Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Loads of Info on Parental Alienation | angiEmedia

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Children and Domestic Violence, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights on November 5, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Loads of Info on Parental Alienation

Written by: Alison
Use of Our Content (Reposting and Quoting)

(Click here for more coverage on parental alienation.)

Parental alienation involves the persistent behavior of an alienating parent making a strong effort to cause the children to hate the target parent. Bad-mouthing the target parent in the presence of the children is nearly always involved. But it is not just occasional — it is a consistent pattern. Often the alienating parent will recruit other people to join in bad-mouthing the target parent. What these people likely fail to realize is that they are committing emotional child abuse.

Parental alienation is a huge problem, especially in divorce cases involving personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. When parental alienation is involved in personality disordered divorce cases, it can often include the alienating parent fabricating child abuse allegations and training the children to repeat them. Even if it doesn’t succeed at making the children hate the target parent, such tactics can literally land the target parent in jail and bankrupt him or her with legal fees mounting a defense against false allegations.

We stumbled across the web site mentioned below in this posting that offers literally dozens of links to very good information on parental alienation (also known as “Hostile Aggressive Parenting”) and PAS (Parental Alienation Synrome). If you’re interesting in learning more about these topics, the reading could keep you busy learning for hours.

Click this link for more information:
F.A.C.T. Information: Parental Alienation

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1 in 4 Children of Divorce Suffer Parental Alienation Syndrome | angiEmedia

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders on November 5, 2009 at 12:45 pm

1 in 4 Children of Divorce Suffer Parental Alienation Syndrome

Written by: Paco

November 3rd, 2009


Psychology researchers Jose Canton Duarte, Rosario Cortes Arboleda, and Dolores Justicia Diaz from the University of Granada have written a book on the psychological problems caused by parental alienation during child custody conflicts entitled Conflictos entre los padres, divorcio y desarrollo de los hijos (English: Marital Conflicts, Divorce, and Children’s Development). In much of the United States and of course in countries south of the border, there are a large number of families going through difficult divorces who speak Spanish as their primary language. While there is a wealth of English-language information on the form of emotional child abuse known as parental alienation, the selection of such titles for Spanish-literate populations has been more limited. If you know of a Spanish-speaking family with intense conflict between divorced parents, this title might be helpful for their extended family to read to understand what is happening to the child who used to love them but who now avoids and even lies about them after being brainwashed by the parent who has primary custody.

1 out of 4 children involved in a divorce undergoes Parental Alienation Syndrome

In the 1980’s, PAS was defined by scientist Richard Gardner of Columbia University. Men are usually the target parent, since in most cases the mother has custody of the child.

According to Mª Rosario Cortés, “the so-called alienating parent is the one who has custody and uses it to brainwash the child, turning him or her against the alienated parent”. In most cases, the process is very subtle the custodial parent stating such things as “if I just told you some more things about your father/mother…”, or by making the child feel sorry for “abandoning” every time he or she visits the alienated parent.

As pointed out by the group of researchers of the University of Granada, there are many other factors which influence PAS apart from the unacceptable attitude of the custodial parent, such as children’s psychological vulnerability, the character and behaviour of parents, dynamics among brothers, or the existing conflicts between the two divorced parents. Very often children not only reject their father, but also his family and close friends. Grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, and the new partner of the non-custodial parent are also affected by this syndrome, and children undergoing PAS can even “expel them from their life.”

Among other symptoms, Professor Cortés points out that children tend to find continual justifications for the alienating parent’s attitude. They denigrate the target parent, relate negative feelings unambivalently towards that parent, deny being influenced by anyone (pleading responsibility for their attitude), feel no guilt for denigrating the alienated parent, or recount events which were not experienced but rather came from listening to others.

The authors of Marital Conflicts, Divorce, and Children’s Development, state that PAS is more frequent among children aged 9 to 12 than among teenagers, and that there are no relevant gender differences in PAS.

Uno de cada cuatro hijos de padres en proceso de divorcio contencioso sufre el denominado ‘Síndrome de Alienación Parental’

El SAP fue definido en los años 80 por el científico Richard Gardner, de la Universidad de Columbia (EE UU), y el afectado suele ser con frecuencia el hombre (por la simple razón de que la custodia suele darse a la madre).

“El progenitor que llamamos ‘alienante’ se sirve de la custodia del hijo para realizarle un lavado de cerebro en toda regla, basado en el dogmatismo, poniéndole en contra del progenitor alienado”, explica Mª Rosario Cortés. En la mayoría de los casos, este proceso se produce de forma muy sutil, siendo frecuente que estos padres empleen frases del tipo “si yo te contara cosas de tu padre/madre…”, o hacen sentir culpables al menor por ‘abandonarles’ simplemente por cumplir el régimen de visitas.

Los investigadores granadinos señalan que, amén de esta intolerable actitud por parte del alienante, “en el Síndrome de Alienación Parental influyen otras muchas circunstancias, como la vulnerabilidad psicológica del niño, la conducta y la personalidad de ambos progenitores, las dinámicas fraternales o los conflictos entre ambos padres. Con frecuencia, suele ocurrir que el niño no sólo llegue a rechazar a su padre, sino también a toda la familia y al entorno de éste. Abuelos, tíos, primos y las nuevas parejas del alienado se ven también afectados por este síndrome, “llegando a ser prácticamente ‘’borrados del mapa’ por el niño que padece el SAP”.

Cortés señala que, entre los síntomas del SAP en el menor, destacan la justificación continuada y sistemática de la actitud del padre ‘alienante’, una campaña de denigración del progenitor ‘alienado’, la ausencia de ambivalencia en los sentimientos negativos hacia dicho progenitor, las afirmaciones de que nadie lo ha influenciado y que ha llegado solo a adoptar esta actitud, la ausencia de culpabilidad por la denigración del progenitor ‘alienado’ o contar hechos que manifiestamente no ha vivido él sino que ha escuchado a otros.

Los autores de “Conflictos matrimoniales, divorcio y desarrollo de los hijos” –libro que ya fue publicado en el año 2000, pero que próximamente será reeditado y actualizado con nuevos datos- señalan que el SAP es más frecuente entre los 9 y 12 años que en la adolescencia, y no existen diferencias significativas por sexos (“se da tanto en niños como en niñas”).

1 in 4 Children of Divorce Suffer Parental Alienation Syndrome | angiEmedia.

Group of 50 Mental Health Experts Pushing to Add Parental Alienation to DSM –

In Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Rights, Liberty, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation on November 5, 2009 at 2:20 am

Group of 50 Mental Health Experts Pushing to Add Parental Alienation to DSM

November 2nd, 2009 by Glenn Sacks, MA for Fathers & Families

Now 23, divorced, and a parent herself, Anne has recognized only recently that she was manipulated, that her long-held view of her father isn’t accurate. They live 2,000 miles apart but now try to speak daily. “I’ve missed out on a great friendship with my dad,” she says. “It hurts.”

A group of 50 mental health experts from 10 countries are part of an effort to add Parental Alienation to the 2012 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible” of diagnoses. According to psychiatrist William Bernet, this “would spur insurance coverage, stimulate more systematic research, lend credence to a charge of parental alienation in court, and raise the odds that children would get timely treatment.”

Few family law cases are as heartbreaking as those involving Parental Alienation. In PA cases, one parent has turned his or her children against the other parent, destroying the loving bonds the children and the target parent once enjoyed.

Numerous misguided feminist groups oppose recognition of Parental Alienation in court or in DSM. Some of these opponents raise legitimate concerns. For example, Janet Johnston, a feminist-oriented clinical sociologist/justice studies professor, fears that PAS could be invoked by an abusive parent to gain rights to a child.

She is correct–this can happen. One example is the Joyce Murphy case in San Diego–to learn more, see my post Feminist Opponents of Shared Parenting Get It Right in Parental Alienation/Abuse Accusation Case. The solution to Johnston’s concern is to have courts make thorough, unbiased investigations into abuse claims.

It also true, as some opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation assert, that there are fathers (or mothers) who have alienated their own children through their personality defects or lack of parenting skills, and who attempt to shift the blame to their children’s mothers (or fathers) by falsely claiming PAS.

However, some opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation are on the lunatic fringe, denying that Parental Alienation exists at all, and spinning fantasies of masses of mothers losing custody to molesting fathers. In most of the cases put forth in the media by these extremists, no abuse occurred and the mothers only lost custody of their children after going way out of their way to destroy the relationship between the children and their fathers. Some examples of these frauds include the Genia Shockome, Sadia Loeliger, and Holly Collins cases

Even if many claims of Parental Alienation were false–and there’s no evidence to suggest this–it still would not mean that opponents’ assertions that PA doesn’t exist are credible. In family law cases, false accusations of any and all types of maltreatment, including PA, are used to gain advantage. Since false accusations of domestic violence and child sexual abuse are common, should we then conclude that battering and molestation don’t exist?

Another issue opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation have latched on to is the debate over whether Parental Alienation should by considered a syndrome. They then argue that if it’s not a syndrome, it can’t be real. I believe the assertion that Parental Alienation is a “syndrome” is defensible, but regardless, the key fact is that alienating behavior and Parental Alienation campaigns exist and are a major problem in divorce.

Johnston also asserts that in teens, a level of parental rejection appearing similar to Parental Alienation might be a developmentally normal response. This assertion is questionable. Johnston is correct that many teens reject their parents to various degrees. However, there’s a difference between this and active alienation.

Several of my wife’s male friends have been alienated from their teenage children, and many of them try to mask their pain by shrugging and saying, “You know how teenagers are.” Well, I do, and I don’t buy it. For example, my 17-year-old son is convinced that I’m a hopelessly out of touch old loser, and I certainly don’t disagree with him. Still, he clearly loves me, and will sometimes (grudgingly) acknowledge it. That’s not Parental Alienation, which is far more visceral.

The new U.S. News & World Report article Parental Alienation: A Mental Diagnosis? (11/2/09) covers the efforts of Parental Alienation experts to get PA accepted by DSM. I suggest that readers comment on the piece by sending Letters to the Editor at

In it, author Lindsay Lyon writes:

From an early age, Anne was taught by her mother to fear her father. Behind his back, her mom warned that he was unpredictable and dangerous; any time he’d invite her to do anything—a walk in the woods, a trip to the art store—she would craft an excuse not to go. “I was under the impression that he was crazy, that at any moment he could just pop and do something violent to hurt me,” says Anne, who prefers that only her middle name be used to guard her family’s privacy.

Typical of a phenomenon some mental-health experts now label “parental alienation,” her view of him became so negative, she says, that her mother persuaded her to lie during a custody hearing when the couple divorced. Then 14, she told the judge that her dad was physically abusive. Was he? “No,” she says. “But I was convinced that he would [be].” After her mother won custody, Anne all but severed contact with her father for years.

If a growing faction of the mental-health community has its way, Anne’s experience will one day soon be an actual diagnosis. The concept of parental alienation, which is highly controversial, is being described as one in which children strongly attach to one parent and reject the other in the false belief that he or she is bad or dangerous.

“It’s heartbreaking,” says William Bernet, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, “to have your 10-year-old suddenly, in a matter of weeks, go from loving you and hiking with you…to saying you’re a horrible, ugly person.” These aren’t kids who simply prefer one parent over the other, he says. That’s normal. These kids doggedly resist contact with a parent, sometimes permanently, out of an irrational hate or fear.

Bernet is leading an effort to add “parental alienation” to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible” of diagnoses, scheduled for 2012. He and some 50 contributing authors from 10 countries will make their case in the American Journal of Family Therapy early next year. Inclusion, says Bernet, would spur insurance coverage, stimulate more systematic research, lend credence to a charge of parental alienation in court, and raise the odds that children would get timely treatment.

But many experts balk at labeling the phenomenon an official disorder. “I really get concerned about spreading the definition of mental illness too wide,” says Elissa Benedek, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a past president of the APA. There’s no question in her mind that kids become alienated from a loving parent in many divorces with little or no justification, and she’s seen plenty of kids kick and scream all the way to the car when visitation is enforced. But, she says, “this is not a mentally ill child”…

In any case, divorcing parents should be aware that hostilities may seriously harm the kids. Sometimes manipulation is blatant, as with parents who conceal phone calls, gifts, or letters, then use the “lack of contact” as proof that the other parent doesn’t love the child. Sometimes the influence is more subtle (“I’m sure nothing bad will happen to you at Mommy’s house”) or even unintentional (“I’ve put a cellphone in your suitcase. Call when everyone’s asleep to tell me you’re OK”)…

“The long-term implications [of alienation] are pretty severe,” says Amy Baker, director of research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection in New York and a contributing author of Bernet’s proposal. In a study culminating in a 2007 book, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome, she interviewed 40 “survivors” and found that many were depressed, guilt ridden, and filled with self-loathing. Kids develop identity through relationships with both their parents, she says. When they are told one is no good, they believe, “I’m half no good.”

Now 23, divorced, and a parent herself, Anne has recognized only recently that she was manipulated, that her long-held view of her father isn’t accurate. They live 2,000 miles apart but now try to speak daily. “I’ve missed out on a great friendship with my dad,” she says. “It hurts.”

Lyon did a pretty good job with the article but her assertions about Parental Alienation and the American Psychological Association are incomplete. She wrote “The American Psychological Association has issued a statement that ‘there is no evidence within the psychological literature of a diagnosable parental alienation syndrome.'” Yet the APA has given mixed messages on PAS–to learn more, click here.

The controversy over Parental Alienation is largely political. Children are vulnerable and impressionable, and parents in emotionally-charged divorces are quite capable of using them as tools of their anger. It is true that family courts must weed out false claims of PA made by abusive or manipulative parents. It is also true that courts must act decisively to protect children from the emotional abuse inflicted by alienating ones. » Blog Archive » Group of 50 Mental Health Experts Pushing to Add Parental Alienation to DSM.

Parental Alienation and Borderline Dichotomous Thinking

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders on November 4, 2009 at 1:22 am

Parents who are reasonable, adaptable and practice Analogous Thinking have no problem functioning in the world either as a married or divorced parents.

It is only parents who are mentally ill, who think in terms of black and white, good and evil, that cause most of the problems, not only for their children and the ex-spouse, but ultimately for themselves. Courts systems prey on such people whos only thought process is its “my way or the highway” that keeps the problem going.

I found the following below under Borderline Personality Disorder, which is one of the core components of Parental Alienation Syndrome, and thought I would point out why Alienating Parents are such Abusers.


Dichotomous thinking is also sometimes called “black or white thinking.” This is when someone is only able to see the extremes of a situation, and is unable to see the “gray areas” or complexities of the situation. For example, a student who engages in dichotomous thinking may believe that if they don’t get an “A” in class then they have failed.

Dichotomous thinking is a very common problem in people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). In this disorder, people tend to see themselves, others, and the world as either “all good” or “all bad.” Dichotomous thinking in BPD is linked to splitting behavior.”

Also Known As: black or white thinking

Analagous Thinking

“Higher order thinking requires the manipulation of ideas and information in ways that derive new implications and meaning or modify existing ones. Through such processes as combining ideas and facts to hypothesise, generalise, synthesise, explain and arrive at interpretations or conclusions, students can be led to discover new meanings and solve problems. This article briefly presents, discusses and gives examples of strategies for developing analogous, sequential and interpersonal thinking, three higher order thinking skills (Senge, et al., 2000) which need to be nurtured because they are essential to individual holistic development.1

Analogous thinking begins to develop at a young age and involves comparisons and analogies among separate events. Sequential thinking emerges later when patterns are discerned between events and is commonly applied in mathematical questions involving numbers and patterns in series. Interpersonal thinking, the highest order of these three skills, involves individual personal and social development.

To enhance the development of thinking skills, educators need to provide students with a plethora of application opportunities during lessons and assignments. Doing so not only broadens horizons but also simultaneously helps to develop multiple perspectives. Moreover, the crux of this learning involves a transformation of the way in which learning occurs. In higher education, students should be provided with opportunities to make connections between different events and situations in order to nurture emotional as well as cognitive capabilities.

Efforts should also be made to build the confidence needed for effective interactions with people who have an even wider variety of attitudes, backgrounds and opinions. In a nutshell, students need support, motivation and tangible as well as intangible rewards for continually increasing their abilities to cope with and, indeed, conquer complex situations and problems as needed. So, how is this done? More specifically, what strategies can nurture these thinking skills? “e

Parental Alienation and Abusive Custodial Parents

In Family Rights on November 4, 2009 at 12:39 am

Abusers are parents who make up lies about the other parent and make a child feel not loved and wanted by the other parent. In most cases, it is the mother who is the Parental Alienator, not because it is a gender-specific illness, but because mom’s are given custodial rights over 85 percent of the time in the United States.

Parental Alienation is not gender specific. It is an illness in which a parent typically get a domestic violence restraining order against one parent, and then proceeds to keep the other parent away from the other.

How easy is it to get a restraining order? Pretty durn, easy. The laws in most states require no evidence whatsoever to get a temporary restraining order, and after 30 days, when a man is kicked out of his house, kept away from his children, and loses almost everything he owns, a temporary order is usually made 1-3 years in most cases.

That period of time is more than enough for the mom to brainwash the child against the parent. In many cases, children lose all touch with the other parent, are told all kinds of heinous lies, and the child learns to “mimic” the abusers hatred.

The psychological damage is life-long. In some cases, such as the Holly-Jennifer Collins case, it will last forever for these children. It is sad to say, but 20 years from now, the cycle will probably repeat itself, and the Collins kids will alienate their children from the spouses.

Dr. – “Brainwashed by My Parents”

In parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome on November 4, 2009 at 12:15 am

“Brainwashed by My Parents”

It’s being called the ultimate form of child abuse — brainwashing your children against an ex-spouse. Could you be harming your child emotionally and not even know it? Don’t miss the five biggest mistakes that divorcing parents make, and hear a poignant message from a teen affected by her parents’ divorce.


Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Ken says he hasn’t seen his 14-year-old son since last October and claims his ex-wife destroyed what was once a loving father-son relationship. Mel Feit, director of the National Center for Men, says Ken’s situation is a classic case of kids being turned against their father.


Is parental alienation a real syndrome or a phony tactic?



A Mother’s Loss

Karen lost custody of her children after she was accused of parental alienation syndrome by her ex-husband. Karen maintains her innocence, so why were her parental rights terminated when her daughters accused her ex of sexual abuse?



Find out what you can do if you’re caught between sparring parents.


Demi, a Web Watcher from Kansas, has a heartfelt message for children of divorce.



On the Run

Twenty-five years ago, Glen was so desperate to see his young children, he kidnapped them from his ex-wife and went on the lam for two years.



“You’re damned right I’d do it again!”


Dr. – Shows – “Brainwashed by My Parents”.