DYNAMICS, NOT DIAGNOSES
Why is Billy resisting or refusing contact with Dad? In the conventional paradigm, we might talk about mom’s personality disorder, dad’s history of intimate partner violence, and Billy’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”). We are likely then to collapse these individual descriptors into ill-defined, subjective, and pejorative labels like “enmeshment,” “alienation,” and/or “estrangement.” However, by doing so, we must admit that the whole is inevitably greater than the sum of its parts. I hope to see the day when we have the tools to capture that complexity objectively and recommend corresponding, reliable child-centered remedies.