Parental Alienation: How to Understand and Address Parental Alienation Resulting from Acrimonious Divorce or Separation
Ludwig F Lowenstein,
Russell House Publishing
Dr Ludwig Lowenstein is a forensic psychologist and has written this campaigning book to promote the acceptance of parental alienation syndrome (PAS), writes Sarah Welsh.
PAS was originally defined by Dr Richard A Gardener as: “A childhood disorder that arises almost exclusively in the context of child custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a good, loving parent [the alienated parent]…It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent.”
PAS is not recognised by British and American psychological associations or judicial systems. As an expert witness in custody court cases, Lowenstein believes legal and professional recognition of PAS will strengthen the cases of those alienated parents seeking contact if necessary with the threat of the removal of the child from the “brainwashing” parent, and possible imprisonment for that parent if they do not comply with contact arrangements.
Mediation during marital difficulties and separation are recommended as first steps in dealing with PAS.
The book is aimed at parents, mediators, psychiatric, psychology and the judicial professions. It uses research and case studies to argue for recognition for PAS and to demonstrate the techniques used in mediation and psychological assessment of parents and child, some of which I would question. But there is an unnecessary overlap between parts of the book.