EP: 077


Navigating the Waters of Parental Alienation with Dr. Amy J. L. Baker

If you are the targeted parent in a case of parental alienation, it is easy to default to defensiveness. But responding with righteous indignation is actually counterproductive, making you look anxious, agitated and afraid. So, how can you approach the situation in a constructive way that won’t further alienate your child—or the custody evaluator assigned to your case?

Dr. Amy J. L. Baker is a nationally recognized expert in parental alienation and the emotional abuse of children. She has written more than 115 publications including eight books on the topic of parent-child relationships, children of divorce and parental alienation syndrome. Dr. Baker serves as an expert witness and coaches parents dealing with alienated children and alienating co-parents. She is also the Director of Research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection. Dr. Baker holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University.

Today, Dr. Baker joins Katherine to discuss the ins and outs of parental alienation. She walks us through the four components that must be present for a situation to qualify as parental alienation and several of the behaviors kids exhibit in a ‘campaign of denigration.’ Dr. Baker shares her approach to addressing false accusations if you are the target of parental alienation, describing the value in approaching kids with compassion and empathy. Listen in for Dr. Baker’s advice on exhibiting humility with a custody evaluator and learn what to do if you’re the victim of parental alienation.


The formal definition of parental alienation

The four components necessary to qualify as parental alienation

  • Prior positive relationship
  • Absence of abuse, neglect
  • Favored parent exhibits alienating behaviors
  • Kids exhibit behaviors unique to alienation

The characteristics of a ‘campaign of denigration’

How to approach a child making false accusations

  • Gratitude, compassion and empathy
  • Correct the lie and go back to compassion

How to gauge the intentionality of the favored parent’s behavior

What to do if you are the victim of parental alienation

The value in presenting yourself with humility to a custody evaluator

The need for training for legal professionals around parental alienation

The tendency for judges to support the status quo


Dr. Baker’s Website


Co-Parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You by Amy J. L. Baker and Paul R. Fine

The High-Conflict Custody Battle: Protect Yourself and Your Kids from a Toxic Divorce, False Accusations & Parental Alienation by Amy J. L. Baker, J. Michael Bone and Brian Ludmer


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765