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Survey: Parental Alienation Syndrome

  • wscowell
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04 Feb 08 #12763 by wscowell
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I am particularly interested in PAS. The legal world appears to be divided into two bodies: the Courts and Judges, who do not believe it exists, and parents, who know only too well that it does.

I am gathering material, case studies etc on an anonymous basis of course, to see if anything can be done to change the current situation. My findings would be publicised through Resolution, a national body representing family solicitors who are progressive and forward-looking. They are fast becoming THE body for driving national policy change.

If you would like to help me by contributing details of your experiences, I would be pleased to hear from you.

Please note I cannot help overturn your particular case, but together we may be able to help stop others experiencing the same pain and misery.

Best wishes

Will C

  • loobyloo
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04 Feb 08 #12769 by loobyloo
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Hi Will
I have never heard of pas, and im in the medical proff as is x2b, but if there is such a syndrome I am wondering if I am experiencing this but not me my x2b
I shall research this syndrome now and I willingly if of any benefit assist you

  • Tinny
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04 Feb 08 #12802 by Tinny
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I have heard of PAS and have read a bit about it. I have also read comments from others disputing PAS's existence and that it is a made up syndrome.

I think I have experience of it but have no concrete examples....maybe that is the problem as I would think in many cases there will be nothing concrete to report.

My Ex is highly inteligent and very calculated. He is an expert manipulator and has managed to alienate my kids in a very subtle way. He would not give me any opportunity to be able to criticise his parenting in any way.

Some examples:

Organising "something too good to miss" on my contact time - numerous occasions.

Asking relatives to stay with the children when he is unavailable rather than me - this has resulted in kids knowing that I am maybe 4th/5th in the pecking order - less important than dad. I dont mean this to sound as selfish as it might come across perhaps.

You know, it all seems very petty when I start to explain. To be honest it is too subtle. All I know is what he has said "I will never ask you to do anything for the children again", "you left them", "you are not important", etc etc etc. I'll probably remember loads of examples over the next day or so.

Maybe if you had some questions I could answer with examples. Just a suggestion.


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04 Feb 08 #12863 by sexysadie
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  • wscowell
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05 Feb 08 #12887 by wscowell
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Dear Sadie,

Let me be the first to say your experience clearly puts you on the other side of the line. You clearly aren't in a PAS situation. What I am researching is cases where there is clear evidence of the PWC being anti-contact: e.g. saying to the child loudly (as he is on the phone to his father) "Tell him you don't want to go!" and similar instances.

The establishment do not recognise PAS yet, but Stockholm syndrome (where the victim begins to sympathise with his/her captor - see the Natascha Kampusch affair) is clearly recognised (although some judges won't) and in my experience can appear in a marriage breakdown situation as follows:

1. Husband was strongly involved with the children before breakdown. His parenting was not challenged. He leaves (for whatever reason) - child(ren) stay with mother. Mother very angry/bitter with father. Has real or perceived grievances against him. Consciously or (more usually) unconsciously she sends out signals devaluing husband, and therefore contact with husband/father.

2. Child, acutely sensitive to emotional cues, even subliminal ones, and ill-equipped to make own policy, responds to this climate and develops a coping strategy of aligning with PWC in order to minimise day-to day conflict, overt or covert.

3. Result: child comes to believe what mother believes, holds same views, may not be able to express why in any coherent manner. Her hostility to contact between father and child becomes child's hostility. Father's frequent attempts to gain contact are comprehensively rejected.

There have been so many cases through the Courts of mothers showing "implacable hostility" to contact which extends to deliberate disobedience of a Court Order, which of course is theoretically punishable with prison. Courts, if they get that far, will tend to transfer Residence to the absent parent instead. The PWC showed a blindness to the harm that withholding contact was doing to the child. So let's concede here and now that it happens, even if we haven't yet chosen to give this behaviour an accepted label!

This of course by definition excludes cases where there is genuine concern about the father's ability to parent properly. I don't even want to consider those - it isn't appropriate. Hope this helps.

Will C

  • Elle
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05 Feb 08 #12900 by Elle
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PAS is highly recognised in the USA.
FNF...for Fathers and MATCH for mothers recognise PAS and the absolute lack of support for parents in this situation in UK. Their respective web sites have details of books published and other research in relation to PAS.
As for my own personal experience solicitors wont or cant do anything about PAS, if there was one....I would like to employ their services
Regards your request for examples....my x wrote in 4 inch lettering his distorted opinion of me on a 6 x 3 feet poster and our kids were to read it every day....I have maintained this to date......any ideas if iw would be appropriate to produce this at court?
Best of luck with your research....sorely needed....

  • Fiona
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07 Feb 08 #13098 by Fiona
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Lots of personal experience of children and contact being used as a weapon at great emotional and financial cost, but I worry about the PAS label . I think to suppose there are a group of symptoms indicating a psychological disorder is misleading. In my experience some people who use their children against the parent in this manner may have mental health issues but there isn't one specific pattern, rather a range of conditions varying across the spectrum of recognised mental and behavioural disorders (ie those included in the International Classification of Diseases 10, which is the diagnostic criteria used by health care professionals in the UK.)

However, I have found more often than not both parents and the children themselves are implicated and there isn't one single determinant to the problem of children rejecting a parent. Distorted communications, lack of empathy, blatant overreactions, personality pre-dispositions and the children's development stages are all contributory factors.

For example, a common scenario I've come across is pre-adolescents or adolescents making moral judgments against a parent who has left he family for a new partner. PWC interprets this as the child knowing the truth about how rotten the NRP is; contact would be seriously destructive to the child and should therefore be terminated. NRP interprets the PWC as having poisoned the child's mind against them and the PWC should be forced to stop this; residency should be given to the NRP so that they can undo the damage and normalise their relationship with the child.

BTW I don't think rejection is just a problem when the NRP is the father, I've seen several incidences when the NRP was the mother too and also a few cases when a child aligns with the NRP.

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