Rosys speech at the conference today….5 My parents separated in 2000 when I was 2 years old and once the courts had got involved, I was only allowed to see my Dad for four days a month. I had to wait another 6 years before I was allowed to talk to my Dad on the […]
Parental Alienation and Parental Kidnap infringe upon the rights of the child to know of its parentage and also exposes the child to potential emotional difficulties in later life, if the child is ever reconciled with the truth. Parental Alienation and Parental Kidnap serves only the emotional desires and wishes [not needs] of the custodial spouse, over the rights, needs and well-being of both the child and of the absent spouse and so, this is not prioritising the protection and the well-being of the child and is therefore in our opinion, a direct form of legalised child abuse.
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Maladaptive efforts to adjust to remarriage can provoke or exacerbate parental alienation syndrome. The remarried parent, the other parent, the stepparent, and the child each may contribute to the disturbance. Underlying dynamics include jealousy, narcissistic injury, desire for revenge, the wish to erase the exspouse from the childs life in order to make room for the stepparent, competitive feelings between the exspouse and stepparent, the new couples attempt to unite around a common enemy and avoid recognition of conflicts in the marriage, the childs attempt to resolve inner conflict, and parent-child boundary violations. These dynamics are discussed and suggestions for treatment are offered.
This article describes the parental alienation syndrome, its proposed characteristics and dynamics, and the methods used to document its presence. Research related to various tenets of the parental alienation syndrome is then reviewed. Finally, the syndrome’s utility for mental health professionals and courts in explaining allegations of sexual abuse in situations of divorce is evaluated.
Parental Alienation Syndrome: Frye v Gardner in the Family Courts (Part 2)
by Jerome H. Poliacoff, Ph.D., P.A., Cynthia L. Greene, Esq., and Laura Smith, Esq
[Second of Two Parts: Click here for Part 1]
The Expert’s ObligationFor better or worse there is an inherent conflict between the goals of lawyers and the goals of ethical experts: the legal system is adversarial, science is not. Attorneys need partisan experts to persuade the trier of fact, be it judge or jury. Lawyers, according to Champagne and his colleagues (FN13) “seemingly want articulate, partisan experts with integrity“.
Sales and Shuman (FN14) argue that “to the extent that ethics governs all scientific and professional behavior – which it does – it is only appropriate that it become the first metric against which to judge the expert witnessing of scientists and professionals“.
Sales and Shuman point out that the most obvious case of the applicability of the ethics code to expert witnessing is the obligation to be competent (FN15).
By becoming familiar with the applicable ethical standards governing the professional behavior of psychologists and psychiatrists a more reasoned judgement can be made about the admissibility of PAS in the courtroom. While we rely primarily on the ethical standards for psychologists (FN16) in the following discussion it should be apparent to the reader that these standards speak to expected ethical professional behavior of any designation when one agrees to appear as a mental health expert before the courts.
Section 1.06 Basis for Scientific and Professional Judgements calls for psychologists to “rely on scientifically and professionally derived knowledge when making scientific or professional judgements“. Not having met the standards inherent in Daubert and in Fryerenders PAS unable to pass muster under this brief, but indispensable, ethical dictum.
Rotgers and Barrett (Id) have made an effort to guide psychologists in their considerations concerning serving as an expert witness. They point out four standards of professional conduct that appear to be clearly applicable to psychologists’ expert testimony that are specifically reinforced by the Daubert decision. These include, in addition to Standard 1.06, the following:
- Standard 2.02 “Competence and Appropriate Use of Assessments and Interventions” requires psychologists to select assessment instruments on the basis of research indicating the appropriateness of the instruments for the specific issue at hand and further enjoins psychologists from misusing those instruments.
- Standard 2.04 “Use of Assessment in General and With Special Populations” requires familiarity with the psychometric properties and limitations of assessment instruments used in the practice of psychology.
- Standard 2.05 “Interpreting Assessment Results” requires psychologists to directly state reservations they may have about the accuracy and limitations of their assessments.
As has been noted in the section above, PAS does not meet the courts’ threshold requirement to qualify as scientific. Clearly then, the offering of PAS to the courts as an explanatory construct, let alone a basis for making recommendation about the future of children’s lives, does not meet the minimal set of ethical standards incumbent on experts appearing before the court.
Please sign the e- petition or create a new one to STOP Parental Alienation, unfortunately I cant sign being a French resident.
Please forward these details to as many people as possible who have been affected by Parental Alienation
#Parental #Alienation is a subtle manipulation of the children by one parent who, for their own ends, poisons the children’s minds against the other parent. 24% of UK children have no contact with one of their parents and the primary cause is parental alienation by the resident parent.
Gardner’s definition of PAS is:
1. The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes.
2. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification.
3. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) of a parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent.
Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.
Nothing stirs up passions more than the controversy generated when parents are at war over the custody of a child.
A controversy is an issue where evidence on both sides can make a compelling case. It is never black and white, but when people have their emotions aroused, an issue can quickly turn into two polar opposites.
Fear takes over reason, incomplete facts become evidence, and court calendars become jammed with repeat visits to a judge to try to bring sanity to what is unlikely to ever be sane. On top of this, social movements are promoting one side over another in their clamor for justice. Politicians are lobbied to pass laws to bring order to chaos. Gender wars are fueled and lives are destroyed.
My exposure to custody wars came from the mothers and fathers attending my Breakthrough Parenting® classes at The Parent Connection, Inc., an agency that I founded in Los Angeles in 1983.
Many of the parents in my classes were litigating over child custody. Most said that they wanted to settle the case, but none of them would settle by giving up all access to their child, which seemed to be the only other alternative open to them.
It was disturbing to see that in many of these cases, the child was behaving outrageously, to the point of cursing one of their parents, and kicking, spitting, and calling them stupid, mean and horrible.
What can you do when one parent is intractable and vitriolic? What can you do when the child becomes caught up in the fight and starts taking sides? I came to realize that this level of conflict in custody disputes was a fallout from sweeping societal changes.
What has changed?
In the 1960’s and the 1970’s, feminists told fathers that they should take a more active role in raising their children. Women were going to work, going back to college and pursuing careers as never before.
A shift then began, and fathers became more involved in the day-to-day care of their children than was true in previous generations.
As rigidity about parental roles began to fall away, the tender years doctrine was still in place. This doctrine presumed that by virtue of the fact that a woman was the mother of a child, that she must be the superior parent. In the early 1970’s several states passed “no-fault” divorce laws, where anyone who wanted out of a marriage was free to leave. Some have called it the “no guilt laws.” There was a proliferation of divorce that was historically unprecedented.
After a family breakup, many fathers wanted to continue to be involved with the care of their children. Suddenly, they found that they had no legal right to have custody of their children unless the mother agreed to it.
Due to the lobbying efforts of James Cook, founder of the Joint Custody Association, who was caught up in this problem himself, the California legislature successfully passed the first joint custody laws.
Joint custody was widely seen as a better way of handling the evolving problem of how to share child custody. It was believed that it would lead to fewer fights over the custody of children because it was more equal. Other states also passed joint custody laws. These laws helped to level the playing field for fathers.
The majority of mothers and fathers welcomed joint custody. Others did not. As with any trend, there was a backlash. Child custody became a highly political gender-specific issue. Thus, the ramping up of high-level disputes also began in the 70’s.
In most states the tender years presumption (mother knows best) was replaced with the best-interests-of-the-child presumption of joint custody (the best parent is both parents).
In the 1980’s, courts began to increasingly ignore gender in determining child custody. This removed the automatic allocation of full custody rights to the mother, so she had less time with the children. Instead, the courts looked first at how the custody could be shared, and if that wasn’t possible, judicial officers attempted to determine which parent was more interested and better able to attend to the best interest of the child.
Fathers perceived that they were at a disadvantage because of a bias toward the mother having custody. Because of this, in the 1980’s more fathers than ever started showing up at parenting classes to make sure that their skills were state of the art. This is when these issues were first called to my attention.
Most parents were able to share custody of their children, and they worked out childcare issues in an amicable way.
A large number of women were even relieved to have fathers share in the childcare, which enabled them to pursue their personal life goals involving their education and career.
However, when there was not a friendly resolution to custody, fathers found themselves with a greater opportunity to gain joint or primary custodial status by litigating (going to court). The stakes got even higher when the legal system was used to resolve these difficult problems. In extreme cases, the alienation of a child’s affection against a targeted parent became a bizarre escalation of the intensity of the conflict.