Complex Relational Trauma is caused by the type of psycho-pathology which is seen in cases where children reject a parent.  But it is not seen in the child, it is seen in the backdrop to the family, in the narratives which surround the child and in the ways in which these hook together to create the double bind the alienated child is found in.

Whilst the child shows behaviours which appear confusing and responses to the parent who is being rejected which can change swiftly like the wind (more of that later), this is not a psychiatric problem which resides in the child, it is the child’s response to a trauma story which does not belong to them, but which is causing them to act out the behavioural pattern we have come to call parental alienation.

The behavioural pattern we call parental alienation is the child’s use of defensive splitting in a landscape which is controlling their behaviours, emotions and psychological stability.  There is, in essence, one clear sign that this behavioural pattern is in play and that is the child’s division of feelings about parents into wholly good and wholly bad and an accompanying disdain or contempt for the parent they deem to be wholly bad.