Parental Alienation Syndrome within Parental Abduction cases…….
We thought we would cover a topic that we see far too often to not mention. CARI carries out on average 3-4 recoveries each month and unfortunately 70% of those recoveries we see signs of PAS.
Nothing stirs up passions more than the controversy generated when parents are at war over the custody of a child. A controversy is an issue where evidence on both sides can make a compelling case. It is never black and white, but when people have their emotions aroused, an issue can quickly turn into two polar opposites.
In many cases, children behave outrageously, to the point of cursing one of their parents, and kicking, spitting, and calling them stupid, mean and horrible.
What is PAS?
1. The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes and Parental Child Abduction cases.
2. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification.
3. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) of a parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent.
PAS is more than brainwashing or programming, because the child has to actually participate in the denigrating of the alienated parent. This is done in primarily the following eight ways:
- The child denigrates the alienated parent with foul language and severe oppositional behavior.
- The child offers weak, absurd, or frivolous reasons for his or her anger.
- The child is sure of himself or herself and doesn’t demonstrate ambivalence, i.e. love and hate for the alienated parent, only hate.
- The child exhorts that he or she alone came up with ideas of denigration. The “independent-thinker” phenomenon is where the child asserts that no one told him to do this.
- The child supports and feels a need to protect the alienating parent.
- The child does not demonstrate guilt over cruelty towards the alienated parent.
- The child uses borrowed scenarios, or vividly describes situations that he or she could not have experienced.
- Animosity is spread to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.
In severe cases of parent alienation, the child is utterly brain- washed against the alienated parent. The alienator can truthfully say that the child doesn’t want to spend any time with this parent, even though he or she has told him that he has to, it is a court order, etc. The alienator typically responds, “There isn’t anything that I can do about it. I’m not telling him that he can’t see you.”
How common is PA and PAS?
When parents first separate there is often parent alienation. For example, due to the anxiety of the mother, she is likely to say indirectly to a child that he or she is not safe with the father.
She might say:
“Call me as soon as you get there to let me know you are okay.” “If you get scared, you call me right away. Okay?” “I’ll come get you if you want to come home.”
Usually this level of alienation dies down after the separating parents get used to changes brought on by the separation and move on with their lives.
However, in rare cases, the anxiety not only doesn’t calm down, it escalates. PAS parents are psychologically fragile. When things are going their way, they can hold themselves together. When they are threatened however, they can become fiercely entrenched in preserving what they see is rightfully theirs.
Fortunately only a small percentage end up in this level of conflict.