In detail

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (SAP) and its terrible effects

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (SAP) and its terrible effects

Parental Alienation Syndrome


  • 1 What does SAP consist of?
  • 2 Children after divorce
  • 3 Ways in which the parent generates hatred towards the other
  • 4 A terrible type of child abuse
  • 5 Diagnosis of Parental Alienation Syndrome

What does SAP consist of?

The Parental Alienation Syndrome or PAS it is a term that was coined by psychiatrist and professor Richard Gardner in 1985 to define a type of emotional abuse whereby a parent gets a child to break the relationship with their other parent, do not want to see or go with him.

This is achieved with different strategies whose purpose is to systematically distort the other father or mother, so that the child ends up believing that all this is true, generates rejection and destroys any link with that parent.

Children after divorce

After a divorce children are often the ones who suffer most from the consequences negative of the latter, so it is necessary to protect them from the internal conflict of the couple, in addition to favoring the maintenance of a healthy and strong relationship with both parents. Unfortunately, some parents do the opposite, trying generate contempt and distrust of the other parent and create the expectation that children should choose a side. In extreme situations, the rejection they generate towards the other parent is so great that children end up literally hating the other parent, despite the innate desire of children to love and be loved by both parents.

Ways in which the parent generates hatred towards the other

Parental alienation consists of a set of strategies that include talking badly about the other parent, limiting their contact with him, "eliminating" him from the life and even of the child's mind, forcing the child to reject him, creating the impression that he is dangerous , pressing the child to choose between both parents through threats of withdrawal of affection, belittling and limiting contact with the family of the other parent.

All this can be done in many ways, such as not allowing him to see or interact with the other parent, thus facilitating a better emotional manipulation against him. Explaining lies about his actions in such a way that the child may feel fear or believe in abuses that did not exist. Denigrating the other in all fields. Explain divorce details blaming the other party for everything. Get your family environment and friendships do their part in belittling the alienated parent. Reward and gratify the child's derogatory arguments and behaviors towards the other father while ridiculing his feelings of love towards him or her.

A terrible type of child abuse

Currently, there is consensus among experts that severe alienation is a type of emotional abuse in childhood.

According to reports made to adult children after this terrible divorce experience, the tactics of alienating parents are equivalent to extreme psychological abuse of children, since it includes despising, terrorizing, isolating, corrupting or exploiting and denying their innate capacity for emotional response (Amy Baker, 2010).

For the child, parental alienation is a serious mental condition, based on a false belief that the alienated parent is a dangerous and unworthy father. The serious effects of parental alienation in children are well documented; low self-esteem and self-hate, lack of confidence, depression Y substance abuse in adolescenceIn addition, children lose the ability to give and accept the love of one of their parents.

Hatred of themselves is especially worrisome among affected children, since the little ones internalize in them the contempt and rancor directed towards the alienated parent, they are led to believe that the alienated parent did not love them or did not want them, and a severe sense of guilt is generated related to betraying the alienating parent. His depression is therefore rooted in the feeling of not being loved by one of his parents, and they surely believe that this is one of the reasons for the separation of that father, denying them the opportunity to mourn the loss of said parent.

Children alienated people often have conflicting or distant relationships with the alienating parent as well, and also have a high risk of detachment from their own children. Baker in his report warns that half of the adult children surveyed who had suffered parental alienation were also removed from their own children.

Diagnosis of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Currently, Parental Alienation Syndrome is considered a type of child abuse. But in cases where there have actually been problems of physical abuse or abuse of minors who have been legally accredited, this consideration does not have the same effect. For this reason, the differential diagnosis of Parental Alienation Syndrome requires that there is no prior, psychological or physical abuse by the alienated parent.