ALIENATING AUDIENCES FROM INNOVATION: THE PERILS OF POLEMICS, IDEOLOGY, AND INNUENDO

Authors


warshak@att.net

Abstract

When judging innovative programs like Family Bridges™, it is important to balance careful scrutiny with openness to new ideas. Judicial responses to children who reject a parent are best governed by a multifactor individualized approach. A presumption that allows children and one parent to regulate the other parent's access to the children is unsupported by research. A custody decision based solely on the severity of alienation leaves children vulnerable to intensification of efforts to poison their affections toward a parent. Concern with possible short-term distress for some children who are required to repair a damaged relationship should not blind us to the long-term trauma of doing nothing. Professionals are urged to minimize the infusion of polemics, rigid ideology, and rumors when offering opinions with inadequate information, particularly public statements that risk harming children.

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