Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Some Blogosphere observations on Parental Alienation Syndrome.


A good analysis. Wendy takes a more reasonable approach to the issue than many feminists. She even believes in 50-50 shared parenting which you would think is the norm for all feminists given their equality focus. She knows children are used as weapons and it is not gender specific. I think that is why many gender feminists hate Gardiner as he only found females’ performing the behaviour and this has skewed their thinking.

Is Parental Alienation a Syndrome?

on Sunday 05 April 2009

by Wendy McElroy

Parental Alienation has been a hot topic in the Canadian courts of late with a mother losing custody on the grounds of her continuing campaign to vilify the father and distance him from their children. The father received full custody. I have mixed feelings about the attempt to introduce parental alienation as a psychological syndrome. I fully admit the existence of cruel, vicious parents who use their children as weapons; whenever custody arrangements cannot be agreed upon privately, I endorse the idea of shared parenthood (50/50) through which children are part of the lives of both parents. But, again, I have reservations about making the pattern of behavior into a psychological/legal "syndrome."

I expressed them in an article I wrote a few years ago, which is reprinted below.

For those of us who have been abused by our ex's and seen this abuse manifested through our children's behaviour toward us there is no doubt. My then 11 year old daughter told the Children's Lawyer Clinical Investigator she could not remember her older Sisters both of whom she adored and had seen every year twice a year or more over her life. She could not remember events I was involved in but could remember all events related to her mother's activities or very brief encounters with her mother's family. These are but a few of the many symptoms she displayed. The invective, with bullets made by her mother, she acting as shooter was distressing and heartbreaking.

I think too much is made of the term syndrome. I believe it is having witnessed the damage it does to a child but take away the term and the damage is the same. It must be child focused but these deniers want to make it perpetrator focused.

A child who is sexually molested has been damaged. One cannot escape that fact. The child must be treated for any physical damage and emotional trauma. No syndrome is involved but we know there is suffering. Its not rocket science. The same is true of PA. The child is damaged and that damage can range from mild emotional trauma to psychotic breaks. In the most extreme of cases death can occur. Pamela Richardson's son killed himself and recently in the Toronto area a mother killed her 18 month old toddler so the dad could not have access. That was Parental Alienation of the most egregious kind but not necessarily PAS. It was still extreme behaviour.

The professional's attending the PAS Symposium in Toronto also suggested in the Q & A not to get hung up on the syndrome part as it tends to serve as a red herring. They know the behaviour is damaging and can treat it without it being in the holy grail of the DSM. Dr. Darnell opined that not one of the maladies listed in the manual has "Syndrome" attached to it.

In any event good work.

Mike Murphy

1 comment:

Unknown said...


Thanks for your post. False allegations were encouraged after the passing of the Mondale Act of 1974 or the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). This Act was designed with the intention of investigation and subsequent validation of child abuse claims. People looking for revenge were eager to use this as a tool to hurl false allegations at each other.

The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie