Posted in Alienation Versus Alienation Syndrome

Alienation Versus Alienation Syndrome

Alienation Versus Alienation Syndrome

I should note that parental alienation differs slightly from parental alienation syndrome, a term coined 20 years ago by psychiatrist Richard Gardner, and which is not the subject of this article. Parental alienation syndrome, or PAS, is defined as “a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent.” Although PAS is not recognized as a disorder by the medical or legal communities, and in fact is heavily criticized by legal and medical professionals, it is closely related to parental alienation, which is recognized as a factor in family law cases, particularly those involving custody. Psychologists differentiate between parental alienation and PAS by linking parental alienation with behaviors exhibited by the parents, while PAS is characterized as a rejection or hatred of a targeted parent by the child.

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Posted in #Alienators will be alienated, Alienation, Alienation Versus Alienation Syndrome, Alienator Personality Disorders

Why I do not pathologize the alienator-

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Why I do not pathologize the alienator—-INITIALLY:
Almost as much has been written about alienating parents as has
been written about the PAS child, and the literature is, at best,
confusing and contradictory with respect to their mental status,
their motives for the alienation, their receptivity to treatment, their
ability to put the needs and feelings of their children above their
own, and whether or not it is possible to gain their collaboration in
reversing the PAS. I have found that the motivation for the
alienation varies significantly among those who engage in this
perverse activity. It is so important, therefore, to assess for the
motivations as it is sometimes possible to resolve the underlying
fears and concerns of alienators in co- parenting counseling and
then gaining their cooperation to reverse the PAS. This was the
outcome in approximately 30% of my treatment cases as discussed
in my book.
When I am referred a case by the court or by the lawyer for the
child to do treatment, reunification therapy, and/or assess for the
presence of the PAS, I do not rush to judgment in pathologizing
the parent who is alleged to be alienating. And I always attempt
treatment before making a recommendation for a transfer of
custody. Why? I have discovered in treating these cases during a
period of 17 years that, if cooperation can be gained from the
alienator, the PAS has the best chance of reversal and very swiftly
at that—–sometimes in as few as two or three sessions! However,
if the alienator refused to participate in the therapy and continued
to engage in alienating behaviors, my reunification therapy lasted
upwards of a year or more.