Q & A – What is Child Psychological Abuse in the DSM?

The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) includes a category of disorders called “V-codes,” which are used to indicate conditions or factors that are not considered mental disorders but may have an impact on the individual’s mental health.

One of the V-codes in the DSM-5 is V995.51, which refers to “child psychological abuse, confirmed.” This code is used to indicate that a child has been subjected to psychological abuse, which can include a wide range of behaviors such as emotional neglect, verbal abuse, excessive criticism, and other forms of psychological trauma.

It’s important to note that the DSM-5 does not provide a specific diagnosis for child psychological abuse, but rather includes this V-code as a way to acknowledge the impact of this type of abuse on a child’s mental health. The DSM-5 emphasizes the need for clinicians to carefully evaluate and document the impact of psychological abuse on a child’s development and to provide appropriate interventions to address the child’s needs.

Q & Q – How would you describe a psychologically abusive parent?

A psychologically abusive parent is a parent who engages in patterns of behavior that are harmful to their child’s emotional and psychological well-being. Psychological abuse can take many forms and can include:

  1. Verbal abuse: This involves the use of words to harm, insult, or belittle a child. Examples include yelling, name-calling, or mocking.
  2. Emotional neglect: This involves a failure to provide emotional support, affection, or attention to a child, leading to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and low self-esteem.
  3. Manipulation: This involves a parent using tactics such as guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or emotional blackmail to control their child’s behavior and emotions.
  4. Threats and intimidation: This involves a parent using threats or intimidation to instill fear in their child, often in an effort to control their behavior.
  5. Overprotection: This involves a parent restricting a child’s independence or preventing them from making their own decisions, leading to feelings of powerlessness and dependence.

The effects of psychological abuse can be long-lasting and can impact a child’s mental health, self-esteem, and ability to form healthy relationships. It is important to seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing psychological abuse from a parent or caregiver. Therapy and other forms of support can help individuals heal from the effects of abuse and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Q & A – What is “Thought Reform, Brainwashing and Perspecticide?”

“Perspecticide” is not a commonly used term and may refer to different things in different contexts. However, if you are referring to a technique commonly known as “brainwashing” or “thought reform,” it is a process of using various psychological and social manipulation tactics to control and manipulate an individual’s thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

This technique typically involves isolating the victim from their support systems and subjecting them to intense physical and emotional stress, along with a constant barrage of persuasive messages. The goal is to break down their existing beliefs and values and replace them with a new ideology or worldview that aligns with the agenda of the person or group performing the brainwashing.

Some common tactics used in brainwashing include creating a sense of dependency on the perpetrator, inducing guilt or shame, inducing fear, and limiting access to information that contradicts the new belief system. The victim may also be subjected to sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, or other forms of physical and psychological torture to weaken their resistance and make them more susceptible to manipulation.

It is important to note that brainwashing is considered a controversial and potentially unethical practice. It is often associated with cults, extremist groups, and authoritarian regimes, and can have lasting psychological effects on the victim, even after they have left the situation.

Q & A – What to look out for “Grooming Tactics”

Grooming refers to the process of building trust and emotional connection with a person in order to manipulate or exploit them. Grooming tactics can vary depending on the situation and the goals of the groomer, but some common examples include:

  1. Building trust: The groomer may use charm and flattery to build a trusting relationship with the victim. This may involve finding common interests or sharing personal information to create a false sense of intimacy.
  2. Isolating the victim: The groomer may isolate the victim from friends and family members, making them more dependent on the groomer for emotional support.
  3. Creating a power imbalance: The groomer may use their perceived authority or expertise to create a power imbalance, making the victim feel vulnerable and reliant on the groomer for guidance or protection.
  4. Gradual escalation: The groomer may start with small requests or favors and gradually escalate to more significant demands. This gradual escalation can make the victim feel like they owe the groomer something, making it more difficult for them to say no.
  5. Blaming the victim: If the victim expresses discomfort or resistance, the groomer may blame them for misunderstanding the situation or being overly sensitive. This can make the victim question their own perceptions and feel more vulnerable to further manipulation.
  6. Threatening or blackmailing: In some cases, the groomer may use threats or blackmail to coerce the victim into compliance. This can involve threatening to reveal embarrassing or incriminating information or using physical violence.

Examples of grooming can include but are not limited to:

  • Online grooming of minors for sexual exploitation, which may involve creating a fake profile and gaining the trust of the victim over time.
  • Grooming in abusive relationships, where the abuser may use a combination of emotional manipulation and physical violence to control the victim.
  • Grooming in cults, where the leader may use tactics such as love bombing and isolation to create a sense of dependence and control over the members.
  • Grooming for financial exploitation, where the groomer may use flattery and persuasion to gain access to the victim’s finances or property.

It’s important to note that grooming can occur in a variety of situations and that it is not always easy to recognize. If you suspect that you or someone you know may be experiencing grooming, it is important to seek help from a trusted authority figure or mental health professional.

Q & A – What is undue influence?

Undue influence is a legal term that refers to a situation in which one person exerts pressure or influence on another person in a way that overpowers their free will and ability to make independent decisions. If someone makes you do something that you did not want to do through undue influence, it could be considered a form of coercion.

Examples of undue influence could include situations where someone threatens you with physical harm or other negative consequences if you do not comply with their demands, or situations where someone uses their position of authority or trust to manipulate you into doing something against your will.

It’s important to note that the legal definition of undue influence can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific context of the situation. If you feel like you have been subjected to undue influence, you may want to speak with a lawyer or other legal professional for guidance on your rights and options.

Q & A – Can you please explain the Neurobiology of Child Abuse?

Child abuse is a serious and damaging experience that can have long-lasting effects on a child’s physical, emotional, and mental health. The neurobiology of child abuse refers to the changes that occur in a child’s brain and nervous system in response to abuse, and how these changes can affect the child’s development and behavior.

Research has shown that exposure to abuse and neglect can have a significant impact on the structure and function of a child’s brain. For example, chronic stress caused by abuse can lead to changes in the brain’s stress response system, including an increase in the hormone cortisol, which can cause damage to the hippocampus, a region of the brain that plays a key role in memory and learning.

Child abuse can also affect the development of the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain responsible for impulse control, decision-making, and emotional regulation. This can lead to difficulties in regulating emotions and behavior, which can manifest in a range of problems such as aggression, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

Research has also shown that child abuse can affect the development of the amygdala, a region of the brain responsible for processing emotions such as fear and anger. Children who have experienced abuse may have an overactive amygdala, which can lead to heightened feelings of fear and anxiety.

These changes in brain function can also have physical consequences, such as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other health problems later in life.

It is important to note that the effects of child abuse on the brain are not inevitable or irreversible. With the right support and interventions, children who have experienced abuse can recover and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Early intervention and prevention are key in mitigating the negative effects of child abuse on a child’s neurobiology and overall well-being.

Q & A – what is the best treatment for emotional abuse?

The best treatment for emotional abuse will depend on the individual and their specific situation. However, some common treatments and strategies that may be effective for emotional abuse include:

  1. Therapy: A mental health professional, such as a psychologist, counselor, or therapist, can work with the person who has experienced emotional abuse to identify the effects of the abuse and develop strategies for coping with those effects. Therapy can also help the person develop healthier relationships in the future.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group for survivors of emotional abuse can be helpful for those who feel isolated or misunderstood. Support groups can provide validation, encouragement, and a sense of community.
  3. Safety planning: If the emotional abuse is ongoing or has the potential to escalate to physical violence, it may be important to develop a safety plan. This may involve seeking help from a domestic violence shelter or hotline, informing trusted friends or family members, or taking other steps to protect oneself.
  4. Education: Learning about the dynamics of emotional abuse can be helpful in understanding and recognizing it. Educational resources may include books, articles, videos, or online courses.
  5. Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to address symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns that may result from emotional abuse.

It’s important to note that emotional abuse can have long-lasting effects, and it may take time and a combination of different treatments and strategies to heal. It’s always best to consult with a qualified mental health professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for your specific situation.

Q & A – What is Malicious Parent syndrome?

Malicious Parent Syndrome (MPS) is a term used to describe a pattern of behavior exhibited by a parent, usually during or after a contentious divorce or child custody battle, who uses their child as a weapon to hurt the other parent. MPS is not a recognized psychiatric disorder, but rather a behavior pattern that can be seen in individuals who exhibit high levels of anger, vindictiveness, and a desire for revenge.

Parents with MPS may attempt to turn their child against the other parent, engage in parental alienation, or use their child to gather information about the other parent. They may also interfere with the other parent’s court-ordered visitation, deny access to the child, or make false accusations of abuse or neglect.

MPS can have a serious negative impact on the child’s well-being, as it can cause emotional distress, confusion, and feelings of guilt and loyalty conflict. It is important for parents and professionals involved in custody and visitation disputes to be aware of the potential for MPS and take steps to prevent it from occurring.

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

Q & A – My childs behaviour has changed since staying with grandparent/s

If you have noticed a change in your child’s behavior since they began staying with their grandparents, it is important to try to identify the cause of the change. It may be helpful to talk with your child to see if they can provide any insight into what is going on.

There are many reasons why a child’s behavior may change when staying with their grandparents. For example, it could be due to a change in routine, a new environment, or simply missing their parents. Alternatively, there may be something more concerning going on, such as inappropriate or abusive behavior by the grandparents.

If you have concerns about your child’s behavior or the care they are receiving from their grandparents, it may be helpful to speak with a mental health professional or a family law attorney. They can help you evaluate the situation and determine the best course of action to ensure your child’s well-being.

It is important to take your child’s behavior seriously and to seek help if you are concerned about their welfare. With the right support and resources, you can help your child navigate any challenges they may be facing and ensure that they are safe and healthy.


©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023


Q & A – How can I prove Malicious parent syndrome?

It is important to note that “Malicious parent syndrome” is not a formally recognized psychiatric diagnosis and there is no specific test or checklist for proving that it exists. However, there are certain behaviors that may be indicative of this type of behavior, and these can be documented and presented as evidence in a legal or custody proceeding.

Some examples of behaviors that may be indicative of malicious parent syndrome include:

  1. Making false allegations of abuse or neglect against the other parent.
  2. Refusing to allow the child to have contact with the other parent or limiting that contact in an unreasonable or unfair way.
  3. Making negative comments about the other parent to the child or in front of the child, which can lead to the child having negative feelings toward the other parent.
  4. Attempting to control or manipulate the child’s emotions in order to create an alliance with them against the other parent.
  5. Engaging in behaviors that undermine the other parent’s authority or role in the child’s life, such as making unilateral decisions about the child’s upbringing without consulting the other parent.

If you believe that your co-parent is exhibiting malicious parent syndrome, you may want to consult with a family law attorney or mental health professional who is experienced in dealing with high-conflict custody disputes. They can help you document the behaviors and gather evidence to present in court, and may also be able to provide advice on how to protect yourself and your child from the negative effects of this behavior.

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

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