Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex
Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex

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Product Description

Your ex-spouse is bad-mouthing you to your children, perhaps even trying to turn them against you. If you handle the situation ineffectively, you could lose your children¡¯s respect, their affection -- even, in extreme cases, contact with them.

Backed by twenty-five years of experience in helping families, Dr. Richard Warshak presents powerful strategies for dealing with everything from tainted parent-child relationships in which children are disrespectful or reluctant to show their affection to disturbances in which children virtually disown an entire side of the family.

Divorce Poison offers advice on how to:

  • Recognize early warning signs of trouble
  • React if your children refuse to see you
  • Respond to rude and hateful behavior
  • Avoid the seven most common errors made by rejected parents
  • This groundbreaking work gives parents powerful strategies to preserve and rebuild loving relationships with their children and provides legal and mental-health professionals with practical advice to help their clients and ensure the welfare of children.

    Customer Reviews:

    • A Must Read for All
      Dr. Warshak hit the nail on the head with this book. I feel every judge, therapist, attorneys, people divorcing and the like should be REQUIRED to read this. I wish I would have had this book 5 years ago. I think that for the most part people will use it for help. I believe there will be some parents who will try to use the information to keep alienating the children. I think it is a shame for people to do this to their children. The book has enough examples of what this does to children and that in itself should make people wake up and take note.
      I couldn't believe the information in the book, it was like reading my husbands and my life story. I think if people get this information alot sooner before their child(ren) are alienated it would be great.
      If the professionals would have this information they could stop alot of this in its tracks. I think alot of them don't want to believe that this is happening so they just keep letting the alienator get away with it. Somehow this information needs to be placed into the hands of the attorneys, judges and therapists so parents who are not aware of this can be informed when and if this problem arises. ...more info
    • Great Book
      I stronlgy recommend this book for anybody that is going through a nasty divorce and a custody battle. Very helpful!...more info
    • If the other parent bashes you, if your child mysteriously dislikes you (or is uncomfortable), THIS BOOK IS ESSENTIAL!
      It's an unfortunate reality that some parents will do their best to destroy a child's relationship with the other parent. So long as those misguided or sick parents have unsupervised time with the children, there's always a risk of confusion, conflict, or long-term damage to the bond with the "targeted" parent.

      The most important aspect of this phenomenon is to catch it early, even if the bashing seems to occur on occasion or is subtle.

      Eventually, enough little drops of poison can have a devastating consequence.

      This book is an excellent tool to help "targeted" parents recognize signs of what the author calls poisoning (also called alienation tactics).

      Though the book's readership would likely readily agree that taking the higher road is always best, what the author emphasizes is that if the higher road is not coupled with a proactive approach, devastation to the parent/child relationship can be the result.

      What I found most helpful about this book are a couple areas:

      A) I realized that no court order, and no amount of counseling, and no common sense discussion would stop my ex from her subtle, on-going attempts to undermine my relationship with my daughter.

      B) I realized that there are many tactics I could employ to combat my ex's attempts... tactics that are nearly all positive and proactive.

      The author provides many ideas to the reader on how to help ensure the poisoning parent's attempts fall on deaf ears in the child.

      Strategies that I learned from this book have proven themselves with amazing results in how I handle my own situation... and the outcome is a young child who (on her own) has been able to conclude that her mother says untrue things about her father.

      That's a best-case scenario when you face a parent who refuses to shield the children from conflict or disparaging remarks.

      Though the attempts at alienation may never end, helping to insulate the effects is where this book shines.
      ...more info
    • Divorce Poison
      This book offers both parents and professionals a practical and understandable road map for dealing with parental post-divorce anger and alienation that infests and poisons parent-child relationships with antagonistic brainwashing, false accusations, disparagement, and memory revision directed at the child against the other parent. The book provides workable suggestions for parents and therapists, suggestions that are long overdo and that correct once-popular and well-intended, but likely misguided, ideas about parental alienation. In another, important sense, this is a book for children - that is, for the mental health of children.

      Warshak gives readable case examples that explain clearly and understandably what to do and what not to do. His book separates true alienation from the alienation children create on their own, when the parent himself or herself alienates the children by their own actions. His book empowers parents affected by deliberate alienation with strategies for coping with their own feelings while meeting the emotional needs of their children. The book also offers encouragement and practical strategies for parents to help deal with their own feelings and behaviors, both when they are tempted to speak badly of the other parent, and when they have already done so and recognize the need to neutralize toxins they may have passed on to a child. In short, Warshak's book is a must-read, a survival manual, for divorced parents with children. It is particularly helpful for parents who suspect that their children might be alienated, or that the other parent may be attempting to alienate the children....more info

    • Must buy during a custody dispute and after the divorce!
      I can say from personal experience that this book is priceless if you have a vindictive ex that uses the children to hurt you during and after a divorce. What your ex does not understand is the substantial damage it will do to the children long-term. To save your relationship with your children and to combat Parental Alienation the only book that actively helps you with point by point examples is this book. Not only have I bought "Divorce Poison", but my children's grandparents have as well. In "Divorce Poison", Dr. Warshak provides many different means by which a vindictive ex will attempt to alienate your children from you. What makes this book so valuable is that Dr. Warshak takes each alienation example and then gives you a TAKE ACTION assignment on how to best combat the attempts by your ex. There are numerous TAKE ACTION sections throughout the book and I must say that his advice truly does work. If your ex is poisoning your children and your relationship with them, this book will help you actively keep control of the situation and maintain a meaningful and loving relationship with those caught in the middle. An interesting point that Dr. Warshak presents is that oftentimes an ex that alienates their children against the other spouse, is the product of a mother or father that also actively attempted to alienate their children. Sad how history repeats itself. By purchasing this book you will help your children, your relationship with them, and you will learn the seven most common errors made by rejected parents. Fatherachildsright.org RobertPedersen April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day! ...more info
    • Everyone must read!
      This is a perfect book for what I was looking for. It describes someone I know to a "T". I feel like I could have written it myself! Dr. Warshak is so insightful! Now I just need to figure out how to get the courts to recognize these behaviors and how to "punish" vindictive exes..... ...more info
    • Hope for Restoration
      I will never be able to thank Dr. Warshak enough for helping me regain my childrens' love and affection. Their transformation is nothing short of a miracle. I truly wish we had a before and after video! If it weren't for this book, I don't know where we'd all be. Thank you, Dr. Warshak, from the bottom of this mother's heart....more info
    • Most important Title for Divorced Parents
      Divorce Poison is an absolute must read for any parent, but is doubly important for any father, going through a divorce. Dr. Warshak's book addresses the key mistakes that non-custodial parents make in the all too common circumstance that results from the manipulations of a custodial parent bent on destroying the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. Conventional wisdom coupled with the misguidance of well-intentioned but uninformed friends and family can compound a heart-rending loss of relationship in a frighteningly short period of time; yet the loss can last a lifetime.

      Divorce Poison excels in helping a parent identify when the other parent may be poisoning a child's relationship. More importantly, Divorce Poison provides clear and concise guidance about how to address the cancerous influence of a parent who does not have the child's best interests at heart. If I had heard of this book 3 years ago, sadly, I believe it may have prevented unimaginable grief and loss.

      The value of this work cannot be overstated. Buy a copy for your self, your parents, your counselor and your lawyer....more info
    • I see my story
      Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex

      Divorce Poison is a MUST read for anyone involved in a high conflict custody scenario. I ordered one for my attorney too.

      It is obvious to me that Dr. Warshak knows what he is talking about and believe me, not everyone does... he nailed many things that are happening in my situation.

      The book is well written and very easy to read. I especially liked the "Poison Control" chapter because it gives easy, practical solutions to help overcome and nuetralize tactics used by an alienating parent.

      This book gives some hope for a terrible situation.

      ...more info
    • The book may create more problems than it solves
      PAS - Parental Alienation Syndrome - is a highly controversial concept that has no validation or recognition among serious researchers. And no research other than that of those who propose the concept (and make money of it) has supported its existence. This book guides parents to look for problems in their relationship to their child and then to blame these problems on the other parent. That is not helpful. Divorce / Parental Separation are never easy and may indeed lead to parent-child conflicts, confusion, and at times to loyalty conflicts. However, the solution during these difficult times is not to pass the blame to the other parent who one needs to continue to co-parent with for years to come but the solution is to be open to understanding the child's upset, anger, confusion and working with that through reassuring the child, through open but not overwhelming discussions, and, yes looking at how one oneself may contribute to the tension and how to adjust one's own behavior - which is the one thing one can actually control after divorce. The author has an agenda: hate sells unfortunately - the title of the book already conveys that. For a much more balanced and comprehensive treatment of divorce look at the books by Clarke-Stewart and also Nicholas Long and Rex L. Forehand. There are already too many books that fuel the divorce wars and Warshak's is one of them.
      ...more info
    • Crazymaking
      This book puts into words all of the crazyness that goes along with divorce with children.
      I now have a way to communicate to my son, his teachers, and others that puts the whole situation in it's proper context.
      For this I am grateful, Thank you, Mr Warshak!...more info
    • Divorce Poison
      This book is great. I fit one of many parents in it. As a mother, it took me a long time to read because I was crying too hard to be able to read it. ...more info
    • Divorce Poison
      Gives some of the causes, effects, and ways to deal with one parent's denigration of the other parent as a result of divorce. Very helpful to those who are perplexed at this phenomena, and some ways of combatting these behaviors to help preserve the parent-child bond....more info
    • This book is a must if you have children you love.
      A marvelous book. It is full of insight that answered so many questions I have had in a situation that is now over 10 years old. The author definitely knows exactly what he is talking about. I recommend this book to everyone that is involved in a high-conflict divorce situation. The sooner you read it and compare the hallmarks of PAS to your own situation the better. It isn't normal for parents to behave in distructive and negative ways....more info
    • Nice directions for dealing with custody problems
      I'm a child psychologist who deals with custody cases (among other things), and I found this book to be surprisingly good. Lots of helpful hints, solid advice, and down-to-earth directions. It also is helpful to lawyers, judges, and psychologists dealing with custody in the courts. While I would quibble with some aspects of the book, I found it on the whole to be very helpful, and have recommended it to some of my patients and colleagues....more info
    • If your children are being posioned, you need this book!
      Thank you, Dr. Warskak, for writing this book. It helps to take away some of the helplessness and dispair in this situation. Four years of counciling has done very little to help my daughters, husband and me cope with the constant attacks from my ex. This book has given me hope that I can save my children from divorce posion instead of loosing them to the hatred of my ex....more info
    • The One Book on Divorce you Need to Read
      If you should read one book on divorce and the impact on children, this is the one!

      This outstanding book provides great advice for parents who are badmouthing other parents, as well as ways the target parents can combat this abuse. Unlike "experts" who have not researched the most effective ways of combatting this type of child abuse, Dr. Warshak has determined through studies that parents who do nothing and say nothing are at risk for eventually losing contact with their children.

      Dr. Warshak carefully navigates the misconception that alienation is typically a "woman thing" by citing examples of fathers who alienate. In doing this, the author is able to assure readers that the book is indeed written "in the best interests of children," and not for any gender-based political agenda.

      Dr. Warshak's outlook on children, parenting and custody is refreshing and should be required reading for every family court judge, every family law attorney and every person going through a divorce. The author argues very succinctly and very successful that the two parents who were so vital to the welfare and growth of the children during the marriage are just as vital after the divorce. He also illustrates how family courts and mental health experts remove children from the target parent at the first sign of alienation -- which is the exact opposite of what actually works in these cases.

      Dr. Warshak argues that target parents need time to rebuild this relationship -- to show that they are not the parent depicted in the diatribes of the parent who is attempting to alienate. Instead, courts typically accept irrational reasons from a child for not wanting to see a parent without examining the root causes for the alienation.

      Dr. Warshak carefully crafted a "how to" book for target parents, but, more importantly, he has helped all parents become better parents by encouraging them to examine their true motives for making negative statements about their former spouses. In doing so, this author has created a classic that must be read by anyone who truly cares about children and the impact that divorce has on them....more info

    • Please don't let it get this far!
      I found this book after first hearing about PAS from my attorney. While my case is not nearly as severe as some in the book, it is a very real and very devastating occurance.

      I just finished a 4 day custody battle to modify my existing shared parenting order put in place 3 years ago. Shared custody has become a buzzword lately and I am here to tell you that SHARED CUSTODY DOES NOT WORK!!! In my state it can not be ordered unless both parties agree to it. I agreed (despite my own reservations) after being cornered in a lawyer's office for hours with 3 attorneys (my first attorney, his and one that was appointed for the children through the court) drilling in my head that custody battles do more harm than good, shared custody is what's best for the children, etc. Bull. My protests fell on deaf ears because the lawyers didn't want to invest the time and effort into a court battle. It was easier on them to wear me down. {And I, in no way, think it always has to be the mother who is granted sole custody. I know plenty of children who live with their father and are much better off for it.}

      Here are some things to think about when considering shared custody:
      1. Trust your instincts! If your gut is telling you that it isn't going to work, you are most likely right. You know your ex and you know your children. If your lawyer won't listen to your concerns, find someone who will. (Yes, it can be expensive, but modifying custody down the road will cost you much more--do it right the first time!)
      2. Find a lawyer you absolutely trust. Make sure that they are reputable (ask your friends for recommendations), and make sure you ask them if they have done plenty of family law cases. Ask if they have the time to dedicate to your case. Something else to consider; ask if they have children of their own and if they have been divorced. My first two lawyers were happily married and I don't think they took my concerns seriously. My lawyer that I have now has been divorced with a child and I have not had to "plead my case" with her once. She knows what I'm going through. If you have to call and remind them of things--find someone else. They should be keeping you informed, they are working for you.
      3. If either you or your ex do not want the divorce, or harbor very ill feelings for the other one DO NOT AGREE TO SHARED CUSTODY!! Unless you are a saint, it is nearly impossible to co-parent with someone you hate, or who hates you, I don't care how many books you read on how to communicate with them--it doesn't work and your children will suffer.
      4. If your children are under the age of 10 or have any kind of special needs, do not agree to shared custody. My son's therapist has told me that young children have an attachment to their primary caregiver (usually, but not always, the mother) and that shared custody is too disruptive. Rather than the child forming a bond with both, they withdraw from both and that's when the problems begin. Better that they have the stability and consistency of one home and lots of good quality, frequent contact with the non-custodial parent (provided they are capable of doing that).
      5. My lawyer has told me that in all her years of practice, with the exception of one case, shared custody never works and the majority of her family law cases are modification of an original order that they see three or four years down the road, is not working out. If you can't make a marriage work, you can't co-parent with that person, plain and simple.
      6. If your ex has ever used "shared custody" in the context of a threat toward you. (either to keep the kids from you, to avoid paying child support, etc.) DO NOT agree to shared custody with this person--they are more preoccupied with making you "pay" for divorcing them than they are about their children's needs. By the time you reach the final, it may have been a year or more since the seperation and you are tired and just want it over. Don't give in just to get it over with quicker, it's tempting but don't.
      7. If you have been the only one making sure the kids get to their doctor's appointments, etc. DON'T agree to shared custody. If they weren't doing it before, you can't count on them to do it now and your children will suffer.

      My ex went from "reasonably responsible" parent when he lived with me to "Disneyland dad" as soon as the order was put in place. (Red Flag: If your ex is the kind of person who tells people what they want to hear and then does whatever they want anyway--DON'T AGREE to shared custody with this person!) He even told the sitter that they were going to be allowed to do whatever they wanted in his care and then they could go to me and my "rules" and see how they like it. That's really putting the child's needs first. He is the type of person who puts his needs first, then comes trying to make my life as difficult as he can, and then somewhere in third or fourth place comes our children.

      The effects on my children due to this shared custody arrangement have been devastating. Both children have gone from relaxed, happy kids to anxious, nervous children. My seven year old son has now been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and has been exposed to inappropriate sexual information while in his father's care--which we have been unable to get to the bottom of due to my ex threatening my child not to talk to his therapist. He tells me the child has made it up, despite the pediatrician, a child sexual abuse expert and a child psychologist all telling me that children can't make up stories about subjects which they have no prior knowledge. But of course the experts are all wrong in my ex's eyes. My son has nightmares and has been caught stealing. He breaks down crying for unknown reasons (as he is unable or unwilling to discuss why), has trouble concentrating in school, grades are slipping (two therapists have evaluated him and said that his problems are emotional and not the symptoms of ADD). He has witnessed several instances of domestic violence between his father and the live-in girlfriend (who is also married to my ex's brother).

      Even before the domestic violence and sexual information, this shared custody situation was bad for our children. The back and forth, no consistency between homes. Now that they are in school, homework is not done, they are sent to school unprepared (no hat, gloves, etc.). They miss out on birthday parties and activities with their friends which make them feel like outsiders. And my ex has begun using some of the tactics described in this book when I filed for modification of custody. Luckily, the therapist is on top of it and I think that I have done the right thing by reducing my children's contact with him. I think with some time, we can correct the damage done to them. But my son's innocence he will never regain. I gave my ex a chance to do what was best for our children and he put them in harm's way. I had no indication he would act this way, he was not this kind of father when we were married. (I suspect some drug use, but have no proof.) You have no idea how a person will react to the changes in their lives that happen after divorce. Don't take a chance with your children's mental and physical safety! ...more info
    • Great perspectives on root causes and motivations
      This book was a great read for offering explanations as to root causes of behavior and for understanding different motivating factors. It is further enhanced by lots of anecdotal stories, but more statistics and data-driven outcomes would have been a welcome addition to this subject. Although some of the coping strategies are a bit common sense or fairly weak, it is still comforting to read and know that the situations are, unfortunately, quite rampant. In being somebody dating a person who is desparately trying to cope with an ugly divorce process and lots of venom being spewed in all directions, I wish I could give a copy to the spouse-behaving-badly, but afraid it offers too many "new ideas" on how to behave even worse....more info
    • But they tell me PARENTAL ALIENATION DOESN'T EXIST! ??
      POISON is unique in being the first pragmatic guide to focus in-depth on parental alienation syndrome in children, and parental alienation as a pattern of behavior for parents lacking a non-`co'parenting relationship with each other.

      Rich in anecdote and chock full of examples sure to evoke immediate identification in many users' own experience, it's refreshingly both hands-on oriented and even-handed: stressing the frequent mutuality and accidental qualities of alienation-engendering conduct in parents.

      I suspect however, many readers will find dissatisfying the tacit acceptance pervading the book, that the alienation game as currently played is inevitable or normal. Although pointed, seriously cautionary remarks are made about the selection and use of counselors, therapists, evaluators, and attorneys, an eerie---because it's untrue---sense of inhabiting a social and political vacuum infuses the bulk of the discussion.

      Particularly notably, Warshak dons kid-gloves when discussing the ``controversial'' nature of PA; it might be fairer to warn that in some locales the mere mention of the concept---let alone invocation of the `PA/PAS' denomination---is seen by the community as incendiary, and quite likely to be counter-productive unless handled with the utmost deftness....more info

    • A MUST HAVE for any parent with a vindictive ex
      Thank you for your book and your insight. This is the only book I've found that gives me some hope. What is going on in my poor children's lives is a crime. The father has extended possession, we are joint conservators, divorced for 5 years and are both remarried. He has stated that he won't rest until he has full custody of the children. His goal is for my children to hate me for leaving him. He is very tricky in his tactics. He contrasts good with bad and implies that HE is good. He calls me a different name in front of my children, thus depersonalizing me to the children. He makes my children feel sad about loving me. He has put the children in the position of us vs. them. He is bashing me within earshot of the children and directly to them, he is stripping me of my authority in the children's lives by telling the children I am an unreasonable, angry woman, someone to be feared. He and his wife have my children "pray" for me and extended family members. He lies about my past and has totally reinvented our history. He even reinvented the time my son got his body cast off sharing minute details about how we drove him to the doctor's, how the saw sounded, how the plaster smelled, how daddy cried and how brave my son was. In reality, the man was out of the country at the time! It's sickening.

      With this book I might be able to save 3 of my 4 children. My 15 year old daughter is long gone. I couldn't compete with DisneyLand, a cell phone, the promise of a BMW and $100 a month for an allowance. And that was just during her summer visit. It can happen in 30 days or less!

      Deprogramming is a slow process but there is no other book out there with the detailed, step by step action a parent can take. Don't wait another day to get your hands on this book. If your kids come back to you depressed, distant, and standoffish, don't waste another moment. Implement the ideas in this book to prevent any further damage. God bless you Dr. Warshak.
      ...more info
    • Excellent book for parents and professionals alike
      Dr. Warshak has taken a very complex issue that plagues thousands of divorced families and provided valuable insight and suggestions. It's clear that he has a very good understanding of alienation and its impact on children and has many practical, down-to-earth suggestions for parents, children, and divorce professionals. I'd highly recommend this book....more info
    • The Best for an Ugly, Ugly Divorce
      Exellent book when you have an ugly ex. Really helps understand what is happening with someone who loved you enough to have kids with him/her then attacks you, blind sides you and is all around ugly and nasty. Helps so much when you feel powerless to help the kids you want to protect but not sure what to do.

      It is a very important book for anyone dealing with emotional abusive ex-spouses. It makes manipulation more clear so you can deal with the issues more effectively.

      Best book I have bought for my situation. Everyone says "Mom's house, Dad's House." is great to read....it is IF you are dealing with two adults. Divorce Poison is the best for the rest of us who are dealing with emotional batters....more info
      I thought I was reading our life story in Dr. Warshak's book!
      I am a step-mother to three children and have three children.
      I have found this book invalueable. We are a family where Alienation has permeated every aspect of our relationship's.
      My husband's children who once spent half of their lives with us - suddenly cut us off. There half-sibling's were also cut off, no warning.
      This book help's all memeber's of the family stop and think what role each of us play's in these situations. The book is also a great resource for extended family member's to understand how to properly react to alienation .
      I also think that all attorney's , judge's , mental health professional's and teacher's should be required to read Dr. Warshak's book....more info
    • Hope for abused children and their true parent
      Thank you Dr. Warshak, you have given clarity to a mother's longing for help for her children with the abuse they suffer by their father. The corruption of reality section literally made me gasp as my children are told to ignore me when I use loving longterm nicknames as they are told I don't respect them. There is nothing about me and our relationship post-divorce that escapes denouncement by their father. While I am fortunate that my children have not been brainwashed into believing these terrible things, they suffer tremendous pain and frequently have panic attacks when transitioning to their father. I am less worried about my relationship with them than I am about their well being. If I could ask for some advice on how to help them when they are actually being abused, how to help them cope with it and not internalize it. While your advice is critical for dealing with the effects of the abuse, how to help them suffer through it when it is actually happening is something I request that you provide additional brilliant insight about.

      Thank you so much for all you do for victims of abuse and the hope you
      give to their parents.

      ...more info
    • An inspiring book from an equally inspiring man.
      This book obviously is written for adults but it's really about our children. Dr. Warshak outlines very exquisitely the downfalls for the "do nothing attitude" that is expected by the courts and some (if not most) mental health professionals.

      This is part of an E-mail that I wrote him: (and yes, he will reply!)
      "To sum it all up: (if you read nothing else) Thanks for the book and the tools to avoid the "do nothing" mentality. I have been told to do nothing but have been feeling guilty because I chose to do something when nothing wasn't working. There's obvious benefits to being selectively and very cautiously assertive."

      There's so much more that needs to be said about "divorce poison," PAS, etc. There's a vast dichotomy in personal opinions due to the relative lack of understanding and scientific research. I suggest you buy multiple copies and send them to your attorneys, mental health officials, and anyone else that can benefit from it (use it as partial payment for services rendered, it sounds funny but I have done it). Anyone that can write a book and personally ask for readers input is a SAINT in my thinking. Richard Warshak definitely has the knowledge, talent, and scientific background to make a huge difference in the lives of our children and I believe he has only started. I give him 6 stars for going above and beyond the call of duty.

      Ultimately it is up to the parents to counter the "divorce poison" by being proactive and assertive but most of all acknowledging their own poison. By reading some of the reviews on this book it's no doubt commonly a two way street. It's a natural tendency to fight poison with poison because it's such an effective tool but as you know it's the last thing a child needs.

      ...more info
    • Success Story
      I can't even begin where to tell you how yucky my ex made it for me. We split the kids. I had my daughter, he had my son. My ex has said and done so many things that were so wrong, but...my biggest advantage is that I read your book.

      I am utterly amazed (because I DID everything your book suggested) in the hopes that ONE thing would work.

      I'm a success story! YEAH! I fought off the PAS and kept my stand. In addition, it's really hard for his dad to continue to say such horrible things about me when my son goes to his room and sees all of the photobooks with US having a good time. This is the best relationship I've had with my son in such a long time.

      Thank you so much!! I'm in a position to offer advice, then offer your book!

      You have NO idea what I had to endure to get to this point, but if I didn't have your book, I would have screwed this up beyond repair.

      ...more info
    • Read it and weep
      I ordered this book when I was going through the worst of my parental alienation scenarios with my ex. My situation was somewhat atypical because I'm the mom and my daughter's dad and stepmother were doing the alienating. There was no court involvement because their badmouthing was done in a very subtle way and was so successful that she chose to live with them, not me. My daughter is emotionally disturbed and wound up in a psychiatric hospital as a result of our divorce. I wound up being unable to care for her alone. Eventually she refused to visit with me at all. It was a mess. This book was extremely helpful in explaining that what I was undergoing was an actual syndrome that happened to a lot of parents in co-parenting situations--and that it had a name. I sent my ex an email accusing him of parental alienation, instead of just complaining about what he said to my daughter, and it helped. I believe I scared him with the use of the actual legal term for what he was doing. I've heard from my daughter's therapist that her stepmother, who was the major alienator, has stopped badmouthing me, and as a result my daughter has started visiting with me again and seems less angry at me. Thank you for this book. It really helped.

      Erica Manfred
      He's History, You're Not: Surviving Divorce After 40 ...more info
    • Proceed With Caution
      Just like all the others who are damaged and angry, my friend's ex told her kids terrible things about her. Her attorney decided to focus on PAS as their primary custody issue using Dr. Gardner's work as a base. It went very wrong. The judge didn't buy it. My friend was a great mom and now she has lost custody and can only see her children during supervised visitation.
      Read this book. Do the right thing and move on. Good book....more info
    • Parental Alienation is Terrible - Inaction Makes It Worse - Read this one!
      Parental warfare needs to stop. As a child custody attorney, I have said it a thousand times. As a custody battle survivor I have lived it too. Too often people simply complain and complain about all the terrible things the ex does to interfere with their parent-child relationships. An overall theme of Dr. Warshak's book is to TAKE ACTION. The difference between this book and say Alec Baldwin's, A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey through Fatherhood and Divorce, for example, is that it is completely solution oriented. Baldwin's book and the hundreds like it generally just point out how unfair the "system" and the participants of the "divorce industry" have been to them. While Baldwin's book is good, Divorce Poison addresses the best ways to help and protect the children of separation and divorce. Divorce Poison is well written and easy to follow. Almost right out of the gate the author goes into detail about some of the most common situations involving Bad-Mouthing, Bashing and Brainwashing. The chapter on alienated children is a real eye opener. This book covers it all,from the most subtle poison to the most toxic situations involving contrived abuse allegations.There are too many sick and distorted parents out there that ruin their children by dishonoring the child's other parent. In his chapter on "Poison Control" Warshak reminds us that sometimes love is not enough. Yes, you love your child, but that alone won't dilute divorce poison. This book gives the reader the ammunition to fight back. I thought so much of Divorce Poison that I referred to it in my new book, Stop Fighting Over the Kids: Resolving Day-to-Day Custody Conflict in Divorce Situations. Stop Fighting Over The Kids: Resolving Day-to-Day Custody Conflict in Divorce Situations (Mike Mastracci's Divorce Without Dishonor)...more info
    • Parents without cause
      The author makes a very important distinguishment in this text, parents who alienate their children with and without cause. There are definitely parents who alienate their children from another parent with just cause-abuse, rape, etc. There are also, as he points out, parents who do it to the detriment of their own children. It is important to know that the parent who feels alienated must do something because if not, they will lose their children forever and that is more telling, their inaction, than anything else....more info
    • Pro Custody Evaluator becomes victim of PAS
      I was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice (specializing in custody evaluations)who 'retired' to become a full-time mom 12 years ago. I saw and identified cases of alienation but the phraseology and science wasn't even what it is today which is still fledging and controversial. When it happened to me, my mistake was not to fight poison with poison, but to silently "take the high road." I figured two wrongs didn't make a right but the damage worsened.

      Finally one year ago, when I decided to fight back by "countering lies with truth," I appealed to my child's school, feeling the need for support and oversight so as not to go too far. Incredulously, the lower school principal and school counselor turned me into Child Protective Services, believing the "revised version of reality" presented by my child, the father and stepmother. I was advised by the school's counselor to "go read a book on stubborn children." Fortunately, CPS saw the situation for exactly what it is and our own custody evaluator had the clinical accuity to recognise that my child "has the attributes of alienation." However, she had NOTHING to offer except to suggest individual therapy for me and for the stepmother. Making dozens of calls, I learned there are no supports out there. When you are a target parent, you are truly alone.

      I inadvertently came across Dr. Warshak's book at a friend's house, read it throughout the night and have been handing out copies ever since to friends, therapists, and attorneys. I wish I had had it a year ago; it might well have prevented the situation or at least stemmed the damage which will take years to reverse. Last week I renewed my Clinical Social Work license and in 6 weeks I will base my first Parenting Support Group on the solid foundation of Dr. Warshak's work. If that isn't a testimony in favor of this masterful piece of work, I don't know what is. The book sells itself. Sharon Marie Chester, LCSW, Metairie, LA...more info
    • a MIRACULOUS help this book was!
      We thought our situation with a 7-year old being in the middle of a divorce war was hopeless. I am very pleased to say that out of ALL the books, articles and online information I have read, Divorce Poison is truly the most thorough on the subject of brainwashing and deception, and was the most relevant to our situation. I was so touched by the book's relevance to me personally that I contacted Dr. Warshak to thank him for writing the book. Take the time to read it. Even a few sections if you can't read it all. It will be worth it! ...more info
    • This book is a must read for divorcing parents
      This is a subject I am all too familiar with. As a divorced mother of four, I know first hand the damage that can be inflicted on the children by a vindictive ex. Read this book and study it, it will give you the tools you need to cope with an ex-spouse who is out of control.

      Christina Rowe
      Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce...more info
    • This book should be a court ordered requirement for divorcing /divorced parents
      I purchased this book following a suggestion on a stepfamily related website.

      I've read a great number of books over the years for work, college, and pleasure but this book is by far the best I've ever read.

      This book should be a required read by family court judges, mediators, child daycare providers, child social workers, and teachers. It should also be a required read for parents in custody disputes or divorce litigation. It should be THE manual of parenting classes mandated by the family courts.

      Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex...more info
    • saving children
      Divorce poison is a beacon of hope on the sea of psychbabble and legalese dealing with parental alienation. Unlike other books, it does explain this phenomenon, the damage it does to children, and what to do about it! PAS is a form of child abuse. In my work as a consultant with with a Family Court in Michigan, my colleagues and I have dealt with hundreds of cases of alienation over the past 20 years. Few books have impacted me as this one. It is not only soundly researched, but most of all it demonstrates that wisdom can be written in plain English. Bravo Dr. Warshak!...more info
    • Very Accurate
      As an adult child who was alienated from my father by my mother I can attest to Dr. Warshak's amazing accuracy in defining parental alienation, and its devastating impact on all involved. Dr. Warshak's suggestion that parents who are the victim of alienation not sit by passively is wonderful advice. This is a must read for all who is going through a divorce, or are divorced and believe they may be the victim of a vindictive ex-spouse who cannot separate their feelings from those of their children. The information and advice is invaluable and quite likely will serve to save your relationship with your children....more info
    • High Conflict Divorce Parents ...PLEASE READ THIS BOOK
      I bought this book before the store even unboxed it for their shelf. I have to say that I was totally amazed at how Dr. Warshak nailed the description of my experience with divorce poison, the personality profile of my vindictive ex, and the response and effects I've seen it have on my child. It was like Dr.Warshak had interviewed and observed my family personally.

      Divorce poison is a sick and serious issue. I don't wish it on any child or parent. If you feel like you are the target of parental alienation, educate yourself, your ex and anyone (lawyers, therapist, family, etc) who has any part in your custody matter. One of the hardest things about the recent outcome of my two year custody battle is to realize how ignorant the court, forensic psychologist, therapist, school system, and especially the father of my son, are about the power and damaging effects divorce poison has on a child.

      If you are recently separated and struggling with a vindictive ex, please do not assume things will blow over or die down. People whose personalities allow them to justify bad-mouthing, bashing or even brainwashing often become consumed by revenge and cannot let it go even when it is detrimental to the child. Read Dr. Warshak's book and take action appropriately.

      My lawyer made sure Divorce Poison was on our table in full view at all times during our three day custody trial. I just wish the judge could have read it before interviewing my son.

      I totally agree with the prior reviewer that said this book is a bible. Picking it up and reading it every time I feel the frustration reassures me that I am not the sick one here nor am I the bad parent. With Dr. Warshak's recommendations, I can continue to try to foster a healthy relationship with my child while trying to address the poison he is being given....more info

    • a MUST READ if you feel like a target parent
      As a marriage and family therapist with a Ph.D. in clinical child psychology, I can only say that Dr. Warshak's book on the underbelly of what is commonly thought of as parental alienation syndrome is the most valuable book to own if you are in a highly contentious divorce. OWN IT, READ IT, AND REFER TO IT. At times, Dr. Warshak will feel like your best friend, and indeed, the only person who truly understands your plight - one that frequently leaves you feeling helpless, bereft and stunned. DIVORCE POISON offers invaluable identification of the dynamics to this syndrome, sage advice, and something critical to one's overall functioning: that of feeling contained, safe in the knowledge that someone credible holds your truth with you. It is a blanket of reassurance with the words "I'm not crazy" on it to wrap around your psyche.
      Susan Mandel, MFT, Ph.D....more info
    • Very Informative
      Very eye opening. As a victim of divorce poison,I was told "These things happen." I felt very alone and helpless. This book gave me great insight as to reasons why someone would do this to their own children. It gives even better insight into why the children follow suit and what the long term effects are for them, the REAL victims.

      This book gave me courage, knowledge and better yet, direction. I live in a small midwest town. Our court system, lawyers and even mental health professionals have yet to acknowlege PAS as anything other than what happens when adults divorce and put the children in the middle. I now feel that I know better how to handle myself with both my ex and my children.

      I hope that ultimately the offenders get harsh penalties and or punishments. Reading this book and eduacating ourselves and then others involved in one very important step foward. Someone has to protect the children from this kind of abuse....more info
    • Outstanding Book
      My granddaughter has alienated herself from our family under the influence of her mother. Before reading this excellent book, I suspected that she had been brainwashed, but knew little about the symptoms and effect of such malicious intent. I only wish I had read this book a year or two ago, so that we might have avoided the pitfalls which have led to such extreme alienation.

      Dr. Warshak writes in an easy-to-read style, and gives many helpful hints to ward off the effect of "divorce poison". He is right on target. It seemed as if he were writing about our situation. He is thorough, and leaves no question unanswered.

      I have written to him, and received a response. He is both compassionate and understanding, and the children are the focus of his concern.

      I would recommend this book to anyone divorced with kids, and not just those who are newly divorced. It took almost 12 years for this situation to manifest itself in our family....more info

    • Excellent book! Dont' forget April 25 is PA Awareness Day
      Parental Alienation Awareness Day on April 25th. Do your part to get the public and the professionals aware of this devastating problem that Dr. Warshak describes so well!


      ...more info
    • A Must Read for Divorced Parents!
      Dr. Warshak provides excellent insight to the problem of divorce poison. I've been battling this since I divorced fifteen years ago, and I found this book a huge help. I never fully understood what I was up against with my ex until I read this book. The biggest losers of divorce poison are children of divorce...Any parent contemplating divorce, or going through a divorce should read DIVORCE POISON....more info
    • Nice change in point of view
      After 6 years of divorce it just keeps getting uglier. The kids are actively being hurt because it is the only thing that still bothers me. I have struggled with how to handle this. It was so nice to see someone with a rational point of view. Staying silent doesn't help the children cope with the irrationalities they see. I also really appreciated that there was no advocacy of retaliation in kind. This was a way to help the children get through it and not how to get even. That is what I've been looking for! My case seems more severe than any of the examples here, sadly. I am still looking for more coping strategies. Otherwise, I'd have given it a 5....more info


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