The Eight Symptoms of PA: Absence of Guilt over Cruelty to and/or Exploitation of the Alienated Parent
This is the sixth in a series of posts about the eight symptoms of Parental Alienation Syndrome, first described by the late Richard Gardner, MD. The sixth symptom and the subject of this post is Absence of Guilt over Cruelty to and/or Exploitation of the Alienated Parent.
As we have written elsewhere, Parental Alienation (PA) cases are different in that the surface appearance is very different than the underlying reality.
This “things are not as they seem” reality is however not always easy to reveal persuasively to the trier of fact. Many of the tools, strategies and tactics used in non-PA type cases are unhelpful or even may be counterproductive. These cases must be approached with this in mind.
Cases where Parental Alienation (PA) is present are very different than cases where it is not. Very often however, these cases do not appear that way at first glance.
When parents’ divorce, there is often animosity between the parties, and in many, if not most cases, this acrimony will subside with time. In cases with PA however, the acrimony will typically increase, and the sooner this can be identified the better. The problem is that they often look very similar at the outset.
The Eight Symptoms of Parental Alienation: The Reflexive Support of the Alienating Parent in the Parental Conflict
This is the fifth in a series of post devoted to the symptoms of Parental Alienation Syndrome as originally described by Richard Gardner, MD. You can read the first post here.
The fifth symptom is Reflexive Support of the Alienating Parent in the Parental Conflict.
Within the context of parental dispute, be it divorce or post divorce, unless there as been actual abuse and or neglect in the extreme, children will typically contort themselves to not takes sides in the parental dispute. If a child feels one parent is being ganged up on in some way, they will often go to their aid and support their position.
This is the fourth post in a series of eight centered on the eight symptoms identified by Richard Gardner, MD in 1984, which he coined as being the Parental Alienation Syndrome. You can read the first post here. The fourth symptom is referred to as the Independent Thinker Phenomenon.
Again, we should be reminded that as Gardner saw case after case of divorcing families where a once loving child would suddenly profess antipathy for their once loved parent, patterns were noticed. The pattern became the eight symptoms of the Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS, for short.
As a clinician, I can verify that after one sees hundreds and hundreds of patients, in a given context, that the effect of this sort of experience is that one begins to notice repetitive patterns of symptoms and behaviors. When one sees these repetitive patterns, clinical insight begins to develop about what the patient is experiencing. I know that this is exactly the experience that Gardner began to have in the 1970’s, ultimately leading to his first publication regarding Parental Alienation in 1984.
I mention this because the symptom of this post, the Independent Thinker Phenomenon, is a symptom that can be easily missed, or perhaps given less significance than it deserves.
This is the third in a series of eight posts which correspond to the eight symptoms of Parental Alienation, as originally described by Richard Gardner.
In spite of the fact that the use of the word “syndrome” has fallen out of favor in some camps, it is important to realize that even Gardner’s critics describe alienation in much the same terms as does Gardner. The difference lies primarily in the competing theories as to what causes children to become alienated, but that is perhaps for another post.
In describing the eight symptoms associated with parental alienation, it occurred to me that this might be a good time to pause for a moment and to describe how Richard Gardner, MD came up with these patterned symptoms. As you all probably know, Richard Gardner was a physician who practiced psychiatry primarily in New York and New Jersey.
This post is the first of eight weekly posts focusing on each of the eight symptoms of Parental Alienation first identified by Richard Gardner, M.D.
As the holidays fast approach, many of you who read this blog and related sites, will not see your children this season. Those of you who do, may only see them briefly or perhaps under awkward circumstances.
J. Michael Bone, PhD.
Dr. Bone is an experienced consultant for cases involving Parental Alienation and has spent over 25 years working with high conflict divorce as a therapist, expert witness, mediator, evaluator and consultant, both nationally and internationally.