Richard A. Warshak

Richard A. Warshak

Brooklyn, NY, The United States


Dr. Richard A. Warshak is a clinical, consulting, and research psychologist in private practice in Dallas, Texas with more than thirty years experience.

He grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from Midwood High School, and earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. in 1978 from U.T.’s Southwestern Medical Center where is now a Clinical Professor of Psychology. Dr. Warshak is past president of the Dallas Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology and he sits on the Editorial Board of three professional journals.

Dr. Warshak is generally considered one of the world’s leading authorities on pathological alienation in children.

Average rating: 4.27 · 256 ratings · 34 reviews · 2 distinct works · Similar authors
Divorce Poison

4.26 avg rating — 255 ratings — published 2002 — 14 editions
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Parental Alienation Syndrom...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating2 editions
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“If your children understand that the bashing is unjustified, help them understand that this is an adult problem. It is not their job to correct the parent doing the bashing or to defend the target of the bashing. Let them know that you will understand their reluctance to show affection for you in the presence of their other parent. Assure them that you will always know they love you, even when they do not show it. Teach the children how to accept the reality of the bashing rather than pretend it does not exist. The healthiest stance is to adopt a matter-of-fact attitude. The bashing exists. It is irrational. It is unpleasant. And they can’t do anything about it. Compare the bashing episodes to thunderstorms. We do not like being exposed to rain, thunder, and lightning, but we do not deny their unpleasant reality. If we pretended the storm did not exist we would do nothing to protect ourselves. Instead we accept the fact of the storm’s existence and its inevitability. We also accept that we are powerless to control the storm. We ease our fear through better understanding of the phenomena. And we protect ourselves by taking cover, or removing ourselves from the storm’s path. In the same manner children can tell themselves, “Uh-oh, Dad’s at it again. Let’s get out of his way and find something else to do until the storm blows over.” If you are the target of bashing, you must respond in a knowledgeable and effective manner. If you fail to do so, you may be allowing an even more harmful process to take root.”
Richard A. Warshak, Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent/Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex

“Because narcissists use divorce poison to compensate for feeling inferior as parents, anything you can do to support their egos in a reasonable manner may lessen their need to put you down. For example, encourage them to make unique contributions to their children’s lives, contributions they can brag about. This might be participating in scouts or assisting with special school projects. Narcissists are exquisitely sensitive to appearances. It can be helpful for them to retain the legal title of joint custodian even if the children spend relatively little time in their care and the other parent retains the authority to make most decisions. If, instead, the court strips them of this title, the resulting loss of face could exacerbate the brainwashing.”
Richard A. Warshak, Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent/Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex

“A relentless, virulent campaign of denigration guarantees ongoing contact. The goal is not to end the children’s relationship with the other parent, it is to remain entangled with the ex. As long as they attack and accuse, they can look forward to some response. It is as if they are saying “I refuse to give you up. If I cannot have your love, I’ll hold on with hate. I will keep you involved whether you like it or not. We will continue to dominate each other’s thoughts. We will continue to stir strong feelings in each other.” These parents act as if their main goal in life is to make their ex miserable. Often they succeed. They may be so successful that they drive the alienated parent away: The target parent gives up trying to foster a relationship with the children. But the denigrating parent does not stop pursuing a relationship with the target. He or she merely finds another way to assure contact. A favorite forum is the courtroom. Litigation provides ample opportunities to provoke hostile engagement. Most of these actually occur before trial, in the form of discovery, interrogatories, and depositions. These legal tactics give bashing and brainwashing parents a front-row center seat from which to observe intimate details of their ex-spouse’s life.”
Richard A. Warshak, Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent/Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex

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