Parental Alienation Syndrome · 3/25/2007

This is a public story
Prev Story Previous Story   |  Story 15 of 16  |   Next Story next Story

This Post was copied from Meadowroses Timeline with her gracious permission.





Parental Alienation Syndrome is a putative disorder proposed by Richard Gardner as "a disturbance in which children are obsessively preoccupied with depreciation and/or criticism of a parent. In other words, denigration that is unjustified and or exaggerated." Although Parental Alienation Syndrome has not gained official recognition as a psychological disorder, case law has recognized it in child custody disputes.

In effect, these children are taught to hate the targeted parent to the point of wanting to eliminate them from their lives. Dr. Gardner considers this psychological abuse and it is the only form of psychological abuse that has clear-cut unmistakable signs and symptoms, therefore the only psychological abuse that can be easily diagnosed.

Dr. Gardner found in his research that no matter the financial or cultural background, alienation of one parent from the other could occur. PAS can be further described as a form of psychological kidnapping where the child's mind has been forced to prejudicially believe and discriminate against the target parent. This happens by creating fear, not of the targeted parent, but of the alienating parent.

Alan Kemp (Kemp. p. 36) further describes the categories that make up PAS: Rejecting (spurning), terrorizing, corrupting, denying essential stimulation, emotional responsiveness or availability, unreliable and inconsistent parenting, mental health, medical or educational neglect, degrating/devaluating the other parent, isolating, and exploiting the child. By deliberately alienating the victims from other family members and social supports, isolation occurs. The alienator then uses threats or denigrating tactics to force victims to comply with their requests (terrorizing). Essentially, in PAS, the children are used to destroy the targeted parent as a means of revenge and domestic violence.

The alienating parent refuses to comply with court orders, tells the children they do not have to abide by them either, thus prompting them to ignore the authority of the targeted parent. The idea is the alienating parent has a goal of destroying the targeted parent by using the children as weapons or pawns. The alienating parent uses the children to verbally terrorize their other parent, to isolate the other parent, to accuse the other parent and to take away the financial or earning capabilities of the other parent by continual harassments such as false accusations of abuse, further ignoring of court orders to bring about more custody changes and eventual destruction of the targeted parent through emotional/financial/physical collapse wherein the alienated parent goes to court in a custody fight to appear to be the better parent for custody of the children.

PAS occurs as a result of cross-generational coalitions, enmeshed relationships, triangles, borderless boundary families and is child psychological maltreatment as recognized by the DSM under Cluster B Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder. The alienating parent without regard to the needs of the children continually violates the rights, needs and court orders from the other parent. The alienating parent willingly and callously puts their own needs and desires above that of everyone else, including their own children, to fulfill their compulsion to destroy the other parent.

Gardener, R.A., March (2000) Addendum to Parental Alienation Syndrome (2nd Edition). Creative therapeutics, Creskill, NJ


Add a commentAdd a comment