Role of the Psychologist

Parental Alienation

If the initial interventions of the attorney do not turn the family to a more constructive route, the next step is to involve a mental health professional who is familiar with divorce, custody assessment, and PAS in a family assessment. It is crucial that the attorneys collaborate on the choice of a professional and that efforts be made to avoid bringing in hired guns for each side of the issue. The psychologist must look first to identify whether the case truly is PAS, since in some families, the rejection of a parent by a child is not the result of PAS. The evaluation must go beyond the identification of PAS to the motives of all of the family members, the defense factors or functions of PAS in the family, the specific techniques employed, and the patterns involved.

There are several reasons for so thorough an evaluation. First, progress will not…

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