Severe Cases of the Parental Alienation Syndrome.The mothers of these children are often fanatic. They will use every maneuver at their disposal (legal and illegal) to obstruct visitation. They are obsessed with hatred of their husbands. In many cases, they are paranoid. Sometimes the paranoid thoughts and feelings about the husband are focused on him alone; in other cases, this paranoia is just one example of many types of paranoid thinking. Often the paranoia did not exhibit itself before the breakup of the marriage and is a manifestation of the psychiatric disintegration that often results from protracted divorce (especially custody) disputes.(2) Central to the paranoid mechanism is projection. These mothers see in their husbands many objectionable characteristics that actually exist within themselves characteristics that they do not wish to recognize. By projecting these unacceptable qualities onto their husbands, they can consider themselves innocent victims. When a sex-abuse accusation becomes incorporated into the package, such mothers may be projecting their own sexual inclinations onto the father. (3 6, 7) In the service of this goal they exaggerate and distort any comment the child makes that might justify the allegation. And this is not difficult to do because children normally will entertain sexual fantasies, often of the most bizarre form. I agree with Freud (8) that children are “polymorphous perverse,” and they thereby provide these mothers with an ample supply of material to serve as nuclei for their projections and accusations.Such mothers do not respond to logic, confrontations with reality, or appeals to reason. They will readily believe the most preposterous scenarios provided by or elicited from their children. Experienced and skilled mental health examiners – who claim that there is no evidence for the accusation are dismissed as being against them or as being bribed by the husband. And this is typical of paranoid thinking: it does not respond to logic, and any confrontation that might shake the system is rationalized into the paranoid scenario. Even a court decision that there is absolutely no evidence that the father is guilty of sex abuse does not alter her beliefs nor reduce her commitment to deprecation of the father. Energizing the rage is the “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” phenomenon.The children of these mothers are similarly fanatic. They often share her paranoid fantasies about the father. They may become panic-stricken over the prospect of visiting their father. Their blood-curdling shrieks, panicked states, and hostility may be so severe that visitation may seem impossible. If placed in the father’s home they may run away, become paralyzed with morbid fear, or be so destructive that removal becomes necessary. Unlike children in the moderate and mild categories, their panic and hostility may not be reduced quickly in the father’s home. However, there are children in this category whose state of agitated rage against the father will become reduced if required (especially by court order) to remain in their father’s home over an ongoing period.Regarding the therapeutic approaches in this category, traditional therapy for the mother is most often not possible. Usually, she has absolutely no insight into her deep-seated psychiatric problems and is thereby totally unreceptive to treatment. Often, she will consider therapists and other evaluators who believe that her delusions are not warranted to be joining in with her husband. These examiners thereby become incorporated into the paranoid system. A court order that she enter into treatment is futile. Judges are sometimes naive with regard to their belief that one can order a person into treatment. Most judges appreciate that they cannot order a frigid wife to have an orgasm or an impotent husband to have an erection. Yet, they somehow believe that one can order someone to have conviction for and commitment to therapy. Accordingly, the court does well not to order such treatment because it will only make a mockery of therapy.
Source: THREE TYPES OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME
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