The actions of the New Jersey trial judge seem radical, even dangerous. However, the psychologist who first identified parental alienation as a disorder, Richard Gardner, suggested that the only effective means to undo the damage of alienation was to place the child in the custody of the parent from whom the child was alienated.
As you listen to the actual conversations, the Judge’s conduct seems capricious. But, you need to listen further, including a later conversation with a judge from Florida who describes just how frustrating it is to manage cases where a child says he or she wants no relationship with a parent. These are not parents who have abused a child or otherwise engaged in criminal conduct. One also senses that the parents in the reported case were not emotionally “out there.” To this day, a decade after the custody case was concluded, the children report they are still scarred by the experience of losing contact with the parent they were most connected with. The case also recalls the conversation between Alec Baldwin and his daughter Ireland where Baldwin asserts that Ireland’s mother, Kim Bassinger is destroying his relationship with his child.