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Parental Alienation Awarness Organization

Parental Alienation
Awareness Organization


(PAAO)


founders of Parental Alienation Awareness Day, April 25th





























THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME
Part 1

by

This is the first of a three-part series, which begins by reviewing the work of Gardner and others on Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), integrating the concept of PAS with research on high conflict divorce and related literature. In 1985, Gardner coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome to describe a distinctive family response to divorce in which the child becomes aligned with one parent and preoccupied with unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other, target parent. The phenomenon was widely observed and independently reported by other legal and mental professionals, though some contributors used different terminology, such as "Medea syndrome," "overburdened child," or simply "parental alienation." In severe cases, the child's once love-bonded relationship with the rejected/target parent is destroyed. Expert testimony on Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in legal proceedings has sparked debate. The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome seeks to shed light on this debate by pulling together what is known in Parts I and II, and presenting research based information on interventions for interrupting alienation in Part III.

Part I includes a discussion of important social changes in the treatment of divorce and custody which have contributed to the rise of the PAS phenomenon, and the controversy about how PAS should be viewed. The latter half of Part I is devoted to parents who induce alienation. This section begins with a discussion of gender, a controversial issue since the majority of alienating parents appear to be mothers, according to many different contributors. This is followed by an examination of the motives, behavior and psychological characteristics of alienating parents, as well as special strategies for achieving alienation such as false allegations of abuse, parental abduction, and manipulation of the child's medical care to block visitation. Part II contains sections devoted to the child in PAS, issues involving the target/alienated parent, the contribution of third parties to the alienation agenda, and PAS in the legal arena. Part III presents the results of a follow-up study, which examines the efficacy of various structural and therapeutic interventions for interrupting alienation.



Deirdre Conway Rand, Ph.D., is a forensic psychologist who specializes in complex forms of psychological abuse, including Munchausen by Proxy and Parental Alienation Syndrome. She and her husband, Randy Rand, Ed.D., conduct brief, intensive interventions for successfully reuniting severely alienated and abducted children with the target/left behind parent.



Reference for Part I:



Rand, D.C. (1997a). The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome Part I. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 15(3), 23-52.







THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PART II)



Deirdre Conway Rand, Ph.D.



Spectrum Part II begins with a discussion of the child in PAS, addressing such topics as the child's alignment and enmeshed relationship with the alienating parent, developmental issues which may affect alienation and visitation refusal, the child's active contributions to the PAS, and PAS as a form of psychological maltreatment. This is followed by a section on the target/alienated parent in PAS. Since the target parent is commonly found to be the father, gender issues are discussed here, too. Topics such as the struggle for paternal identity and the emotional impact of involuntary child absence on fathers are explored, along with factors at the time of separation which put both mothers and fathers at risk for becoming a target parent. The special problems faced by target parents falsely accused of abuse are also discussed. Target parent behaviors which may contribute to alienation, or help mitigate it, are outlined. The next section focuses on the potential contribution of third parties who become involved, such as extended family, new partners, therapists, child protection workers, and even cults. Like the alienating parent, these individuals may be an important source of social influence on the child, thus an overview is provided of the research showing how children's behavior can be shaped by leading and suggestive questions, repeated interviews, and interviewer bias. The remainder of Part II is devoted to PAS in the legal arena, where much of the controversy over PAS originates. Opinions on several important questions are discussed. Should PAS testimony be admissible in court? Do judges give to much weight to expert testimony in making rulings about custody, visitation, or criminal misconduct? Do psychological experts have a constructive role to play in educating the court about PAS as an alternative hypothesis to explain a child's vehement rejection of a once loved parent? Custody evaluators emphasize the need for careful forensic evaluation in these complex cases. cases. Judges recommend hearing and evaluating the evidence to determine whether there is a specific match with PAS testimony.



Deirdre Conway Rand, Ph.D., is a forensic psychologist who specializes in complex forms of psychological abuse, including Munchausen by Proxy and Parental Alienation Syndrome. She and her husband, Randy Rand, Ed.D., conduct brief, intensive interventions for successfully reuniting severely alienated and abducted children with the target/left behind parent.



Reference for Part II:



Rand, D.C. (1997b). The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome Part II. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 15(4), 39-92.





THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME PART III:

THE KOPETSKI FOLLOW-UP STUDY



Deirdre Rand, PhD., Randy Rand, Ed.D., Leona Kopetski, M.S.S.W.



Spectrum Part III presents the findings of a follow-up study designed to evaluate the efficacy of various structural and therapeutic interventions for interrupting Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) towards the severe end of the spectrum. Follow-up was obtained on 45 PAS children from a custody evaluator's practice. Based on the information obtained at follow-up, children were divided into one of three outcome groups: Interrupted Alienation; Mixed Outcome; and Completed Alienation. For each group, the evaluator's recommendations and/or the court's orders regarding custody, visitation, and therapy were analyzed, and the child's adjustment and relationship with both parents at evaluation and follow-up were compared. Children in target parent custody post-evaluation had relationships with both parents at follow-up, unless the alienating parent was too disturbed. Children who had enforced visitation with the target parent usually maintained relationships with both parents as well, and sometimes chose to live with the target parent when they were older. In addition, successfully interrupting alienation usually involved setting limits on the alienating parent's behavior and following through with consequences for non-compliance with court orders. Children in the Completed Alienation Outcome Group were in the custody of the alienating parent both before and after the evaluation, even if that was contrary to the evaluator's recommendation. Alienating parents in Completed group were able to block visitation and violate court orders with impunity. Orders for therapy and gradually increased visitation as the primary intervention were ineffective for interrupting alienation and sometimes made things worse.

Deirdre Conway Rand, Ph.D., is a forensic psychologist who specializes in complex forms of psychological abuse, including Munchausen by Proxy and Parental Alienation Syndrome. She and her husband, Randy Rand, Ed.D., conduct brief, intensive interventions for successfully reuniting severely alienated and abducted children with the target/left behind parent.

Randy Rand, Ed.D., is the test developer of Behavioral Personnel Assessment Devices, a pre employment video test used by public safety departments throughout the United States and Canada. He has developed a brief, intensive intervention for successfully reuniting severely alienated and abducted children with the target/left behind parent, and works with the National Center for Missing Children.

Leona M. Kopetski, M.S.S.W., was the founder of a private clinic for divorced families in Colorado. The team model she developed for custody evaluations became the standard for the state. The early alienation cases she encountered in the 1970ís led her to create her own body of work on parental alienation, as well as a paradigm for helping children maintain relationships with both parents.


Reference for Part III:

Rand, D., Rand, R., and Kopetski, L. (2005). The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome Part III: The Kopetski Follow-up Study. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 23(1): 15-43.

__________________________________________

To order full text copies of The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome Parts I, II, and III, please visit http://www.forensicpsychology.org/AZ.htm




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Dear Members & Supporters

Please be aware that there is another organization based in the US that has a similar logo and name to ours (Parental Alienation Awareness Organization).

PAAO has no affiliations or links to this organization. Any donations, purchases, memberships or contacts made through sources other than paawareness.org and it's newsletter will not be available to PAAO.

We apologize for the mass confusion this other organization appears to be causing out there. We are doing our best to reason with them, in the meantime, please be aware that all PAAO communications will come from the paawareness.org domain ONLY.

Please also note PAAO does not have any chapters. We are about children, education and awareness. We do not have support groups or chapters.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at info@paawareness.com

Sincerely,
PAAO Board of Directors


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