What Is Pathogenic Parenting?

Pathogenic Parenting is a new breakthrough understanding of Parental Alienation based on long established behavioral science principles and constructs and the research and work of some of the greatest minds in Behavioral Health Science.

The many pieces of this complex and disturbing puzzle which has come to be commonly known as “Parental Alienation” have been understood by Behavioral Health Scientists and Clinicians for many years.  It only required putting these pieces together to solve the puzzle and help our society start the road to ending this family tragedy known as Parental Alienation. The solution is the breakthrough understanding of something called Pathogenic Parenting.

The word “Patho” means Pathological and the word “Genesis” means Creation. So Pathogenic Parenting describes parenting that is so abnormal or pathological, that by way of their aberrant and distorted behaviors and parenting practices, the Pathogenic Parent actually creates mental illness in a child that actually cause the child to terminate or cutoff their relationship with the other parent and also other family members.

What used to commonly be known as Parental Alienation Syndrome, the most severe form of parental alienation, where a child is influenced by one parent into rejecting a relationship with the other parent, who is otherwise a normal-range and affectionally available parent is now understood by Behavioral Health Experts, who are trained specialists and have researched the behavioral science involved, to be serious issues of mental illness, child abuse, domestic abuse and something that is called Pathogenic Parenting Syndrome.

The dictionary definition of a syndrome is a group of symptoms that consistently occur together or a condition characterized by a set of associated symptoms. A better term or description of the most severe form of parental alienation which is based on established behavioral health science principles and constructs would still be considered a syndrome but under a different pathology name which is called Pathogenic Parenting Syndrome.

Pathogenic Parenting Syndrome is a condition that children develop when one of their parents becomes Pathogenic and suffers from the mental illness called Pathogenic Parenting Disorder. Children who suffer from Pathogenic Parenting Syndrome develop a psychological alliance withPathogenic Parent against their other parent as a psychological survival strategy to deal with the severe psychological abuse that is being inflicted upon them by the Pathogenic Parent. In some ways it is similar to Stockholm Syndrome where the child actually appears to have a hyper bonded relationship with the psychologically abusive parent.

In some cases of Pathogenic Parenting Syndrome the child will actually even develop severe anxiety or fears of anything that has to do with their normal and healthy parent who has been targeted by the Pathogenic Parent. The major symptom in all cases of Pathogenic Parenting Syndrome is the child will cutoff and terminate their relationship with a loving and normal range parent having nothing to do with that parent and their parenting practices.

It is a distinctive and widespread form of domestic & child abuse by a parent who suffers from mental illness towards both the child and the rejected family members and often leads to the long-term, or even permanent, estrangement of a child from one parent and other family members.

Many times on the surface what seems like just a high conflict custody dispute to unsuspecting targeted parents, attorneys, court appointed behavioral health providers and the Judiciary is actually serious issues of domestic & child abuse inflicted by the alienating parent because they suffer from serious yet hard to diagnose mental health issues.

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