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DIVORCE POISON: What Readers Are Saying on Amazon.com

. Quick Links: Legal and Mental Health Professionals | Authors | Parents and Grandparents

Legal and Mental Health Professionals

See also "Critical Acclaim"

Dr. Warshak has taken a very complex issue that plagues thousands of divorced families and provided valuable insight and suggestions. It's clear that he has a very good understanding of alienation and its impact on children and has many practical, down-to-earth suggestions for parents, children, and divorce professionals. I'd highly recommend this book.

— Philip Stahl, Ph.D.

Warshak gives readable case examples that explain clearly and understandably what to do and what not to do. His book separates true alienation from the alienation children create on their own, when the parent himself or herself alienates the children by their own actions. His book empowers parents affected by deliberate alienation with strategies for coping with their own feelings while meeting the emotional needs of their children.

The book also offers encouragement and practical strategies for parents to help deal with their own feelings and behaviors, both when they are tempted to speak badly of the other parent, and when they have already done so and recognize the need to neutralize toxins they may have passed on to a child. In short, Warshak's book is a must-read, a survival manual, for divorced parents with children. It is particularly helpful for parents who suspect that their children might be alienated, or that the other parent may be attempting to alienate the children.

— Joann Murphey, Ph.D., San Antonio, TX

As a marriage and family therapist with a Ph.D. in clinical child psychology, I can only say that Dr. Warshak's book on the underbelly of what is commonly thought of as parental alienation syndrome is the most valuable book to own if you are in a highly contentious divorce.

At times, Dr. Warshak will feel like your best friend, and indeed, the only person who truly understands your plight - one that frequently leaves you feeling helpless, bereft and stunned. Divorce Poison ... is a blanket of reassurance with the words 'I'm not crazy' on it to wrap around your psyche.

— Susan Mandel, MFT, Ph.D.

I inadvertently came across Dr. Warshak's book at a friend's house, read it throughout the night and have been handing out copies ever since to friends, therapists, and attorneys. I wish I had had it a year ago; it might well have prevented the situation or at least stemmed the damage which will take years to reverse. Last week I renewed my Clinical Social Work license and in 6 weeks I will base my first Parenting Support Group on the solid foundation of Dr. Warshak's work. If that isn't a testimony in favor of this masterful piece of work, I don't know what is. The book sells itself.

— Sharon Marie Chester, LCSW, Metairie, LA

... gives on-target, detailed descriptions of parental behavior ranging from mild alienation to full-blown, premeditated alienation. The author also provides practical ideas for combating each level of behavior. His approach is to NOT be passive in the face of alienation attempts, which I agree is not helpful, in my clinical experience.

— Sarah H. Kramer

PAS is a form of child abuse. In my work as a consultant with a Family Court in Michigan, my colleagues and I have dealt with hundreds of cases of alienation over the past 20 years. Few books have impacted me as this one. It is not only soundly researched, but most of all it demonstrates that wisdom can be written in plain English. Bravo Dr. Warshak!

— Carmine Palmieri, Ph.D.

Those of us who do child custody evaluations have known about alienation for quite some time. Finally, there is a resource to help parents recognize and deal with these issues in a straight-forward manner. Alienation takes a tremendous toll on a child's life and parents on the receiving end of alienation feel totally powerless.

Any mother or father who is caught up in a high conflict divorce must read this book. Parents I've recommended the book to tell me it reads like their biography. I can't stop recommending the book to parents and legal professionals. In terms of state-of-the-art books on divorce and child custody, this one must be read.

— Christopher J. Alexander, Ph.D.


I wish I would have known about this book when it initially came out. It would have saved years of heartache. I am also a social worker and thought it was best to sit silently. When the children would come home from their every other weekend visit, they would display various forms of anger. This went on for over 10 years! I first tried to ignore their behavior, and then I tried to "talk sense into the children." Neither worked and sadly, any therapist that I contacted was clueless as what to do.

Applying his methods will save you tons of money from therapists who, over and over again diagnose your child with "Adjustment Disorder" but offer no treatment options. This is the only book that addresses such nasty unfounded hatred towards one parent, or even a step parent. Sadly, our court system often does not understand PAS. The term has been twisted and wrongly applied in cases where it should not have been. However, for true cases of bad mouthing and brainwashing, reading this book can save a relationship.

— Monika Logan, LBSW

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Divorce Poison is "the Bible" for any and every difficult or tense custody divorce. It's a good reminder to all parents of the psychological devastation caused in the minds of children for any poisoning, intentional or not. And it's incredibly validating and helpful for parents who are the target of poisoning, whether mild or systematic character assassination. It is eye-opening in understanding how to combat poisoning, which is counter-intuitive to traditional methods.

Though written by a psychologist, this book is very easy to read and understand. Dr. Warshak is a good writer— very organized and user friendly in language and writing style. He is also thorough. I felt as if he touched on every angle, but it is done in such a balanced and thoughtful manner. There were some places where he could have sensationalized to try to sway readers this way or that, but he doesn't take the opportunity to do that, he just presents information very objectively.

If you or someone you know is the target (or the assailant) of divorce poison, make sure to read this book right away. The sooner the better in preventing the devastating effects of psychological poisoning! I believe this book will prevent the loss of relationship for many parents who would otherwise be clueless on how to fight this war where kids and crucial parent-child relationships are the casualties.

— Julie Ferwerda, author of One Million Arrows: Raising Your Children to Change the World

This book was extremely helpful in explaining that what I was undergoing was an actual syndrome that happened to a lot of parents in co-parenting situations— and that it had a name. I sent my ex an email accusing him of parental alienation, instead of just complaining about what he said to my daughter, and it helped. I believe I scared him with the use of the actual legal term for what he was doing. I've heard from my daughter's therapist that her stepmother, who was the major alienator, has stopped badmouthing me, and as a result my daughter has started visiting with me again and seems less angry at me. Thank you for this book. It really helped.

— Erica Manfred, author of He's History, You're Not: Surviving Divorce After 4

As a divorced mother of four, I know first hand the damage that can be inflicted on the children by a vindictive ex. Read this book and study it, it will give you the tools you need to cope with an ex-spouse who is out of control.

— Christina Rowe, author of Seven Secrets to a Successful Divorce

The author makes a very important distinction in this text, parents who alienate their children with and without cause. There are definitely parents who alienate their children from another parent with just cause-abuse, rape, etc. There are also, as he points out, parents who do it to the detriment of their own children. It is important to know that the parent who feels alienated must do something because if not, they will lose their children forever and that is more telling, their inaction, than anything else.

— Barbara Donahue, author of The Anti-Rules, Now That You've Got Him, How Do You Get Rid of Him

As a child custody attorney, I have said it a thousand times. As a custody battle survivor I have lived it too. Too often people simply complain and complain about all the terrible things the ex does to interfere with their parent-child relationships. An overall theme of Dr. Warshak's book is to TAKE ACTION.

The difference between this book and say Alec Baldwin's, A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey through Fatherhood and Divorce, for example, is that it is completely solution oriented.... This book covers it all, from the most subtle poison to the most toxic situations involving contrived abuse allegations. There are too many sick and distorted parents out there that ruin their children by dishonoring the child's other parent. This book gives the reader the ammunition to fight back.

— Mike Mastracci, author of Divorce Without Dishonor

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Parents and Grandparents

Read entire book overnight, got results beginning the next day.

This book taught us the wonderful, effective, and simple concept of DAMAGE CONTROL. We learned the many, many tools we could use to not just correct the damage that had been done, but also to protect his daughter from further damage.

We were amazed the first day we tried some of these simple, "why didn't we think of that" tools. I could write for hours on what we learned from the book. The "don't stay silent when you're being bashed by the ex" is just one of dozens of things we found out overnight. I will end this just by offering our most sincere gratitude to the author, who really did help change all our lives. My book is dog-eared, underlined, and has jottings written down on probably 75% of the pages. It is the single most important resource we happened upon in this maddening, unfair, and sad ordeal.

— tup66

I wish I had read this a long time ago.

As a victim of parental alienation syndrome, I was desperate to understand what was going on with my teen age boys and why they suddenly with no explanation turned away from me when we had been so close their whole lives. I sought the help of counselors and the court system but they did not have the basic understanding that my children were being brainwashed against me. This book not only gave me a name to what was going on, it gave me a good understanding that my boys were pawns in a game and did not necessarily understand what was happening. It gave me good sound advice on what to do about it, and how to fight it. I did not get this advice from lawyers, law guardians or counselors, I got it from this book.

— Carol "RN"

Read This Book - Maybe Twice

I read this book in the first months of the separation to gain knowledge about how to help my daughter in coming years. And I'm glad I did. I credit this book with giving me the tools to keep our relationship strong and healthy in the face of some vitriolic divorce poison from her father. Because I've put into practice the advice in Dr. Warshak's book, she still trusts and love me and we have a very close bond. I have just read the book again to reinforce the skills. His poison is strong. But thanks to this book and my love for my daughter - my love is stronger.

— Mom in Minnesota

Thank you for your book and your insight.

The father's goal is for my children to hate me for leaving him. He makes my children feel sad about loving me. He has put the children in the position of us vs. them. There is no other book out there with the detailed, step by step action a parent can take. Don't wait another day to get your hands on this book. If your kids come back to you depressed, distant, and standoffish, don't waste another moment.

— Mom of 4

Effective strategies for dealing with an ex-spouse determined to use your child as a pawn for revenge.

For those of you who have been wracked by guilt, subjected to verbal vitriol, and exhausted by ineffective legal and psychological interventions, Dr. Warshak's systematic and well thought out strategies will help you to heal. Significantly, he does not make the assumption that the fathers are the only parents who are victimized. There is a large audience of alienated mothers out there who have been craving acknowledgement and assistance in dealing with this insidious pattern of behavior. This is a book to read again and again, and to share with mental health professionals and those in the legal profession, with the hope that effective legislation can begin to address parent alienation.

— By a loving mom

Life Saver

This book has probably saved my relationship with my children.

— M. Blevins

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Excellent tool

Since using the book's recommendations my step daughter has opened up about a lot of negative things going on at her mother's home which we were not aware of, and we have now been able to guide her on how to deal with it emotionally and how to address it directly with her mom. She acts and looks so much better now, her confidence has already improved and she is now relaxed with us like during the old time.

— Sofpod "Sofpod"

Finally, some actionable advice.

Over the past three years, my wife and I have consulted innumerable resources to help us address the toxic environment her ex has created and the poison he has injected into our children. Time after time, we were advised to "take the high road" and essentially do nothing. Meanwhile, our kids continue to blame my wife for breaking up their family, tell her they hate her, tell her she deserves to suffer, tell her she is not their mother anymore, tell her they want to hurt or kill her, reject any overture of affection, and exhibit most of the symptoms of alienation as described in the book.

Finding this book felt like a miracle. Every page felt like it was written for us and about us, specifically. What makes "Divorce Poison" worth every penny are the recommendations for positive ways to take action in every situation and work towards eliminating or reducing the the pain, anger, and alienation. Without the insights and guidance found in the book, we would have continued splitting our time between doing nothing and responding to the children in ways that only served to strengthen their bond with their father and their resolve to hate us.

— MG

The Best for an Ugly, Ugly Divorce

It is a very important book for anyone dealing with emotional abusive ex-spouses. It makes manipulation more clear so you can deal with the issues more effectively.

— Laurie Richards

Most important Title for Divorced Parents

Dr. Warshak's book addresses the key mistakes that non-custodial parents make in the all too common circumstance that results from the manipulations of a custodial parent bent on destroying the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. Conventional wisdom coupled with the misguidance of well-intentioned but uninformed friends and family can compound a heart-rending loss of relationship in a frighteningly short period of time; yet the loss can last a lifetime. The value of this work cannot be overstated. Buy a copy for yourself, your parents, your counselor and your lawyer.

— Lee Barrett "Lee"

Very Accurate

As an adult child who was alienated from my father by my mother I can attest to Dr. Warshak's amazing accuracy in defining parental alienation, and its devastating impact on all involved.The information and advice is invaluable and quite likely will serve to save your relationship with your children.

— Michelle E. Martin

Strategies that I learned from this book have proven themselves with amazing results in how I handle my own situation... and the outcome is a young child who (on her own) has been able to conclude that her mother says untrue things about her father.Though the attempts at alienation may never end, helping to insulate the effects is where this book shines.

— CustodyIQ "www.CustodyIQ.com"

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Hope for Restoration

I will never be able to thank Dr. Warshak enough for helping me regain my children's love and affection. Their transformation is nothing short of a miracle. I truly wish we had a before and after video! If it weren't for this book, I don't know where we'd all be. Thank you, Dr. Warshak, from the bottom of this mother's heart.

— A Grateful Mom

An inspiring book from an equally inspiring man.

Richard Warshak definitely has the knowledge, talent, and scientific background to make a huge difference in the lives of our children and I believe he has only started. I give him 6 stars for going above and beyond the call of duty. Ultimately it is up to the parents to counter the "divorce poison" by being proactive and assertive but most of all acknowledging their own poison.

— Michael and Candice

Outstanding Book

My granddaughter has alienated herself from our family under the influence of her mother. Dr. Warshak writes in an easy-to-read style, and gives many helpful hints to ward off the effect of "divorce poison". He is right on target. It seemed as if he were writing about our situation. He is thorough, and leaves no question unanswered. I have written to him, and received a response. He is both compassionate and understanding, and the children are the focus of his concern.

— A Customer

A Roadmap to Relief

Not only will this book provide you with the tools to help your children and yourself, it will help you to understand why the alienating parent does the things they do. I have read many books and articles on alienation, Dr. Warshak's is far superior to anything I have seen thus far. The book is informative and based on his interaction with people suffering this devastating experience. It is not opinionated but honest and comforting. I went so far as to e-mail Dr. Warshak this last Saturday. We are relocating as soon as this custody nightmare is over and I wanted to find therapists that specialize in alienation issues near where we are moving. Dr. Warshak responded personally to my plea for help 3 hours later, not only giving me names of psychologists, but also giving me some reassuring advice. My husband and I have spent the last 4 months keeping quiet, on the advice of our attorney and family therapist, but we were wrong to do so. This book has taught us how to respond to our alienated children, while still taking the high road.

— J Kiser

The One Book on Divorce you Need to Read

Dr. Warshak carefully navigates the misconception that alienation is typically a "woman thing" by citing examples of fathers who alienate. In doing this, the author is able to assure readers that the book is indeed written "in the best interests of children," and not for any gender-based political agenda.

Dr. Warshak argues that target parents need time to rebuild this relationship — to show that they are not the parent depicted in the diatribes of the parent who is attempting to alienate.

Dr. Warshak carefully crafted a "how to" book for target parents, but, more importantly, he has helped all parents become better parents by encouraging them to examine their true motives for making negative statements about their former spouses.

— Randy D. Shillingburg "Long-time fan from WV"

Divorce Poison

There are few books that can claim to serve both the general public and professional/academic markets equally well. Dr Richard Warshak's Divorce Poison is one of those. The book's easy readability should not serve to mask its place as the definitive work on dealing with "Divorce Poison". Dr. Warshak's thoroughness, in addressing the methods of delivering the venom, as well as the appropriate antidotes, will serve all professionals: psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, court appointed counselors, or anyone caught up in the horrible arena of custody battles.

— J. Dweck Tenafly NJ


The first pragmatic guide to focus in-depth on parental alienation syndrome in children, and parental alienation as a pattern of behavior for parents lacking a non-`co'parenting relationship with each other. Rich in anecdote and chock full of examples sure to evoke immediate identification in many users' own experience, it's refreshingly both hands-on oriented and even-handed: stressing the frequent mutuality and accidental qualities of alienation-engendering conduct in parents.

— A Customer

High Conflict Divorce Parents ... PLEASE READ THIS BOOK

I have to say that I was totally amazed at how Dr. Warshak nailed the description of my experience with divorce poison, the personality profile of my vindictive ex, and the response and effects I've seen it have on my child. It was like Dr. Warshak had interviewed and observed my family personally.

If you are recently separated and struggling with a vindictive ex, please do not assume things will blow over or die down. Read Dr. Warshak's book and take action appropriately. My lawyer made sure Divorce Poison was on our table in full view at all times during our three day custody trial. I just wish the judge could have read it before interviewing my son.

I totally agree with the prior reviewer that said this book is a bible. With Dr. Warshak's recommendations, I can continue to try to foster a healthy relationship with my child while trying to address the poison he is being given.

— Tanya

With Thanks from a Mother Affected by PAS,

I read Divorce Poison in two nights. It's very easy reading which is credit to Dr. Warshak as this is not an easy topic to address. The book is compassionate, yet honest and truthful. Pros and cons for dealing with parental alienation syndrome are mentioned which is particularly helpful in trying to determine if one's response to the situation is positive or negative, helpful or more hurtful. The last chapter of the book entitled "Letting Go" was very sad and moved me to tears. Read this book for insights, inspiration, and the courage to do what's best for your children. Dr. Warshak cares. His book should be in every divorced person's library.

— "pdoughney"

Hits the mark! Wow! Incredibly insightful...

I have to say that I saw so many similarities to my situation that it was as if he was writing this book from my experiences, sadness, frustration and at times, horror of being the alienated parent. I'll also admit that I found myself being admonished for things (little mistakes) that I inadvertently made in trying to solve issues. Through some of the ideas presented in this book, I'm learning to think in a different, more productive way - for my own sanity and that of my children.

— B D Christopher

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