by Ronald C. Naso, Ph.D., ABPP
Few divorces are finalized without conflict. Immured in scenarios of disappointment and anger, the parties are frequently critical of each other. Ten to fifteen percent of parents are so thoroughly embroiled in conflict that they provoke significant loyalty conflicts with the children. They cannot agree on the most elemental issues or communicate without rancor (Stahl, 2011). Years before physically separating, they traumatize, sometimes abuse, their children. Rather than creating a safe psychological space for the child, they recruit him or her as an ally, undermining attachments to the nonaligned parent—all in the name of love. The term parental alienation describes the final common pathway for negative parental influences and their intersection with the personality and dynamics of the child.
Psychoanalysts are exquisitely sensitive to children’s resentments as well as to the various alliances they form with each parent as they negotiate the oedipal and post-oedipal…
View original post 3,880 more words