In high-conflicting and “winner-takes-all” custody battle, the existence of parental alienation is often unavoidable. As a matter of fact, the American Psychological Association (APA) has finally recognized and confirmed its prevalence as a form of psychological or emotional child abuse.
Based on the news release APA sent to Parent Herald, the organization has “no official position” on the existence of parental alienation as stated on its official APA policy in 2008. But APA changed its take on the issue after a 2016 petition titled, “New APA Position Statement: Some children are manipulated into rejecting a parent” ignited a review of the organization’s 2008 policy.
With that said, APA CEO Dr. Cynthia D. Belar stressed that the organization has received several messages about parental alienation this October. Belar also vowed to seek the best solutions to address the increasing concerns about this psychological phenomenon that could damage a parent-child relationship.
“These events bound what direction the APA can take with its policy on parental alienation,” APA analyst Pamela Roche said. “Future APA policy can neither deny the existence of parental alienation nor deny that it is child abuse, without contradicting published APA material.”