In addition to making this special issue of the APSAC Advisor open access, APSAC is providing links to two recent journal issues focused on “Parental Alienation” (PA) (Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law and Family Court Review). These journals present additional information relevant the ongoing controversy surrounding PA theory.
Last year, APSAC learned that some professionals were recommending use of APSAC’s Psychological Maltreatment Guidelines to support PA claims in court. To clarify APSAC’s position, the following statement was added to APSAC’s latest Psychological Maltreatment (PM) Guidelines and other PM publications:
“Statement of Caution Regarding Use of APSAC Publications: It is negligent, even reckless for a judge, attorney, guardian, counselor or other professional to cite or otherwise mischaracterize this or any APSAC publication on psychological maltreatment as endorsing or even lending credence to a diagnosis or finding of “parental alienation.” To find that a parent has committed psychological abuse of a child in an effort to interfere with that child’s relationship with the other parent requires direct evidence of the parent’s behavior such as significant denigration, efforts to undermine the relationship of that child with the other parent and/or, efforts to get the child to make false allegations of abuse or other extremely damaging behavior by the other parent. A child’s avoidance of a parent is not sufficient evidence of psychological abuse by either parent. Professionals seeking guidance on these issues may, as a starting point, wish to review APSAC’s 2016 Position Statement on “Allegations of Child Maltreatment and Intimate Partner Violence in Divorce/Parental Relationship Dissolution” and other relevant publications.”