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How To Minimize The Prevalence of Parental Alienation

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The following article is a collaboration between Linda Gottlieb and Joan T. Kloth-Zanard

Using The Family Court System To Reduce The Incidence of PAS:

The best way to prevent the abuse of parental alienation is to have all families where there is a conflict issue go through specialized, court ordered counseling with a PAS specialist. Or, at least someone with a high success rate and specializes in working with families in grief management, anger management and impulse control.

Why these specialties? Because in 99% of the cases of PAS or Parentectomy, the alienating parent may be borderline narcissistic. They have extreme low self-esteem, and believe they have to be perfect or they are not loveable. And if they are not loveable, then they will be abandoned. And this is their biggest fear, being abandoned.

For this reason, they will do anything to make sure that they are seen as the perfect and only parent for the children. You can add to this the fact that they are stuck in the anger stage of the grieving process and cannot move forward. They constantly project their issues and anger onto and through the children or what I call Borderless Boundaries. These parents need help to grieve properly as do the children.

It is imperative that proper education and training be provided to divorce attorneys, counselors, therapists, child agencies as well as to the family court and judges. Without proper education and awareness, the damages caused by aligning the children with only one parent will be horrific and permanent.

Children have the right to both parents in their lives. There is no room for false allegations and contempt of court orders. The courts need to start penalizing for these transgressions. Until this is done, families will continue to be ripped apart and the children made to suffer.

Regrettably, this suggestion MAY serve to help only the PAS child, someday but not immediately. It may have no impact in facilitating the reunification between a parent and their child, at least not initially. This may offer only the hope that your legacy to your child will be awareness of the truth.

Many knowledgeable professionals have likened the parental alienation to cult indoctrination. But this issue is immeasurably more insidious: whereas victims of cult indoctrination are not initially in a dependency relationship with the cult leader and therefore had the option to reject the indoctrinator, children are very much dependent upon their brainwashing parent.

Because of the dependency needs of children, resisting the alienating parent, who is generally but NOT ALWAYS, the residential parent, can be terrifying to them. So as despicably as these children treat their targeted/alienated parent, they have no good options for escaping this dysfunctional family dynamic.

They are in a no win situation, a double bind, a catch 22. Their situation is crazy-making, which explains why the psychiatrists who eventually founded the family therapy movement in the 1950s first observed ON THE PSYCHIATRIC WARD the characteristic family dynamic of the parental alienation syndrome.

Child psychiatrist, Murray Bowen, had labeled this dynamic as the “Pathological Triangle.” He was so convinced as to the detrimental effects on children of this dysfunctional coalition between one parent and a child to the minimization and disengagement of the other parent, that when he hospitalized the child, he also hospitalized the entire nuclear family!

Yes, although it is accurate to credit child psychiatrist, Richard Gardner, to have first labeled this family dynamic as the PAS, the family dynamic has nonetheless been observed and systematically documented by psychiatrists/family therapists for more than 60 years.

For the naysayers, like Janet Johnston, Joan Kelly, Stephanie Dallam of the Supervised Family Network, there should be no doubts as to the very real existence of the parental alienation syndrome. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

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