What Judges Need to Know About Narcissistic Personality Disorder in Custody Cases

Updated on May 6, 2018

The Problem

One would think that those highly experienced in law (attorneys and judges) would have what it takes to easily recognize deception, or at least know how to ensure that a person is examined thoroughly enough to make reasonably sure that they are telling the truth. But those in law are just as vulnerable to the highly skilled narcissist as the average person is. As a clinical counselor in the field for over thirty years, this author has had his fair share of run-ins with individuals who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and has been duped by them several times.

NPD individuals are especially pernicious in child custody cases. And there are a large number of children caught in the inevitable, torturous, and abusive trap that NPD parents place their kids in when the NPD parent continues to harass their ex via custody issues. The general public has little knowledge and insight in general about NPD, and those who sit on the bench likely have only a bit more than the public. Though virtually all judges have dealt with NPD’s, many judges may not know the difficult person before their bench in custody court is an NPD, and most judges do not understand the disorder well enough to make effective interventions to curtail the abuses that the NPD perpetrates on everyone in their life, including those involved in the court.

Because NPD’s are naturally talented imposters, charmers, and deceivers, many judges get duped on a routine basis by NPD parents, who are simply using the court and the judge to continue to humiliate,exert control, and abuse their ex, and force their ex to react to them in some way. Narcissists live to manipulate and control others emotions, self-esteem, and behaviors. Many will describe the 'high' they get from manipulating others successfully, and if they get the judge to believe them, they will begin to brag that the judge is their ' personal friend'.

All attorneys, and especially judges, need to first recognize, understand, and then learn effective means to deal with the mental health disorder classification of ‘personality disorders’, and in particular, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as it is often completely missed by many professionals. NPD is often overshadowed and missed by judges and lawyers due to the more obvious personality disorders such as Anti-Social Personality disorder, which is ubiquitous to the criminal populations.

Why They Get Away With It

NPD’s get away with what they get away with because they are so very talented at presenting themselves as innocent victims of their ex, their boss, their parents, etc. etc. They have an uncanny talent to manipulate situations and people and to twist the obvious facts fit their confabulated premise. They can eat your lunch when you turn around and when you turn back, convince you that you ate it! This author has witnessed many conscience-less narcissists in family court deftly ‘con’ lawyers, child protection workers, counselors, and judges, right in the courtroom.

Part of the problem is that in the context of family court or custody court, a judge may not be thinking in terms of a parent as being so cold, calculating, and valueless as to be using their children as a means to harm their ex, or if the judge get a hint of such tactics, continues to believe that these often extremely harmful and emotionally abusive parents still have a right to continue to have ‘a relationship’ with their child; freeing the NPD parent to continue to perpetrate their abuse on the child and the child’s healthier parent.

NPD’s are so grandiose that they will try to use their deceptive, manipulative tactics with virtually everyone and anyone, even the court. They have a special talent to ‘size up’ situations and people involved to very quickly devise a plan to get their way. Judges, that’s why you will see the shocked look on the other parent’s face, and their weeping when you hand the kids back to the narcissist; that parent knows you have been conned and they have yet again been abused by the narcissist, with your stamp of approval.


The NPD parent coming to court repeatedly and contentiously over child custody can be recognized by several other characteristics:

The NPD will bring a plethora of legal actions that barely make sense or are fully nonsense. They will often burn through attorneys. They will have a history of multiple PFA’s against them. If they are male (and most are), they may have multiple custody issues with multiple women. They will have police complaints for harassment of the ex, the ex’s new partner, the ex’s family members, and often complaints from the children’s school about the NPD parent harassing the school in some way. They may also seek to interfere with their ex’s employment, have vitriolic spewings on social media about their ex, may literally stalk their ex, harass them via phone and text, and have made at least one if not multiple reports to child protection about their ex that turn out unfounded. In their legal complaints, they make ‘mountains out of molehills’, and may press the court to ‘legislate relationship’ between themselves and their children.

The place for a judge to take keen interest is the space between how the NPD presents themselves; the things they claim, and their genuine behaviors. There is often a dramatic and clear mismatch. They will ignore and not even see a child for months or years, and then bring a harassing case to gain time with the child. They will promise the world to the child and consistently let them down, they will demand half custody and then leave the child during their turn with their grandparent and go to the bar. They will manipulate their ex to give them more time with the child, will be late to arrive (if at all) to pick up the child, and very often be late returning the child. They will have non-relatives pick up the child or deliver them back to the other parent. They also often discipline with extraordinary harshness, and say that they have to do this because the other parent is too lax.

They are often very cognizant of the legal rules of custody, and will re-enter a child’s life at the very last moment legally possible so that they can maintain their harassment. NPD parents will have a constant and well-rehearsed litany of complaints about their ex, but will usually never admit to any fault of their own, even having plausible explanations of why they had no contact with the child for so long. If fact checked, these excuses are seen for what they are: very thin to totally false. In general, there will be a clear and persistent pattern of the NPD parent having a ready excuse or someone to blame for everything. They will, in public, appear to be the perfect parent, but in private, be making the child's life a living hell. (Think Mommy Dearest).

The NPD ‘ace in the hole’ is making the accusation of ‘parental alienation’ towards their ex. All lawyers and judges need to know that there is no such diagnosis in the Diagnostic Statistics Manual, the reference for diagnosis of mental health and behavioral health that professionals in the mental health field use. This is not to say that alienation dynamic is not real; on the contrary, it is fairly well accepted in the field that those who are in close relationship with an NPD can and do develop mental health disorders, including adjustment disorder, depression, anxiety, and especially, post-traumatic stress disorder. The latter can often be seen to be sourced in the behaviors and physical, emotional, spiritual, and sometimes sexual abuses that the NPD has perpetrated against the ex and the child.

Damages to the Child

In human development, the child-parent bond can be extremely strong. If a healthy relationship and bond has developed, there is not much that will keep a child from their parent. Not even one parent trying to ‘brainwash’ a child against the other parent is very credible at all as a possibility involving a child declining to have contact with a parent. Some in the field consistently underestimate children's ego strength and feel that they are always simply clay in the hands of the NPD parent. A child's public behaviors may not reflect their private thoughts, understandings, and genuine loyalties. The truth is that NPD parents will often complain about ‘parental alienation’ coming from the other parent, and is the one who has done the most to alienate the child from themselves, not the other parent. So, when a child is refusing to have contact with the NPD parent, and the other parent is taken to court to blame for this, it is a true ‘red herring’. A close look at the child’s complaints will reveal the truth.

Placing a child on the witness stand (in front of the NPD parent, of course), plays right into the hands of the delighted NPD. Most people not versed in this disorder have no clue of how clever, powerful, and abusive an NPD parent is, and how absolutely terrified the child is and how totally under the NPD's control they are. All the NPD has to do is look at the child, and the child will 'fold' under any questions, agreeing with the NPD's version of things.

Essentially, in comparison to the power of the NPD parent, the child has no confidence at all that the court has their (the child’s) interest or safety at heart, or that the court even remotely has the ability to protect them from the NPD. In truth, to the child (and the ex), the NPD has the power of God. Really.

The level of psychological abuse, manipulation, true brainwashing, terrorizing, demoralizing, self-esteem destroying that an NPD parent does to their child is hard to wrap your head around. NPD’s seem to be born with the skills of the best torturer imaginable. There is no polite way to put it: when a court insists that a resisting child have contact with the NPD, the court is participating in child abuse. Kids are not property to be divided, and they have brains. If a child is refusing to have contact with a parent, look very closely at that parent.

What Judges Could Be Doing

Once ‘caught on to’, NPD’s, given enough rope, tend to hang themselves with their own errors. They make these errors under the pressure of being seen for what they are: pathological liars and egotists who really do not care at all about the child, only caring about ‘winning’, including fooling the judge. Their arrogance, emotional liability, grandiosity, contempt for others, absurdity, and perjury will be readily apparent.

The court can order both parents into counseling towards the goal of effective co-parenting. Once a custody order is made, the court can monitor the compliance of both parents. This is where the rubber hits the road, and where the NPD parent will begin to mess up, big time. They just cannot comply with any authority other than their own self-inflated opinions and will.

In most cases, if they comply at all with the counseling (many do not even make it to one session), it only takes a short time before they will discredit the counselor, petition the court for some other counselor, and just stop showing up. What they really want is a counselor that cannot ‘see through them’ and find one that they can manipulate for their own purposes, meaning supporting their position that their ex is persecuting them. Judges also could order both parents to go through a psychological evaluation. If the judge does this, they should insist that a special psychological test, called an ‘MMPI’ be done on both parents. This highly valid and reliable test will pick up the truth about NPD in an individual if it is present. Once a judge understands the mental health disorder present and functional in the custody issues, they can make far wiser decisions regarding custody for the child's best interest.

It is my understanding that under some circumstances, a judge can speak with children in chambers and out of the line of sight from the parent(s). The judge should consider doing this, and if the judge is a parent themselves, and approach the kids that way, the judge will get a fine understanding of just why the child does not want contact with the NPD parent. Or, a judge could request a 'course of treatment' statement from the child's counselor to clarify why the child does not want contact with the NPD parent. It is never advisable to call the counselor into court to testify, as this compromises the therapeutic alliance between the child and their counselor in ongoing treatment.

Those in the legal system will do well to learn more about NPD parents in custody situations, as not only are the child and non-NPD parent harmed, but dockets get clogged with cases by NPD’s that are frivolous, time consuming, and costly.


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      Julie HurleyPoole 4 days ago

      Agree completely with no name -they are experts at appearing normal and know how to beat the tests-my ex did it...

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      No name 2 weeks ago

      I have to completely disagree with the MMPI doing ANYTHING when it comes down to the NPD. They are masters of manipulation and mirror everyone they come in contact with. They know just what to say and do and "PICK" to appear normal on ANY and ALL Psych tests. Its ridiculous and they will go to all ends to cover their "issues".

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      Ann 3 weeks ago

      NPD ex took from me until I said no. He took me to court playing victim of PAS. Now, we share parenting. 90% time parenting is me, and Orders up the wazu. I got Leave and moved away. So far away that I don't remember when I saw him last. Appeared to Family Court by teleconference. I think it was a good choice. My advice to you; be bold, say no, and document everything. 11 years of documenting was my mercy. My happy and safe child is my honour to claim.

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      Helplessly Stuck 3 weeks ago

      Please help educate divorce attorney, judges, therapists. This should spread like wildfire.... JUST like all the wrongful PAS claims!!!!

      Stop the abuse! Three therapists - parenting coordinator, individual therapist and renunciation therapist ..... talk about BEAM The Narc Up!!!

      Please help us parents that are fighting alone and against this horrible self made situation for the sake of the children!

      Tell us what to do and how to fight this. We are mentally, emotionally and financially drained!

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      Juliettte 3 weeks ago

      I think everything about this article is spot on. Some commenters have been attacking this one point that "The NPD ‘ace in the hole’ is making the accusation of ‘parental alienation’ towards their ex." But the author is not saying that anyone who claims PAS is definitely the NPD parent. He is just underlining a well known NPD trait, projection. Because NPDs themselves often make their children develop PAS towards the other parent, they often project this motive onto the healthy parent, claiming that the healthy parent is causing PAS in their child. My ex is trying to spread this about me at the moment. He even sends me links to these co-parenting websites, trying to teach me lessons about not saying bad things about the other parent to your child. As if I wanted to be that kind of mother! For all I know, that's what HE would do if he had custody!

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      Lorena Peters 4 weeks ago

      My ex got me arrested, manipulated the system and got 50/50 share parental responsibility. Three years later he controls and manipulates. He continues to bully. He refuses to co-parent. He even registered our son at the school my stepson attended that is right outside his community. I explained how our son would have to wake up at 5:30..5:45 if he attended that school because it is a 45 minute plus drive for me. We have a great charter school right in the middle, he simply doesn't care. We have share responsibility but because he left me homeless I didn't have my own home until I was back on my feet i lived with relatives. My daughter tells me how he puts her and her brother in the garage when they cry. It break my heart. We do not have any communication other than schedule changes. I don't know what else to do. He kept our business so he has a lot more money than I do. I am a teacher.

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      Sr3 4 weeks ago

      This is so scary! I have been through all of it!!! 3 years divorced now. The oldest (14) does not go with him anymore ( 1 year) due to them butting heads. He has talked to our son Maybe 2 or 3 times in the last year. And now 2 weeks before we go back to court, because of all the contempts he is in, he wants to have an extra day with our son this week for just a couple hours. What!?!?!? Sounds like a set up to me!

      Manipulation! I usually let him have kids whenever he wants! But he doesn't budge with anything and for a long time would always threaten court on me, changes days, cancells, runs late, ect, and threatens when I am running late...

      .once because our daygjter had something going on! Anyway the story can go in and on. Your article I have been through exactly! The only thing is the court psychologist didn't diagnose him with NPD. He did however have his pregnant gf in our whole divorce (her name is all over our divorce papers) whom is a "psychologist " herself.and I believe to be a narc just as much as he. What a horrible nightmare it was! But I got through it and now deal with the after math. He wants me to ask our son if he wants to go. Never does he ask me if it's ok. So, it's either he is setting me up because he hasn't seen son in 1 year, he needs supply (cause him and his gf argue a lot says my younger gurls), or he has a change of heart and want to have quality time (ba)

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      Sheila 4 weeks ago

      This is so scary! My ex has done all of these!!!! Omg!! It was a horrible nightmare! 3 years divorced from him. Our oldest son who is 14, has not gone with him in over a year due to them butting heads and his dad saying he doesn't have to go on visits anymore, but the girls still do! Now..out of the blue...2 weeks before we go to court for all his contemps he is asking for an extra day with our son for just a couple hours. What?!?!?! This sounds like a set up to me! Ugh I can't stand him! I have yet to respond if at all!! Any advice would be greagreat please!!! I usually let him take the kids whenever he wants.....however, every time I do, I see it's s bad idea. Many long stories here. But...yes all u write is true!! The only thing,,,the psychologist never diagnosed him with NPD, which was odd. But then again, his pregnant gf who was also involved at the time was a psychologist as well and seems to be just as much as a narc as he is. .. nut jobs! And from what it sounds. .. they don't seem too happy and argue a lot! Lol! Good! That's what he chose and put me and kids through it all! Horribe! I'm guessing he is setting me up because court is right around the corner and he needs supply. F him!

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      Val 4 weeks ago

      "I would also add (not reflected in the scope of this article) that there ARE ways to begin to protect the child and yourself from continued abuse, but the tool is not the legal system, which the NPD can manipulate just as easily as the child and ex."

      Like what? A kid who has had an NPD parent for years probably already has PTSD. My kid's therapist even diagnosed her with PTSD and did EMDR treatments on her, then after a few months asked if my daughter wanted to have sessions with the NPD parent! SO therapists are useless if they think forcing a child to "fix things" with a narc can even happen.

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      RR 5 weeks ago

      What is even more difficult is when the father has residential custody due to the mother trying to escape. It’s consider in the eyes of the law abondenment yet she left got herself together meaning her own place she’s a teacher so we’re not dealing with anything serious just a bad Marrige she was granted shared custody but, all that you have explained is exactly what she is going through. I can go on with stories but, it seems like the judge is not seeing it even after proof has been shown. It’s really like sitting in a twilight zone. It’s even to the point where the mother has dropped her lawyer because she feels like the court system is only about money they make revenue off the parents who fight. She refuses to stoop down to his level as he gets away with all of it starting problems at our front door yet the courts concern is only about extra curricular activities. Which has been used to alinet her. It’s to the point of draining her mentally. It’s sad to watch because it takes time for the courts to see it. It’s been 5yrs and 50,000 was spent for nothing. Just to see him on weekends. I do agree with Buddha sometimes to trust the child feelings it’s difficult because they are conditioned to think and feel a certain way. His father has made it clear that he can’t trust anyone but him. They are one and everything his father talks about we didn’t get our money today meaning child care. He includes him as one with everything. It’s mom against us. So he has programmed him in that way since 4 yrs old.

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      Buddha Stephy 5 weeks ago

      I apologize for my previous comment. It was poorly worded regarding this article. This article is extremely informative and Dead on. I only meant to point out that when a child is severely programmed a lot of what they say and what they demand is their actual feelings are memories and ideas that are conditioned into them and even to the child may seem very real. The child me even think that they remember the things they've been programmed with. Their emotions seem real because they are real to the child after the conditioning. So to trust a child's account or their word or memories or even genuine feelings can be catastrophic to the child and the healthy parent and their well-being. That's the point I wanted to get across and I am no way it was meaning to discount or discredit this article. As a parent that is currently going through this it is very difficult sometimes to articulate things because of the massive amount of trauma we are going through and it leaving our head spinning and our confidence and judgment and communication skills in complete shambles. I meant to add to your points, not take away from them. I'm sorry for my miscommunication. I think this is a fantastic article and I appreciate anyone who puts themselves out there to shed light on this horror that few people even realize exists.

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      William E Krill Jr 6 weeks ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Also look at the responses I and others have made to the criticisms of the article. I in no way deny that children who are alienated are manipulated to be aligned with the NPD parent, but that NPD parents will/can claim that the target parent is alienating the child from THEM. I also indicate that kids are smart enough to know the truths of the situation. Those who want to read it otherwise are free to do so. I would also add (not reflected in the scope of this article) that there ARE ways to begin to protect the child and yourself from continued abuse, but the tool is not the legal system, which the NPD can manipulate just as easily as the child and ex.

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      Buddha Stephy 6 weeks ago

      This article is very misleading. True parental alienation is very real and is done by a very sick individual that in all likelihood has a personality disorder like NPD that has gone undiagnosed. Although the NPD will always project their behavior onto their victims and accuse the healthy parent of abuse, the children do not outwardly align 27th the healthy parent and refuse to see the NpD parent. The NPD parent is the one with the power and control. The NPD parent is the one that is psychologically manipulating their own children and brainwashing them against the healthy parent. The child will demand that they don't want contact with the healthy parent... Not the NPD parent. This is why it is so difficult to identify and to fight against. The child denies contact and demands that they don't want to see the healthy parent and makes accusations of abuse and neglect. But this is because the NPD parent has implemented a full on psychological assault on their own children. And the healthy parent is poweless to stop it and is prevented from protecting their own children from this abuse because the court system has been conned and the healthy parent and the children are further victimized because the court further inflated the NPD's ego and then he vamps up his abuse and control. Its a nightmare. Like waking up in the twilight zone! And there's nothing you can do to stop it or protect your babies from this monster that is destroying them and the court system that is helping him do it!

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      LC 7 weeks ago

      When the courts order "coparenting" with a NPD- it is ordering continued abuse of the healthy parent and the child as well.

      Until I went through this I was unaware of the abuse I had been enduring. No contact is the way to go, but it is IMPOSSIBLE when you share a child and courts are involved. Also if the NPD has enabler parents who help him financially etc.

      Read the book "Will I Ever Be Free of You?" Great insight and tools for keeping yourself sane.

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      Laura 2 months ago

      thank you for this article. I don't think anyone realizes how hard it is to co parent with a Narc.

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      Glen Keating 2 months ago

      Joy; I hope that you read this message. From what I read in regards to your situation, it sound's so, so similar to my daughter and what she experieneed with her deranged mother. Take care of yourself.

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      krillco 2 months ago

      Readers should know that the Millon CMI, while showing great promise, is still in phases of peer-reviewed research to demonstrate reliability and validity. Like any such measure, results of reliability and validity vary depending on who is doing the testing of the instrument. Such instruments are tools, but not definitive in arriving at a diagnosis.

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      Battlereadymom 2 months ago

      I am a mother who has been battling for my childrens’ protection from their father in the domestic relations court for the past 6 years. I know he will never stop. However, the domestic court trials will stop when they turn 18. I have 8 more years to go. I have already spent 200,000. My ex has paid more. He knows I will run out first, but I will keep battling for my children until I can not anymore. God has delivered and provided for us, and will continue to do so. I do not know what our future holds , but I know who holds out future.

      The MMPI is worthless for proving NPD. The MCMI-IV (Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory) is what psychologists should be using in today’s courts. It will identify the top 10 personality disorders. Cluster B (mix of narcissism, borderline, anti-social) mix is what I am up against. My ex and I have had 3 psyche evals , each with a different psychiatrist or psychologist. Thus, we have had to take the MMPI 3 separate times. Results showed normal each time for both. A cluster B mixed personality disorder can easily lie through the MMPI, and actually show a personality better than their true self. This can and does happen with someone very intelligent. I had suggested the MCMI to one of the psychologists, who refused and was offended. Thus, my advice is get a reputable psychologist who is up to date with the times, and has a good understanding of personality disorders.

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      Joy 2 months ago

      As a child, I was subjected to horrific abuse by my mother, who I only recently realized is a severe covert NPD. I do not use the label lightly and no, she has not been diagnosed, and never will be.

      My parents were divorced when I was 10, and the judge DID bring me and my sister into chambers to ask us what we wanted. Sadly, I was already so beat down by her and my sister, the "golden child", I didn't even consider speaking up. I was terrified of the consequences if she found out I didn't want to be anywhere near her. She has played the sweet, quiet lady so well and spread the word that I was a liar, that no one would have ever believed me. I spent the last 30 years trying to understand and come to terms with what happened, even long after becoming an adult.

      Courts, and especially mental health professionals, must be educated about the indescribable suffering caused by hidden psychological abuse. If a single person ever took me seriously, and didn't dismiss everything as 'just' depression or something else wrong with me, I could have been spared a lifetime of suffering.

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      William E Krill Jr 2 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Also look at the responses I and others have made to the criticisms. I in no way deny that children who are alienated are manipulated to be aligned with the NPD parent, but that NPD parents will/can claim that the target parent is alienating the child from THEM. I also indicate that kids are smart enough to know the truths of the situation. Those who want to read it otherwise are free to do so.

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      Karla 2 months ago

      To anyone reading this article, please scroll down to some of the earliest comments refuting this author's claims about parental alienation. With all due respect to the author, Mr. Krill's article DOES contain misinformation about the effects of pathological parenting (i.e. the effects on children who are parented by a personality-disordered individual). Many experts who have deeply examined this complex dynamic have a much different, and more well-informed view than the author. The truth is that, under the influence of the narcissist, children of all ages CAN and DO reject normal range parents.

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      CynnthiaBrowne 3 months ago

      I didn't realize exactly what this until recently. My mentally disturbed ex kept me in court for 12 years. I left him after he held me and my family hostage and then tried to throw my baby son out of a window. After being hospitalized, he came after me. He made false reports to child welfare, saying I fed my kids cat litter when I never had a cat(I'm allergic). Luckily, the worker was onto him instantly. Judges not so much. He would start a case, then when the judge would be ready to rule, he would not show up. And then the case would be dismissed. He would wait a day or two and file a new case. I had multiple op's against him. He never held a job or paid child support. He broke my windows, had people stalk me. Called the Fire Dept to my home. I finally moved out of my old place and it was quiet for a while. He was in jail for armed robbery. So from1996 until 2000, it was bliss. Then he started asking for jail visits and we had to go through a forensic evaluation. Long story short of that was, it was not ideal for the kids to visit him in jail. 2 years later he was out and on my doorstep. Bragged to the police that he found my new address online. The crap started again all the way until 2007. Went through the forensic evaluation twice after that. And the psychologist saw my point and put in his records it was only done to harass me. And that no custody or visitation was recommended at all. The law guardian saw it and she did what she could. By this time, I had a lawyer who fought tooth and nail, got me an extended op and full custody of the kids. This ended in 2007. So it was unnerving to have this fool appear at my door last year on my birthday saying we hadn't spoken in a long time. I never opened my door and told him to go away. He returns a week later. By this time I reported these incidents to the police. And they said call every time he shows up. And that I need to file for a new restraining order. So they can arrest him. I do and when we show up in court. Instead of addressing why he came to my house on my birthday after 10 years. He 's indignant because he was served and said he hadn't seen his children in 20 years. These children are now adults and don't live with me anymore. But this judge let him get leeway as to let him choose the return date. And again he tried to victimize me. Judges need to realize the real harm they could cause by not taking these seriously. I lived in a nightmare for most of my 20's and 30's because of him.

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      Kelly 3 months ago

      I read your article while preparing for court, again, with an NPD. Severe and horrific physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse, intimidation, manipulation of friends, neighbors, police, and anyone in the general public. They all fall for it and I am terrified that the judge will too. Leaving this marriage has been as hard as being in it, and the lack of support due to his status, money and power has made me think irrationally on several occasions that I 'd have been better off staying in it, taking my chances of eventually being killed. No one can remotely understand the toll it takes on a person unless they have lived through it. Your article is dead on accurate, as if you have been in this tragic situation. My ex husband seems to be on the most severe end of this disorder..But he's so talented at his art that he has perfected his public face. My teenage son (literally half of his dad's size) is now going through juvenile court for a domestic assault and battery charge because he defended himself against him (hit him in the arm) after being shoved several times by his father. What I could add to your article is that the "cop calling" on the children is a tactic to support their alienation claim that they are about to issue, stating that the child is out of control because of said other parent. All of these twisted moves are like a game to them, they all are supporting the goal of him winning, whatever the cost-even if it's the children's chance at normalcy and stability. People that have witnessed him without his "mask" are so afraid of how he will destroy them, harm them, fabricate rumors, and make false allegations to DCF about them if they testify to his erratic behaviors, that they have declined to help, even though it's now a custody battle. It's insanity and there doesn't seem to be anyone that can help me! My attorney doesn't even seem to fully understand and thinks I am over-emotional. I am seriously thinking about printing this article and handing it to the judge..wonder if they'd take it...? I'm over $10K in attorney's fees with frivolous lies and nitpicking, running right through everything I have financially, which is what he promised that he would do- even in front of marriage counselor- because that's all CONFIDENTIAL so cant be used! I truly feel that with just a high school diploma and an arsenal of inner evil, he has outsmarted educated and knowledgable judges, attorneys and police. God help my kids and I, and anyone else that lives this nightmare. There doesn't seem to be a way out of being terrorized.. It's just a different kind of hell than living with him.

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      CamiLot 3 months ago

      How about "What the Legal System Needs to Know About NPD"? My mother is a Malicious Covert Narcopath and has traumatized me to the point where 3 doctors told her that she's killing me. I don't need or want a therapist, I need an attorney. But unfortunately, unless you have a #hashtag representing you, the legal system won't acknowledge you. Personally, I think Emojis would be a lot more effective...

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      NPD and MMPI 3 months ago

      Hi. I am a PhD trained social scientist with a specialty in statistical modeling and research design. This article is great except for the MMPI part. This “test” is easily faked and has little ability to catch malingerers. One of the key problems of the MMPI is that it only offers binary choices in answer to questions. Often, people don’t know the answer so they are forced to choose either way. Technically, no answering is not a problem with the MMPI, but in a “diagnostic” setting, parents often feel that if they do not answer questions that will make them look bad to the evaluator. Also, the statistical basis of the test itself is very suspect. The last edition of the MMPI was published in 1989. In the intervening years, psychology has seen a sea change in how it looks at these tests. They can be indicative, but not conclusive. In other words, any evaluator basing their diagnosis off the MMPI is doing bad work. Diagnosis of psychological problems should be holistic including both social and physical empirical examination. In other words, if a parent is deemed to suffer from borderline personality disorder, then a concomitant brain scan showing an under developed ventral medial prefrontal cortex should be presented to back the diagnosis. Anyhow, with regard to NPD exposed parents, it can never be excluded that their parenting “shortfalls” aren’t the result of exposure to the NPD sufferer. It is key to understand for judges and legal professionals that there is no test for NPD. It requires years to diagnose and is, currently, incurable. They are suffering. That being said, if it can be determined that someone has NPD, then all caution should used to protect people exposed to this disabiling disorder. It has a contagious nature and will cause irreparable harm to all exposed to it. In the end, any child should be kept away from an NPD individual at all costs Until either the NPD persons influence can be palliated or their influence can be eliminated.

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      Anonymously victimized 3 months ago

      My ex and his wife very much did brainwash my kids against me. I really believe they played sides, and while the ex and his wife believed and encouraged them to complain and act out, called our home "hell", I would not acknowledge their complaints, told them they would forget no wanting to go when they got there, that they love going there, that they were just trying to make me feel better. They didnt really think anything would happen about their dad saying he would get them, but they got money from my ex mother in laws car accident settlement, and the rest was history. I so many times have run the memory through my head of that last day I had them and told them dad decided to make their visit with him the first 2 weeks of summer, and aI always let him make changes last second so I agreed and he was coming to get them, she said "I do not want to go", and I wish I had listened. She had told my mom she didnt like going there because they made her feel pressure to choose who to live with, and she didnt want to hurt anyones feelings

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      Jean 3 months ago

      I will say that I was caught in the web set by a Narcisistic ex husband, even before we got married over 30 years ago. He manipulated the pastor of the church into convincing me to go through with the marriage. I have regretted it beginning the day after. I got away. M G has manipulatef all magistrates, and a Judge in the highest court in Belize to get his way. I now share custody of my adult son, who is authistic with this Psych. My son cannot speak for himself. His attorney was duped as well. He will face God whom he cannot fool. Survivor

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      youralaskaguide 4 months ago

      WOW! This needs to be passed along to the court system and all judges. This fits my ex to a TEE. Got me to agree to a uncontested mutual divorce. A month before, deposited money into her account paid all her bills and was doing what we agreed upon. I file in court, BAM she claims abuse, get a band of free men hating spousal abuse attorneys. My bank account is drained from giving her money before filing. I must represent my self. She claims abandonment, that she has cancer and the power is to be shut off and she is broke. Financial records are asked for by the court. Just as I told the court, I document all payments directly from my bank statement showing she is not broke. Wife tries to hide a $2200 SSI payment. Judge catches it and denies her the emergency money she was seeking , Now she claims terminal cancer and every motion pleads with the court of her pending doom. I sought divorce because she was addicted to meth. Every document she contradicts the last. I point these out to the judge, the judge ignores them. I try to subpoena her medical records to prove she is not terminal but on meth. Judge denies. Ex Emails my work saying I have abandoned a cancer patient to die, Again judge does nothing. Really I mean nothing not even a warning.

      Judge mediates. Ex to put car in her name take over loan. I give up 30k in marital and premarital property. Ex trashes car drops off at bank. All 3 of my motions denied to review property division. Wife continually taunts me with emails say she will crush me, she is not terminal. Judge again does nothing.

      The time has now passed. According to all the wife's pleadings she had only 8 months to live. We are now month 11 and I have filed appeal. What do you bet she has had a miracle cancer remission. I have at least 8 occasions where the ex wrote nasty threatening emails where the judge did nothing. This pretty much gave my ex a green light to do and get away with anything.

      Even if I lose this appeal, which is not looking good as I am broke and an appeal is not high on the list of pro bono attorneys that have denied, saying they are busy, I do feel better i knowing that I am not the only one who has gone through this.

      Thank you for this writing.

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      Distressed mama 4 months ago

      Thank you for your expertise in this arena, especially as a man. This verbatim what I and seven other mothers I know have gone through verbatim. Many times men believe that women are concerned with money when they hear that we are in the family court system, which couldn’t be farther from the case! It is such a lazy attitude and equivocation for the abuse that we receive under apathetic and lazy judges. Thank you for recognizing the insidious and pernicious manifestation of this disorder before the courts.

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      Proud Mom 4 months ago

      Hi William, this is exactly what my son and I are going through and the court continues to make my 12-year-old son go through reunification therapy even though we have an abundance of paperwork stating from judges in another state as well as a plethora of other counselors that the NPD is harassing, intimidating, passive-aggressive, etc. We continue to be tormented and no one does anything to help! He has been stalking us, etc. Do you have any suggestions? Any help is so very appreciated. Thank you!!!

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      Squirrel319 5 months ago

      Please, may I ask that you elaborate on the MMPI test you have mentioned above? I have never heard of it before. Thanks very much for all the valuable insights.

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      Squirel319 5 months ago

      Hi William, thank you for tackling an area which gets very little attention and yet it’s so important and lifesaving to those suffering in the hands of malignant NPD sufferers. I live in a country where such psychological violence isn’t part of the legal system. However, I have to put together a paper point by point demonstrating to the judges how damaging and dangerous this man is to my 4 children. I’m a lawyer but I get too emotional when recounting the violence we go through on a daily basis. I think mentioning each act of psychological violence, manipulations, non-stop gaslighting, very malicious but effective smear campaigns, cheating, lying etc and then tying it to the traits of such psychopaths and talking about the long term damage that has on my kids and I will be a ground breaking way of obtaining legal support to get this man out of our lives.

      He’s highly intelligent. We are together since 24 years. Married since 15 years. His discard period began 11 years ago when he stopped going to therapy to heal from what his narcissistic mother did to him. Since 2007, He has done his work of destroying me meticulously. He first alienated me from his entire family and friends. They now see me as the bully who doesn’t appreciate the hard work this poor man is putting in this family. He took away all my financial power, took away my friends, my job, he even tried (because he never managed) to get my loving family to hate me and leave me. It’s only since 18 months or so thanks to Melanie tonia Evans, I found out about this disorder and am getting all my courage together to fight back.

      First of all, I don’t stop hearing experts in this area saying the only way to heal is to cut him out of your life altogether. In order to for me to do that I need the court system to understand this disease and decide accordingly. Can we write this legal/psychological paper together? You can email me William and I hope you have the time to do this work with me. I can even travel to wherever you are and work on the article intensively with you over a few days to make sure it has every credibility it needs.

      I have also prepared for some news agencies to publish as an interview the ordeal I have been through. Reuters, AP and a few others in the Middle East will be more than happy to help out.

      I hope to hear from you William. Take care.

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      Jen 6 months ago

      Wow.... can you PLEASE explain this in Massachusetts family probate!!! This is 110% my life.... I'm in court every other month... contempt... dismissed... wrong days... alienation.... above and beyond... I'm drained and my daughter will be 8 this Christmas she 100% sees this all now and she doesn't understand why the judge makes her.....now she's using other means of communicating aggression, anxiety, IBS, vomiting, constant visits to the school nurse... completely diff child.....see does not trust ANYONE he's brainwashed her there is a staff member that tells him everything she says... it's breaking her..... I her mother sole legal physical custody stand hands behind my back...watch her have panic atracks clenching to me making me pinky promise I will get her if he tried to keep her.... I don't understand how the system is so blind I have evidence they have criminal evidence... it's tiring HE uses it will be taken care of don't worry... that means hurry look up doc # court again....and I never get any doc from him or lawyer with date time WHY NOW?

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      LIVE BEAT DAD 6 months ago

      I totally get it!!!! judge gave me 50 percent custody of our 14 year old daughter!!!! she hates going back everytime and then we have to wrestle with ex to get her back!!!! she gets mentally screwed with on every visit!!!!! we keep filing contempts on orders but now shes appealed the latest court orders when shes clearly in the wrong!!!

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      Sky Allen 6 months ago

      I'm terrified as this article is my current hell! My ex has out of the blue demded full custody after being an abusive father and my sons are terrified as he still has visitation. I filed to amend the PLAN but he went nuts! What do I do to get the judge to listen to us and he is all lawyered up with FABIRICATED documents threatening to see me rot in jail for what crime? I have 1 parking ticket ! He has a life history of abuse but everyone hides it! He is very savvy and has millions hidden away. I have no lawyer and no money and in my state I can't find one! God help me please as we are losing the house i had him build with my life savings and he refuses to pay the taxes and says he wants our sons and I can rot in jail or the streets ! He has done this before to others ! Even his own late mother! Oh please is there any hope ! I feel so lost is his maze of lies and constant attacks out of the blue over NOTHING! This is crazy ! I need help badly! The state of NH has no resources and I'm going in circles !

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      Howie Dennison 6 months ago

      I agree with many of the things in this article but heavily disagree with the following statements: "The NPD ‘ace in the hole’ is making the accusation of ‘parental alienation’ towards their ex. All lawyers and judges need to know that there is no such diagnosis in the Diagnostic Statistics Manual, the reference for diagnosis of mental health and behavioral health that professionals in the mental health field use."

      In a 2016 paper by the relevant authors of DSM-5, they clearly state that parental alienation is included in DSM-5 under child psychological abuse, V995.51. The name of the paper "Child Affected by Parental Relationship Distress." The relevant authors are Dr. Narrow and Dr. Wamboldt. So while it is not its own diagnosis, it is included a broader category. These relevant authors went on to say that they did not deny PA's existence or importance. So if a mental health professional has a case of severe parental alienation, one can use the DSM-5 diagnosis of child psychological abuse, leading to a duty to protect.

      More to the point, is there anything blocking a mental health professional from diagnosing with ICD-10 F24, shared delusional disorder?

      A severe alienator will have BPD or NPD, by definition.

      Some percentage of people who claim their children are being abused are the actual abusers. I am not aware of studies showing the numbers. Some experts I know estimate it to be about 20%. I have seen cases of it.

      I will cite some testimony from Dr. Steven Miller. I cannot warrant this quote down to the last punctuation mark, but it was generally "What you need is a sub specialist in alienation and estrangement who sees it all the time, not the best psychologist in the world who rarely sees it. And, so very briefly, the short answer to this question "how does this happen", is this field is highly counter intuitive to anyone who doesn't have extensive training and experience dealing with it. They - most people will usually get it wrong. When I say people, I mean attorneys, psychologist, other mental health experts. The majority of the time they will not only get the case and the evaluations and the recommendations wrong they will get it exactly backwards. "

      On a note of optimism, I can refer you to a very recent paper by Dr. Bernet who has an empirically justified, peer reviewed test that can help weed out false allegations or parental alienation from actual child abuse.

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      Brandon Teshlog 7 months ago

      You described exactly what my girlfriend and I are going through with her ex's grandparents. They took my girlfriend to court to get custody and they won. They have now been dragging us back to court and what you wrote is exactly what we are experiencing and regretfuly what we will be going through further down the road

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      Help needed 7 months ago

      cancellations with nothing by changing or cancelling the access tags to the building And Family court says there is nothing they can do for me. Now this divorce case must still go to court,it was already sent for an evaluation to the family advocate, which they only mentioned in the report that I have mentioned that my ex has NARC tendencies. But they not sending for an evaluation. So how can I convince the judge to send us both for that evaluation just so that my story can be proven. My ex can get the help she requires and me and my two daughters can live the life they deserve.

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      swimmermom03@gmail.com 8 months ago


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      Andy 8 months ago

      I can very much relate to this I still strive to deal with anxiety day by day I'm beating the depression my eldest daughter stop talking to me and has separated her self from her mother my youngest daughter is in tears on the phone when I speak with her and is so happy when I have supervised visits it breaks my heart to see her leave my x has gone to every length to breach me with false vro even to the point of almost getting me locked up for six months and setting me up in a police station by being present as I had made arrangement with the officer involved in pushing her into placing to come in and discuss why he did so she was standing in the station when normally at that time she would have been picking my daughters up from school I was breeched for been within 5 m of her even though I had made a point to move away from her thinking I was 5 m away I was arrested and charged with a breech even though nothing happened and there was 25 officers in the station I have the charge sheet from the officer and signed saying there was no interaction between us but yet my c wrote in the first affidavit that I was also rude and abbusive towards her it was also on cctv vision as I couldn't afford to dis spite it I had to plead guilty I gotwhen I rang the police officer who told me in a phone call he pushed my Czech into putting a vro on me even though I had committed no crime I left my x because I ended up having an anxiety attack so bad I ended up in hospital felt more like I was having a heart attack every time a court case comes ups he slaps me with another affidavit 2 days prior full of pursuers lies which I have physical and signed documentation to prove against the lies and false allegations but after 2 years I still haven't been given a chance to defend anything in the courts my youngest daughter is now suffering breathing and health issues at the age of eleven and I also believe she is forming an eating exseive eating disorder due to seperation anxiety I strongly believe through my experience that the courts seriously need to look very strongly into this narssasitic disorder I believe it is very dangerous for all involved especially children whom are the ones that suffer the most my own mother did it to both my brother and I as children it has a long lasting detrimental affect carrying on into adult hood my mother has written both my brother and I of and took side with my wife so she could keep access to my daughters my brother now suffers from delusional phsciafrenia and I still bare the burden of the emotional scaring I'm now 44 and trying to rebuild my life and stay strong for my daughters law seriously needs to change to stop the suffering this is now becoming a very bad epidemic !

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      Brenda 8 months ago

      This worked in spousal support too. My ex told the judge he made no income and had no assets. I knew he had hidden his assets and he obviously had income as he paid all his bills including a $500/month truck loan. When the judge awarded him support from me I had a breakdown and couldn't work. I settled out of court. It was all lies. He came to court looking homeless with a splint on his hand. His hair was long and he kept his head in his hands. As soon as the judge left for a recess he was chatting and laughing. It was all an act. That was three years ago.....now he's selling these "assets" that he claimed he never had (either in his family law or bankruptcy. Glad I am back on my feet and don't have to deal with him.

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      Jammi 8 months ago

      This article is on point! Going to have my soon to be lawyer read this article. I have been representing myself for years because of the cost of court. I've decided to bite the bullet and hire a lawyer in hopes to never let him use the system to continue his abuse!

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      KAR 8 months ago

      I have been living with every situation called out in this article. It's frightening how spot on this is. It's like they are talking about my husbands ex like they know her.

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      jenny 8 months ago

      this is my ex all the way. he already has a diagnosed mental illness, but he abandoned me and our three special needs and has done nothing, but play mind games. he was hell in court and outside court. has turned me into cps 8 times, which has been unfounded, has claimed parent alienation when he has canceled for a month and half at a time, brings the kids back early, or just cancels for the day, when he has them they are bruised and get injured. the school reports it and then someone shows up. my kids hate him and are afraid of him. he hits my kids and yells at them, but then says I am doing everything, when it is proven false. he then says that everything thing is my fault and I am just angry bc he is always gone bc he has to work so he can't have visitations now? when in reality he said that he needs alone time. he parties, gets drunk, and is dating 20 year olds and he is 42. he is screaming he is the victim when all I do is get harassed when in am trying to go back to college for a masters degree and raise my kids

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      debbie 8 months ago

      my daughter is going though this now, the judge does not see this, he has convence their daughter that she needs to be with him, that this separation was all her fault, he is having problem in his second marriage but still harresing my daughter, their daughter is in counicling but belives she will be happier with her father and new mom, she said she hates her own mom this man is so good at manipulation , we do not know what to do, he did all the parenting classes angermanament drug testing has supervised visitation but because he did the classes judge now lets him see the kids at his house, and sence then been arrested for domatic violence on his wife, always refuses to return the kids on time tried to hide them still the judge can not see that

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      Never married 8 months ago

      What about when the NPD parent is in law enforcement? Then they know how to testify and how to keep their cool (at least for a while...).

      Just had a mediation with mine and he was yelling at me in front of the mediator. Her response was "Guys, C'mon." I remained calm despite his neglect and possible inappropriate sexual conduct.

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      Juliette 9 months ago

      Spot on this should be a jailing offence

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      Ellie Mae 10 months ago

      Great article, you nailed it!

      My counselor (also marriage counselor with ex previously) advised me to make a movie for the judges, attorneys, counselors and mediators to learn from.

      It took me 3 divorces to get away from the pedophile, our daughter was our ONLY child and a tool he used to hurt me the most. Manipulation, lies and deceit; and every one in his path is a victim.

      She hates her Mother, loves and defends her Father regardless; He wins!!!

      Mean, hateful and vindictive; win at all costs!

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      Bob smith 10 months ago

      Excellent article, I have a narcissist ex wife who is fabricating autism symptoms in our son, she has worked as a social worker, a psychologist and has now studied law and set up her own disability complaints buisness, It has been an absolute nightmare for my son and my family as this woman has misled courts, police, medical and educational professionals throughout 14 court hearings, .....she's extremely plausible when first encountered yet is delusional and very scary when legally trained!!

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      Elsabe 12 months ago

      My 10 year old daughter doesn't see anything wrong with her father and wants to sleep over at his house. He asked the court for her to appear. I think he is going to use his child to make his defence stronger. How do I let the court see he's a Narc?

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      Not the narcissist. 12 months ago

      Mr Krill, thank you for your enlightenment. I had to look up narcisist a few years back when the true authenticated targeted parent diagnosed me as a narcisist to the courts.

      I hope your critics can listen to what you are saying and realize maybe some are led astray by DR Childress teachings. Dr Childress has consumed then far too long. Estrangement is quite different than alienation by ones own manipulation. Reunification is nearly impossible when one is so dead set on publicly pushing PAS and the true authenticated parent on the media, child, teachers, friends of the child, parents of the child's friends, the news media and social media. The onslaught with making Dr Childress' unorthodox identification and treatment by forcing custody with the targeted parent through state regulations will do a lot of harm.

      This push for PAS and onslaght of insults are noticed by the children. That embarrassment and dislike for what isn't true that causes the estrangement.

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      Jane 12 months ago

      This article is spot on. It's almost scary how text book this disorder is. I'm sure there have been many hard experiences for people in custody battles but for anyone who has delt with true NPD to the fullest this article is exactly right. And whoever said the kids shouldn't testify.. when your kid had been abused and every avenue has been taken to protect that child and the last resort (and yes I say last resort bc I didn't want my child to go through the anguish of talking with the judge) is talking to the judge themselves THEY WANT A VOICE. Having a NPD father my daughters voice and feelings and rights and wants where never allowed her with him. Her talking to the judge is something she was willing to do to say she never wanted to be near him. So thank you for writing this article. I hope many judges read it. Sometimes in life when your dealing with something many don't truly understand you feel so alone but then you real an article like this and know there are people who know exactly what you are dealing with.

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      Griffdowns 13 months ago

      First hand, I have witnessed the psychological terror results in my grandchildren by their mom. When they are away from her for a few days, yes, just maybe, a very tiny possibility they would choose their father to be with, so strong is the Npd mom's reign in their minds. Never, never would they ever choose their father in a court room because she heavy indoctrinates them before an event. Even taking children to meet up for time with their father, the littlest has said her mom cries and prays all the way there for God to protect her kids from their father or his neighborhood or etc. It takes several hours for these kids to relax and have any fun.

      As far as alienation, my son, the father, does not see he kids unless she says so... usually, if it benefits her going out & etc. The Npd mom has never stuck with any portions of the agreement, but dictates at every turn. It's been over 3 yrs. of lawyers, both filing for divorce, arbitrations, court appearances and she has never complied completely to court expectations, as well. Their divorce is still not finalized, nor has custody.

      But this you should rethink:

      A child dominated by a nacisist cannot be expected to choose the sane parent....! Their world, their thoughts and responses are all heavily dictated by the insane parent. Do not ever ask the child to choose. The child loses. The sane parent's ability to influence and help will be nullified and the RESULT, society will suffer!!!

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      Let's get real 13 months ago

      This is the most intelligent and insightful article I've seen on this subject. This author is exactly right. Teens who have had an excellent relationship with a parent can not be brainwashed into hating a loving parent. To say that an intelligent, healthy teen will reject a healthy, loving for no reason is to deny reality and to demonstrate a serious lack of human insight. Bravo to this author!

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      Cursed 14 months ago

      What do I do? I have PTSD. I've been in a triangle of abuse. My father has his own cult. I married a man like him after threats and persuasion. My gma, mother of my mom is unstable and not credible. She commits purgery for her own gain and intimidation tactic. My father preyed on my mother. I've not had a way out but pregnancy urged me to escape their triangul of abuse. A wicked alliance that's made me reevaluate my sanity. I was granted a permanent order of protection but now pay dearly for it. I was terrified of exposing them from the get go. I have substantial proof that they're psychopaths/narcs. My younger sister and I were conditioned by my dad's choice for pedophilia. He's had me report my first husband as means to discredit me. If I didn't attest he'd Baker act me using cult testimonies and continually send me off to mental institutions. I was married off to someone even worse than him. It's cost me everything. Curse of mental anguish my sick father hosts incantations and nightly requests for my brother Ben and I'd deaths

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      CidW 20 months ago

      My ex is an attorney. He is also a Malignant Narcissist who has enjoyed using the legal system to destroy my life. I don't live. I simply fearfully exist.

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      Walter K 20 months ago

      Spot on in describing overall dynamics and results...

      Except that in this article, unfortunately like so many, examples are then phrased in definitive language that excludes less common presentations of NPD, especially *highly sophisticated* covert NPD. "They WILL be recognized by... " "They will" this and "they will" that, filling in the blanks with only examples of more obviously spotted actions and signs.

      When stated this way, it actually does a disservice to victims of much more highly sophisticated presentations. Even though we who are well informed and smart enough to read the variations of NPD presentation into the text and move on, others think they are receiving definitive information because of the phrasing... and, in the hands of a highly skilled NPD with the "humble, fantastic person" presentation, this unfortunate dip into definitive phrasing is the kind of thing that helps them takes an article that actually CALLS OUT their game and disorder, twist it around, and use it for complete invalidation of the idea that they are NPD and a twisted discrediting attack on the victim themselves! "See, I don't do THAT! See how crazy my victim is with this NPD stuff?" Expressed with indignant self-righteousness and quietly sneering, of course. ("They will be recognized by... police reports for abuse against them." No, the highly sophisticated covert is more likely to have fabricated situations to manufacture police reports against their victim!)

      Thank you SO much for calling out the truth, but please help to spread the whole truth more inclusively so others are not inadvertently victimized further.

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      Nana S 2 years ago

      So glad to read this article written by someone so close to home. My daughter is dealing with a custody situation that sounds so familiar when reading this. I have always said her ex was a narcissist. It is never really about my grandson, its all about winning and making my daughter look like the bad guy. She does deal with some mental health issues but she deals with them and continues treatment. That does not make her a bad mother. Her and my grandson have lived with me since he was born, and the father did at that time as well. Three months later she told him to leave. He would not pay his share of the expenses and never contributed a dime toward the baby, all while not even making his car payment resulting in his car being reposed in my driveway a couple months after moving out. He came to see his son and they showed up with a tow truck and he went nuts on the poor people doing their job. She has been in and out of court with the guy for 2 solid years now. This time he is seeking custody because she was going to move and he views that as possible harm to the child! I just wish I cold afford a good attorney to help her. This guy has another child who is a year older that my grandson and the mother of that child tried to keep him away by naming someone else as the father. She had a PFA on him so he went to court to look good and prove it was his son. I mistaked that behavior for what it really was. The judge gave him 4 hours a week supervised visitation for that child. But when it came to my grandson the same judge gives him 3-4 weekends a month Friday through Monday! My daughter has tried to work with him on a fair visitation schedule but it is never good enough since he only wants primary custody or else. It is a shame that family law judges are not made to take courses to teach them what to look for! My grandson is only 2 1/2 right now but never wants to go, he cries and screams, but when he is coming back he reaches for us right away and never cries! That alone should say something. It is a shame that kids have to endure the damage before anyone will see things for what they really are. By then it is too late!

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      aussie 2 years ago

      Speaking from my experience of dealing with a sociopath and family law. My children stood up the their father, but only to a point.

      When it came time for them to see the court appointed counsellor and he took them, they were not going to say anything against him as they were terrified of him. The narc, sociopath will and does have total control over the kids when it comes to the fear factor and repercussions of speaking up.

      This is were mediation and court counselling fails big time. This is an area where judges need to be well versed in this disorder and stop putting the major decisions on the kids. In a normal family environment we dont ask the kids what they want as in the big decisions. But in separated families for some reason its become the norm to give the kids the decision making, it may work some of the time but in abusive situations its a massive issue and dangerous.

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      William E Krill Jr 2 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Renee: I do not believe I deny its existence; I state that is not in the DSM as an official diagnosis. Childress makes a good point on the original claims about PAS not holding very solid foundations. I have no doubt that in some future DSM it will be classified.

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      Renee 2 years ago

      Just because something hasn't made it in to DSM, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Once again, a mental health worker clueless about parental alienation. Experiencing it first hand.

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      Damari 2 years ago

      All bullying needs to stop. What will they do about work place bullies and bullying? I was also the only one he treated like this..All he needed to do was be kind, show kindness. I want to bring more awareness to work place bullying in 2016 to help others not have to deal with bullies for bosses. The laws need to change!!! What will they do about work place bullies and bullying, it needs to stop...I was fired 12 days before Christmas...

      I use to like people but a bully shot me down! Bosses should lead employees not Bully...Yes not from bullies! What about work place bullies?! Remember bullies come in all shapes and sizes....I was bullied by an adult named Jeff Ursino , my manager at Citibank in Carmel, Ca...after he successfully made me sick with nerves and caused my blood pressure to go up he fired me via UPS 12 days before Christmas while I was out on a workers comp pending case...my family will never forget the pain he caused us....and I haven't worked since due to all of this.

      Jeff Ursino once told me that I couldn't wear the hats I'd been wearing to work for almost four years with no problem. He said it was company policy yet there was nothing in writing. I called HR and they said there was nothing in the codes about hats. About six weeks later Jeff Ursino decided to tell me that I could wear hats again but only a couple days a week. I asked him what about the policy and he replied " I'm in control" , it was his way of throwing his weight around, what a bully! He also threatened to fire me for job abandonment if I didn't show up to work on a day I couldn't work, my daughter was ill and he was already fully staffed. He put me on the schedule at the last minute to pressure me into working...a Bully at his finest. He also stated that I hadn't worked on days that I had and I still have a copy of the schedules.

      Bullying needs to end and companies need to properly train manages to be leaders not bullies! What will politicians do about it? Nothing! We need to unite and do something about adult bullying and in the work place!

      I have two boxes of proof and I did document everything. When I realized that there is actually an Awareness month for anti bullying I decided to tell my story again in hopes of finding an organization that I can help bring light to this also very ugly issue!

      What I have mentioned is just a bit of all he did. No one cared or did anything about it. I wrote my leaders, congressmen , senators , mayors, city leaders, the president , attorney general, etc...everyone past the buck. Since then, bullying has come to the forefront and I want to tell my story.

      He is a father of 3 sons, still a " manager" , on the board of trustees for a school district and I can't help but wonder who he is bullying now.

      He had choices and he chose to be unkind, uncaring, not understanding, treated me like crap, ignored what others where doing, focused on me until he ruined me!

      ALL BULLIES NEED TO BE STOPPED!!!!! All companies need Bullying training and the manager isn't always right! Only cowards bully other people! He didn't care what I was wearing he simply wanted to show who was in control and bully me. The hats didn't prevent me from doing my job nor did anyone ever complain about them, in fact I got lots of compliments from customers and a couple of his bosses and someone from HR, it's was great until he showed up as a temporary manager. He just wanted me gone and set out to wrongfully terminate me. He couldn't even write me up correctly and I have the proof. He couldn't even fire me correctly as he broke California Labor codes in the process of firing me. He was simply unkind and heartless to me.

      Please grow up to be a kind, caring person. Never purposely make someone fear their going to loose their job for putting their daughter first, that's what he did to me...and yet he is a father.

      Time to open their eyes and our leaders and change the laws. Speak the truth state the facts and have your evidence ready! One of the reasons I am doing this is because I have proof, my journal, the forms he used to write me up incorrectly. He was in such a hurry to write me up that the first time he wrote me up he used the wrong form, he used the second warning form. He threatened me with job abandonment yet didn't know how that law worked. For some reason the universe, my God or what ever you want to believe, had me keep all the evidence. In my journal I wrote daily of what occurred at work, he singled me out. In four and a half years I loved my job 98 percent of the days then he came and ruined not only me but the spirit of that bank branch. He took away causal Friday and tried to take away cookies on Fridays for our customers. He said we all had to only eat in the break room but yet would eat at his desk and not say anything to the pretty blonde when she ate at her station. He took all my family photos down and claimed it was best for my family but allowed others to have their family photos out! A BULLY!!!!please share my story to bring awareness to work place bullying.

      The more I read the more I realize he was threatened by me. My reviews didn't justify what he did. Several times I was asked if I was the manager as he stood next to me. The hat issue was just him being a bully, he ignored what others did and wouldn't give me credit when it was due to me, he played it down. He snapped his fingers twice, said my name , pointed to the back room and said Damari in the back the very first time he ever addressed me. In the back room he said my reputation precedes me, that upper management had nothing but glowing reports about me. He asked why I thought I do so well and I told him because I love my job. He was a temporary manager, the branch was looking for a full time manager. Jeff Ursino was managing two branches during this process, I was trying to hang in there until we got a new one but he couldn't wait to fire me. I'm understanding more about bullies these days, it doesn't make it right but we need to pray for the bully.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 2 years ago

      It seems that overcoming deception of the narcissist requires counter-intuitive thinking, or thinking opposite of what people consider to be a "common sense". What is least likely to be true about narcissist could actually be true.

    • profile image

      NVSurvivor 3 years ago

      Thank you for what I consider a useful discussion about an all important topic that has somehow fallen through the cracks. Without getting into a lot of the detail, I feel so very much can be learned from Adult Children of Narcissists. Those of us who are adult survivors typically are still (& will likely always be) recovering from the silent suffering we were brought up with. For many of us, we always hoped someone would see & acknowledge our pain & suffering, but more often than not, we were fed right back to the wolves, i.e. our families, by those who were supposed to watch out for our well-being - i.e. other adults/teachers/clergy/doctors/attorneys/judges. Yet, we were failed by them all. What would be a good start is that ANY attorney or judge, especially those in family law, to undergo MANDATORY classes in recognizing and understanding personality disorders and other mental health issues (but esp NPD). By the same token, these same people should talk with adult victims of NPD - usually adult children of NPD parents - more than once. The thing is, although a lot of such survivors would like to talk to those who could go on to make the most difference in other people's lives, we are hesitant to do it because we have been let down by the system time & again. We are very reticent about having our information twisted and misunderstood over & over again. Again, these survivors I believe are the greatest source of information & teaching, but they need to be treated with the utmost deference and respect, not at least for the true psychological torture they have been forced to endure most of their lives. Understand too, many of these adult survivors may STILL be being taken advantage of by their NPD parent/siblings - usually by this time though it is financial advantage they are being taken advantage of.

    • profile image

      Ppete69876 3 years ago

      In my case the alienator is my daughters narcissistic father. It's the elephant in the room. Why does no one see this? He asks to have her, then walks out and goes to a festival without telling her. He drops her off at the library then returns hours later with no explanation. She doesn't trust him, thinks he doesn't love her, doesn't want to go with him because he 'disappoints her'. Elephant in the room here.

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 3 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Thanks for the support (the ones who actually read and understood the article, that is).

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 3 years ago from New York, NY

      Thank you for this valuable hub, Mr. Krill. I voted this hub up and interesting. I plan to share this with my colleagues who practice family law. Allow me to shed a little insight into the legal profession's role in all of this.

      Yes, one would think that judges and lawyers would have the skill to detect such deception. After all, the spirit of the profession (I think) is to seek justice and truth - but alas, we are not superheros. We are just like everyone else - human - fallible - imperfect - overloaded with cases. You can't imagine the caseload of the offices of guardian ad litems (attorneys assigned to protect the interest of children in dependency cases).

      Still, you make an excellent point, that the NPD individual is a master manipulator, where every waking moment he or she is plotting ways to win in every life scenario. Given that level of commitment to manipulation, it can be extremely difficult (and exhausting) to see and judge, which is why even the mental health experts can be "duped." Everyone else, for the NPD individual, is an easy target.

      Unfortunately, given the limitations of the legal system, it's nearly impossible (though not totally impossible) for a judge to make such a determination, at least not in a timely fashion as most of us would like. What do judges have with these cases but several minutes in a courtroom setting where everyone is supposed to be on their best behavior (coached by attorneys)?

      Perhaps, lawyers could do a better job of presenting and defending cases but there are limitations on the rules of evidence, trial procedure, etc., which sometimes "tie our hands." Attorneys, like medical doctors, are sworn in with an oath, generally something like this:

      1. To "support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States;"

      2. To "do no falsehood or consent that any be done in court;"

      3. To inform the court of any falsehood perpetuated in court;

      4. To not "wittingly, willingly or knowingly promote, sue, or procure to be sued, any false or unlawful suit, or give aid or consent to the same;"

      5. and not to delay justice for any person out of "lucre or malice" acting according to our best learning, discretion, and in all good faith to the court and our clients.

      I respect your level of expertise and commend you for taking the time to share it with the rest of us.

      Wishing you much continued success. May the new year bring you many blessings.

    • profile image

      gayle 3 years ago

      Mr. KRILL, I read my story while reading your writing! You are completely right on! I was married to a NPD for 15 years & had two children with him. Of course, it took me fighting my way out & 3 more years, including a custody trial, before I could even begin to understand what in the world happened to me! It has now been 14 years since I left and never looked back & I'm still dealing with the aftermath of being with such an amazing imposter. He appeared to adore our children yet was sickeningly jealous of them. He did make me as sick as he was, crazy making behaviour to say the least. The things he did to our children to destroy me were utterly shocking, emotional insest at it's finest. My children are adults now and severely wounded and they really don't understand why. I believe the oldest, the most abused by her NPD dad, now has NPD. What he put us through, especially them, is incomprehensible. We all have PTSD, I doubt we will ever fully be who we were meant to be yet we are so much more because of it.

      Back to the custody trial, he is well educated, genius perhaps, retired military, blah blah blah blah blah and yes, he did all of the classic narcissistic tricks and then some. He requested the psychological evaluations, and they revealed him to see himself as so superior that he denied ever saying one single cuss word in his life! And I was easily influenced, had low self esteem, etc. He degraded, devalued, denied me. He lied about my devotion to my kids (i had none)and I lied about his devotion to his kids (he was a devoted father)...yes, my kids were interviewed by the judge. We were still shell shocked, baffled, confused, sick. Can you say "Hedda Nesbaum?" Seriously. I didn't look like her but I can promise you, I felt like she looked only I felt 100 times worse. I still didn't know the truth of the horror he put on me, on us. He got custody. He continued to abuse our children and used the court system, the local police, the juvenile court system to back him up. Diabolical. He couldn't parent so he called the police on his children on numerous occasions to do it for him. And what an amazing man, father he was trying to do the "right thing." When I moved 2 miles away I had our kids all the time until he had the urge to call the police, which was often, to have 1 or both of the kids taken to juvenile as a runaway. He just had this amazing talent of deception and apparently no one saw through him. He changed who those kids were meant to be. I could write a big book on his tactics & the depths he would go to to save his face & show what a superior person he was. Behind closed doors he was a terrorist. I'm grateful he got custody because any other way I believe he could have, would have killed my children & me. We survived. But the wounds are so deep, so twisted, so painful that we will spend our lifetime sorting then out. Yes, we need our mental health providers seriously educated on NPD, our judges seriously educated on NPD, our juvenile court judges & probation & surveillance officers educated. This is so serious, so prevalent, so damaging, the affects so far reaching, one cannot even begin to comprehend unless they've lived it. Thank you Thank you Thank you for writing this piece.


      Gayle Allen

      Survivor, Truth Seeker

      Yes, the sky is blue

      And don't let a Narcissist tell you it's not!!!

    • Nicole A Lowande profile image

      Nicole A Lowande 3 years ago from Quakertown, Pennsylvania

      What I wouldn't give to be able to get the judge assigned to my case to read this! I just wanted to say that these children going through this ridiculous BS are just doing what they can to wake up the next day w/limited punishments. It's called SURVIVAL MODE! My daughter is 7 well she'll be 8 in 8 days and so I guess survival mode maybe among younger children? I do not know the answer to that. I just remind myself of this multiple times a day or anytime I feel really upset with her for just telling a flat out lie to her dad. 1 tiny example of my baby girl's poor life-She started calling her stepmother "Mommy" after she was told by her dad & this woman that she was never going to see me again. Okay well i've dealt with it, even though she treats my daughter horribly (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS taking the higher road-I admit it is starting to get quite tiring after almost 2 years) last weekend I wake up to a text from my ex "What the hell is wrong with you? You really need to grow up! Telling her that she is not allowed to call Carrie mommy, she is her stepmom" Then at 4pm my daughter called me asking why I lied to daddy bc I did tell her she's not allowed to call her mommy. I just told her that I've never said that but if she's in trouble for some reason, in regards to this, that I will tell her dad that I did say this to her. I guess you can call it my motherly instinct I JUST KNEW that she had called her stepmonster (lol) by her 1st name and she got in trouble for not calling her mommy AND wouldn't ya know that was confirmed for me at just earlier today. SICK SICK SICK! Right now @ this point my daughter is not alienated enough to have PAS but the severity of it comes and goes. Sorry this is such a long message when really I only wanted to mention the survival mode because of something I had read in the comments here.

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 3 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      I fear people are putting words in my mouth, my article, and sentiments between my lines that are just not there. Proof that how people perceive and then react to to things is an important source of conflict. I have spoken of my experience and from my professional experience, and have good success with these kinds of cases (not perfect, but good). The assumptions that I am ignorant of the experts in the field is just wrong (see Baker and Sauber's clinical book, first chapter, how judgement errors are made: 'jumping to conclusions' for short).

    • profile image

      Cindy 3 years ago

      Again, NPDs usually have control of the child emotionally and physically. They are NOT the ones saying they are being alienated. They are doing the alienating. They pressure the kids to align with them. They have no reason to say they are being alienated from their children. NPDs are the ones using their children as weapons. Children share the ill minded delusions of the NPD and will claim this parents way of thinking as their own, DESPITE proof. Not sure why people who claim to understand divorce can not comprehend this, especially with all the expert resources that have been shared unless their own experience prevents them from doing so. The lack of or refusal to understand will cause harm if counseling these cases. Thus the counselor takes part in child abuse.

    • profile image

      jaimesuz2 3 years ago

      Howie, right on!

      From my vantage point as I watch and listen to my own children it is their father I see and hear, not them. They mimic his words, a script, they are not themselves. I received 6 texts from my youngest, 3 texts in each of 2 years; swearing and calling me foul names. In front of me now are my children, captive, and so am I! We are subject to our captor, i.e. Stockholm Syndrome. I want out!

      "And many children think they are abandoned but they are not." I grew up thinking 'my father left me when I was two'. I have said this exact phrase for many years when asked 'where is your father?' . . . this is so sick! So sad! My father did not leave me—my mother kept him away! She made scenes and all he wanted was me in his life—so sad for him and so sad for me . . .

      . . . and this http://drcraigchildressblog.com/2014/12/02/high-ro... . . . just arrived in my email today . . . "I would like to take this opportunity to provide Ms. Pruter with my unequivocal, full and complete support for her model of family reunification (“High Road to Family Reunification”). Based on my review of her reunification protocol, it is theoretically sound for addressing the issues surrounding an attachment-based model of “parental alienation.” I would anticipate that her reunification protocol will be highly effective in resolving the family issues surrounding an attachment-based model of “parental alienation.”"

      Wow! This is the site Dr. Childress highly endorses . . . http://www.consciouscoparentinginstitute.com/

      I am so jazzed!

      Another truism . . . ‘Children do not reject parents’. This is amazing; do WATCH THIS, Mr. Krill.



    • profile image

      Howie 3 years ago

      It is true that I am not in a position to see many of the cases where a child has not succumbed. I mostly see the cases where the child has succumbed and where mental health has got it way wrong.

      I always think it is useful to casually ask the child to list the strengths and weaknesses of each parent, and if they child cannot list any bad things about one and any good things about the other, that is a red flag, because the child is splitting, just like the narcissist.

      Then also, is the child's attachment broken? Is there actually no effect left for a parent? If so, then that is another huge red flag that the child is alienated. It is really hard to break the attachment system, without domestic violence, physical abuse, abandonment, substance abuse etc. (And many children think they are abandoned but they are not.)

      Childress really does have the best attachment based model for diagnosis and I refer all to that.

      None of the above is medical advice. I don't give that.

    • EmpoweredCoaching profile image

      EmpoweredCoaching 3 years ago from Connecticut

      I disagree, your article was not specifically about NPD parents, you brought in aspects about children and court. The children in court and how they feel about the healthy parent is where you went astray.

      Thank you

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 3 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Great stuff, no doubt, from Childress and others. MY article was specifically about genuine NPD parents who abuse the reality of PA as a weapon against their ex in custody court, presenting themselves as victims of it.

    • profile image

      jaimesuz2 3 years ago

      I cannot stress enough—“Parental Alienation", the common world-wide associated 'term' or 'name', is described by Dr. Craig Childress as a 'symptom' and in actuality it is a good thing not to be included in the DSM-5. Underlying diagnoses are already found within the DSM-5 and tell the truth of the matter. Therapists already know the basics of child behaviors yet are duped into looking elsewhere for a false interpretation. This is how twisted and faulty diagnoses are made.

      Note the items below are direct quotes taken from Dr. Childress Article "Reconceptualizing Parental Alienation: Parental Personality Disorder and the Trans-­generational Transmission of Attachment Trauma, C.A. Childress, Psy.D. (2013) a downloadable PDF from website http://www.drcachildress.org/asp/admin/getFile.asp...

      Understanding the concepts below will significantly clear up major misunderstandings that halt the progress of eliminating Parental Alienation.


      "The primary symptom associated with the family processes classically referred to as “parental alienation” is the child’s rejection of a relationship with a parent. This central symptom represents a massive disruption to the normal-­‐range functioning of the child’s attachment system relative to one parent, the targeted-­‐rejected parent, and a corresponding display of a hyper-­‐bonding motivation toward the other parent, the favored or allied parent. Recognizing the central symptom of “parental alienation” as a prominent disruption to the child’s attachment system allows for a more extensive and exacting examination of the family relationship processes that are producing the characteristic pattern of family relationships that have traditionally been called “parental alienation"”. (p. 1)


      "The family processes that have traditionally been referred to as “parental alienation” represent standard family systems dynamics (Haley, 1977; Minuchin, 1972) involving the child’s triangulation into the spousal conflict through the actions of the alienating parent, who forms a cross-­‐generational coalition with the child referred to by Haley (1977) as a “perverse triangle,” whereby the child becomes over-­‐empowered and inappropriately elevated in the family hierarchy to a status above that of the targeted parent (Minuchin, 1974). The child’s over-empowered elevation in the family hierarchy is created, supported, and maintained by the child’s coalition with the allied and favored parent.” (p. 18)

      Parents cannot be simply observed from the outside and one named the 'bad parent' and the other the 'favored parent' just because one of them is obviously rejected by their child no matter the age; the emotional responses of a child or adult child may even be dwarfed at the onset of Parental Alienation as it is. This is where confusion causes the 'bad' parent to be easily misjudged and dismissed by judges who order the child to remain under the control of the parent who is in actuality harming them. They do get away with murder to the detriment of all.


      "However, within “parental alienation” processes, the child’s authentically experienced sadness and emotional pain at the loss of a bonded relationship with the targeted parent is being misinterpreted by the child as “evidence” of the targeted-­‐rejected parent’s “abusive” parenting under the distorting influence of the invalidating environment created by the narcissistic/borderline parent. The child’s misattribution of meaning regarding an authentically experienced grief response is the direct consequence of the distorted communication and parenting practices of the personality disordered alienating parent that require the child to adopt a “victimized” stance relative to the role of “abusive” parent within the trauma reenactment narrative. Narcissistic personalities are pathologically incapable of experiencing grief. According to Kernberg (1975),” (p. 19)

      PLEASE READ this article thoroughly along with other Childress articles related to these key factors that determine the Parental Alienation Dynamic: PARENTAL ALIENATION DEFINED, CROSS-GENERATIONAL PERVERSE TRIANGULATION, and THE ATTACHMENT SYSTEM AND GRIEF RESPONSE.


    • EmpoweredCoaching profile image

      EmpoweredCoaching 3 years ago from Connecticut

      Mr Krillco stated"though once again feel not enough credit is given to the child(ren) for their natural intelligence and awareness."

      With all do respect, that is not what I am saying, the children are very smart, the smarter they are, the more chance they have at being alienated. Why? Because they can figure out what to do to save themselves. If the child is "in their own world" then they will be less likely to be alienated because the messages the NPD parent is sending goes in one ear and out the other. Now, I am not saying it wont affect the child, it will, but they wont be likely to turn on the Healthy parent.

      They are naturally smart and aware, but they are also very scared. the NPD parent has a very huge hold over the child and the child is so afraid of that parent, they will turn on the other parent to survive.

      My own child has told me that they are afraid to speak up to their NPD parent.

      Yes, there are children who will stand up for the healthy parent, I have one of them. They are the children the NPD can't get their hooks into.

      As you see, I have two children, one who is afraid of the NPD parent and one who isn't but is also being abused in a different way.

      You stated "at this time it is NOT a diagnosis, and, I feel, cannot be legitimately used. My entire point was to describe how NPD parents use the court system and the collected phenomenon of PA to further inflict their damage"

      ". I agree with you here. No, I don’t feel the term should be used in the court room, but the actions of the NPD should be spoken about. The NPD absolutely abuses the system and inflicts more damage. The court dosnt get it and they do rule very poorly by ruling with the NPD and allowing the visitations to be withdrawn, therefore, inflicting more damage to the children and Healthy parent. The NPD parent is a master at using anything they can get their hands on.

      Where I differ in opinion is your thoughts on the children and how they act and that they should be allowed in court.

      Thank you

    • EmpoweredCoaching profile image

      EmpoweredCoaching 3 years ago from Connecticut

      Mr Krillco stated ""The reality is that targeted parents who are victims of Parental Alienation are 99% PTSD victims who are up against an NPD ex spouse. Not the other way around."

      Yes, Targeted parents have PTSD, true and they are going up against an NPD ex spouce, that is why they have PTSD.

      I am not against the points you made about the NPD and how they work, where my grave concern is with your article is how you talk about the children and how they don't want to see the Targeted parent. They DO very so want to be with both parents but they are brainwashed into telling the world that they hate the Target parent.

      I have worked with many parents whos children say this, as well as my own personal experience, so I do know that when a child speaks out against the Target parent, they are only doing so to protect themselves from the abuse of the NPD parent. The child will then suffer their own abuse and start to cut and act out in society, and sometimes commit suicide.

      So, Mr Krillco, I really think you need to look at what you are saying about the children, you are misinformed and giving out dangerous information.

      You went on to say "Is it awful for a kid to be in front of a court? I believe I said 'yes'. Is it awful that a kid would have to talk to a judge in chambers? Yes, but not worse than treating the child like a mindless chess piece."

      Children do not have a place in court until they are 18. It is putting them in the middle, NO way should they have a voice in court when the parents are High Conflict.

      I am open to speak with you if you would like to get the real truth of how children act when dealing with an NPD.

      Thank you

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 3 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      I agree with your discussion, though once again feel not enough credit is given to the child(ren) for their natural intelligence and awareness. It presupposes that every case of PA is successful, and the child (or teen, or adult child) is powerless to resist the mezmerizing effects of the NPD. I have found children who are willing and eager to stand up for their (genuinely) healthy parent and tell the judge just why they do not want to be with the unhealthy one. (And yes, I don't mean I have just taken their word for it, I have interviewed the unhealthy parent and confirmed their NPD pathology.) The assumption that I have no understanding of PA, or what others have written is in error. In my experience, a great number of NPD's will (falsely) claim PA against the target parent as a means to further control and confuse the court situations. While PA might make it into the DSM someday (I actually hope it does, because it will be a good tool for child protection), at this time it is NOT a diagnosis, and, I feel, cannot be legitimately used. My entire point was to describe how NPD parents use the court system and the collected phenomenon of PA to further inflict their damage. At this point, PA is a double edged sword in court, and one that I feel confuses the judges; judges should closely examine the BEHAVIOR of both parents, and have the child carefully examined. I never said parents who are victims of PA are narcissists, or that alienation is not possible, or does not occur, only that NPD parents are awfully good at using any lever they can find to continue to control their ex and children, and PA is one of them.

    • PASIntervention profile image

      PASIntervention 3 years ago from Southbury, Connecticut

      I am posting something that another parent suggested might be useful. It is a link to my article on PTSD related to Parental Alienation. http://www.pas-intervention.com/PASI/Articles_file...

      or below is the article:

      PTSD: Recognizing and Dealing with it. By Joan T. Kloth-Zanard, GAL, RSS, ABI & LC www.PAS-Intervention.com www.Dance2EndChildAbuse.org 203-770-0318

      This weekend had been hectic. Nasty things being slandered and bantered about others. I was ready to do battle, when my good friend talked me down and reminded me that these people who are lashing out like this, are suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She refocused me and convinced me to write an article on the subject instead.

      PTSD is what happens to someone who experiences an event or situation that has a major impact leaving him or her vulnerable to their own emotional overload. An example is the Vietnam Vet who hears a loud bang and runs for cover under a bed. Another example might be a person who is afraid of the water because they watched their mother drown. For some it takes only a single event to cause this over-reaction to stimuli. For others it could the culmination of numerous events or even years of related situations, which eventually activates the PTSD. The one thing they all have in common is that there is a trigger or triggers that are setting off unhealthy reactions.

      When PTSD affects someone, there are any numbers of things that can elicit a response. Most people have natural defense walls up to protect them from emotional overload. But for some that wall is fractured allowing little bits and pieces to get though that produce unhealthy responses. After a while, even though these triggers are dysfunctional responses, they become normalized or part of a natural response system. (Moy, 2014) For example, an abusive ex spouse who then gains sole custody of the kids, can be the impetus for a trigger. For this person, anything or anyone who slightly resembles their ex triggers them to act verbally or violently toward that innocent person.

      PTSD sufferers go along each day as if this is normal to have these exaggerated responses or they know they are not appropriate but have gotten so used to them, that they think they are normal. But is your every day life functioning okay? Are you able to negotiate the highs and lows? Are you able to stop and think before jumping to rash behaviors or comments? Or are you having issues with sudden bouts of fear, anxiety and so on. Does someone who looks similar to your ex trigger anxiety? Does something someone says that sounds like the ex, trigger a reaction? Or if someone moves in a way, does it remind them of their ex? Just a smell, a voice, a noise, mannerisms, thoughts patterns that are similar to an ex can trigger a PTSD response. These dysfunctional responses can range from Mild to Moderate to Debilitating. As well, the false PTSD triggers create poor response mechanisms, often initiating damages upon innocent victims. (Moy, 2014)


      But why do some people get affected while others do not. Some people have what is called resiliency. That is they have the ability to bounce back or self-soothe after an upsetting event. Others are not so resilient. This could be for a multitude of reasons, including their upbringing or lack of it being part of their upbringing. i.e. there was never an traumatic event or the traumatic event was not managed properly.

      To have a better idea of what classifies PTSD, below is a list of the signs and symptoms that a professional would use to recognize PTSD but that anyone could utilize for themselves? Taken from the DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Diagnosis.

      1. Repetitive and intrusive event memories that replay over in the mind.

      2. Reoccurring dreams including day dreams

      3. Overly sensitive or extreme over reaction to minor things

      4. Feelings or flashbacks of an event or events reoccurring in real time

      5. Avoidance of Triggers, such as not going to the supermarket or getting

      in an elevator because that was a place of a debilitating memory.

      6. Depressive behaviors such as any of the following:

      a. Loss of interest in once favorite things/activities/friends

      b. Detachment

      c. Feelings of loss

      d. Limited range of emotions, no gray areas, just black or white

      e. Lack of a positive future

      f. Insomnia

      g. Irritability

      h. Difficulty concentrating

      i. Hyper-vigilance – overly sensitive

      j. Startles easily

      Does this mean that a person with PTSD cannot be a good parent or function in society? Of course not! It is just that we need help modulating and controlling our over-reactions to these stimuli that trigger our PTSD. Why do some handle it well while others do not? This comes from when we were growing up. We might not have had the need to learn how to modulate or handle extremely stressful situations because they never occurred or if one occurred, it might not have been handled appropriately, and this is how we learned to handle things.

      What it does mean is that we need to take care of our selves. We need to be able to critically think and know when we it is time to reach out for counseling or some form of therapeutic treatment or even learning how to meditate. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) facilitates change by helping us to recognize triggers and teaching us better ways to respond. Or Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a form of CBT, which includes Buddhist theories, can help us to move forward in a positive way, coupled with emotional regulation, reality testing and so on.

      Valerie Utton, in her book, Letters of Apology, (p. 45-50) talks about being “drawn into someone else’s drama” and how it can be debilitating and difficult to change this mindset. She goes on about it not being our fault that “people do what they do for their own reason”. So while several of us are being viciously attacked and accused of the most heinous of things, we need to step back and realize that these people have their own issues that are causing them to act this way. It is not necessarily anything to do with any of us but it is this person or persons “private agendas” that are influencing their behavior. It is not easy to not respond to these attacks but with time and patience, you do get better at it. And once you can put yourself in their position, it makes it easier to understand and keeps us from overreacting.

      There are many other ways to resolve PTSD or at least get control of it or to not let someone else’s PTSD affect you. The key is having a positive attitude to help one move forward. My favorite motto that I repeat often is HHSS. It stands for Happy Healthy, Successful and Spiritually Positive. Success is NOT money but what and where you do or go in your life that makes you feel good about being

      you. Spirituality is NOT about religion but about believing in yourself or something else. You may not have this everyday of your life, but it something important to strive for. This attitude can help us to overcome many of the obstacles in our lives. We just need to recognize when it is time to ask for help.


      Moy, Allison, LCSW, 88 South Main Street, Southbury, CT 06488. 203-262-8150 Utton, MS. Ed., Valerie, Letters of Apology, 2007/2011, Inkwell Productions

    • profile image

      Howie 3 years ago

      Thanks for the efforts to help children!!! Much appreciated.

      1. 100% agreed ... alienators paint themselves as victims of abuse and teach their children that they are victims!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 100% true.

      2. 100% agreed. It is important to look very carefully and objectively at what people are saying and doing. In order to do that, one has to understand how hard it is to be objective. This is covered in great depth in Amy Baker's book "A Handbook for Clinicians". In my experience, many or even most mental health professionals get it backwards. It is an ultra complex, counter-intuitive, minefield.

      3. Alienated children are a special population that require tremendously deep training in personality disorders, family systems, and child attachment in order to treat and evaluate.

      4. I am familiar with hundreds of parental alienation but have not seen one where the alienating parent claims the other parent is the alienator. It may be possible in some cases, though I have never seen it.

      5. In my experience, alienated children only become more alienated as children get older. In Amy Baker's book "Adult children of parental alienation", one can see that "older children" were duped deep into adulthood.

      6. I recommend all of Amy Baker's books and Dr Childress' web site to help understand PA, particularly his 2 hour lecture in July at California Southern (July 30, 2014).

      7. PA is extremely counter intuitive. Most mental health professionals misunderstand it and have it backwards. There is a reason why Einstein was the first person to really describe the scenario of parental alienation.

      8. In my opinion, an untrained judge, listening to an alienated child is likely to be duped. The alienated child was trained carefully by the narcissistic or borderline parent. One can see this in transcripts from states where this conversation can be obtained and is not secret. The judge has not had deep training and experience in personality disorders.

      9. FBI agent Ken Lanning, the FBI's leading expert in child sexual abuse, describes how most adults will be unable to believe that the abuse occurred. They side with the perpetrator (e.g. get it backwards). Recent scandals illustrate this. Mandatory reporting laws illustrate this. Somehow, it is just too threatening to the human psyche to accept that an apparently normal, decent person could do something to harmful to a child. The average adult will get it backwards. I believe the same thing happens in parental alienation, and it is a major reason why many in mental health get it backwards: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&am...

      10. I might see and fear a scenario where starting with the (incorrect) presumption that older children cannot be duped, the list of incorrectly assessed cases builds up where the person claiming the alienation is the alienator, only further re-enforcing the error.

      11. Amy Baker's books go to great length to explain why people who are being manipulated do not realize they are being manipulated. Otherwise, Madison avenue would not exist. This is part of her Co-parenting book.

      12. I believe that parental alienation will make it into DSM. People knew about shell shock since dynamite was invented, yet, it took a long time for PTSD to make it into DSM. I believe the points above explain why it is not yet in there

    • profile image

      Cindy 3 years ago

      You write about creepy, manipulative, and emotionally abusive parents above. Have you met those parents that the child does not want to see and know for sure they are what you say they are? I would make sure of that with an open mind. If, in fact, the child rejects the parent for those reasons, there is estrangement, not alienation. There have been great parents rejected by their children. Children who call those rejected parents names, swear at them, make fun of them and even file PFA's against them for NO reason. And sir, older children and even adults can be pressured to reject. The pressure placed upon them is similar to cults. See Dr. Baker's work http://freeminds.org/psych/cultofparenthood.htm. Her is another article title: Behaviors and Strategies

      Employed in Parental Alienation:

      A Survey of Parental Experiences

      Amy J. L. Baker

      Douglas Darnall

      More than not people become a counselor based on something that went on in their own lives. I sense that applies to you as well. We all have a story. There are several excellent resources that have been shared with you about parental alienation but it seems you are refusing to see the true reality, and that this may not be your area of expertise. A counselor can not be expert in everything and if they profess to be, they will do harm and should be reported to the ethics board.

    • profile image

      jaimesuz2 3 years ago

      Dear Mr. Krill,

      When I read your article I found it confusing and sadly missing the correct information needed based on years of study by several competent authorities whose final course is to bring an end to PA by bringing to surface what are the incurring severity of stages brought on by PAS to our 'damaged children'. Knowing the truth about the PA dynamic and calling it by what it truly is, pathogenic parenting, will lead to accurate and punctual diagnoses and successful treatment at all levels from its onset. The most relevant and trustworthy source I have found so far for everyone to 'get it', and I mean everyone to get it, is from the spot on Dr. Craig Childress. His website is http://drcraigchildressblog.com/ and his blog at http://drcraigchildressblog.com/ will instruct. And also by watching his video series on YouTube http://youtu.be/9_gfu_4XNyU?list=PLO84sFCS3IvXUZAY... for yourself and as it relates to older children in his series http://youtu.be/guY-lsL04Iw any confusion might clear things up for you, for those you seek to counsel, and for those who come to your hubpage desperately seeking hope. I hope you will see both sides of the PA coin more clearly after reviewing these materials I am recommending.

      Getting in to the 'parental alienation dynamic' means backing up to the basics of child psychology and to family and child psychotherapy. PA controversy is no longer necessary; somewhere we must all make the change to understand what the root of this very complex problem is and help those 'highly experienced' powers that be, know they cannot make mistakes leading to ruining a child for the rest of their life.

      I would be happy to re-read your article and make comments, and getting to the point, stress that your post be re-written or removed from your site. Please accept my criticism as constructive and by way of love, from many of us who have borne the brunt of the reality of PA along with our children of this vicious disease for years. Thank you for hearing me out.


    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 3 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Thanks, Sweet Jane, you nailed it.

    • profile image

      SweetJane72 3 years ago

      Wow. I think krillco has inadvertently triggered some readers who have personal experiences with PAS.

      The issue I take with the comments posted is that there is a clear 'always/never' stance. The fact is that NPD parents with both perpetrate PAS and claim to be victims of PAS...usually at the same time. They attempt to alienate the children against the healthy parent while claiming to be alienated; they viciously abuse both the healthy parent and the children, while presenting themselves as the true victim of abuse.

      To say that the parent claiming alienation is ALWAYS the healthy parent and those claims are nearly ALWAYS founded is profoundly damaging to your own cause. True 'research' should reveal that literally thousands of healthy parents have lost custody to an NPD parents due to fake claims of PAS --- a 'diagnostic' term that does not even exist, as krillco states.

      I think the overarching point of krillco's article is that judges need to examine the words AND actions of each parent involved in a custody case with a very holistic view and a critical eye. Inconsistencies between a parent's words in court and their actions outside the courtroom will reveal who is the healthy parent and who is not. That, I believe, was the intent of this article.

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 3 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      To add: "The reality is that targeted parents who are victims of Parental Alienation are 99% PTSD victims who are up against an NPD ex spouse. Not the other way around." I believe that is the point I'm making. In my experience, NPD's are well aware of PA and use it very often as a court lever. As for a child "NEVER" refusing to see the NPD parent, hogwash. I have had dozens of kids refuse to go spend time with their creepy, manipulative, emotionally abusive parent, and do not even want to be in phone conversations with them. Can an NPD manipulate and convince kids of things that are not true? Yes, likely when they are very young, but once the child reaches the tween years and figures out the NPD for what they are, ignoring the child's statements is foolish. Is it awful for a kid to be in front of a court? I believe I said 'yes'. Is it awful that a kid would have to talk to a judge in chambers? Yes, but not worse than treating the child like a mindless chess piece. Kids are bright and CAN figure out who the healthier parent is. Many a judge here in my part of Pennsylvania have read letters or had talks with kids in chambers, and the kids clearly say why they don't want contact with the NPD parent. I guess this is why PA is not in the DSM as a diagnosis, and NPD is. We are on the same side, here, folks, I work to protect kids and non-NPD parents from false PA accusations by NPD parents.

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 3 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      I do not believe I stated that anyone calaiming alienation is NPD. I f I have, please point it out so that I can remedy the statement.

    • profile image

      Mary 3 years ago

      Much of this article is spot on, how the NPD is so well versed in manipulation. They are pros, they do give academy award performances and that is why they are so hard to pick out until you have spent a lot of time with them and have excellent boundaries yourself.

      Now, where the author gets it wrong is where he stated that the parent who claims Parental Alienation is the NPD, No, no, no and No. Now, there are cases where the NPD claims PA and there are cases where the healthy parent claims PA More often than not, it is the healthy parent who is claiming PA, this is why the cases must be looked at individually and with a microscope, and by a professional who understands that a child will NEVER refuse to see the NPD parent, it is the healthy parent that the child will refuse to see. The child will always, always side with the NPD.

      The other area the author is way off, is to have the judges talk to the child, or have the child on the stand. This is the worst thing that can be done to the child, you are putting the child in the middle and having the child reject publicly a parent. Do you really think that is fair to the child? Do you think that even in chambers, the judge will get the truth? Does the judge think the child will say " you know your Honor, I only pretend to hate my [healty parent] when i am with [NPD parent]" No way in hell with the child say that. It is because they are so afraid of the consequences they will reap with the NPD parent.

      To sum up, the author has it correct when he is describing the NPD, but is way off and publishing harmful information for the other areas of the article.

      Thank you

    • PASIntervention profile image

      PASIntervention 3 years ago from Southbury, Connecticut

      While I agree with you on many of the points about NPD, I do NOT agree that accusations of Parental Alienation make you an NPD. In fact, after 2 decades of research and work, I would say that the majority of alienated parents are victims of PAS perpetrated by an NPD ex who has now got control of the kids. Yes, anyone can abuse a diagnostic term. Look at how many murders claim temporary insanity. The reality is that targeted parents who are victims of Parental Alienation are 99% PTSD victims who are up against an NPD ex spouse. Not the other way around. I have done extensive studies and research on this. I think you need to re-evaluate what you are stating and realize that yes, there are abusive NPD's who claim PAS, they are few and far between. Most of those alleging PAS did not even know this is what was happening to them until a professional told them or a friend advised them or they began to search custodial interference and other signs or symptoms they see. Please while I value your 30 years of work, I think you have worked with a select small select group of woman who were abused during their marriages and then tried to repeatedly file abuse charges only to end up being accused of PAS. That is a huge red flag that the parent doing the reporting is the problem often times if the charges are constantly unsubstantiated. I have so many cases, including two within my own family where there was no abuse but the ex's tried to claim this over and over. And I can tell you for sure that these parents who were falsely accused are fathers and are alienated from their children. But they are not NPD.


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