Posted in Parental Alienation PA

The pathological triangle

    “The effects of losing not only the intact family, but also a parent, hang heavily over children, touching them in ways that can wreak havoc in many realms of life both in the present and future. As adults, many victims of bitter custody battles who had been permanently removed from a targeted parent—-still long to be united with the lost parent. The loss cannot be undone. Childhood cannot be recaptured. Gone forever is that sense of history, intimacy, lost input of values and morals, self-awareness, knowing one’s beginnings, love, contact with extended family, and much more. Virtually no child processes the ability to protect him or herself against such an undignified and total loss.” (P. 105.)

Jayne Major, Ph.D. (2006), stated the following:

    “Because PAS [alienation] is the most severe kind of abuse of a child’s emotions, there will be scars and lost opportunities for normal development. The child is at risk of growing up and being an alienator also, because the alienating parent has been the primary role model. (P. 285.)

Glenn Cartwright, Ph.D., (2006), elaborated about this family dynamic as follows:

     “The awful outcome of PAS [alienation] is the complete separation of the child or children from a parent. Even more dreadful is that it is deliberately caused, maliciously done, and entirely preventable. This terrible form of child abuse has long lasting effects for all concerned. (P. 286.)

Craig Elliott, Ph.D., (2006), elaborated on the family dynamic of alienation as follows when he described it as:

     “A destructive family pathology because it attributes a quality of ‘evil,’ without cause or foundation and, to a parent who once nurtured and protected the same child that has now turned against him or her.” (P. 228.)

I would like also to quote four of my professional colleagues with whom I have personally collaborated on these type of cases and who have assessed the family dynamic of alienation to be a form of severe psychological child abuse.

     Amy J. L. Baker holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology with a specialization in early social and emotional development.  She is the Director of Research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection at the New York Foundling.  She has conducted one qualitative study on adults who experienced the PAS as children, at least two studies using standardized measures on adults who also had this experience, several studies on parents who had the experience of the other parent interfering with their relationship with their child, and one survey of custody evaluators.  She is a widely recognized and highly respected as a forensic evaluator for determining the presence of the PAS.  In her 2007 research study entitled, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome, Dr. Baker summarized the research she did on adult child victims of alienation as follows:

65% of the study’s participants were afflicted with low self-esteem; 70% suffered episodes of depression due to the belief of being unloved by the targeted parent and from extended separation from their parents; 35% engaged in substance abuse as a means to mask their feelings of pain and loss; 40% lacked trust in themselves as well as in meaningful relationships because the trust was broken with their parents; 50% suffered the heartbreaking repetition of the alienation by becoming alienated from their own children. (PP. 180–191.)

Raymond Havlicek, Ph.D., is a forensic and clinical psychologist who is a Diplomat of the American Board of Professional Psychology and a Fellow at the American Academy of Clinical Psychology.  He is a founding member of the Parent Coordinator Association of New York.  Dr. Havlicek has completed hundreds of child custody evaluations for Supreme and Family Courts throughout New York State.  He has been consulted by CPS to do evaluations for that agency.  He is currently developing an educational program for upstate New York judges concerning issues of child custody and parental alienation.  He specializes in family reunification, domestic violence treatment, validation for sex abuse, and assessment and treatment of parental alienation.

Dr. Havlicek stated the following about the family dynamic of alienation for my book interview:

     “There is no question that PAS [alienation] is a form of child abuse. It is a horror show. The damage to children is enormous. When a child loses a parent, they are killing off a part of themselves because there is an identity between the child and both parents. The result is that they become self-injurious. I see all the warning signs and all the flags of the self-hatred: nightmares, anxiety, oppositional behaviors in school, presence of gastrointestinal syndromes, failing school grades, more susceptibilty to peers with oppositional behaviors, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, depression.” (P. 214.)

Barbara Burkhard, Ph.D., co-founded Child and Family Psychological Services, P. C., Smithtown, New York in 1999 with Jayne Albertson-Kelly, Ph.D. The agency provides research-informed therapy for children and families.  It has a contract with Suffolk County Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide therapeutic child/parent visits and evaluations of parents who have been accused of abuse and neglect.  They also receive referrals from Suffolk County Supreme and Family Courts for custody evaluations, therapeutic visitation, reunification therapy, and forensic mental health evaluations and risk assessments. These may include problems related to high conflict divorce such as parental alienation. They further receive referrals for sex abuse validations as well as referrals to provide therapy for children who are victims of crime.  Prior to co-founding this agency, both Dr. Burkhard and Dr. Kelly worked for a community agency that treated abused and neglected children.

In her interview with me for my book, I asked Dr. Burkhard how she would assess the effect of alienation on children, and she replied the following:

     “This is maltreatment of children in the most profound way.” (P. 211.)

She continued to explain that they are seeing children years subsequent to their initial evaluation so that her agency is in a position to observe the outcomes.  She is concerned that alienated children are empowered when asked to join with the alienating parent as an ally. She continued:

     “These children do not follow rules; they are out of control; they are basically naughty and lack limits.  These children behave as if they have license to do whatever they want.  It may have begun as a breakdown in not having to respond the authority of and respect for the other parent.  In the cases of treatment or court failure to reunite, we have seen the lack of respect for authority figures including the favored parent, school, and the law.  Among the cases where reunification efforts have failed are children who have dropped out of school, become addicted to drugs, born children out of wedlock addicted to drugs, and engaged in other antisocial behaviors.  This is not a good outcome.” (P. 212.)

To provide a clearer picture for the reader about how disturbed these children become, Dr. Burkhard compared them to another group of kids whom she treats on a regular basis:

“This other group of children have been raped, burned, beaten, sexually abused, and victims of crime.  If they are in the newspapers, the children are likely to wind up in this office because we specialize in traumatized children.  And yet, they don’t hold a candle in terms of symptoms and prognosis to the PAS children.  PAS kids are a mess.”  (P. 212.)

Dr. Burkhard continued to express how PAS children suffer emotional abuse:

     “Childhood is a time to develop a sense of responsibility.  It is a time to develop a conscience.  Children who become alienated have this fundamental aspect of their development derailed.  They are not only not held accountable for their mistakes and misdeeds, they may be encouraged to tell lies or exaggerate the truth, and otherwise act in ways that are disrespectful of others.  That these behaviors are reinforced by a trusted parent further undermines normal moral development as well as the development of their ability to develop normal relationships.” (P. 212.)

Dr. Kelly asserted during her interview for my book that children who become victims of alienation suffer lifetime damage.  She expressed it as follows:

“They do not learn interpersonal problem solving because they are often prevented from working out realistic everyday conflicts with a parent.  This is simply not healthy in the long run.  This affects them in a very negative way.” (P. 212.)

In addressing the damage of alienation on adolescents, who are generally not receptive to confrontation, Dr. Kelly stated the following:

“Adolescents are very difficult to disabuse of the PAS.  Having permission or a sanction from a parent to treat the other parent so badly is going to, at some point, have a very deleterious effect on their ability to interact with others.” (P. 212.)

http://www.endparentalalienation.com

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Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy. Qualified NLP practitioner and CBT therapist. REIKI Master. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦ https://www.linkedin.com/in/linda-turner-retreat/

5 thoughts on “The pathological triangle

  1. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    Stanley Clawar, Ph.D., C.C.S. and Brynne Rivlin, M. S.S. in their 1991 book entitled, Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children, published by the American Bar Association, states the following:
    “The effects of losing not only the intact family, but also a parent, hang heavily over children, touching them in ways that can wreak havoc in many realms of life both in the present and future. As adults, many victims of bitter custody battles who had been permanently removed from a targeted parent—-still long to be united with the lost parent. The loss cannot be undone. Childhood cannot be recaptured. Gone forever is that sense of history, intimacy, lost input of values and morals, self-awareness, knowing one’s beginnings, love, contact with extended family, and much more. Virtually no child processes the ability to protect him or herself against such an undignified and total loss.” (P. 105.)

    Like

    1. Thank you truthaholics for reblogging, a very important message here for us all to be aware of. If only social workers,lawyers etc would educate themselves on Parental Alienation maybe some children can be saved from the emotional damage in the future.

      Like

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