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.
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.
Family court is unique among its other variants (criminal, administrative, etc.) in that the rules of evidence may be applied variously in deference to what is best for the children.
This has the effect of making any outcome in any Family Court vulnerable to manipulation and misrepresentation. In cases where Parental Alienation is present, this vulnerability is routinely exploited, making the parents status in this scenario especially precarious.
One of the most mysterious and vexing issues related to the subject of Parental Alienation, as especially Parental Alienation Syndrome, is the continued criticisms of it.
In most cases, the criticisms are based in misinformation. One of the most prevalent of these notions is that Parental Alienation is used as a shield to deflect from the abuse of a child by a parent. This is simply not the case.
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.