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Howie Dennison
Advocate for Children
Advocate for Children

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The APA should take a stand against parental alienation because:

1. APA documents reveal the parental alienation is child abuse

2. An APA document and related documents reveal that mental health professionals are commonly complicit in child abuse, because of “common false beliefs about parental alienation”

3. An APA document calls child abuse a “National Emergency” and defines the APA’s preventative role as the “dissemination of psychological knowledge about child abuse and neglect to the public”

4. The American Academy of Pediatricians published a clinical report in one of its journals that confirms that parental alienation exists

5. Parental Alienation is in DSM-5, according to the authors of DSM-5

For more details, see:
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Parental Alienation is indeed in DSM-5, per the authors of DSM-5. For many more details, see
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These voices meed to be heard.
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"For the Love of Eryk". Police say that parent shot child to avoid a court ordered custody handover
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Family court judge says talks about the delusional nature of severe alienators, saying "Most of the time, the parents believe the abuse happens, whether or not that belief is factually based or not is something different," Keller said.

That is what Dr. Millon describes as "decompensation into persecutory beliefs."

The judge also says "The court has to take it seriously because in the very rare instance that it is true." Yes, sober judgement is needed.

"[False allegations] are the nuclear bomb of family court." "Most alienated parents cannot afford the fight."

I think what most people do not realize is that in severe parental alienation, their is psychological abuse. The 2014 APA press release says that "child psychological abuse [is] as harmful as sexual abuse".
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This is uncannily true.
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As is often true with other forms of child abuse, the child victims of parental alienation are not are not aware that they are being mistreated and often cling vehemently to the favored parent, even when that parent's behavior is harmful to them.
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As reported by the Parent Herald:

Parents Protest Child Psychological Abuse at the American Psychological Association (Washington, DC)

On Thursday, August 4, 2016, parents will be protesting at the headquarters of the American Psychological Association (APA) to highlight the contributions that psychotherapists make to child abuse. The protesting parents include members of two organizations, Truth Exposed and Parents United.

For example, Michael Allen of Phoenix, Arizona, wrote to the APA to say, "When I asked my wife for a divorce, she fled the state with our two children. She used therapy as a way to attempt to manufacture evidence, and I believe the therapist did not understand what was really happening."

Craig Childress, PsyD, a clinical psychologist, said, "The mental health response to the family pathology created by narcissistic and borderline personality parents is marked by rampant and clear professional incompetence, yet the APA remains silent to the pleas of loving parents for professional competence."
A second parent who spoke on condition of anonymity said, "My spouse was trying to take our children out of my life by making endless complaints about me to multiple therapists. They each initially missed the diagnosis, incorrectly thinking I must have caused our children to reject me. Later they admitted their diagnostic error, but the delay harmed our children."

A third parent wrote wrote to the APA to say, "Psychologists said divorce was my only option to stop the psychological abuse of my children, but because the court-appointed psychologists then missed the obvious diagnosis, they enabled child abuse, since the children are now alone with the psychologically abusive parent."

Over one hundred parents wrote similar letters telling their stories of incorrect diagnosis. Thousands of parents signed a petition asking for the APA to acknowledge the problem and improve the quality of training and expertise among its members with respect to the form of child abuse often called parental alienation, but this has not happened. Studies have shown that large numbers of parents are unhappy with how psychotherapists have handled their case.

In January 2014, Steven Miller, MD, an expert in clinical reasoning and a specialist in alienation and estrangement, testified in front of a legislative task force that was investigating the family court system. Among other things, he pointed out that "this field is highly counter-intuitive to anyone who does not have extensive training and experience dealing with it . . . most people will usually get it wrong."

In summary, Thursday's protest will highlight the widespread impression among parents that the average therapist simply is not competent to diagnose or treat the type of child abuse often called parental alienation.
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Top 15 Things Targeted Parents Need to Know About Attachment-Based Parental Alienation (AB-PA) J. Hofer & C.A. Childress, 2016

1. The only thing Attachment-Base Parental Alienation (AB-PA) has in common with "Parental Alienation Syndrome" (PAS) are the words "Parental Alienation”.

2. AB-PA answers the question "what is the scientifically based psychology behind parental alienation?"

3. AB-PA is not a theory; it is composed entirely of established and accepted peer-reviewed psychological literature. The application of standard and fully accepted psychological constructs and principles to a set of symptoms is called “diagnosis.”

4. AB-PA does not describe a mental illness; it describes a specific set of symptoms in a child which will lead a psychologist to a clinical DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

5. AB-PA describes a form of pathogenic parenting, which is a clinical term for parenting behavior that is so aberrant and distorted that it creates psychopathology in a child.

6. AB-PA cannot be rejected by the mental health system because it is entirely drawn from their work.

7. AB-PA provides psychologists with a set of three clinical diagnostic indicators (symptoms) which must all be present in the child.

8. AB-PA is based entirely on the symptoms being displayed by the child; no other person needs to be clinically assessed for symptoms.

9. AB-PA shows how the three symptoms are each evidence of a different psycho-pathology being created in the child.

10. AB-PA describes how the combination of these three psychopathologies can only be created in a child through pathogenic parenting.

11. AB-PA can reliably and consistently make the distinction between 'oppositional defiant' children and ‘alienated children.’

12. AB-PA can reliably and consistently make the distinction between authentic child abuse and false allegations of abuse made by a child who is being influenced by pathogenic parenting.

13. AB-PA cannot be misused by an abusive parent to trick the court system into giving them custody.

14. AB-PA can be used by your child's psychologist today. A confirmed DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse will activate the psychologist’s 'duty to protect' and require them to report the abuse to child protective services.

15. AB-PA gives targeted parents the power to hold psychologists accountable for standards of professional competence in assessments, diagnosis, and treatment.
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Training Material for Attorneys for Parental Alienation:

There are countless stories of legal outcomes where the alienator outmaneuvered the erased parent, where the child was sent to reunification therapy that was utterly ineffective, and where the attorney representing the erased parent did not understand parental alienation. Due to new training materials, these stories need not be as common.
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