ADVANTAGES

The child's primary role model will be the maladaptive, dysfunctional parent. He or she will not have the benefit of growing up with the most well-adjusted parent and all that this parent can contribute to enrich the child's life. Many of these children come to experience serious psychiatric problems.
Will they ever grow up and realize what happened to them? Without someone who can recognize the syndrome and counsel them about it, it isn't likely that they will ever figure it out. However, there have been exceptions where the child and the alienated parent have been successfully reunified later in life.
How can good intentions backfire?
Those people who are typically called upon to handle such difficult situations, such as the police, social workers, attorneys or psychologists assume that what the frightened mother is saying is true. These things DO happen. There are men who are seriously disturbed, violent, out of control sexually, and stalk, who are rightfully feared. The mother is very convincing in her desperation and vivid in her descriptions. The clincher is that the alienated child collaborates with the mother by saying, "Yes, I am afraid of my father." "Yes, my father did touch me down there." "Yes, he does beat me." What would you do if you were faced with having to decide how to protect a child in such a situation? Therapists
Some therapists don't realize the severity and depth of the problem. In fact, they may unwittingly side with the alienating parent and even testify in court that the child is afraid of the alienated parent. This can be a serious stumbling block in getting an accurate diagnosis. Indeed, it can tip the scale into the alienating parent's agenda and do real damage.
Our courts, social services and mental health workers are all committed to stop child abuse and neglect when they see it occurring. Unfortunately, in parental alienation situations a dramatic and loud complaint from the alienating parent often ends up being acted upon without an investigation as to the accuracy of the allegation. This frequently removes the alienated parent from the children and allows the alienating parent considerable additional time to proceed with the alienation. By the time all of the evaluations are in place and the case is heard by the court, considerable damage has been done to the child. It is an irony that the very people we turn to for help in such a difficult situation can often be those who most contribute to allowing the on-going abuse and neglect of the child to continue. What can be done about the problem? First, it takes a sophisticated mental health professional to be able to identify that parental alienation is occurring. Most forensic evaluators such as psychiatrists and clinical psychologists have studied the underlying disorders and are able to recognize them.

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