|The Essentials of Parental Alienation Syndrome, by Drs. Evans and Bone|
We are seeing an increase in high conflict, adversarial divorce cases in mental health practices and in the courtrooms around the country. These cases present with a significant amount of parental conflict and, as a consequence, represent a threat to the children caught in the middle of these conflicts. Curiously, there is a great commonality among these cases in terms of the tactics alienators use to separate a parent from his or her children. It is almost as if they, the favored parent, were reading from a published playbook. Many evaluators and clinicians include Parental Alienation (PA) as well as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in the same category when discussing this topic. PAS is acknowledged as being extremely controversial. It is controversial within the mental health profession and equally controversial within the legal profession.
The purpose of this book is to share ideas, thoughts, background, theory and some experiences in working with high conflict families. It is important for professionals to get a sense of both sides of the PAS issue. Whether one uses PAS as a term, the problems brought by these cases are very real. The reluctance to consider PAS by name in the psychological and legal communities tends to contribute to the perpetuation of the problem in a variety of ways. Like any other designation, PAS can be and is misapplied and misused. Whether or not it is the appropriate diagnosis or description of behavior in a case must be determined by facts of that case and supported by evidence and data from multiple sources. An appropriate diagnosis and identification of PAS, along with a description of the severity, can make the difference between timely and effective interventions or allowing parents and children to be scarred for the rest of their lives.
- Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.
- Dr. Reena Sommer and Associates
- Divorce Recovery Suite
- Anderson and Anderson – Anger Management
Also visit the Collaborative Divorce Institute of Tampa Bay (click on the logo)