychology and Reasons Why Children may Alienate a Parent in a Separation or Divorce

SUMMARY

This episode of From Foster Care to Family Law – A Child Welfare Focus features Dr. Michael O’Hara, a therapist that specializes in putting families back together. He talks about alienation in families from both the parent and the child’s perspective. Susan and Michael also discuss ways to handle alienation when you are the rejected or the aligned person. Dr. O’Hara also goes through the therapeutic process of how to put families back together.

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HIGHLIGHTS

[01:19] Dr. Michael O’Hara introduces himself and talks about family therapy for troubled families.

[04:50] Michael explains what alienation really is in families.

[23:25] The role of a child in helping to get his/her family back together.

[35:42] How to act when you are the parent that the child wants to align with.

[41:14] How to act when you are the parent that the child has rejected.

[49:36] What are signs of true alienation?

[57:17] Michael describes the process of being a therapist that helps put families back together.

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QUOTES

23:13 “It’s almost like we have little adults around when they’re teenagers. I have two teenagers right now and by all intents and purposes, they are as smart, or smarter than me. They think in complex ways”

36:29 “In that sense, the child has somebody to go to, that they need, and during this terrible difficult time, you’re the go to parent. However, you also have to play a big role here, and it’s a role that you have to work on understanding”

43:43 “I know it feels injurious to you to have your child rejecting you. It’s a terrible, sad feeling. Try not to turn that into expressing how sad you are and pleading with the child to stop doing this to you and gendering guilty feelings at the child, you have to be strong here.”

56:05 “They have to decide whether they are going to write a child a letter and say, it’s a goodbye letter, and say, I realize now that things are not going to get better between us and my trying to make things better between us is actually making things worse for you.”

1:00:01 “There is a lot of hope in getting into working with these families individually and together to repair those relationships.”

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RESOURCES

Dr. Michael O’Hara Website: https://www.drmichaelohara.com/
Dr. Michael O’Hara Email: mloharapsyd@gmail.com
Dr. Michael O’Hara Phone Number: (561)-748-4050
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts: https://www.afccnet.org/

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