Parental Alienation – Crazy Making Issues

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Ben Burgess, M.A., obtained his degree in psychology from Western Michigan University and is now a practicing psychologist with the Fountain Hill Center for Counseling and Consultation. Since 2006, his primary focus has been on providing services to individuals and families experiencing high-conflict divorce and separation. In addition to individual and family counseling, Ben provides comprehensive evaluations, such as custody and parenting time evaluations and parenting capacity evaluations, that help individuals, families, and courts make informed decisions. Through a variety of tools, including psychological testing, he helps people better understand their emotional landscape and identify strategies for negotiating obstacles.

He talks about Crazy Making Issues in Parental Alienation cases and false allegations of child abuse. Due to the numerous counter-intuitive issues arising in alienation cases, one profoundly deleterious result is “unwitting professional collusion with the alienating parent,” thereby exacerbating the alienation—often beyond repair. Non-specialists in alienation are particularly susceptible to becoming co-opted by the alienating parent, who presents well, while the alienated parent, who is a trauma victim, may present poorly. This problem cannot be overstated.

We have experienced all too many cases in which a mental health professional had contributed to “a climate of fear, hatred, and terror” that led to a substantial negative impact on the relationship between the child and alienated parent and supported the child’s “refusal and resistance to parenting time with good, loving, and safe parents.” The interview was filmed on location at the PASG 2019 International Conference (Parental Alienation Study Group) in Philadelphia, USA, in September 2019. The video is produced by Equal Parenting Rights Association, Iceland,