What to Avoid

Don't get 'hooked' by high conflict people or their high conflict traits and characteristics.

Addressing Patterns of Behavior

Blaming others, all-or-nothing thinking, unmanaged emotions and extreme behaviors.

What to Do

Make decisions with compassion & understanding. What is best for the children. 

Learning About Divorce Disputes

A note from the Author Bill Eddy - 'Don't Alienate the Kids!'

When I became a family lawyer in the 1990’s, I found that my counseling background was really helpful in my law practice, as many cases involved mental health problems, such as substance abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, alienation and personality disorders.

When I first heard of Parental Alienation Syndrome, the battle over abuse versus alienation was a surprise to me. (“The father’s an abuser.” “No, the mother’s an alienator.”) Because of my background, I could see that parents and professionals in the family court system misunderstood a lot about children and abuse. Because of my training in family systems, I knew that families weren’t as simple as “the abuser” versus “the alienator.”

Even reasonable people over-react and reinforce problems. I represented mothers and fathers about equally. I realized that my clients who were the rejected parent were in a real bind. When they were understandably angry toward the other parent or the child, they often made things worse. While they usually weren’t the cause of the alienation, they reinforced the alienation without realizing it.

So, ensued my book and now this online playbook!


What it is. What it isn't.

The first half of the playbook explains the problem of child alienation: when a child resists or refuses to see a parent during or after a separation or divorce.

The second half teaches how to avoid alienation: ways to parent a child to be resilient in today’s world even during these family changes and to avoid high-conflict divorce.

Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

is the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of the High Conflict Institute in San Diego, California. He pioneered the High Conflict Personality Theory (HCP) and has become an expert on managing disputes involving people with high conflict personalities. He was the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center for 15 years, a Certified Family Law Specialist lawyer representing clients in family court for 15 years, and a licensed clinical social worker therapist with twelve years’ experience.

He serves on the faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law in California and is a Conjoint Associate Professor with the University of Newcastle Law School in Australia. He has been a speaker and trainer in over 30 U.S. states and 10 countries.

He is the author or co-author of twenty books and has a popular blog on the Psychology Today website with over 5.0 million views.

Purchase the Playbook