In Parental Alienation Syndrome, courts, attorneys, police, social workers, therapists, and friends often assume that what the presumably frightened alienating parent is saying is true. People may believe fabrications by the alienator because the kinds of abuse the alienator claims DO and are known to happen. There are, indeed, ex-spouses who are abusers and sexual molesters. The alienating parent can be very convincing with detailed, vivid stories. The clincher is that the alienated child corroborates the alienating parent’s version of how terrible the targeted parent is. Normal, decent, innocent bystanders often side with the alienating parent and want to protect a child in such a situation.
Unfortunately, many therapists don't realize the severity and depth of the problem. In fact, they may side with the alienating parent and even testify in court in favor of the alienating parent. Such surrogate alienators can do real damage.
Courts, social services and mental health workers are committed to stop child abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, in Parental Alienation Syndrome, dramatic allegations from the alienating parent are often acted upon without an investigation as to the accuracy of the complaint. Agencies may remove the targeted parent from the children and, in so doing, allow the alienating parent additional time to proceed with alienation.
By the time all of the evaluations are completed and the case is heard in court, considerable damage has been done to the child. Unfortunately, the people entrusted with protecting children may contribute to allowing the on-going abuse.

What can be done?
Courts need a sophisticated mental health professional to identify Parental Alienation Syndrome. The court needs to be convinced that the child is being alienated and that it is not in the best interest of the child to stay in such an environment.
It is rare however that judges have sophisticated mental health training. However, they could learn about Parental Alienation Syndrome from the bench and see how badly a child is being treated before they are willing to act.

How are PAS cases resolved legally?
Judges are inevitably conservative. Even when evidence is overwhelming that alienation is occurring, the court may still rule that the parents are to make joint decisions about the child's welfare even when it is impossible. These cases are frustrating for judges and among the hardest cases to decide.
Judges have also been slow to place serious sanctions on alienating parents. Without the threat of fines, jail time or granting sole custody to the targeted parent, why should the alienating parent stop?
Sometimes, alienating parents become desperate and their unstable mental health emerges. People in official positions may start to recognize what is happening and become supportive of the targeted parent.
Unfortunately, the most severe cases of abuse of a child's emotions will leave scars and lost opportunities for normal development. The child is also at risk of growing up and being an alienator, since the alienating parent has been the primary role model.

As an aid in understanding this difficult to comprehend and fascinating phenomenon, you may view my YouTube videos on the topic by visiting my website at

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Linet received his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is board certified in both adult and child psychiatry and has practiced for over 30 years. In the past, he held faculty positions as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell Medical College and also at the State University of New York, Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn. Dr. Linet completed his residency in psychiatry at the State University of New York, Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn, where he later also completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. Subsequently, Dr. Linet was in charge of medical student education in child psychiatry at the State University medical school and later worked as Medical and Psychiatric Director of a residential treatment center for severely disturbed children and adolescents. Dr. Linet is comfortable using psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. He has expertise treating anxiety, depression and disruptive/acting out behavior - whether caused by psychological problems, ADHD, bipolar or other mood disorders. He wrote "Bipolar Disorder without Mania" and "The Search for Stimulation: Understanding ADHD," links to which can be found at Dr. Linet appeared on television programs featuring OCD and Tourette Syndrome. Internet links to various of his webcasts can be found on He is one of approximately 2000 physicians with a federal waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for narcotic addiction. He also counsels families and patients in handling substance abuse.