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Parental alienation as a socio-political disease:


Towards a Multi-Level understanding of the Manipulations involving Child Parent Estrangement

Summary of my speech at the conference in Bratislava

So far the literature on parental alienation (PA) has addressed how alienation practices are manifested in micro environments. However, less is known about how PA interpenetrates and is enabled by manipulations at a meso and macro level ranging from, schools, family court practices, youth-care practices, politicians and of course the media.

Loyalty-abuse in Parental Alienation (PA) can be considered as an example of a broader phenomenon of loyalty manipulation in the face of powers comparable to those in dictatorial regimes involving micro, meso and macro levels. Children are amidst of this and we need to understand how this affects their lives negatively.

I developed a framework based on my own experience as a trained social scientist with an interest in Parental Alienation Syndrome in the Netherlands. I provide examples of how I was challenged with overcoming the resistance endorsed by actors at various levels. In essence, I demonstrate how it is nonetheless possible to find cracks in this pervasive system leading to some awareness of the problem.

I will also reveal how this work implied coping with personal loyalty struggles, self-censorship yet still a sense of self-betrayal, and even strong cognitive dissonance that I experienced during this endeavor.

Joep Zander.

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