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William BernetM.D.
​​Professor Emeritus Vanderbilt University 
Nashville, Tennessee USA


Glenn Ross Caddy Ph.D., ABPP, FAPA
Clinical, Health & Forensic Psychologist
Florida, USA


Bruno A Cayoun, DPsych, MAPS

Clinical Psychologist

Tasmania, AUST

 

Nick Child, MB, ChB, MPhil, MRCPsych, UKCP 
Registered Psychotherapist
Retired Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist & Family Therapist
Edinburgh, UK

 

Dr Craig Childress, Psy.D

Clinical Psychologist & Author of "An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation: Foundations"

California, USA


Les Linet, M.D.
Child & Adult Psychiatrist
USA


Dr Margaret Cherubino, BPsych, MPsych, MAPS

​Clinical & Forensic Psychologist

Perth, AUST


John E Dunne, M.D.
Child psychiatrist & co-author of Washington State’s Parenting Act, 1987
USA


Daniel Gottlieb, Psy.D.
Director of Clinic Services
Shinui Institute, Israel


Mandy MatthewsonPhD, BSc (Hons), MAPS

​​Clinical Psychologist, University of Tasmania

Hobart, Tasmania AUST

 

Dr Dietmar Payrhuber
Salzburg, Austria

Abe Worenklein,PhD 
Canada



"Professionals in relevant disciplines

(psychologists, psychiatrists, family lawyers)"

(List of Signatories Below)

Joan T. Kloth-Zanard, GAL, RSS, ABI & LC
Executive Director & Founder, PASIntervention
USA

Kay A. Johnson
Executive Director
National Alliance For Targeted Parents
USA

Christine Palatine Hausfeld
Member, Parental Alienation Study Group
USA

Catherine MacWillie
CEO and Founder Custody Calculations
Child Custody and Divorce Coach
USA


Amanda Sillars, Child of Alienation, Alienated Parent & Reunited Parent

Director & Founder of Eeny Meeny Miney Mo Foundation

Brisbane, AUST

List of Signatories

2016 POSITION STATEMENT

Brian Ludmer, BComm, LLB

​Lawyer specialised in Parental Alienation Co-Author of "High Conflict Custody Battle"

Toronto, CANADA


Professor Augusto Zimmerman, LLB, LLM, PhD
Law Reform Commissioner (WA) & Research Director Murdoch Law School
Perth, AUST

We, the undersigned, state that:

1)      Children are particularly vulnerable to undue influence and coercive control. In some situations, they can be psychologically manipulated into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or animosity towards a parent and/or other family members;

2)      Children in divided families - especially where separated parents are involved in legal action or Family Court proceedings - are particularly and frequently vulnerable to extreme levels of such control and manipulation;

3)      This is a distinctive form of psychological child abuse and family violence, as defined by legislation in many countries
(1) and by internationally recognized mental health publications (2);

4)      This variety of child abuse is extremely harmful to children; its impact is often life-long and as serious as other, more familiar forms of child abuse; it may cause a serious, mental and long-term disorder in the child and lead to increased lifetime risks of mental and physical illness
(3);

5)      The behaviour of children experiencing this form of Psychological Child Abuse is distinct and consistent; specialists can distinguish it reliably and diagnostically from the behaviour of a child who justifiably rejects, or has been physically abused or mistreated by, a parent;

6)      Many professionals, however, are unfamiliar with this phenomenon and with its signs, symptoms and treatment; specialised knowledge and experience is required to assess its possible occurrence, especially since both the child and the perpetrator may present as genuine and convincing, and the perpetrator may even be unaware that he/she is abusing his/her own child;

7)      Where this abuse is suspected or identified, this becomes a child welfare & protection issue of the utmost urgency. Early intervention is best to minimise the risk of long-term psychological damage to the child. The most effective response, in many cases, is to remove a child temporarily from the abusive parent;

8)      Considerable scientific research shows that, in a large majority of separated families, it is best for children to spend significant amounts of time, and have meaningful relationships, with both of their parents. The occurrence of this psychological abuse therefore undermines what is best for a child.



(1) e.g. Australia’s Family Law Act 1975: definitions of “Child Abuse” (Section 4(1) (c): “causing the child to suffer serious psychological harm”); and “Family Violence” (Section 4AB: “violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family (the family member), or causes the family member to be fearful”);
(2)DSM-5 of the American Psychiatric Association, including but not limited to 995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, V61.20 Parent-Child Relational Problem & V61.29 Child Affected by Parental Relationship Distress;
(3) Adverse Child Experience (ACE Study) - The CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations of childhood abuse and neglect and later-life health and well-being.