Parental alienation can happen in the context of a divorce and custody battle. It is a form of undue influence in which one parent deceives and manipulates the child to feel fear, anger, disgust, or other negative emotions towards the other parent. The alienating parent may attempt to instill false memories of abuse or phobias about the other parent in the child’s mind. They may encourage the child to spy and tattle on the other parent.
In other words, parents who unethically alienate their child against the other parent use similar tactics that cults use to distance their members from family, friends, and ex-members. Please visit the BITE Model page to learn more about these tactics.