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CR66 - Ten Parental Alienation Fallacies That Compromise Decisions in Court and in Therapy

This article is not for sale. It is included as a bonus gift in the Parental Alienation Bundles CR62, CR63, and CR64.

This article examines ten false beliefs about the genesis of parental alienation and about appropriate remedies that result in opinions and decisions that fail to meet children’s needs. The ten mistaken assumptions are:

(a) children never unreasonably reject the parent with whom they spend the most time,
(b) children never unreasonably reject mothers,
(c) each parent contributes equally to a child’s alienation,
(d) alienation is a child’s transient, short-lived response to the parents’ separation,
(e) rejecting a parent is a short-term healthy coping mechanism,
(f) young children living with an alienating parent need no intervention,
(g) alienated adolescents’ stated preferences should dominate custody decisions,
(h) children who appear to function well outside the family need no intervention,
(i) severely alienated children are best treated with traditional therapy techniques while living primarily with their favored parent, and
(j) separating children from an alienating parent is traumatic.

Reliance on false beliefs compromises investigations and undermines adequate consideration of alternative explanations for the causes of a child’s alienation. Most critical, fallacies about parental alienation shortchange children and parents by supporting outcomes that fail to provide effective relief to those who experience this problem.

Because of copyright restrictions, we do not sell the published version of the article. But we have purchased a quantity of reprints that will be included as a bonus gift in the Parental Alienation Bundles for as long as our supply lasts or for as long as we can obtain additional reprints. See CR62, CR63, and CR64.

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