Psychologists and other mental health counselors employed or assigned by family courts have the power to affect the lives of parents and children for better or worse. One such way they overstep their boundaries is
through Parent Alienation Syndrome (PAS). PAS is an alleged (and thoroughly discredited) “mental disorder” applied to one parent in a divorce-custody matter by the opposing party’s psychological expert in the following manner: “The child(ren) are fearful of or angry at Parent B (my client). It appears that Parent A has been telling the child(ren) negative things about my client in an effort to make the child(ren) fear my client, refuse visitation with him, etc. These efforts are proof that Parent A has PAS and so should not have custody of the child(ren).”
Use of this “diagnosis” sometimes obscures the fact that there may be documented reasons or logical foundations for the child(ren)’s fears or the parent’s concern, such as actual sexual abuse, domestic violence or the opposing parent’s criminal record.
Attorney Andrew J. Thompson is this week’s Watchdog Radio show guest and he discusses the overreach of therapists in custody cases.