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DIVORCE AND CUSTODY RELATED ARTICLES

We are pleased to several articles related to the parental alienation syndrome, custody battles and divorce. We invite your to share the articles with whomever you feel may benefit from the information.

IMPORTANT ISSUES IN THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME
by Dr. Reena Sommer

The Parental Alienation Syndrome (P.A.S.) is the extreme end of a custody battle gone "real bad". P.A.S. is a most negative consequence of an increasing number of high conflict divorces. In these cases, children become the victims of a relentless and destructive "tug of war" between their parents. It is a war that children cannot win or defend themselves against. It is a war where the "enemy" (the alienating parent) is someone whom the children dearly love and depend upon for their needs to be met. For children, PAS is about loss, insecurity, fear, confusion, sadness, hopelessness and despair. In fact, some experts consider PAS to be a form of child abuse because:

  • it robs children of the security provided by the bond they once shared with the targeted parent
  • it embeds in children's minds falsehoods about the targeted parent that are injurious to their own psyche and their sense of self (i.e., "Mom/Dad never really loved you"; "Mom/Dad is dangerous"; "Mom/Dad has done inappropriate things to you").
  • the process of aligning children against the targeted parent often involves threats, lies, manipulations, deprivation and even physical abuse

For the alienating parents, PAS can have several motivators such as:

  • feeling betrayed or rejected by the targeted parent
  • revenge
  • jealousy
  • fear
  • insecurity
  • anger
  • money
  • using the children as as pawns to get a better divorce settlement

Defining Parental Alienation Syndrome

The Parental Alienation Syndrome has been variously defined. But here is the definition I tend to rely upon because it is based on my observations of and experiences with divorcing families:

"The Parental Alienation Syndrome is the deliberate attempt by one parent (and/or guardian/significant other) to distance his/her children from the other parent and in doing so, the parent engages the children in the process of destroying the affectional ties and familial bonds that once existed..."

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Everyone's concerns are unique. For that reason, Dr. Reena Sommer offers a brief "no obligation" telephone consultation. Please call her with your questions and concerns at 281.534.3923



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Houston, Texas
PHONE: 281.534.3923

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