Another horror report by Linda Gottlieb.


Just a Few Case Examples Documenting How the PAS is Unquestionably Child Abuse


Case 1) I was contacted for the second time by a father in the middle of a high conflict divorce. He and his wife had been in treatment with me a year prior, presumably to mitigate the marital stress affecting their three children ages 12, 15 and 17. It quickly became apparent that the mother was engaging in alienating behaviors. She showed the children “the papers” in which she had claimed preposterous, malicious allegations against the father such as having had an affair when she was actually having an affair and squandering the marital assets when the family home was the only asset, thusly accusing the father of robbing their children's college funds. And suddenly, without any prior allegations during a 20 year marriage, the father was being accused in "the papers" of having been "too seductive" with the girls when they were younger and having been physically abusive to his wife. When the couple had originally contacted me for therapy , they were primarily concerned about their 17-year-old daughter, who was enmeshed with her mother and was being used by her mother as her confident to complain about the father and as her therapist to assuage the mother’s over-wrought emotions. I resigned as the therapist when the mother refused to relinquish her alienating behaviors. During the father's most recent contact with me, he informed that the girl subsequently failed her first year of college. But the recent phone call was in reference to their 15-year-old daughter, who had been hospitalized for a suicide attempt and was unresponsive to every anti-depressant and anti-psychotic regime she had undergone, (not a surprise to me on either account.) Exhausting all less intrusive options, the psychiatrist recommended electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and the father was inquiring my opinion about that recommendation. My chagrin about these developments cannot be put into words. What do I think about ECT? Do you give insulin to someone who does not have diabetes? Do you prescribe lithium for an earache? Do you f----up a child, making the child a guinea pig with experimental and risky procedures when it is a parent who is the incorrigible and relentless source of the child’s emotional distress? And just for good measure, the 12-year-old became morbidly obese. Was doing so the girl’s way of warding off relationships, which she experienced as being perilous because her mother was modeling that men abuse and take advantage of women? Tell me the children's symptoms are not being created and maintained by a dysfunctional family dynamic known as the PAS.


Case 2) I was contacted by a young woman in her early 20s whom I had treated when she was 14. At that time, her father was incarcerated due to check fraud, and her mother was concerned about the girl's subsequent acting out behaviors. She was breaking curfew and disappearing on weekends. What prompted her current phone call to me was that she had become agoraphobic, being unable to leave the house unless accompanied by her mother. I was surprised at the dramatic reversal in her behavior to the other extreme. I inquired as to what was occurring between her parents. She stated that her parents had divorced, and her mother regularly conveyed anger and resentment to her whenever she wished to visit her father. Her mother expressed to her that her father could not have cared about her, otherwise he would not have committed his "capricious, thoughtless, and selfish behaviors" that warranted his incarceration. Her mother made her feel guilty every time she arranged to visit with her father. The girl's agoraphobia resolved the double bind in which the girl had found herself so that she need not consciously chose one parent over the other.


Case 3) A four year old boy witnessed his father's repeated verbal and physical abuse of his mother until she decided to leave the father. She encouraged frequent visits and contact between the boy and his father, but each time the boy returned to her he was verbally and physically abusive to her. He was suspended from school multiple times by the age of 9. By the age of 12, he had taken a knife to her throat on two occasions. After interminable court battles involving several therapists, child protective caseworkers, forensic evaluators, lawyers for the child, and a plethora of judges, the father was astoundingly awarded sole custody: after all, the boy had expressed his desire to live with his father----and, of course, professionals credit brainwashed minor children to know what is in their best interests! The father promptly prohibited any contact between his son and his mother. Today, at age 19, he is a walking advertisement for everything wrong with our adversarial approach to child custody and the detrimental effects on children of the PAS: the boy failed out and then dropped out of school at the age of 15; he used and sold drugs; he engaged in physical altercations with his father (a cautionary note to all alienators: when you teach a child to disrespect authority, it will come around to bite you as well;) and he several times "graduated" from the juvenile justice system. What future life has the PAS----facilitated by the professionals who intervene in child
custody----presented to this child?


Case 4) Three teenagers, for whom I was providing reunification therapy between them and their alienated father, cheered each time their father sobbed about how much it hurts to have lost any kind of relationship with them. Mimicking their mother's fallacious abuse allegations, they snapped at him in session, “You should have thought about the consequences before you abused us and mom," and "You got what you deserved." Without acknowledging in the slightest that their behavior was indefensible, they kicked their father in the groin, punched him in the head, threw water on him, spit at him, and slapped him in the face. They were trying to pummel him as seriously as if he were a punching bag. Having learned proficiently from their mother, they had the audacity to call the police to have him arrested on the spurious claims that he had abused them during visits! I was incredulous at the ever-escalating level of cruelty, which they displayed towards him and at the pleasure they took in the pain that they had caused him. Their alienating mother's failure to constrain their escalating abusive behaviors resulted in the following outcomes: one teen was expelled from school for assaulting a teacher and endured several psychiatric placements; the second was placed in foster care after he had become unmanageable at home. And the third teen, a girl, became sexually active by the age of 14, and one incident included a rape. (She was looking for love in all the wrong places because a girl's important first male love----upon whom she must practice about how to relate to the opposite gender----had been eradicated from her life.)


Case 5) An alienating father of a girl age 16 and a boy age 18 had been physically abusive to their mother throughout the marriage. He had no compunction about modeling this behavior for his children. Showing little interest in his daughter, he concentrated on destroying the relationship between his son and his wife. Mimicking his father, the boy promptly accused his mother of "taking my father to the cleaners," "deserving to be beaten because you are a nag," and "being a crazy, cunt mother.” He cautioned her not to plan on a two-bedroom apartment as “my sister will soon be joining dad and me." The boy, himself, physically abused his mother by hitting her in the head with a book, punching her in the stomach, and attempting to choke her. I will give the reader one guess how the boy treated every one of his girlfriends because of how he witnessed his alienating father maltreating his mother.