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  • #61
    As to Dr Gardner, true enough he had issues, probably caused from the trauma of being falsely accused
    What a moronic thing to say. Are you actually saying that your precious Dr. Gardner became a pedophile because he was falsely accused of being a pedophile? Are you lumping active pedophilia as "issues"?

    Do you do any research AT ALL before you speak?

    By the way, if you can say that I am like Hitler because I believe that children should be protected, I will fully believe that you must be like Gardner because you believe in PAS.

    What is good for the goose and all that.

    So... abused any children lately? What did you plead guilty to, anyway? Did it have anything to do with children? HMMMM?
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by mommyof4 View Post
      Oh, Merlin on a skateboard!!!

      It CAN'T sound a little like parental alienation syndrome because PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME DOES NOT EXIST!!!!!! It's 100% pure crappola. Through years of effort to push PAS to be legitimized and recognized, it has been shot down over and over and over and over and over. It is not a syndrome. It will NOT become a syndrome as the loser that 'discoverd, recognized, and diagnosed' it MADE IT UP AND HE IS DEAD BECAUSE HE COMMITTED SUICIDE WHEN HE COULDN'T FACE UP TO THE INJUSTICE AND HELL HE UNLEASHED ON HELPLESS CHILDREN AND THE MOTHERS THAT WERE FIGHTING TO PROTECT THEM.

      You can't seem to understand that you have no basis to your arguments, therefore your argument is as full of it as "dr" Gardner was.
      Maybe you will have a better change at reaching him than me.

      Do you speak moron?
      Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

      I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

      Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

      Comment


      • #63
        Do you speak moron?
        No, but maybe I can find a dictionary for the "moronic" language...you know, like the little one I carry when I go to Mexico?
        HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
        How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
        (unique up on him)
        How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
        (same way)

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by saxxyman View Post
          I'm not going to explain everything to you. Your education is your responsibility and your parents to get you back in school. But since you asked here it is just one. www.dsm5.org
          You referred me to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?

          Wow. You referred me to a manual that lists Mental Disorders as a buttress to your claim that sexual abuse and a children's experience in a custody battle are equal.

          What did you do? Google "trauma" and that was the first answer that popped up?

          Still waiting for any evidence from you. You continue to talk about studies that show 80-90 percent of convictions are false and how PAS is being researched as a legitimate syndrome and how the whole world is coming to your way of thinking.

          Give me a list. You have avoided proof because there isn't any.

          There is no research ongoing to prove this quackery. There is no legal precedent. There is no basis in fact.

          And you, as a convicted pedophile, should know that.
          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

          Comment


          • #65
            More than meets the eye

            Originally posted by cyjeff View Post
            You referred me to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?

            Wow. You referred me to a manual that lists Mental Disorders as a buttress to your claim that sexual abuse and a children's experience in a custody battle are equal.

            What did you do? Google "trauma" and that was the first answer that popped up?

            Still waiting for any evidence from you. You continue to talk about studies that show 80-90 percent of convictions are false and how PAS is being researched as a legitimate syndrome and how the whole world is coming to your way of thinking.

            Give me a list. You have avoided proof because there isn't any.

            There is no research ongoing to prove this quackery. There is no legal precedent. There is no basis in fact.

            And you, as a convicted pedophile, should know that.
            You are obviously dyslexic among other things. First let me clear up my absence was due to having a life other than the internet, and my time is limited. Unlike the both of you who sit all day with nothing else to do. I repeat, as I have said in other post, i am not a know it all expert. On that note My experience is true and factual contrary to what anyone says. I know the truth, and others can only speculate. That is why I am so passionate in keeping my resolve. I have read the information about Dr Gardner and to your surprise, I did find it sickening. Coincidence though, he did have a very true observation about professionals concerning this field. As far as Mommyof4's testimony, I was not there so, assuming she is being truthful, then good for her. I would still like to hear the other side of the story, to see what discrepancies if any are there. While I have never implied in any post that a person abusing a child should go free. What I have been defending is the need to be careful and through in investigations. One thing not mentioned here is the difference rural and urban areas handle this crime. Your studies came from an urban area that has access to all the necessary professionals and many overseeing that justice is being carried out. Rural areas do not have the luxuries and often under trained social workers play the part of investigator and psychologists. Your experiences are different than mine. Do you not think both are possible? I do acknowledge both are possible. Why this whole fight began was over the assumptive fact none of you can comprehend a false allegation or the fact that children can be couched to lie. I did not inject that scenario into the OP's post, SHE DID! Thus my skepticism of her whole story. I never gave any verdicts, only raised the question could it be happening, not that it was. then I gave information to back it up. While true after reading the other information, I find it was bad supporting evidence. I do think his views are sickening and I do not identify myself with that. On the other side of that, I believe some of his study was truthful about third world societies and historically. I believe it does happen and has been accepted. (I do not say he is right or anyone else in doing, it is just a study of human behavior and what has happened. No different than slavery. It was not right, but at one time it was accepted. I'm glad those days are over.
            Your references to my own research, I read every opportunity, I admit there is much to learn. I also suggest there is much for everyone to learn.
            I will post more information as I find it. Most importantly Research I am looking for is to support my experiences and educate others of the injustice. As I have suggested before there are more sides of this issue than meets the eye.
            1 accuser or false accuser
            2 victim (This person is a victim in both scenarios)
            3 accused ( May be guilty or innocent, when innocent this person becomes a victim, because the damage is already done, and can never be taken back.)
            4 perpetrator

            Your personal evaluations have no effect, as I am not intimidated, because I know the truth as pertaining to my case. With this experience, I am not so stupid to believe, that I am alone. I have found plenty of cases that are similar. It is quite complicated in this setting to explain it all, as I do not have the resources to do so. Neither would you be likely to read it. There are conflicting beliefs to the existence of parental alienation and SAID, and there is on going research at this time to prove what you believe to be non existent.
            I will supply links and information as I find it. My final comments, is that both situations are possible and do happen quite often. The definition of often is a perception just as mine, as to what that would be. I am only talking about abuse in the context of family. (Mother, father, child) In bad marriages, this accusation does quite frequently come up. Due to the legal atmosphere in divorce (woman's world), and there is a perceived notion there might be a custody battle, abuse is a sure way to put the issue to rest. Contrary to your belief, this is much more common than is reported. Statistics are hard to come by, because given cultural views, it is nearly impossible to disprove. Simple the allegation in most cases is enough. It does not matter if the person is proven guilty or not. Even when the case is dropped for insufficient evidence, social services act on their own, and will keep a parent from visitation. If the parent does ever regain any contact after an allegation, it is usually years before it happens. What do you think would happen to a parent/ child relationship given the following:
            The child is very young and has had no contact with parent for 2 years?
            Do you think that child would know the parent or any bond remaining?
            ( Reminding you the accusing parent believes something happened or falsely accused the other parent) I certainly can tell you the result!
            I can give many more horrifying accounts of events. I lived it. Just as you had to live the reality of it happening, I had to live the reality of people thinking it happened. After 2 years of being falsely accused, it was dropped in court. Want to know why? Prosecutors had hidden testimony that my wife's brother had been accused, and vivid details were given. Yet they wanted me to pay for it. Want to talk about the effects of coaching, truth in the justice system,truth in social services,truth in a spouse that had clear agenda's? I can tell you all about it. What is shocking after it came out, they still refused to set things straight. After 10 years of fighting in court every year, to the point of gaining custody. What happened? She conspired with my girlfriend's x husband, who was also fighting for custody. One month before court, she had another charge made. Have any idea what it cost to defend yourself when your innocent? The same when your guilty...a whole lot of hard cash. Something I do not have of did have, not to mention the mental strain of fighting for 10 years. My kids were completely alienated against me, and I had to start over. I gave up. Life is too short for that kind of BS. That is just a short summary. Many conclusions can be drawn from that, because there is a mountain of other facts not presented here. Those experiences are my MAIN basis for advocating caution and the need for unbiased professionals doing investigations. What ever arguments presented here, my stance on this will not change. IT HAPPENS.

            Comment


            • #66
              Documentation 1

              Family Wars:
              The Alienation of Children
              by
              Peggie Ward, Ph.D.* and J. Campbell Harvey, Esquire

              *Institute for Families in Transition
              280 Main Street
              Nashua, New Hampshire 03060
              Contact: Peggie Ward, Ph.D.
              Phone: 603-881-9311
              Fax: 603-595-7772
              E-mail: [email protected]
              Areas of Expertise: Providing Mental Health Evaluations, Interventions,
              Guardian Ad Litem Services. Evaluations of, custody disputes,
              visitation arrangements, children, sibling group and family units.
              Clinical services to, children of divorce & separation, pre-divorce marital mediation,
              mediation in the process of separation and divorce, and post-divorce parenting.


              NEW HAMPSHIRE BAR JOURNAL, Volume 34, No. 1, March 1993




              COMPOSITE CASE FROM ACTUAL EXAMPLES

              The parents of Amy (age 10) and Kevin (age 7) are divorcing after 13 years of marriage. Their father, by temporary stipulation, has moved from the marital home. He is entitled to visit with the children on alternating weekends and one evening during the week. Soon the children begin to refuse to go with him. At first, they do not want to leave Mom; they say that they are afraid to go. When Dad comes to the house, Mom tells him that she will "not force the children to go." "Visitation is up to them." and she will "not interfere in their decision". The children refuse to talk with him on the phone. Mom calls him names when he telephones and complains constantly about her financial situation, blaming him, all within hearing of the children.

              Dad attempts to talk with the children about the situation, then to bribe them with movies, shopping trips and toys. They become more and more sullen with him and resistant to coming. Anything, routine doctor visits, invitations from a friend, a visit to Aunt Beth, serves as an excuse to avoid visits.

              A court appointed guardian ad litem learns from the children that "Dad is abusive and mean to us." They do not want to go on visits. However, when asked to give specific examples of how he is abusive, their stories are not convincing. "He yells too loud when we make noise." "He made me climb all the way to the top of a mountain." "He gets mad at me about my homework." "He makes me wear my bike helmet." "He pounds the wall to get us up in the morning and it makes me afraid that he'll hit me." They say that he has never hit them, although they state that they are very afraid that he will.

              These children are in the process of becoming alienated from their father.
              An increasing number of children are experiencing the divorce of their parents or litigation over their custody some time during their minority. Some children experience the concerted, albeit often unconscious or unintended, attempt of one parent to alienate them from their other parent. It is the purpose of this article to alert lawyers and judges involved in divorce and custody wars to the serious nature of parental alienation and to provide suggestions for court based intervention.

              I. DEFINITIONS

              Parental alienation is the creation of a singular relationship between a child and one parent, to the exclusion of the other parent. The fully alienated child is a child who does not wish to have any contact whatsoever with one parent and who expresses only negative feelings for that parent and only positive feelings for the other parent. This child has lost the range of feelings for both parents that is normal for any child.

              There are significant disputes between the experts as to the theoretical framework for this phenomenon and as to the appropriate terminology to apply to understand it, which disputes are beyond the scope of this article. We have tried to adopt language with common sense meaning for our discussion and use the term "alienation" in its non-technical sense.

              We name the parent who acts to create such a singular relationship between the child and himself the "alienating parent".(l) The parent who is excluded from the singular relationship is "the target parent" We note that alienation can occur both ways, with each parent attempting to alienate the child from the other.

              II. HARM TO THE CHILD

              There are three underlying premises regarding the development of children that underlie this article. First, all litigation concerning children can affect their healthy growth and development negatively. The greater the acrimony and the greater the part that the children need or are asked to play in the litigation, the greater the potential for harm.(2)

              Second, it is psychologically harmful to children to be deprived of a healthy relationship with one parent. There is a substantial body of research that indicates that children need contact with adults of both sexes for balanced development."(3)

              Third, with the exception of abuse, there is no good reason why children should not want to spend some time with each of their parents, and, even with abuse, most children still want to maintain some relationship with the abusive parent. It is the job of the parents, the professionals and the courts to see that such contact is possible under safe circumstances.(4)

              Alienating messages and behavior, whether intentional or not, place the child in a severe loyalty bind, a position wherein the child believes she must chose which of her two parents she will "love" more. To have to choose between parents is itself damaging to the child, and, if the end result is the exclusion of a parent from the child's life, the injury is irreparable.

              There is a continuum of alienating parental behaviors which cause harm to children, and all positions on this continuum need be of concern to the professionals and the courts. Some of the behavior is scarcely detectable with the result that attorneys and the court system gloss over the alienation as a "normal" part of the divorce or litigation process. However, such barely evident alienating behavior marks the beginning of an alienation continuum.

              III. THE FAMILY SYSTEMS APPROACH

              All families are made up of individuals who live together in relatively stable intimate groups with the ostensible purpose of supporting and caring for each other. Family members develop their own rules and boundaries, spoken and unspoken, about the ways that they will behave with each other, cohabit, be intimate, support and care for each other. Each family's rules and boundaries are unique and change over time to reflect modifications in membership, the evolving needs of its members and the realities the outer world places on the family. Usually, changes in the family system are gradual and evolving, but some events force cataclysmic upheaval in the system. Divorce is usually such an event.

              Unless a separating family can change its own rules and boundaries without outside intervention, the divorce process itself may reach an impasse, the term applied when the divorce process itself becomes "stuck," and the family system fails to restructure itself appropriately. When there is an impasse, any move by anyone, family member, attorney, spouse, is met with a counter move resulting in no forward progress.

              The impasse creates a system of its own, with its own membership, rules and boundaries. Although little recognized by professionals, membership in the divorce impasse system includes all members of the family living together and all professionals involved in "helping" the family get a divorce, i.e. the lawyers, mediators, therapists and even the judge.

              A divorce impasse can occur at three different levels: an internal level (inside an individual); an interactional level (between two individuals); and/or an external level (within the larger social and familial system).(5) An impasse at any one of the levels will affect the entire system, and how each individual member responds will affect all members, especially the child.

              The children themselves are members in both the changing family system and in the developing broader divorce impasse system. As a member of the family system, a child is attached legally, emotionally and psychologically to each of his parents. As a member of a divorce impasse system, a child is often asked to ally himself with one parent or the other, a request which clearly places the child in a loyalty bind. All members of the divorce impasse system, including the professionals, are affected by the loyalty struggles and may become polarized.

              IV. MOTIVATION FOR ALIENATION

              There are many motivational factors that could cause a parent to want to alienate her child from the child's other parent. An alienating parent most likely has strong underlying feelings and emotions left over from earlier, unresolved experiences, which have been resuscitated and compounded by the pain of the divorce. The individual, in attempting to ward off powerful and intensely uncomfortable feelings, develops behavioral strategies that involve the children. The internal world of an alienating parent can have complex and multifarious origins which are beyond the scope of this article.

              Alienating parents may not be aware of the emotions described above and quite convincingly may deny to lawyers and judges both motivation and behavior. Other parents may be aware of their angry or hopeless feelings and may consciously attempt to curb these feelings to protect the child. However, despite their best intentions to the contrary, these parents may engage in alienating behavior. Frequently, the unconscious or unintentional alienating behavior results in the milder forms of alienation of the child from the target parent. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize the concrete signs of alienating behavior.

              The courts should not tolerate alienating behavior simply because the intention to alienate is denied. The disavowal of alienation and active verbal espousal of relationship may be quite convincing and mislead lawyers and judges from the actual truth of the alienation.

              V. RECOGNITION OF ALIENATING BEHAVIORS

              A. The Continuum: Distinguishing between "Typical" Divorce and "Alienation"

              All parties to divorce experience a wide range of intense emotions, including rage, disappointment, hurt and fear. In "cooperative" divorces the parties consciously suppress their own feelings and try not to engage in behavior they understand to be inflammatory to the other side. They work together to restructure their own relationship and their family to allow the children as normalized a relationship with each of them as possible.

              However, an angry divorce is not necessarily an alienating one. The focus in determining whether or not there is alienation in an angry divorce must be, not on the degree of rage or loss expressed, but on the behavioral willingness to involve the children. Alienation occurs when a parent uses the child to meet personal emotional needs, as a vehicle to express or carry her own intense emotions or as a pawn to manipulate as a way of inflicting retribution on the other side.

              Parental alienation occurs along a broad continuum, based on the level of internal distress of the alienating parent, the vulnerability of the child and the responses of the target parent, as well as on the responses of the external system (family, attorneys, mental health professionals, the legal system). The range may be from children who experience significant discomfort at transition times (mild), through children who feel compelled to keep separate worlds and identities when with each parent (moderate); to children who refuse to have anything to do with the target parent and become obsessed with their hatred (severe).

              B. Mild

              It is difficult to recognize the mild form of alienating behavior. Not only is the behavior itself often subtle but the alienating parent often will deny both motivation and acts. This parent will make sincere statements to attorneys and the court that reflect a regard for the children's needs for the other parent and a respect for the unique role the other parent has to play in the life and development of the child. Usually, there is little polarization in the larger social and familial system, attorneys and extended family included.

              At this stage, despite the seeming sincerity, the alienating parent's view of the other parent is compromised, as indicated by behavior. She is not aware of the beliefs and feelings that motivate her unintentional alienating behavior (internal) or of the effect that statements and behavior can have on the child (interactional).

              Because the statements of the alienating parent will not give the lawyers or the courts clues that there is alienation in process, it is important to look at the underlying messages that are given directly to the child. The communications to the child of the regard with which the other parent is held is the key to detecting alienating behavior.

              Examples of mild forms of alienating behavior include:

              Little regard for the importance of visitation/contact with the other parent:
              "You're welcome to visit with Mom; you make the choice; I won't force you."
              No encouragement of visits;
              No concern over missed visits;
              No interest in the child's activities or experiences during visitation (in a positive manner);

              Lack of value regarding communication between visits:
              No encouragement of communication between visits;
              Little awareness of the distress a child may feel if a visit or phone call is missed.

              Inability to tolerate the presence of the other parent even at events important to the child;
              "I won't go to any soccer games if your mother is there."

              Disregard for the importance of the relationship to the child:
              Displaying a willingness to apply for and accept a new job away from the other parent, without regard to the child's relationship with that parent.


              At this stage alienation is most likely to become obvious during family system transition times, such as when children leave one home and go to another, when one parent remarries or has another child. The knowledge that a child needs the other parent may be present, but this rational belief may become overwhelmed by internal and interactional problems at this phase.

              C. Moderate

              The alienating parent has some awareness of emotional motivations (fear of loss, rage) and little sense of the value of the target parent. Sometimes, an alienating parent will understand the theoretical importance of the other parent in the life of the child, but believes that in this case, the other parent, due to character deficiencies, cannot be important to the child. Their statements and behaviors are subtle but damaging to the child.

              Communication of dislike of visitation:
              "You can visit with your Dad, but you know how I feel about it."
              "How can you go to see your father when you know... I've been sick; Aunt B is here..."
              "Visitation with your Dad is really up to you."

              Refusal to hear anything about the other parent (especially if it is good):
              "That's between you and your father (regarding reports of visitation; plans for visitation);"
              "I don't want to hear about ... (what you did with your father) (especially if it was fun);

              Delight in hearing negative news about the other parent;

              Refusal to speak directly with the other parent:
              When the target parent calls, gives the phone to the child "It's him," in a disgusted tone of voice."
              Hangs up the phone on the target parent;
              Silently hands the phone to the child when its the target parent calling.

              Refusal to allow the target parent physically near:
              Target parent not allowed out of the car or even on the property, in the driveway, for pick-up and drop-off for visitations;

              Doing and undoing statements: Negative comments about the other parent made and then denied:
              "There are things I could tell you about your Dad, but I'm not that kind of person."
              "Your Dad is an alcoholic; oh, I shouldn't have said that."

              Subtle accusations:
              "Your Dad wasn't around a lot when you were little."
              "Your Dad abandoned me."

              Destruction of memorabilia of the target person.


              At this stage alienation continues to occur frequently during transitional times but is present in other circumstances. With moderate forms of alienation, all three divorce impasse systems are involved. The alienating parent is facing an internal conflict; the alienating parent is interacting with the spouse in a manner designed to produce conflict; and the external forces, such as therapists, attorneys and the court, are involved in the polarization, at least to some degree.

              D. Overt

              When the alienation is overt, the motivation to alienate, the intense hatred of the other, is blatant. The alienating parent is obsessed and sees the target as noxious to self, the children, and even the world. A history of the marriage reflects nothing but the bad times. The target parent was never worthwhile as a spouse or a parent and is not worthwhile today. Such a parent shows little response to logic and little ability to confront reality.

              Many alienating parents at this stage entertain the overt belief that the target parent presents an actual danger of harm to the children. They present this belief as concrete knowledge that if the children spend time with the target parent they will be harmed in some manner.

              Statements about the target parent are delusional or false:
              "Your Mom doesn't pay support" when there is evidence to show payment.
              "Your father doesn't love us" (or "you") when there is no evidence to that effect.
              "Your mother drinks too much," "uses drugs," "smokes," etc. when there is no evidence to support these statements.
              "Your father went out and got the meanest lawyer in town;"

              Inclusion of the children as victims of the target parent's bad behavior:
              "Your Mom abandoned us;"
              "Your Dad doesn't love us (or you) anymore;"

              Overt criticism of the target parent:
              "Your Mom is a drug addict/alcoholic/violent person...;"
              "What's wrong with your Dad; he never/always does...;"
              "Your mother endangers your health;"
              "Your father doesn't take good care of you / doesn't feed you / take you to the doctor / understand you during visits."

              The children are required to keep secrets from the target parent:
              "Don't tell your Mom where you've been / who you've seen where you are going/ etc."

              Threat of withdrawal of love:
              "I won't love you if you...(see your Dad, etc.)"
              "I'm the only one who really loves you."

              Extreme lack of courtesy to the target parent.


              At this stage of alienation, conscious motivation is always present, and the internal, interactional and external systems are fully engaged in supporting the alienation process. These, and the severe cases described below, are the ones that, as an attorney, invade your private life and lead to emotional over-involvement.

              E. Severe

              By the severe stage, the alienating parent no longer needs to be active. In terms of the motivation, the alienating parent holds no value at all for the other parent; the hatred and disdain are overt. The alienating parent will do anything to keep the children away from the target parent.

              At this stage the child is enmeshed with the alienating parent and takes on the alienating parent's desires, emotions and hatreds and verbalizes them to all as his own. The child too believes that the target parent is a villain and the scum of the earth, and sees the history of the target parent and family as all negative. The child is neither able to remember nor express any positive feeling for the target parent.

              VI. INTERVENTION IN ALIENATION SYSTEMS

              1. Prevention

              A. Education

              Divorce is an intense change of role, life stage and life style for almost all who go through it. Participants in the divorce process need as much education, support and information as possible to help moderate the harms of divorce for children.

              Certain counties, court systems and other governmental entities are requiring all parents of children involved in a divorce to attend an educational program designed to help them understand the impact of the divorce process on themselves and their children and to recognize the value to children of having both parents involved.(6) They learn about the typical stages in divorce and child development and the impact they can anticipate their divorce having on their children. These programs are designed to be preventative of the kinds of problems that commonly arise when parents do not understand the psychological and emotional consequences their divorce has on all concerned.(7)

              Other states require mandatory mediation prior to a court trial as a way of avoiding litigation. Mediation advocates believe that mediation is more successful than the courts at avoiding future litigation.(8)

              We are hopeful that an educational program could have significant preventative and some ameliorating effect on alienation, depending on the stage of the alienation.

              B. Attorneys

              Attorneys and therapists are the front line professionals in most custody battles. They, too, have an obligation to educate their clients that divorce involves anger, rage, upset, distress, loyalty binds, and children and parents who manipulate each other in crisis. The clients must be helped to understand the normality of these themes and to learn the strategies for controlling them and outgrowing them. Alternatives to intense battles, vindication or retribution must be explored. Clients must be educated as to the possibilities for "humane divorce" and about the cost to children of warfare and the cost to children if they don't have access to both parents if access is possible.

              It is the duty of the attorney to advocate for the client. Good representation will include assessing the family system clearly from the client's point of view, and to advocate for that client's interests zealously. However, we believe that such zealous advocacy must occur in the context of the client's long term interests as a member of a restructuring family system. Whatever the outcome of the immediate litigation, the client will remain in the family system with contact and relationships with all other members of the family system for the rest of the client's life. Long after the lawyers are gone, the client will live with the effects of the positions taken and the statements made in litigation. The client may later regret the vitriol and the permanency of the damage done by a high conflict divorce.

              It is the attorney's job to help the client through the immediacy of the pain and the rage and to help the client see the long term view of family relations. Allowing voice to be given to rage, anger, fear and even vengeful fantasy can be helpful so long as it is not acted out in behavior. Attorneys must help clients see both short term and long term interests in terms of family relations and must not themselves confuse their roles as "counsellors" of law who listen and counsel wisely and as champion and advocate for the client.

              Attorneys must also be acutely cognizant of the divorce impasse system itself and the important part they play in it. Maligning the other spouse, requiring the client to have no further contact with the spouse, prohibiting any temporary agreements or a temporary separation can interfere with resolution of the real conflict. Zealous advocacy is a poor excuse for actually damaging a client's long term familial relations.

              Alienation cases present the greatest difficulty for attorneys who are asked to represent a parent who wishes to eliminate the other parent from the life of a child. In the advocacy role, an attorney is bound to allow the client to define the goal of the representation and to advance that position zealously.(9) An attorney is also bound not to bring or defend frivolous actions.(10) We believe that actions harmful to children could fall under that prohibition.(11)

              If alienation is in progress, accepting at face value all derogatory comments about the opposing party will ill serve both the client and the attorney, as the client's judgment is emotionally clouded. It is incumbent on the attorney to sufficiently explore the client's motivation and the reality basis of the client's beliefs before litigation is undertaken. Careful and thoughtful exploration with the client about the good times in the marriage and the positive parenting traits of the other side will give the attorney much information about both parties and will tell the attorney just how balanced a view the client holds.

              We believe that under no circumstances should an attorney encourage a client to gain information about the opposing party from a child. Nor should an attorney interview a child even if the child is unrepresented.(12) The willingness of a client to directly involve a child in the litigation should be a red flag that the parents may well be using a child to further their own agenda, even if the child is apparently acquiescent.

              It is crucial to note, however, that we are describing cases where alienation exists, and other forms of abuse, such as physical or sexual abuse, do not. If abuse is honestly suspected, safety of the spouse or children becomes paramount and full evaluation by a competent professional is a necessity.

              C. Courts

              It is important for the courts to recognize and support healthy family systems and not to over-react to the volatile emotions of divorce. At the same time, courts must recognize the initial seeds of alienation and seek information about family structure to examine the degree of risk in the family: Are the adults using or manipulating the children in furtherance of their own emotional needs? Are the children vulnerable to alienation?

              All children can be enlisted into the battle, but, generally speaking, the children who are most vulnerable may be overly dependant, fearful and passive. These children may express guilt feelings about their parents' divorce, identify with or play the rescuer of the alienating parent, assume caretaking roles of a parent, and/or feel conditionally loved. The more vulnerable children pick up and resonate with the parental feelings. Generally, the children will have little insight into their situation.

              The factors that identify families where alienation is less likely are: abundant positive contact between both parents and the children; sibling groups who all have good relations with both parents; good relations of the children with family and friends of both parents; free communication to the child by others of the good qualities of both parents; lack of defensiveness on the part of each parent as to the emotions, statements and criticisms of the other; ability of each parent to discuss schedules and parenting concerns with the other parent; ability of each parent to accommodate the schedules and desires of the other.

              Many high conflict families view the court as determining not only custody and visitation, but also making judgements about right and wrong, good and bad parenting. Court is seen as a place where one person is judged to be fit, and the other unfit. The court can help ameliorate this unfortunate scenario by making explicit the legal and pragmatic grounds for a decision. If appropriate, the court can declare neutrality on personal and moral issues that do not expose a child to harm. Compassionate communication that does not further the anger, loss, shame and humiliation in this public forum can be immensely healing.

              2. Mild Alienation Cases

              Once an alienation process has been identified, the court must intervene. In mild alienation cases there is usually a healthy psychological bond between each of the parents and the child and at least some recognition on the part of the alienating parent that an estrangement between the child and the target parent is not in the best interests of the child. The alienating parent is frequently willing to participate in a program to change the direction of the case if given the information and the guidance necessary.

              The alienation at this stage is often motivated by fear that the impending divorce will cause the child to love the alienating parent less. The finalization of the divorce itself together with specific education and the therapy described below may ameliorate the situation.

              At the mild stage, it is imperative that the family be engaged in "family systems" therapy that is focused on changing the behavior of the parties around the child. The traditional individual therapies are not helpful as individual treatment tends to focus only on one side, therefore potentially increasing the alienation by advocacy for a client. If individual therapy is necessary for a child or a parent, it must take place with a therapist who understands the alienation process and who supports the value to a child of having a relationship with each parent.

              All therapists engaged with the family must understand family dynamics and parental alienation, have a systems approach and clearly understand that children need two parents. The therapists must be strong and forceful and able to utilize the force of the court through the guardian ad litem. The therapy must be directed at the resolution of the divorce impasse.

              The Court ordered divorce impasse therapy must include all the adults directly involved in the custody of the child. This includes both parents and any live-in lovers or current spouses and any other adult who lives in the home of either the alienating parent or the target parent and any other adult who may be involved in the alienation. A court order may be necessary to require the warring adults to sit in the same room together; but, if at all possible, they should actually face each other.

              The court order must be forceful and explicit. The rights, responsibilities and duties of each parent must be spelled out explicitly. Attendance in therapy as required by the therapist must be court ordered. The custody and visitation schedule may also need to be explicit, with details of how, when and where pickups and drop-offs are to occur. All parties must understand that a court order cannot be modified unless approved by the court; if modifications can be made by the family with the agreement of the systems therapist, this must be made explicit in the order.

              The issue of confidentiality should be addressed by the court, the parties, the lawyers and the therapist. If the parties are able to agree to confidentiality, it should be written into the court order. If the therapy is confidential, it should be confidential to all including the court and the guardian ad litem.

              If the parties cannot agree to confidentiality, the court should do what it can to insulate the therapist from legal inquiry with due regard for the parties constitutional rights (13). The court can order the attorneys not to speak with the therapist (except for the Guardian ad Litem) during the therapeutic process, order complete confidentiality for the therapist's working notes, delay all depositions until further court order, or otherwise limit the therapist's involvement in the litigation process.

              There must be a mechanism for enforcement of the court order. The court should appoint a guardian ad litem who will have the authority, independent of further court order, to require a complete family system evaluation if the above treatment is not successful. The order at this stage should include the mechanism for the payment of both the Guardian ad Litem and the court ordered evaluation.

              The order must allow for rapid and complete intervention should the parties fail to ameliorate the situation. The court should schedule a review hearing at the time it issues the therapy order and allow only the guardian ad litem to cancel it.

              In most cases, the possibility of a court ordered, expensive evaluation should be sufficient sanction to motivate the parents to participate genuinely in treatment, but the parties must be made to feel the strength of the court behind the order. Sanctions for failure to comply must be explicit. The court should spell out the next stage of intervention (described below) and mandate the next stage of sanctions that can be expected,

              3. Moderate

              Education and brief family therapy are not useful in cases of' moderate alienation because, at this stage, the alienating parent's judgment is seriously impaired, and reason alone will not change irrational behavior. The alienating parent's interactions with and about the target parent are based on inner fears, not on observed behavior, and serve to reaffirm the belief that the target parent is bad. Additionally, external forces (individual therapists, attorneys, extended family) have become polarized on behalf of one party and serve to perpetuate the alienation.

              The family system must be thoroughly evaluated by a professional, or a team of professionals, competent in the "family systems" approach. The evaluation must be of the entire system, including all adults directly involved in the life of the child, as described above. The evaluation must be generated by a single source or team; multiple individual psychological evaluations will not be able to advise the court as to the inter-relational issues that are affecting the functioning of the family.

              The purpose of the evaluation is to 1.) identify the specific motivations and behaviors that are causing the divorce impasse or subsequent alienation; 2.) assess whether or not individual therapy might be beneficial for any party to help resolve intrapsychic issues; and 3.) develop a complete behavioral plan to intervene in the alienation process.

              The assessment must be very specific as to motivation, beliefs and behaviors that are causing the alienation because once they are identified, the evaluator can make recommendations as to specific behavioral measures to counter the alienation. The recommendations must be sufficiently detailed and specific to be quantifiable.

              Individual psychological evaluations and therapies, or "talking" group or family therapies are of minimal value in these situations, as they may only serve to perpetuate the alienation process. The goal of appropriate treatment is not only to understand and resolve the divorce impasse but also to behaviorally reduce or eliminate alienation within the system.

              We suggest the Individual Educational Plan (the IEP) as a model(14) and name it the Family Interaction Plan or the FIP. The Recommendations must be quantifiable and as specific and goal oriented as the IEP, and compliance must be targeted in much the same manner.(15) Compliance should be 70% in the first two months; 80% the third and fourth months; 90% thereafter. For example:

              The child will see target parent X times per week without parental conflict at times of transition.

              The alienating parent will encourage the child to telephone target parent X times per week and talk about positive things for a minute or two, depending on the age of the child and upon whether telephone calls to a hostile environment would be beneficial or not to the child.

              During a visit, the alienating parent may not call or may call only "x" number of times.

              The alienating parent will enable the child to send to target Parent a picture or painting in the mail once per week, with a positive note attached.

              The child will bring home from visits a project done or a note to alienating parent about what was enjoyed during each visit.

              The target parent will provide a photograph of himself to the child, and the alienating parent shall encourage the child to display it.


              While the internal and the interactional issues which created the divorce impasse must be concurrently addressed in therapy, the court must focus on mandating specific behaviors to counteract the battle forces. The court must make the parents demonstrate that they can follow a plan whose ultimate goal is the mutuality of interest, even if the parents do not feel it. The alienating parent must become the welcoming parent, in deed, if not in thought.

              Finally, the FIP must cover a specific and lengthy period of time during which the behavioral requirements of the parties and the child are explicitly laid out. This will provide the parties sufficient predictability to calm the system down and to allow each person to get used to the idea that different relationships between all the members are going to be established in a predictable manner. We suggest that the FIP cover approximately six months with an automatic court review at that time.

              Procedurally, as noted above, at the first stage of intervention the guardian ad litem should be authorized by order of the court to require an evaluation. When the evaluation is commenced, the guardian ad litem simultaneously should request the court to schedule a court hearing to be held when the evaluation is complete. At the hearing, all parties could present to the court proposed remedial measures; the guardian ad litem would present the evaluators' reports and recommendations which will likely include individual therapy to address the impasse and an FIP. The court should then issue a detailed, quantifiable, specific order with sanctions enumerated, as to the behavioral changes necessary to ameliorate the alienation and order the parties into therapy, if recommended.

              At this stage of alienation and court intervention, there must be full and complete exchange of information. The court must be able to monitor the progress of the family through the behavior management therapy, and the behavioral management therapist will need to be able to communicate with any individual therapists involved with family members.

              Creative sanctions must stand behind the court order as compliance at this stage will be motivated only by fear. The ultimate sanction is a change of custody, but there are many others to suggest. Obviously, an award of attorney's fees, the threat of weekend jail time, threats of transferring or assigning responsibility for the guardian ad litem's fees, the cost of the evaluation, the costs of the child's therapy or even therapy for the other parent can all be used to motivate compliance in this early stage of intervention, subject always to the best interests of the child.

              The court could shift both time (expand visitation or award cherished holidays and birthdays to the complying parent) and function (assign areas of traditionally joint parental authority such as medical care, education) in favor of the target parent, both as an appropriate sanction, and as possible preparation for the ultimate sanction, a change in custody.

              The careful monitoring of such a detailed court order is an essential piece of this intervention, and we suggest that there be a monitoring team to do it. The guardian ad litem and a therapist, most likely the evaluator or the original post-divorce counsellor, should work together monitoring compliance. Such monitoring perforce will be largely through reports of the principles involved, the parents and the child, but can also be done by teachers, individual therapists, friends, etc. through reports to the guardian ad litem.

              Teachers and babysitters can be asked to report on the emotional condition of a child before and after visits or to report on any information the child offers in school. A child can be asked where he keeps the photograph of the target parent as an indicator of the degree of comfort the child has in the display in the allegedly hostile environment.

              The team approach is necessary to lessen the danger of the professionals becoming caught in the polarization of the family system. In extreme cases, the monitoring team may even want to have a third consultant monitor available to them to oversee the case as a more distant figure, not caught up in the everyday details these kinds of cases chronically present.

              If the parties fail to comply with the court orders there needs to be swift access to the courts and a serious second look at the custody situation.

              4. The Parent Evaluation

              If the above described interventions fail and the child remains virtually without relationship to the target parent, a different level of intervention is warranted. If the alienating behavior continues despite the education, the post divorce counseling, impasse resolution therapy; and the specific behavior management intervention, the court can conclude that the alienating parent does not have the capacity to foster a relationship with the other parent. It is an essential premise of this article that this is inherently harmful to the child when the affect is to alienate the child from one parent.

              There is a considerable body of research which specifically examines the effects on children of single parent homes. A full review of this literature is beyond the scope of this paper; but, in general, the evidence is overwhelming that in father-absent homes, boys have lower self esteem, are more likely to be rejected by peers and may experience deficits in cognitive functioning. Girls may be less affected than boys in father-absent homes, but the research does show negative effects on girls' social and cognitive development.(16)

              There is an additional body of research on reactions of children to high conflict divorce.(17) Children who experience a high degree of conflict between parents during divorce "are more likely to feel caught, and children who feel caught are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and, to a lesser degree, participate in deviant behavior."(18)

              The deliberate alienation by one parent of the other, unmodified by the numerous interventions described above, is psychologically harmful to the child within the meaning and intent of the Perreault(19) standard of a "strong possibility of harm."

              It is important... to appreciate that a parent who inculcates a parental alienation syndrome in a child is indeed perpetrating a form of emotional abuse in that such programming may not only produce lifelong alienation from a loving parent, but lifelong psychiatric disturbance in the child.(20)


              A change of custody must be contemplated as the Perreault standard has been met. The court must determine what custody location would be the most beneficial to the child, although in many of these cases the courts actually have to decide which placement is the least damaging to the child. A comparative determination of the custodial capacity of each parent must be done. The court or the parties may well have sufficient information at this point to litigate the issue of the best interests of the child. If not, parenting evaluations are recommended.

              Knowing that the alienating parent does not have the ability to foster a relationship between the child and the target parent, the issue before the court will be, does the target parent offer the child sufficient parenting capacity to outweigh that very serious harm?(21)

              If the target parent shows an adequate parenting ability as defined in the research which fits the needs of the child; and, if there is a reasonable likelihood that the target parent will foster the relationship of the child with the alienating parent, the court should seriously consider modifying custody. If the target parent is not adequate, it becomes incumbent on the court to see if there are other family members or foster care available to take the child, someone to help the child create and maintain a relationship with each of his or her parents.

              5. Severe: The Fully Enmeshed Child

              Very few children, between 1% and 5% of alienation cases,(22) become fully "enmeshed" with the alienating parent, where a child has incorporated as his or her own, the extremely hostile feelings of the alienating parent for the target parent. Once this happens, it is impossible to encourage or even force the child to be with the target parent; and no amount of evidence disproving the stated reasons for the hatred will serve to abate it. In some of these cases, the child's sense of self is dependent on the relationship with the alienating parent so that separation would cause the child to suffer an emotional breakdown of devastating proportions, if custody were awarded to the hated target parent. Attempts to switch custody would be fought against and undermined by the child to the child's maximum ability.

              In these rare cases, the child must stay with the alienating parent, as it is not proper to use a child to punish a parent for misbehavior.(23) For whatever solace it is, the target parent must be assured that at some point children do seek out the other parent, and the relationship is not lost forever.

              Comment


              • #67
                Documentation continued

                VII. WEAPONS

                "Weapons" are the false allegations by the alienating parent of behavior on the part of the target parent inimicable to the welfare of a child. The most commonly used weapons are false allegations of:

                threats of or actual domestic violence;
                sexual abuse of the child;
                physical abuse of the child;
                emotional abuse of the child;
                mental illness on the part of the target parent;
                alcoholism/drug abuse/homosexuality on the part of the target parent; or
                threats of moving or flight by the alienating parent.


                Even when such an allegation is made in the context of high conflict litigation, it must be taken very seriously on its face and fully investigated to determine its validity. Each allegation accuses the target parent of behavior harmful to the child, and safety of the child is paramount. Neither the courts, lawyers, therapists or, perhaps, the parents, want to risk the welfare of a child when it is possible that the accusations might be true.

                By their very nature, the allegations shift the emphasis of investigation onto the accused, the target parent. Several of the accusations are of very private behavior, which behaviors are difficult to prove and/or disprove.

                Most domestic violence remains invisible despite the increase in awareness of the problem, and accusations of domestic violence or threats of domestic violence must be dealt with very seriously. However, under procedures outlined in NH RSA 173-B, an ex parte complaint of domestic violence taken to court together with a request for exclusive custody can give the complainant a considerable advantage in the legal system.

                Attorneys are bound by their own ethical rules not to knowingly mislead a tribunal,(24) and advising a client to gain a tactical advantage by using the emergency procedures afforded under NH RSA 173-B may violate the Code of Professional Conduct even if the attorney is not involved in the presentation of the case to the court.(25)

                Allegations of abuse of a child (physical and/or sexual) may arise from impaired parental judgment and are powerful weapons because of the intensity of feelings that arise from such allegations. However, the allegations may also be accurate. In all instances, but especially in the context of a custody battle, such allegations must be dealt with immediately by a competent professional who fully understands: 1.) sexual and/or physical abuse of children; 2.) family systems; 3.) divorce and custody litigation and the impact of lawyers and the legal system. If allegations of physical abuse arise and are sufficiently established to cause concern, the court or the parties involved must refer the case to the Division for Children and Youth Services under NH RSA 169-C.

                If it is unclear that there is in fact abuse (sexual or physical), then the allegations may have been produced by the intensity of feelings about the divorce, fear of abuse and a misreading of particular situation. However muddled the waters are, the court must establish a factual basis upon which to proceed legally (either abuse did or did not occur) or the system will be paralyzed to the advantage of the alienating parent. Unless disproven, the allegations will cast a pall of potential harm to the child that no one person, institution or agency will be able to ignore, and an accused will always be treated as guilty unless proven innocent with regards to contact with the children.(26)

                Accusations of alcoholism, mental illness or homosexuality also place a burden on the target parent to prove fitness to be with the child, and must be investigated as to their veracity and as to the effect or lack thereof on parenting capacity. Another weapon is the threat of moving, or the actual flight of the alienating parent. The court must immediately look to the motive, spoken or unspoken, for the move; if the motivation is to keep the target parent away, this is a clear red flag that the alienating parent will stop at nothing to achieve an exclusive relationship with the child.

                No matter when a "weapon'' shows up in the course of the litigation, the fact of an allegation must lead directly to a full systems evaluation by a qualified, competent professional. It serves as an indication that the alienating parent knows no bounds and that education, information and behavior management are insufficient interventions. The courts must look to the long term best interests of the child in terms of custody because the alienation process will continue. The use of a weapon should catalyze the court to order an evaluation of the custodial capacity of each parent. An expert must look at the entire system, assess the truth and veracity of the allegations, assess the motivation for the allegations, assess the safety and welfare of the child and make recommendations as to the best placement and visitation arrangements for the child.

                CONCLUSION

                A partnership of judges, attorneys, and mental health professionals is critical in high conflict alienation cases. The judge has the power but is not readily available. Lawyers are available and have access to the legal process, but do not have a systems understanding. Attorneys easily can become part of a divorce impasse system, aggravating an already inflamed system. Mental health professionals must have a systems understanding and are available but do not have the power of the court or ready access to the legal process. A partnership is essential.

                Attorneys must help their clients discern their long term interests as to their children and the emotional meaning behind a custody battle (hurt, revenge, fears).

                Attorneys must hold the knowledge that they may be the sanest, most objective voice the client may hear in a divorce, and offer education about the long term importance of co-parenting and moving beyond the battleground. Attorneys must treat with caution and trepidation a client who sees a divorcing spouse as all bad and must avoid joining with the client in further escalating this belief. When necessary and appropriate, attorneys must refer clients to a mental health professional who is trained in family systems. Attorneys must recognize when they have been enlisted as active parties in the polarization alienation conflict and seek consultation so as not to further escalate the already inflamed process.

                The courts must act decisively and explicitly in cases of high conflict divorce and alienation. The orders must be pragmatic and the grounds for decisions must be explained in terms that make it less likely that one party can claim a moral victory and the other feel the shame of defeat. The courts must use their knowledge and power to understand the family system, to recognize high conflict alienation cases and to make appropriate, timely and specific referrals and recommendations. By recognizing alienation in its early form, prevention of future harm to the child and family may well be possible. Intervention at any point along the continuum of harm is crucial to prevent further harm.

                ENDNOTES

                1. Most of the research to date has shown that the mother is significantly more likely to be the alienating parent and the father the target parent. However, we note that there is a fair amount of controversy in the field regarding the conclusion that more mothers alienate than fathers, and wish to emphasize that in many cases we personally have seen, it is the father who alienates and the mother who is the target.

                Because of the gender bias implied from using he and him to denote both sexes, the cumbersome nature of the him/her, he/she or s/he pronouns, and the grammatical errors in transforming he/she to they and his/her to their, this Article will simply alternate paragraphs, using the feminine in one paragraph and the masculine in the next when referring to a parent. If a child is referred to in the same paragraph, the child will be referred to by the other gender pronouns.

                2. "[T]he persistent quality of the conflict combined with its enduring nature seriously endangers the mental health of the parents and the psychological development of the children. Under the guise of fighting for the child, the parents may succeed in inflicting severe emotional suffering on the very person whose protection and well-being is the presumed rationale for the battle." (emphasis added). Johnston, J.R. B Campbell, L.E.G., Impasses of Divorce "Forward" by J. Wallerstein, p.ix (1988).

                See also, Lamb, M.E.(ed.); In Non-Traditional Families, "Effects of Divorce on Parents & Children" by Hetherington, E.M.; Cox. M.; Cox, R. (1982); Wallerstein. J. & Kelly, J.S., Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce, (1980); J. Wallerstein & S. Blakesiee, Second Chances: Men, Women and Children a Decade after Divorce: Who Wins, Who Loses and Why (1989)

                3. Hodges, William F. Interventions for Children of Divorce at 151 (1986).

                4. Gardner, Richard, The Parental Alienation Syndrome (1992).

                5. Johnston, Impasses of Divorce see Endnote 2.

                6. "Families First" is a program currently mandated in several cities/counties in Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and Louisiana, among other states.

                7. While there have been no studies as to the effectiveness of these programs in ameliorating or preventing alienation, in one such program, the participants themselves have reported high satisfaction with the program and have recommended that it be expanded. Zirps, Fotena A., Ph.D. Children Cope with Divorce - Follow-up Study, Cobb County, Families First, Atlanta, Georgia (1992).

                8. The following states require mediation for custody cases: California (The Family Act, Sec. 4607, The Civil Code); Maine (19 MRS 214.4); North Carolina (7A NCRS 494); and, Wisconsin (767.001 WRS).

                9. Code of Professional Conduct Rule 2.1.

                10. Code of Professional Conduct Rule 3.1.

                11. American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Standards of Conduct Rule 2.25 An attorney should not contest child custody or visitation for either financial leverage or vindictiveness.
                Comment: ..."Proper consideration of the welfare of the children requires that they not be used as pawns in the adversary process. If, despite the attorney's advice the client persists, the attorney should seek to withdraw."

                Rule 2.27 An attorney should refuse to assist in vindictive conduct toward a spouse or third party and should not do anything to increase the emotional level of the dispute.
                Comment ... "If...the client...asks the attorney to engage in conduct the attorney believes to be imprudent or repugnant, the attorney should attempt to convince the client to work toward family harmony or in the interests of the children. Conduct in the interests of the children or the family will almost always be in the client's long term interests."

                12. American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Standards of Conduct Rule 2.24 When issues in a representation affect the welfare of a child, an attorney should not initiate communication with the child, except in the presence of the child's lawyer or guardian ad litem with court permission, or as necessary to verify facts in motions and pleadings.

                13. Ross v. Gadwah, 131 N.H. 391 (1988).

                14. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. s.1400, et seq.

                15. See N.H. Standards for the Education of Handicapped Students, Chapt. Ed. s.1109(1988)

                16. Hedges, Intervention for Children of Divorce, see Endnote #3. There is not enough research on mother absence to reach conclusions at this point in time as the frequency of mother absence is so low that obtaining generalizable samples is virtually impossible.

                17. Wallerstein, Second Chances, see Endnote #1.

                18. Buchanan, C. & Maccoby, E., "Variation in Adjustment to Divorce: The Role of Feeling Caught Between Parents" April, 1991. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting for the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle Washington, April 18-20, 1991.

                19. Perreault v. Cook, 114 N.H. 440 (1974); Howard v. Howard, 124 N.H. 267(1983).

                20. Gardner, The Parent Alienation Syndrome at viii. See Endnote #4.

                21. There is substantial research on adequate or "good-enough" parenting: Hedges, see Endnote #3; Shutz, B.M., Dixon, E.B., Lindenbergen, J.C., Ruther, N.J., Solomon's Sword (1989)

                22. Clawar & Rivlin, page 142. Children Held Hostage: Dealing with programmed and brainwashed children. American Bar Association (1991).

                23. Webb v. Knudson, 133 NH 665, 673 (1990). "Children are not chargeable with the misconduct of their parents and should not be uprooted from their home in order to discipline a recalcitrant parent." See also, Houde v. Beckmeyer, 116 NH 719 (1976).

                24. Code of Professional Conduct Rule 3.3 A lawyer shall not knowingly mislead the court or use illegal or false evidence.

                25. District Court Judges report an increasing number of custody cases being litigated in their courts under the guise of domestic violence proceedings. Domestic Violence Training for District Court Judges, January, 1990, personal conversation.

                26. Because of the emotionally charged atmosphere sexual and physical abuse charges generate, we suggest that no one person be responsible for establishing the facts. Therefore, we suggest that advisory juries be empaneled to aid the judge in his findings regarding the allegations of abuse. NH RSA 519:23; NH RSA 491:16. This suggestion has been made by Judge Linda Dalianis of the New Hampshire Superior Court. See, Bonser v. Courtney, 124 N.H. 796 ( 1984). Only a Judge, not a Marital Master, could empanel an advisory jury.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Dr Richard A Gardner

                  The Information you gave doesn't fit. There is much controversy about his research. Most importantly were the misrepresentations that he himself was a pedophile. There is no real evidence supporting that. His suicide was a result of pain associated with RSD



                  Richard A. Gardner
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                  Richard Gardner, M.D. (April 28, 1931 - May 25, 2003) was a clinical professor of psychiatry in the Division of Child Psychiatry at Columbia University from 1963 until his death in 2003. He was known for coining the term Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in 1985. He published more than 40 books and more than 250 articles in a variety of areas of child psychiatry. He also operated a company, Creative Therapeutics, Inc., that marketed materials based on his theories. Gardner testified as an expert witness in hundreds of custody cases in the USA.

                  Gardner was a consistent advocate for fathers in custody battles, particularly fathers accused of child abuse. He made a number of controversial claims regarding pedophilia, including the theory that pedophiles are much more punitively punished than necessary,[citation needed] and that judges who rule against an accused pedophiliac father are likely closet pedophiles.[citation needed]

                  Although the Parental Alienation Syndrome has been accepted by many courts in the U.S. and Europe, his framing of well-documented parental alienation processes as a "syndrome" remains controversial. Gardner's goal to have PAS included in the DSM did not occur in his lifetime.
                  Contents
                  [hide]

                  * 1 Career
                  * 2 Criticism
                  * 3 Death
                  * 4 Selected Books
                  * 5 Notes
                  * 6 External links

                  [edit] Career

                  Gardner wrote the first self-help book for children of divorce; it was reviewed by Time, excerpted in the Sunday New York Times magazine, and is currently in its 28th printing. He devised a therapeutic technique, Mutual Story-Telling, that is included in child psychiatry curricula and listed as one of 35 significant events in the history of play therapy.[citation needed] In addition, he originated a new therapeutic modality with his introduction of the first therapeutic board game for use in psychotherapy with children. The use of such games has since become standard in child psychotherapy with many games following Gardner’s lead. One noted expert in psychotherapy called Gardner's creation "one of the most popular therapeutic games available" and a Website for therapeutic resources claimed that "most child therapists consider it an indispensable part of their playroom equipment."[citation needed] Gardner’s books and therapeutic games have been translated into nine languages. Gardner was also one of the first to write a psychologically helpful book to children about parents' divorce already in 1970. The American Psychological Association, in addition to citing three of Gardner's books in a list of references pertinent to child custody evaluations, honored him by selecting him as one among a few professionals included in a series of training videotapes by "distinguished psychotherapists." Gardner was invited to contribute several chapters to the standard reference work in his field, the Basic Handbook of Child Psychiatry, whose Board of Editors includes many of the world's leading experts in child psychiatry.

                  His marriage to Lee Gardner ended in divorce.

                  Richard Gardner Killed himself.

                  [edit] Criticism

                  Gardner's main contribution was to draw attention to parental alienation processes, that is, how one parent may misuse the powers of socialization to turn a child against a once loved parent. Gardner's labelling of well documented alienation processes as a "syndrome" remains controversial among psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists.[citation needed]

                  The issues he raised, by their nature, stirred considerable controversy. Because of this, he felt compelled to publish a rebuttal before he died. Noteworthy scholars such as Bruce Sales have cast serious doubt upon the workings of the family courts in the United States and elsewhere. Furthermore, scandals in New York City and San Diego have blown open a small window into the world of custody evaluation and revealed what may be a massive corruption scam.[1][2]

                  There is considerable criticism of Gardner by feminist critics. Kim Gandy alleged him to say rape victims "gain pleasure from being beaten, bound, and otherwise made to suffer" and that it is "the price they are willing to pay for gaining the gratification of receiving the sperm."[3] or that masochistic women gain pleasure in this way.[4] and that "the child who has suffered bona fide abuse may very well have enjoyed the experience".[5]

                  Gardner did write about physical pleasure by children at the time of the abuse and the child's possible feelings of "guilt over such pleasure because ... the act is an unacceptable, sinful, or even criminal act."[6]

                  Richard Gardner also stated he thought pedophilia was normal and everyone had pedophilia tendencies Richard Gardner killed himself.

                  [edit] Death

                  Dr. Gardner took his own life on May 25, 2003. He had been suffering from advancing symptoms of reflex sympathetic dystrophy.[7] In addition to his son, of Cherry Hill, N.J., he is survived by two daughters, Nancy Gardner Rubin of Potomac, Md., and Julie Gardner Mandelcorn, of Newton, Mass.; his mother, Amelia Gardner of Manhattan; eight grandchildren; and his partner, Natalie Weiss.

                  [edit] Selected Books

                  * The Parental Alienation Syndrome (1992) ISBN 0-933812-42-6
                  * Doctor Gardner's Modern Fairy Tales (1977) ISBN 0-933812-09-4
                  * Protocols for the Sex-Abuse Evaluation (1995) ISBN 0-933812-38-8
                  * Psychotherapy With Sex-Abuse Victims: True, False, and Hysterical (1996) ISBN 0-933812-41-8
                  * Sex-Abuse Trauma?: Or Trauma from Other Sources? (2001) ISBN 0-933812-47-7
                  * The boys and girls book about divorce, with an introduction for parents, by Richard A. Gardner. Foreword by Louise Bates Ames. Illustrated by Alfred Lowenheim (1970), Science House, ISBN 0-553-27619-0

                  [edit] Notes

                  1. ^ Brad Hamilton, Tug of Love, N. Y. Post, May 18, 2003 [1]
                  2. ^ Gardner's a rebuttal in 1999.
                  3. ^ [2]
                  4. ^ [3]
                  5. ^ [4]
                  6. ^ Richard A Gardner, The Parental Alienation Syndrome adn the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse (1987).
                  7. ^ NYT obit

                  [edit] External links

                  * http://www.rgardner.com/
                  * What's That on My Head? is an example of a Gardner game. He co-created it with Robert Abbott
                  * Dr. Richard Warshak
                  * Psychotherapy of Children with Conduct Disorders using Games and Stories
                  * Misperceptions Versus Facts About The Contributions Of Richard A. Gardner, M.D.
                  * http://www.helpstoppas.org/
                  * http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/pas/misperce.htm

                  Anti-Gardner sites:

                  * Cincinnati PAS Includes autopsy report.
                  * A Self-Made Man Suggests that Creative Therapeutics is a vanity press.

                  Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_A._Gardner"

                  Categories: All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since February 2007 | American physicians | 1931 births | 2003 deaths | Doctors who committed suicide | Suicides in the United States | Suicides by sharp instrument

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    You do, of course, realize that the "Institute for Families in Transition" is a law firm that will, for a modest fee, not only give you a course on Garnder's works, provide the mother with "counseling" so that she can see the error of her ways and, finally, sell you as many copies of "Pedophiliac in Perpetuity" Gardner's books.

                    Congrats. You have been scammed. Just another set of people that thought they could make the money that Gardner was making as "expert" witnesses by testifying in court about a syndrome with no medical basis.

                    For proof, they send you back to Garder. A man that advocated incest and didn't do ANY clinical research to back up his claims. A man that was BARRED from hospital work for the last 25 years of his life and hadn't been a court appointed ANYTHING for the 15 years before he died.

                    A man that killed himself in the MIDDLE of a trial.

                    So, let's go through the references attached to the article.

                    What say we ignore the roughly 25% that were attached to Gardner. No court case listed as "proof" is more recent than 1990... and I am, again, doing your research to find out how many were decided for the victim on appeal. My guess.... 100%.

                    Let's go through the rest. If we eliminate all of the rest that are thinly veiled advertisements so that OTHER pedophile Dads can hire them, you have a bunch of "we need to change the court system" crap.

                    I am going through them line by line.

                    I have been asking you for a week for your references and research, and this is all you have? One article and the wikipedia reference to your favorite pedophile?

                    Still waiting for the "studies" you talk about. Still waiting for the clinical evidence that being sexually abused equates to the trama a child feels in a custody battle.

                    Still waiting for your admission of your charge... and the reason YOU didn't use this wonderful defense... or did you? See, that is my guess. You tried PAS and the judge LAUGHED at you.
                    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Wrong on many accounts

                      Originally posted by cyjeff View Post
                      You do, of course, realize that the "Institute for Families in Transition" is a law firm that will, for a modest fee, not only give you a course on Garnder's works, provide the mother with "counseling" so that she can see the error of her ways and, finally, sell you as many copies of "Pedophiliac in Perpetuity" Gardner's books.

                      Congrats. You have been scammed. Just another set of people that thought they could make the money that Gardner was making as "expert" witnesses by testifying in court about a syndrome with no medical basis.

                      For proof, they send you back to Garder. A man that advocated incest and didn't do ANY clinical research to back up his claims. A man that was BARRED from hospital work for the last 25 years of his life and hadn't been a court appointed ANYTHING for the 15 years before he died.

                      A man that killed himself in the MIDDLE of a trial.

                      So, let's go through the references attached to the article.

                      What say we ignore the roughly 25% that were attached to Gardner. No court case listed as "proof" is more recent than 1990... and I am, again, doing your research to find out how many were decided for the victim on appeal. My guess.... 100%.

                      Let's go through the rest. If we eliminate all of the rest that are thinly veiled advertisements so that OTHER pedophile Dads can hire them, you have a bunch of "we need to change the court system" crap.

                      I am going through them line by line.

                      I have been asking you for a week for your references and research, and this is all you have? One article and the wikipedia reference to your favorite pedophile?

                      Still waiting for the "studies" you talk about. Still waiting for the clinical evidence that being sexually abused equates to the trama a child feels in a custody battle.

                      Still waiting for your admission of your charge... and the reason YOU didn't use this wonderful defense... or did you? See, that is my guess. You tried PAS and the judge LAUGHED at you.
                      1 No where in my reading or what you sent proved Gardner is in fact a pedophile. While his research did enrage people and was very controversial.
                      That is no surprise and is expected given the research topic at hand.
                      Gardner never endorsed it as being right or his preference to how humans should act. He was merely logging his finding in human behavior throughout history concerning pedophilia and observed behavior sometimes between divorcing individuals.

                      2 How old does one need to be to retire? For God's sake the man was doing research way back in the 70's. Of course one would expect a person not to keep up their level of success throughout life. He is just one man, and has quite accomplished and recognized work. He just pissed off people like yourself that, because of subject matter identified him as endorsing the behavior. Which is incorrect or did I miss something?

                      3 Your other questions have been answered in other post. Perhaps you need to understand what RSD is. In my reading Gardner was diagnosed with this. If all accounts being true, It isn't surprising he committed suicide, neither is it surprising that his adversaries used the opportunity to make other assumptions.
                      Such as the ones you make and others about his own business and lack of research in the last portion of his life. This information is highly opinionated, and not backed up by fact, and is full of innuendo. You tend to believe hear say and take the stance one has to prove innocence. My stance is and will always be one of giving benefit of doubt, till hard proof and research is given.
                      When I read such and know it is backed by hard evidence or research, then I am objective enough to change my stance on issues. Only when I know without a doubt, through experience something is true, then no persuasions will change that. A rose is still a rose no matter what the name given. I also know the difference when someone is pissing on me and telling me it is raining.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by saxxyman View Post
                        1 No where in my reading or what you sent proved Gardner is in fact a pedophile. While his research did enrage people and was very controversial.
                        That is no surprise and is expected given the research topic at hand.
                        Gardner never endorsed it as being right or his preference to how humans should act. He was merely logging his finding in human behavior throughout history concerning pedophilia and observed behavior sometimes between divorcing individuals.

                        2 How old does one need to be to retire? For God's sake the man was doing research way back in the 70's. Of course one would expect a person not to keep up their level of success throughout life. He is just one man, and has quite accomplished and recognized work. He just pissed off people like yourself that, because of subject matter identified him as endorsing the behavior. Which is incorrect or did I miss something?

                        3 Your other questions have been answered in other post. Perhaps you need to understand what RSD is. In my reading Gardner was diagnosed with this. If all accounts being true, It isn't surprising he committed suicide, neither is it surprising that his adversaries used the opportunity to make other assumptions.
                        Such as the ones you make and others about his own business and lack of research in the last portion of his life. This information is highly opinionated, and not backed up by fact, and is full of innuendo. You tend to believe hear say and take the stance one has to prove innocence. My stance is and will always be one of giving benefit of doubt, till hard proof and research is given.
                        When I read such and know it is backed by hard evidence or research, then I am objective enough to change my stance on issues. Only when I know without a doubt, through experience something is true, then no persuasions will change that. A rose is still a rose no matter what the name given. I also know the difference when someone is pissing on me and telling me it is raining.
                        How is it innuendo that hospitals barred him from their premises for the last 25 years of his "research"? That is not my opinion. That is fact.

                        How can you say that a man that states it is normal and healthy for fathers to sleep with their children is not a pedophile? How can you say that a man that states that fathers MUST look to their children as a source of sexual release is not a pedophile?

                        Here you go again... asking ME if I understand what RSD is... something you didn't even know existed until it became an excuse for your hero's suicide.

                        Speaking of suicide... how about the lives lost in your hero's wake?

                        Did Richard Gardner Also Cause 16 year old Nathan Grieco's Suicide?

                        The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in performing their civic duty to inform and enlighten, ran a two part investigative story on a tragic custody war in their city in which Dr. Richard Gardner became personally involved as an expert witness.

                        Dr. Gardner interviewed the allegedly abusive father but did not interview the mother nor the three boys at the center of the custody dispute. Nevertheless, Gardner diagnosed "a classical case of PAS" based upon his conversations with his paying client. He called the mother and her three sons "sadistic" and recommended that they be "coerced" (he actually used that word) into making the boys visit their father.

                        Gardner recommended to the Pittsburgh judge something he called "Threat Therapy", in which the mother should be jailed if the boys did not visit their physically and mentally abusive father. In regard to accusing mothers, Gardner believed that therapists do well to "sober" them up. Otherwise, the children might think that a "heinous crime" has been committed.

                        Despite its' questionable constitutionality, the Pittsburgh judge went along with Gardner's forced visit "threat therapy" recommendation and what's more, the mother was ordered to deliver the boys in a positive frame of mind or be held for sanctions. The oldest boy, 16 year old Nathan Grieco soon after suffered a nervous breakdown, was hospitalized and eventually committed suicide.

                        Nathan's mother went public 2 weeks after his death, blaming Dr. Richard Gardner and Pittsburgh Judge John J. Driscoll. Her story created a national outcry.

                        Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Casualties of a Custody War - What's best for the child? (Part One) http://www.post-gazette.com/custody/partone.asp

                        Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Casualties of a Custody War - The courtroom as battleground (Part two) http://www.post-gazette.com/custody/parttwo.asp


                        In this case, Dr. Gardner thought that a man that was so physically abusive to his children that he had been arrested after putting Nathan in the hospital should have been given custody... full custody.

                        Because the broken bones and stitches required were all PAS related... yup, Dr. Gardner, your hero, said that the medical reports were all in Mommy's imagination.

                        The only thing you need to remember is that RSD is a profoundly disturbing neurological disorder... maybe that will keep Dr. Gardner out of Hell. I certainly hope not.
                        Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                        I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                        Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          You keep saying over and over that a custody battle is worse for a child than sexual abuse.

                          How about when a child is abused and an "expert" tells them that it is all in their head?

                          How much trama is THAT to a child? Congrats... you abuse them twice...

                          Why didn't you use PAS as a defense in your case?
                          Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                          I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                          Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Why didn't you use PAS as a defense in your case?
                            Because the mean old court system wouldn't let him.

                            I'm sure he tried to bring it up. If he had an atty and that atty was worth at least $2/hr, the atty would have slapped him upside the head before the judge got 'ahold of him.

                            Okay, it's Sat. My beloved 'Horns are playing today. My husband's overrated Buckeyes are playing, USC is hopefully going to get their butts handed to them, and the SEC war continues.

                            I'm going to go yell at the games.

                            Have a great Saturday.

                            HOOK EM HORNS!!!

                            (still possible that they could grab the BCS at large bid. Pray that USC folds!)
                            HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                            How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                            (unique up on him)
                            How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                            (same way)

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by mommyof4 View Post
                              Because the mean old court system wouldn't let him.

                              I'm sure he tried to bring it up. If he had an atty and that atty was worth at least $2/hr, the atty would have slapped him upside the head before the judge got 'ahold of him.

                              Okay, it's Sat. My beloved 'Horns are playing today. My husband's overrated Buckeyes are playing, USC is hopefully going to get their butts handed to them, and the SEC war continues.

                              I'm going to go yell at the games.

                              Have a great Saturday.

                              HOOK EM HORNS!!!

                              (still possible that they could grab the BCS at large bid. Pray that USC folds!)
                              Um... Go DAWGS!!!!

                              I am just so sick and tired of this person. Like all abusers, he never has once apologized for what he did or assumed ANY of the blame. Instead, he hitches his star to quackery because it gives him an excuse where it is all someone else's fault.

                              The ex's fault he kept losing his temper. The ex's fault the kids are scared of him. The ex's fault he pled guilty while under oath in a court of law.

                              Nothing is his fault. Sure, it means that he has to throw in with a diseased mind that thinks children seduce adults, a wife's lack of sexual drive forces a man to schtup his daughter, and that our current laws against incest and pedophilia equate to the salem witch trials... but what the heck. It is the only theory that allows him to say, "See, it is all HER fault".

                              I have been less disgusted by stuff I have scraped off the bottom of my shoe.
                              Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

                              I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

                              Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                The one to talk

                                Originally posted by cyjeff View Post
                                How is it innuendo that hospitals barred him from their premises for the last 25 years of his "research"? That is not my opinion. That is fact.

                                How can you say that a man that states it is normal and healthy for fathers to sleep with their children is not a pedophile? How can you say that a man that states that fathers MUST look to their children as a source of sexual release is not a pedophile?

                                Here you go again... asking ME if I understand what RSD is... something you didn't even know existed until it became an excuse for your hero's suicide.

                                Speaking of suicide... how about the lives lost in your hero's wake?

                                Did Richard Gardner Also Cause 16 year old Nathan Grieco's Suicide?

                                The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in performing their civic duty to inform and enlighten, ran a two part investigative story on a tragic custody war in their city in which Dr. Richard Gardner became personally involved as an expert witness.

                                Dr. Gardner interviewed the allegedly abusive father but did not interview the mother nor the three boys at the center of the custody dispute. Nevertheless, Gardner diagnosed "a classical case of PAS" based upon his conversations with his paying client. He called the mother and her three sons "sadistic" and recommended that they be "coerced" (he actually used that word) into making the boys visit their father.

                                Gardner recommended to the Pittsburgh judge something he called "Threat Therapy", in which the mother should be jailed if the boys did not visit their physically and mentally abusive father. In regard to accusing mothers, Gardner believed that therapists do well to "sober" them up. Otherwise, the children might think that a "heinous crime" has been committed.

                                Despite its' questionable constitutionality, the Pittsburgh judge went along with Gardner's forced visit "threat therapy" recommendation and what's more, the mother was ordered to deliver the boys in a positive frame of mind or be held for sanctions. The oldest boy, 16 year old Nathan Grieco soon after suffered a nervous breakdown, was hospitalized and eventually committed suicide.

                                Nathan's mother went public 2 weeks after his death, blaming Dr. Richard Gardner and Pittsburgh Judge John J. Driscoll. Her story created a national outcry.

                                Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Casualties of a Custody War - What's best for the child? (Part One) http://www.post-gazette.com/custody/partone.asp

                                Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Casualties of a Custody War - The courtroom as battleground (Part two) http://www.post-gazette.com/custody/parttwo.asp


                                In this case, Dr. Gardner thought that a man that was so physically abusive to his children that he had been arrested after putting Nathan in the hospital should have been given custody... full custody.

                                Because the broken bones and stitches required were all PAS related... yup, Dr. Gardner, your hero, said that the medical reports were all in Mommy's imagination.

                                The only thing you need to remember is that RSD is a profoundly disturbing neurological disorder... maybe that will keep Dr. Gardner out of Hell. I certainly hope not.
                                Your certainly one to talk concerning your last statement.You self righteous bigot. You are blaming Dr Gardner as if he were the man's attorney in the above mentioned case. Gardner only testified only to his knowledge. If the slant or innuendos were misinterpreted in court, then that is the defenses problem isn't it? That is standard practice by both sides in a court room situation. How is it when it suits your and others views that is perfectly fine and when it doesn't then it is crap? Grow up what is good for the prosecution is good for the defense and vice versa. You can't change the point simply by one case. Everyone is different. Both of us can find a case to support or perspectives. One other thing, you should be ashamed to put much confidence in a news paper story. Everyone knows, I guess except you. They are full of politics and liberal slants. They are a far cry from any kind of acceptable research. Sure they are true to an extent. They often go no farther than the writers perspective of the person interviewed.

                                Comment

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