Harvard Medical School Psychiatrist: ‘I’ve seen parental alienation in case after case’

New York, NY–Recently the New York Times published a review of Alec Baldwin’s book about Parental Alienation. Henry J. Friedman of Cambridge, Massachusetts, an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, wrote a spot-on reply.

From Bloodied Relations (New York Times, 10/17/08):

As a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has treated many grieving parents deprived of a relationship with their children during a nasty divorce, I can only regret Alex Kuczynski”s review of Alec Baldwin”s account of his experience in “A Promise to Ourselves’ (Oct. 5).

While I have no data on Baldwin”s divorce from Kim Basinger, I have seen the very real existence of parental alienation syndrome in case after case where one parent is enraged at the other and proceeds to poison the children against the “enemy’ parent.

While many times it is a father who is demonized by an angry mother, the gender of the parent being turned into a “monster’ by the custodial parent can be reversed.Who the victim of P.A.S. turns out to be is entirely dependent upon the willingness of the parent with physical custody to “brainwash’ a child against the other parent. The loss of the child”s relationship to the hated ex-spouse delivers a message that this is the price you will pay for getting a divorce.

Baldwin”s memoir of his dreadful experience is an important contribution from an individual whose celebrity status may help him call attention to other fathers who have been the victims of parental alienation syndrome.

Henry J. Friedman
Cambridge, Mass.
The writer is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Thanks to Peter Logan for sending me Friedman’s letter.

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