Induced parent-child alienation has been described in the psychological professional literature for more than 60 years. However, only in the eighties and nineties six research groups, or in some cases individual researchers, introduced names for the phenomenon: Wallerstein & Kelly and Johnston & Roseby speak of “pathological alignment” and “visitation refusal”; Clawar & Rivlin of “programmed and brainwashed children”; Kelly & Johnston of “The alienated child”; Warshak of “pathological alienation”; Gardner, Kopetski and Kopetski and Rand & Rand of “Parental Alienation Syndrome”, and Bernet of “Parental Alienation Disorder” or “Parental Alienation”.
Although parental alienation is already integrated into the judicial codes of various countries (for example Brazil) and although it has explicitly entered the case law of many countries and of the European Court of Human Rights, the phenomenon is still stubbornly trivialised or denied.
The author—a psychiatrist and psychotherapist—has lent a voice to some victims of parental alienation among the many documented cases from his practice. Their letters, case histories, interviews, and follow-up interviews describe their life experiences and resulting serious problems that have stayed with them well into adulthood.
This book is a plea for the recognition of induced parentchild alienation as a form of psychological child abuse, for timely prevention and intervention, and for an end to its trivialisation and denial.
--- from the publisher
Starting with the ‘Case of Effi Briest’, as a depiction of PAS in the conditions of 19th century society, the author elaborates the pathogenic consequences of parental alienation, drawing extensively on case studies. He describes this particular form of emotional abuse with its effects both on the children concerned and on the alienated parent.
This book can raise the awareness of psychiatrists and psychotherapists to the pathogenesis of adults affected by divorce or separation in their childhood, who exhibit problems relating to self-esteem, identity and relationships, and of parents who sometimes suffer from psychosomatic symptoms or suicidal crises after their children have been induced by abusive programming to break off relations with them.
Using letters from persons affected and transcribed interviews, the author illustrates the eight key symptoms of parental alienation syndrome as identified by R. Gardner, highlighting the need for greater attention to these hitherto neglected biographical aspects of a patient’s medical history.
Induced alienation syndrome leads to confusion on the part of the child with regard to their sef-perception and their perception by others, to an excessive adherence to the lead of the alienating parent, on whom the child is wholly dependent, to identity diffusion and a false self. The targeted parents predominantly suffer from a sense of powerlessness, especially if institutions, such as youth welfare offices, family courts or even ‘expert witnesses’, ignore or seek to play down the manipulations carried out by the alienating parent.
This highly readable book also points to numerous areas that call for research in the fields of psychotraumatology, psychosomatics and adult psychiatry. It serves to immunise (child) psychiatrists and psychotherapists against possible instrumentalisation by alienating parents to obtain improper treatment or reports in custody and access disputes. The text is extensively annotated, thus providing an overview of nearly 30 years of international research into Parental Alienation.
Walter, Andritzky, PhD
* Preface: Effi Briest
* 1. Introduction to induced parent-child alienation (PAS) and some references to international literature
* 2. Definition, symptoms and alienation techniques in PAS
* 2.1 Definition
* 2.2 Symptoms
* 2.3 Important alienation techniques
* 3. Psychiatric and psychosomatic effects of PAS induction on affected adult children of divorce
* 4. Relational dynamics and psychodynamic background in PAS in the context of separation and divorce7
* 4.1 Among the programming parents
* 4.2 Among the excluded parents
* 4.3 Among the programmed children
* 5. Outlook and concluding remarks
* 6. Abstract
* 7. Notes