- WHAT EVERY PROFESSIONAL WHO INTERVENES IN CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT PARENTAL ALIENATION/PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME
by Linda Gottlieb, LMFT, LCSW-r
Much controversy surrounds a family interactional pattern first labeled in 1985 by child psychiatrist, Richard Gardner, as the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). This interactional pattern is, specifically, a cross-generational coalition of one parent with the child to the deprecation and rejection of the other parent. But this specific family interactional pattern, characteristic of the PAS, had been noted dating back to the 1950's by numerous, independently practicing child psychiatrists upon observing their psychiatric child patients on the hospital wards during family visits. These child psychiatrists, Nathan Ackerman (1958, 1961, 1965); Murray Bowen (1971, 1978); Don Jackson (1971); and Salvador Minuchin (1974, 1978, 1981, 1993, 1996; et al.), who later founded the family therapy movement, have observed and written extensively about this family interactional pattern. Murray Bowen (1971, 1978) labeled it the "pathological triangle" and Jay Haley, (1963, 1968, 1973, 1977, 1990) labeled it "the perverse triangle," which, in the extreme situations, caused a psychosis in the child. This long history of documented triangulation was extensively validated by second generational family therapists (Andolfi 1983, 1989; Angelo, 1983; Boscolo, 1987; Gottlieb, 2012; Nichols, 1992, et al.), although the psychiatrists and therapists in the family therapy movement did not apply the label of parental alienation syndrome to this family interactional pattern. But hey, when there has been 60+ years of observable and scientific supporting data, what's in a name? And that is the point: it is unnecessary to become side-tracked by and hung-up on a label when there is such extensive empirical evidence for the existence of this dysfunctional family interactional pattern and its adverse effects on children.
This cross generational cannot be a good outcome for any child who is caught in it. It empowers them and gives them a sense of entitlement, and it creates a double-bind as they have to reject one half of themselves to satisfy the co-opting parent. Or, if they refuse to join in a coalition, the co-opting parent usually rejects the child. Double-binds are crazy making behaviors that create severe disturbances in those who are victimized by it. I have written a chapter from my book documenting how this coalition, which I will refer to as parental alienation syndrome, is a form of emotional child abuse.
Any prudent parent’s perception and any prudent professional’s perception would have to agree with Christopher Barden, PhD., JD., who has received 2 national research awards in psychology and a law degree with honors from Harvard Law school, when he stated, “There can be no credible controversy about the power of parents to influence children.” (The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome, p. 420.) And we would also have to agree with Barden when he stated that custody cases require “the critical obligation to carefully review the influence of parents, therapists or other adults on the attitudes, beliefs and memories of children.” (pp. 419-432)
Given how children are so powerfully influenced by parents and given what Minuchin and the other family therapists described as the negativity on children of triangulation, any prudent person and any prudent professional would also have to agree that, in typical cases of divorce, children are negatively affected even more from triangulation----or what I would also label “destructive parenting,” “hostile parenting” or simply “crappy parenting.”
I would further like to confirm that hatred for and rejection of the parent is anti- instinctual. I have reached this conclusion in part due to my training as a family therapist but primarily as a response to having worked for 24 years with a foster care population numbering in the thousands of children. Not one of these many children, who had been removed from their home due to adjudicated neglect and/or abuse, ever expressed hatred for her/his parents or refusal to visit. Indeed, the two most frequently asked questions were, "When can I go home" and "When is my next visit with my mom/mommy or dad/daddy?" I am therefore unequivocally certain that there is only one explanation as to why a child expresses hatred for and refusal to have contact with a parent: the child has been programmed by the other parent and is receiving sanctioning by that parent to reject the targeted/alienated parent. You have to be carefully taught to hate and fear---- especially a parent.
I am quite concerned that our customary professional response to a child's refusal to have contact with a parent is to support the refusal or at least to sanction it. It is not healthy to conduct one's life feeling hatred for parent or believing, as in the case of alienation, that one hates a parent. Remedy must be reunification therapy between the child and targeted/alienated parent. Additionally, the programming parent must be made to understand that they are engaging in emotional child abuse by facilitating an alienation, and remedy must be the same as for any form of child abuse---even including transfer of custody for failure to cease the abuse.
References in this Article as well as other important readings
Ackerman, N. W. (1958). The psychodynamics of family life. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Ackerman, N. W. (1961). The emergence of family psychotherapy on the present scene. In M. I. Stein, (Ed.), Contemporary psychotherapies. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
Ackerman, N. W., & Franklin, P. (1965). Family dynamics and the reversibility of delusional formation: A case study in family therapy. In I. Boszormenyi-Nagy & J.
Baker, A. (2007). Adult children of parental alienation syndrome. New York, NY: Norton.
Barden, R. C. (2006) Protecting the fundamental rights of children and families: Parental alienation syndrome and family law reform. In R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & L. Lorandos (Eds.), International handbook of parental alienation syndrome (pp. 419-432). Sringfield, IL: Thomas.
Bowen, M. (1971). The use of family theory in clinical practice. In J. Haley (Ed.), Changing families: A family therapy reader (pp. 159-192). New York, NY: Grune & Stratton.
Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York, NY: Jason Aronson. Gottlieb, L. (2012). The parental alienation syndrome: A family therapy and collaborative systems approach to amelioration. Springfield, IL.: Charles. C. Thomas.
Gottlieb, L. (2012) The parental alienation syndrome: A family therapy and collaborative systems approach to amelioration. Springfield, IL: Thomas.
Haley, J. (1963). Strategies of psychotherapy. (1st ed.) New York, NY: Grune & Stratton. Haley, J., & Hoffman, L. (Eds.). (1968). Techniques of family therapy. New York, NY:Basic Books.
Haley, J. (1971). Changing families. New York, New York: Grune & Stratton. Haley, J. (1973). Uncommon therapy. New York, NY: Norton.Haley, J. (1977). Toward a theory of pathological systems. In P. Watzlawick & J.Weakland (Eds.), The interactional view (pp. 37-44). New York, NY: Basic Books.
Haley, J. (1990). Strategies of Psychotherapy, Rockville, MD: The Triangle Press. Jackson, D., & Weakland, J. (1971) Conjoint family therapy: Some considerations on theory, technique, and results. In J. Haley (Ed.), Changing families (pp. 13-35). New York, NY: Grune & Stratton.
Kopetski, L. (2006). Commentary: Parental alienation syndrome. In R. Gardner, R.Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.), International handbook of parental alienation syndrome (pp. 378-390). Springfield, IL: Thomas.
Lorandos, D. (2006). Parental alienation syndrome: Detractors and the junk science vacuum. In R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.), International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome (pp. 397-418). Springfield, IL: Thomas.
Lowenstein, L. (2006). The psychological effects and treatment of the parental alienation syndrome. In R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.), International handbook of parental alienation syndrome. Springfield, IL: Thomas.
Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Minuchin, S., with Baker, L., & Rosman, B. (1978). Psychosomatic families: Anorexia nervosa in context. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Minuchin, S., with Fishman, C. (1981). Family therapy techniques. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Minuchin, S., with Nichols, M. (1993). Family healing. New York, NY: The Free Press. Minuchin, S., with Lee, W., & Simon, G. (1996). Mastering family therapy. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Sauber, R. (2006). PAS as a family tragedy: Roles of family members, professionals, and the justice system. In R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.), International Handbook on Parental Alienation Syndrome (pp. 12-32). Springfield, IL: Thomas.
Steinberger, C. (2006). Father? What father? Parental alienation and its effect on children. Law Guardian Reporter, 22 (3). New York, NY: Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court of New York.
Warshak, R. (2001). Current controversies regarding parental alienation syndrome, American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 19(3), 29-59.
Warshak, R. (2006). Social science and parental alienation: Examining the disputes and the evidence. In R. Gardner, R. Sauber, & D. Lorandos (Eds.), International handbook of parental alienation syndrome (pp. 352-371). Springfield, IL: Thomas.
Warshak, R. (2010). Divorce poison. New York, NY: Harper.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Do you really want to go there, again? Well, since it was brought up again and Jodi is claiming that I am guilty of "Child Endangerment" by posting Shelby and Ronald's pictures in my videos, on my pages and public court documents that anyone can have access to so I decided that I would address the topic for clarification purposes and to share my perspective on the topic. I guess it is time for another "Reality Check".
First, of all to be guilty of "child endangerment", that person needs to have the child in their custody. Which I don't. So nada, kaput.
Secondly, they are "Ron's" children. He, as their father, has given me permission to post their pictures and to share any information I have about them. If "you" don't like that and can't cope with it, tough. Get a life...or better yet a "Get a Clue Card". Jodi keeps saying that he is not their father......delusional??? Ya think? As I said earlier...it is time for another.."Reality Check". However, any time Shelby or Ronald want to discuss what their father and I have been doing in this public venue that displeases either of them......all they have to do is unblock their phone, call us and we can discuss it. From my perspective, their omission is their consent. 1-207-868-3490
Thirdly, if "you"(Jodi) are so worried about me violating anyone's "privacy" by posting their pictures have "you" looked at the Guymon High School Graduation pictures website recently that has Shelby's picture with her daughter Korah and boyfriend with her first and last name posted? Even as an adolescent she has her father's blond hair and blue eyes...smile. Looks like a "Cornett" to me.
Guymon High School Graduation Pictures
So does Ron's son Ronald. He looks just like his father Ron on his Facebook page.
It is pure speculation on my part, but most likely the "privacy" Jodi is afraid of being violated or endangered is not Shelby or Ronald's but her own for she has done some unsavory and unscrupulous acts as well as spoken downright lies that she doesn't want to be made public or for Shelby and Ronald to know about as described in Ron's response to the court. So who is afraid of being embarrassed or the "truth" to be known? Not me. Not Ron.
Ron's response for petition for custody in Texas County Court in Guymon Oklahoma
Jodi, is grasping at straws...again. Trying to find me guilty of S O M E T H I N G......again....so that she can have an excuse, any made up excuse to call the "police"...again...and it seems this is the best she can do. Jodi and Donald actually have been "guilty" of .....drum roll..."Child Endangerment".......themselves in recent years. Back in 2006, while they were going through their divorce, they had a confrontation in front of the children, Shelby and Ronald. Donald was arrested, jailed and the DA filed charges against him for Domestic Assault and Battery in the presence of a minor. Now isn't that "Domestic Violence"? Isn't that "Child Abuse"? Wasn't that most likely a "Felony Charge"? Jodi took out a restraining order on Donald. Isn't that.....drum roll.... "Child Endangerment"??? Jodi, was there and participated. Donald plea bargained with the DA. This resulted in both of them having to take "Co-Parenting Classes" ordered by the court as part of their divorce settlement. Hmmm?? So, Who is the"criminal"??? Here is another current situation involving Jodi as well. How about recent court finding of indebtedness for which Jodi ended up Defaulting on, involving 9 attorneys. Not just one or two attorney's, mind you, but 9. One of the things I've learned during my years is one needs to put their own house in order before casting dispersions on someone else. So, if you are going to "throw stones" and put "false information" out there. Shouldn't you look to yourself first, Jodi? Who truly, is the one "guilty" of......drum roll....."Child Endangerment"? Not exactly a good parenting example of how to handle ones finances. After all, they've been in your custody. You put them there. You put them in harms way, by choosing Donald as your partner and not being able to manage your money properly. Who is the neglectful one here? Arguing over a pair of car keys and getting upset because Donald said to Ronald you were "psycho"? Now, how absurd is that? Well, from my own experience with Jodi, I'd say Donald had a point....she is "psycho"....smile. She is way beyond and incapable of any reasonable form of communication. That is why we are all in the predicament we are.....it is all because of Jodi and her petty "craziness".
Oklahoma Criminal Law:
Circumstances That Constitute Witnessing
Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 21, § 644(G)
In criminal law: ''In the presence of a child'' means in the physical presence of a child or having knowledge that a child is present and may see or hear an act of domestic violence. For the purposes of this section, ''child'' may be any child whether or not related to the victim or the defendant.
Below is Ron's response to Jodi filing for custody of Shelby and
Ronald after her and Donald had abducted them and hid them from him for two years.
In his response, Ron requested that the court appoint a guardian ad lid em, put his children in foster care rather then allow them to be kept by their mother because of her mental instability and previous incompetence as a mother. Having already had two prior children removed from her care by the State of Washington. Furthermore, he requested that the court do a mental health evaluation of her because of her history of previous sexual abuse and drug abuse/Crank, as well. None of this was done. From my perspective the CPS and the court system in the State of Oklahoma was neglectful and let down, Shelby and Ronald for they did not look out for their welfare as their father, Ron, requested. Hence, who knows what other atrocities they've been exposed too because of Jodi and Donald's incompetence and poor parenting.
Am I outspoken regarding this? Am I arrogant? Yes, no apologies. Do I have experience as a mother? Yes. I have a 35 year old adult son. So, I do know what it takes to be a caring, competent, responsible parent and adult. In my opinion, Jodi and Donald are neither of these. Furthermore, when I worked as a health care professional, I myself, was witness to both child and elder abuse, making reports to APS and CPS as necessary. So from a professional perspective I know of what I speak as well. Does it seem like I'm harassing Jodi and Donald? It depends on your point of view. From, my perspective I'm being an outspoken advocate pertaining to the neglectful and incompetent parenting my step children have received and are receiving because I care about them. If whomever, reads by blogs doesn't like it...well, then don't come here. I will keep posting my point of view irregardless of Jodi's dissemination of misinformation pertaining to Ron and myself as she continually tries to defame our character in her need to promote her own agenda. She has made up her "stories" because of her "delusional" need to vilify and denigrate us to prove herself as the "better" parent. Well, she's not a better parent and never will be or could ever possibly hope to be. From the research I've done, the parent who abducts and hides their children is actually the one who is the least competent, responsbile or mentally stable of the two parents. Because any competent, responsible parent wouldn't do it because of the ill affects on the abducted children. So if Jodi feels challenged and threatened by me...then so be it. She has had many many years to make amends and resolve this issue and has chosen not to. She has stuck her head in the sand down in "dust bowl" Oklahoma...hoping we'll go away and not want contact with Ron's own children. Well, Jodi, just because you make up a "perfect" world for yourself and live in a delusional/fantasy of your creation doesn't make it reality. We're here knocking on your door with "reality". As I've said before...your house of cards and this game you are playing will come tumbling down because it is built on a foundation of LIES...not TRUTH and INTEGRITY. If the TRUTH is "harassing" you...then it is, what it is. Here is an example of Jodi's paranoid delusions....http://love-n-life.over-blog.com/pages/For_Fear_For_my_Children-4090111.html So, so sad for Shelby and Ronald. What she is putting them through. We are not stalkers, predators or pedophiles...who will come and "get" Shelby and Ronald. Those are all of Jodi's fabricated "delusions" that she is trying to pass off as "truth". You're lieing again, Jodi. Even her videos show her twisted skew and perspective on life. I'm not embarrassed, nor am I embarrassing my son. I've done nothing "wrong" to be embarrassed about. Ron hasn't either. He never "harmed" his children as Jodi has claimed repeatedly. She has no proof, no evidence. Ron was never arrested or charged with any form child abuse whatsoever. It all has been made up by Jodi to such an extent that she even perjured herself in court with testimony that she witnessed Ron harming Shelby and Ronald. She told her own children, Ron and his parents there was a "no third party contact restraining order".....that never existed. Your lies will come back on you Jodi. I will see to it. I'm not quitting. I'm not going away. Karma is a "Bitch" and I'm here to see it comes about, just like a "Boomerang". The "truth" about Ron and his children's story, "The Other Side of the Story" will be told and re-told until the children are recovered. Until they know both sides of the story pertaining to what happened to them. Until they come to terms with their abduction and why they were abducted, the lies they've been told and are reunited with their father, Ron. Shelby and Ronald deserve to know the "truth" about what their mother and Donald did to them and their father, Ron. We will never give up. We've been waiting all these long years for this time to arrive. This is the road their mother, Jodi, and Donald paved for them and their future because of the choices they made. Just, as this and my other posts and videos are being made public. It is the only way Ron and myself can communicate with Shelby and Ronald because of Jodi's stone walling and blocking any form of communication with them because of her "sick mind" as Ron puts it. Full of her"delusions" and "fantasies". If Shelby and Ronald want to "blame" anyone for all of this being public...look to your mother...she created this scenario for all of us because of her mental illness, for which she is accountable. No more of being silent. No more of enabling of Jodi. Shelby and Ronald are now old enough to know the TRUTH.