Monday, April 6, 2009

Is Parent Alienation a Syndrome, Should it be?

This post should be interesting as far as comments go..

I'm sure I'll end up on more than one "someones shit list" for my opinions but that's nothing new!

So here's the question.. I came across this morning, in an article by

Is Parental Alienation a Syndrome?

05 Apr 2009 Wendy McElroy

I have reservations about making this identified pattern of behavior into a psychological/legal "syndrome"

Of course I'm going to add my two cents in here..

Lets begin by finding out what exactly the word "syndrome" means by defination.

Syndrome - noun

1. Pathology, Psychiatry. a group of symptoms that together are characteristic of a specific disorder, disease, or the like.

2. a group of related or coincident things, events, actions, etc.

3. the pattern of symptoms that characterize or indicate a particular social condition.

4. a predictable, characteristic pattern of behavior, action, etc., that tends to occur under certain circumstances:

syndrome definition

Ok so, why need a label? Do people need to be labeled all the time?

My opinion on that is two-fold.

Yes, sometimes it benefits the person to be labeled as to be properly treated if treatment is an option, and there has been no mistake in the labeling.

No, especially when people are being "labeled" as is the case, more recently, labeling someone means money for the pharma co's etc.

Adults and children alike are being wrongly labeled then medicated into oblivian.

So then, when my own opinions on labeling are conflicting, then how am I to form an opinion at all?

Well, hey flipping a coin works!

Nah, this issue is to important to flip a coin to decide.. then what?

Then lets go to my next favorite way to settle conflicting opinions in my head.

Do some of your own homework - Find Facts and weigh them out.

Why PAS should be in the DSM as a syndrome-

(1) If those womens groups would stop living in denial or parroting what they've been told to say about PAS and do their own homework.. they would know....


Therefor, labeling PAS a syndrome would HELP ABUSED CHILDREN not harm them!
Please see the difference below -

In general, PAS children are likely to exhibit these symptoms (below), whereas children who have been genuinely abused/neglected are not likely to exhibit the same symptoms.

Listed below are the eight primary manifestations of PAS.

Campaign of denigration

Weak, frivolous, or absurd rationalizations for the deprecation

Lack of ambivalence

The "independent thinker" phenomenon

Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflictAbsence of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent Presence of borrowed scenarios

Spread of the animosity to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent

Listed below are the primary symptoms seen in post-traumatic stress disorder

(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-IV]; American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

Many abused children (but certainly not all) will exhibit such symptoms as the symptoms below.
This is especially the case if the abuse has been chronic. PAS children rarely exhibit these symptoms.

Accordingly, reference to these symptoms, as well as the aforementioned primary manifestations of PAS, can be useful for differentiating between bona fide abuse-neglect and the PAS in children.

Preoccupation with the trauma

Episodic reliving and flashbacks



Derealization and psychic numbing

Recreational desensitization and fantasy play

Trauma-specific dreams

Fear of people who resemble the alleged abuser

Hypervigilance and/or frequent startle reactions

Running away from home or the site of the abuse

Pessimism about the future

Ok enough on that posting of PAS as a syndrome- the following thoughts are to those women who refuse to accept PAS as a syndrome or any other way.. except to claim it's an abusers excuse.


(1) Well what would you like to label it when it happens to be the mother that is alienating? Should there be no help for those children simply because the cluster of symptoms that help diagnose PAS would then be labeled Maternal something or another?

Please think about that.. how retarded would that be?

(2) Oh so some might say.. who cares about men!
All men are abusive anyway.. they are abusers and only want to keep the child away from his/her mother to abuse them - the evaluator would then say.. but these children are exhibiting the cluster of symptoms that children of maternal something or another exhibit, furthermore it appears that the mother has the children aligned with her... the father appears to be the left out parent.. so what do we do now?

Oppzzz Hmm didn't think of that one did ya?

Ok so here's another thought.. without accepting that PAS is very real and that the symptoms are the same IN EACH CASE.. we don't give it a "syndrome" label.. instead we label it maternal something or another according to the women's groups out there.. they admit that PAS does exist but they chose to label it anything but PAS..

Ok lets explore that thought..

It's taken almost THIRTY YEARS for PAS to get into the court system, it's already been accepted into the scientific field by passing both the Frye and the Monahan test for admissibility.. both men and women agree it's not gender specific.. well wait .. most women agree except those in the women's groups.. they seem to be the poster children for bringing Gardner back to life so they can throw darts at him.. until he dies again..


The wheel is perfect as it is!

For all you nay sayers that need to stay in the victim role by insisting on black and white thinking as far as PAS goes or in any situation.. take a look at this.. then go explore my post above on Black and white thinking.. it isn't a post exclusively on PA/PAS.

Disgusted with the system: Black and White Thinking PA/PAS

Denial of the Parental Alienation Syndrome Also Harms Women

Denying reality is obviously a maladaptive way of dealing with a situation. In fact, denial is generally considered to be one of the defense mechanisms, mechanisms that are inappropriate, maladaptive, and pathological. In the field of medicine to deny the existence of a disease seriously compromises the physician’s ability to help patients. If a physician does not believe that a particular disease exists, then it will not be given consideration when making a differential diagnosis, and the patient may then go untreated. This is in line with the ancient medical principle that proper diagnosis must precede proper treatment. Or, if for some external reason the physician recognizes the disorder, but feels obligated to use another name, other problems arise, e.g., impaired communication with others regarding exactly what is going on with the patient, and hence improper treatment. This is what is occurring at this point with the parental alienation syndrome, a disorder whose existence has compelling verification.


When your done doing your own homework.. think about if you are being used as someone elses agenda.. and actually hurting men women and children in the process.

Here is an email that went out today from VOW - and here I thought they wanted to help women and children.. I see they have the same agenda as NOW .. can you say no thanks I don't want to be part of your man hating club? Not at the expense of my children and surviving sisters who are also victims of parent alienation!


Hello Stop Family Violence Activists!

Governor offices across the country are being asked to sign a proclamation declaring April 25th as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. Proponents portray parental alienation as a form of child abuse that arises during custody proceedings when one parent turns the child against the other parent.

Parental alienation "theory" says that allegations of abuse arising during custody proceedings should be regarded as suspect and seen as the vindictive parent's attempt to pit the child against the other parent. In reality, parental alienation is a legal strategy used by lawyers to get their clients off the hook when they're accused of bad parenting or abuse. The result is that an estimated 58,000 children are ordered into unsupervised visits with their abusers each year.

Kalima DeSuze
Lead Organizer,
Voices of Women Organizing Project
ph: 212-696-1481
fax: 212-696-1482
alt email:

"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world." Howard Zinn


My three cents again.. Does anyone else see the black and white thinking here? Can't they just say fine we agree PAS is real.. we've tried to get it called something that would fit OUR agenda (federal funding)- by labeling all/most men abusive and keeping them out of the girls ((that can stay a victim and let US exploit them - and keep them DOWN UNIMPOWERED AND NEEDY)) only club...

Yes ladies and gents.. I've spoken to many within those women's groups and they freely admit that they have been exploited by them! If any of those ladies that were exploited or agree with this blog feel like leaving a comment .. go for it!

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1 comment:

Michael J. Murphy said...


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.

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 who 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.