Oct 1, 2010
NEW YORK (AP) -- The American Psychiatric Association has a hot potato on its hands as it updates its catalog of mental disorders - whether to include parental alienation, a disputed term conveying how a child's relationship with one estranged parent can be poisoned by the other.
"We're gotten an enormous amount of mail - more than any other issue," said Dr. Darrel Regier, vice chair of the task force drafting the manual. "The passions on both sides of this are exceptional."
"There is not sufficient scientific evidence to warrant its inclusion in the DSM," Regier said in a statement.
In an interview, Regier - who directs the APA's research division - said the proposal technically remains alive pending final presentations by the end of 2011. But he described chances for inclusion of parental alienation as "slim" - given that it has not been selected for field trials that normally would be a prerequisite for official recognition.
Meier, the George Washington law professor, has urged judges to be cautious in how they allow the topic to be raised in cases where one estranged parent is accused by the other of abuse.She said the initial impetus for recognition of parental alienation syndrome came in large part from the fathers' rights movement, but suggested much of the momentum now comes from psychologists, consultants and others who could profit if the concept had a more formal status in family court disputes."It's monetary," Kates said. "These psychologists and therapists make huge money doing the evaluations and therapies."
Obviously we are not making enough noise.