1. We admitted we were powerless over PEOPLE (Our alienator, our children and any other relationships)—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God (interchangeable with the Universe, your higher power or anything else that gives you comfort) as we understood Them.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God (interchangeable with the Universe, your higher power or anything else that gives you comfort), to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God (interchangeable with the Universe, your higher power or anything else that gives you comfort) remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Them to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God (interchangeable with the Universe, your higher power or anything else that gives you comfort)as we understood Them, praying only for knowledge of Their will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other folks suffering from this disease, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

 PA-A’s 12 Steps and 12 Traditions are reprinted and adapted from the first 164 pages of the “Big Book,” Alcoholics Anonymous, with permission from Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt this material does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved this or any other PA-A material. AA is a program for recovery from alcoholism only. Use of AA material in the program of PA-A, which is patterned after that of AA but which addresses other issues, does not constitute endorsement by, or affiliation with, AA. 

2 “God” in PA-A literature can mean the Deity, a deity, a spiritual entity of one’s own understanding (a Higher Power), or a non-spiritual conception (a higher purpose). Reliance on any one of these conceptions confers a perspective that transcends our immediate physical, social, and emotional circumstances and allows us to “keep calm and carry on” with what really matters. 

3 The term “spiritual awakening” can refer to an event – a vital spiritual experience – or to a gradual change. Those of us who are atheists also experience a transformation, enabling us to place service before selfishness. 

Many of us first reacted to this list like those who first encounter AA’s Twelve Steps: “What an order! I can’t go through with it!” And, in the same way that AA members comfort newcomers, we in PA-A are happy to reassure, “Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles.” The point is that we are willing to grow along the lines we have set down. We aim for balance, understanding that “our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God/Higher power (ect) and the people about us.” We claim progress, never perfection. 

Our description of Parental Alienation, coupled with our personal adventures before and after finding recovery, make clear three pertinent ideas: 

• That we had serious problems—relationships—that we could not solve despite our best efforts. 

• That no accessible human power had relieved our relationship problems. 

• That reliance on God, a Higher Power, or a higher purpose could—and would—restore us to sanity and set us free. 


  1. Paula

    My name is Paula and I am a parental alienator,I need some support I’m going thru a battle with cps to get to see my son idk if this is the right group but I need some people that might have experience with this

    • Hi Paual,

      I am presuming you are an alienated parent, welcome to our community. There is some great support here through our 6 day a week zoom meetings. I added you to the email list and you will get meeting times and information there. There is all some great information on the website, read under resources and check out the pdf’s.

      hope to see you at a meeting

  2. Dan

    Feel free to talk to me I am going through something similar

    • Thanks Daniel,
      Hope to see you at a meeting, there will be a bunch of people to connect with.

      you should have all the information in your inbox

  3. Lisa Fearnley-Brown

    I am interested in a little more information on your program. Looking forward to connecting with others going the same highs and lows…wish this was around 8 years ago…Lisa FB

  4. Jason

    Please add me to the weekly schedule of PAA meetings. Thank you.

  5. Carol K

    Please add me to the meeting schedule access. I have been in OA 38 years, Al-Anon, and S-Anon (5 years). I am 73, and estranged from all of my 3 adult children. I meet people in program occasionally who are estranged, but feel pretty isolated most of the time, feeling bad when my peers go on about the wonderful support they get from their children.

      • Tom Berlage

        I have been estranged from my two adult daughters for 12 years. They live with my ex-wife and her new husband on an organic farm that they operate together. While I have continually sent birthday cards and holiday cards they have never replied. I have had several brief telephone conversations with my eldest my youngest has refused to talk with me.

  6. Angela

    Hello everyone, I have been estranged from my only child, my son, for nearly 23 years. I was a very young girl when I first married and had my son. As a lot of marriages do these days, we divorced within a year of getting married. So at the tender age of 16 I was a single divorced mom. My ex eventually remarried to a woman 10 years older than I and they set out to steal my son. From kidnapping , to false child abuse claims, to falsly claiming not to know where I was and that I had had no contact with them. The new wife also had several family members in the local police force and in Judges seats in our town. Long story short I was erased from my sons life when he was 7 years old. I had started to loose hope untill I decided to research. I had NO idea that this was such a horiable trend in the whole world. I feel for each and every one of the parents, grandparents,children,aunts, uncles and more. I truly believe this has to stop somehow and that God will find a way. But until now I had never thought about how I should be living my life durring this process. I have been surviving yes, but thriving no. I have been living my life as if someone had died, at times like my son did, and others like I was the one dead. I am starting to see that my life is not over, and I still have a right to be happy and loved and whole. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I want to be free of the desperation and the guilt and the shame I have felt for over 20 years now. I want to live a happy life again, full of wonder and laughter and hope. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I will never give up, but I am no longer willing to bow down.

    • You should have received an automated email with all the meeting information. hope to see you in the meetings

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