The first Family Bridges programme for Alienated Children and Families (FBAC) has been conducted in Australia under the orders of a Family Court in Australia. For this family, children can now enjoy a loving relationship with the parent from whom they were alienated, for the first time in many years.
A team of accredited facilitators is available in Australia to administer and run this programme under the appropriate orders of the Family Court. We can work with clients, single expert witnesses and family consultants to assess suitability for the program, and with legal counsel to place the rationale and conditions for the program before the Family Court.
Family Bridges™ is an evidence based educational and experiential program that helps reform a relationship between severely alienated children (adolescents and teenagers) with the parent whom they unreasonable and irrationally reject. The Family Court orders the FBAC program where there has been a determination of severe and extreme alienation, where it is considered to be in the best interests of the children to have a relationship with the parent whom they have rejected and where this can be best effected by transferring parental responsibility and residence to the formerly rejected/alienated parent. By court order the FBAC helps the children adjust to the court orders to live with their formerly rejected/alienated parent. A mandatory exclusion period is implemented in which the formerly favoured/alienating parent is restricted from contact with the children.
With respect to alienation:
“Severe PA—means that the child persistently and adamantly refuses contact and may hide or run away to avoid being with the target parent…. the alienating parent is usually obsessed with the goal of destroying the child’s relationship with the target parent. The alienating parent has little or no insight and is convinced of their righteousness of his or her behaviour. It is usually necessary to protect the child from the influence of the alienating parent by removing the child from his or her custody…” (Lorandos, Bernet & Sauber 2014, p. 22).
Children may reject, refuse or resist contact with a ‘good enough’, normative parent, characterised by extreme withdrawal or contempt and based upon irrational reasons caused by the alienation processes and behaviours of the favoured/alienating parent. A defining feature of parental alienation is that the “…child’s rejection of the target [rejected/alienated] parent is far out of proportion to anything that parent has done to justify the rejection” (Lorandos, Bernet & Sauber 2014, p. 6). For further information please visit http://www.warshak.com/services/family-bridges.html .
This program may also be suitable where the parent-child relationship has been damaged because of the abduction of a child or by other causes. However, not all family situations will be suitable for FBAC. There is an intake and consultation process to establish suitability and consultation will be required with legal counsel to assist them in making the case for appropriate family court orders under which the FBAC program will be executed. Appropriate family reports assessing severe alienation and recommending FBAC need to be obtained to support the case for participation in the FBAC program. Appropriate legal advice is mandatory for the family Court to order this intervention.
Lorandos, D, Bernet, W & Sauber, RS 2014, ‘Overview of Parental Alienation’, in D Lorandos, W Bernet & SR Sauber (eds), Parental Alienation The Handbook for Mental Health and Legal Professionals, : Charles C Thomas, pp. 20-1.