Thursday

Will the Real Parental Alienation Please Stand Up?

The controversial parental alienation [syndrome] is up for consideration in the new DSM. As psychology is not science, it is hard to determine anything concrete. Tests are based off of questionnaires that are subjective. Any objective notations are subject to the tester's own interpretation and bias. So, what is the method of discovery to be able to conclude that a child has been parentally alienated?

I have seen many cases in which any behavior in which the child has any dislike for the noncustodial parent, considered as parental alienation. I haven't seen any mothers win a parental alienation claim, only fathers. No, take that back, I have seen mothers with money win, but then the court did not enforce the order, or even retracted the order. I have heard of "experts" testifying on behalf of a parental alienation claim being made, without interviewing the custodial parent (Dr. Randy Rand)...without interviewing the child...without interviewing people in the child's life (Dr. Michael Bone)...only making an assessment and evaluation based on the word of the noncustodial parent.

So, which is the real PAS?

1) Child dislikes non-custodial parent (NCP), with little or no psychological input or discouragement from custodial parent (opinion formed more or less independently)

Child could have always not liked the NCP. Child could have recently stopped liking the NCP. Child could have been building a dislike for the NCP that is becoming increasingly obvious. Custodial parent may acknowledge this dislike, but makes nothing of it/is indifferent...really doesn't give a shit.

2) Child dislikes non-custodial parent, with minor grumbling on part of custodial parent, but no active discouragement (opinion formed more or less independently, with little to no influence from custodial parent's negativity)

Child could have always not liked the NCP. Child could have recently stopped liking the NCP. Child could have been building a dislike for the NCP that is becoming increasingly obvious. Custodial parent is bothered by this, maybe in expressed agreement, but really doesn't give a shit.

3) Child dislikes non-custodial parent, despite custodial parent making great effort to be "positive"

Child could have always not liked the NCP. Child could have recently stopped liking the NCP. Child could have been building a dislike for the NCP that is becoming increasingly obvious. Custodial parent goes out of his/her way, expending much effort to turn everything negative into a positive, regarding the NCP. This may include reshaping the child's views in a way that could be considered "lying" to the child, just so that he/she can benefit from a relationship with the NCP.

4) Child dislikes non-custodial parent, and custodial parent is highly negative too because of extensive history of abuse directed towards custodial parent (tries to restrict contact out of need to protect child from further trauma and abuse)

Child could have always not liked the NCP. Child could have recently stopped liking the NCP. Child could have been building a dislike for the NCP that is becoming increasingly obvious. Custodial parent shares in the dislike of the NCP for valid reasons and thus parent and child prevent a relationship from continuing or forming with the NCP.

5) Child dislikes non-custodial parent, because custodial parent is highly manipulative, negative and the abuser in the household (cuts off contact out of spite, personal control needs, desire to punish other person for leaving)

Child could have always not liked the NCP. Child could have recently stopped liking the NCP. Child could have been building a dislike for the NCP that is becoming increasingly obvious. NCP is an authoritarian, a disciplinarian, frigid, anal retentive, and otherwise unpleasant to be around.

6) Child is neutral towards non-custodial parent, despite minor grumbling on the part of custodial parent and/or active discouragement (child not alienated, despite negative opinion of custodial parent)

Child has no opinion of NCP. Take it, or leave it relationship, which typically, the child will "take it" when it is obvious that the child will benefit ($$$$) at a specific time. Custodial parent is notably bothered and may hinder a relationship from forming because there is an irregular, disruptive pattern that he/she considers maladaptive.

7) Child is positive towards non-custodial parent, despite minor grumbling on part of custodial parent and/or active discouragement.

Child could have always liked the NCP. Child could have recently begun liking the NCP. Child could have been building likeness for the NCP that is becoming increasingly obvious. Child only says great things about NCP and expresses great desire for beginning or continuing a relationship. Custodial parent is bothered by it, possibly interfering with the relationship by creating obstacles or reframing the child's view.

8) For his/her own protection, child echoes the negative attitude of (abusive) custodial parent, but doesn't really believe it.

Child completely emulates the maladaptive behavior of the custodial parent. This may have been building. This may be recent. But the behavior is only active in the presence of the custodial parent. Child may tell others that his/her real feelings do not reflect the viewed behaviors.


So, which is is gonna be?



Thanks silverside.