There is disagreement in the PA ‘community’ as to what PA actually is. There are two schools of thought:
1 PA is a vicious, criminal attempt by one parent to effectively remove the other parent from the child’s life, and to remove that child from the other parent’s life. This involves a campaign of coercion and brainwashing the child to hate or fear the other parent. All agree that this is Parental Alienation. The alienator invariably has a ‘cluster B’ type personality – narcissism, or something similar. With this kind of alienation, the alienator cannot be treated. He or she cannot be educated or reasoned with. In my view this is Parental Alienation ‘proper’.
2 PA can be done ‘negligently’ or without thought or malice. This is sometimes called ‘hybrid’ alienation. The ‘alienator’ can be taught to be more careful with their language. This is not, in my view, PA. This kind of ‘alienator’ is merely thoughtless, not malicious. It is a problem, though, and does need to be remedied, and many of the solutions you will find here are useful for both types.
I am only concerned with type 1 Alienation.
Parental Alienation ‘Syndrome’
There is much discussion as to whether PA is a ‘syndrome’. We do not need to worry about this. It matters nothing that it is. Or is not. All labels are unhelpful whilst the courts do not accept the existence of anything called ‘Parental Alienation’. As Craig Childress has suggested ‘Let’s just call it Bob’. Who cares what it’s called?! All we care about is that APs obstruct contact and poison our children against us. And we need to do something about that – well, the courts do. Until judges ‘get with the programme’ we will hear more comments like this from one of our survey-respondents:
“Amazing report that was dead on accurate: took 19 hours of interviewing and 8 psychometric tests of both parents, child and grandparents on each side. Diagnosis V995.51 (child abuse) and v61.29. Alienator showed in test to get MAXIMUM score on narcissism test. 220 page report from the psychiatrist and….Judge said PA was an American thing and the report was waffle!”