The Role of Mediation in the Parental Alienation Syndrome

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This study explores the importance of a healthy family functioning - even after the breakdown of the relationship - and the responsibility both of the parents have in observing the best interest of the child. It has been observed in previous research that many children involved in divorce and custody litigation undergo a brainwashing or programming caused by one of the parents who unintentionally or deliberately sets out to denigrate the other parent, which is characterized as Parental Alienation (PA). The children, incapable of acknowledging the manipulation, align themselves with the programming parent and rejects the targeted one, with whom the relationship can be completely destroyed since there is a breakdown of a previously normal and healthy parent-child connection. The negative consequences triggered for the adult child victim of Parental Alienation are listed in this study based on conclusions from secondary qualitative compiled from literature review of previous research regarding Parental Alienation, as well as the primary qualitative data received from the semistructured interviews. Additionally, it stems from an interpretivist phenomenological paradigm of the researcher. Those who follow the interpretivism paradigm promotes the need for understanding of differences amongst humans as social actors. It is crucial to discuss Parental Alienation once that it still provokes debates not only in the field of psychology but also in the doctrine and jurisprudence. Throughout this research it has been observed that mediation could be an effective remedy to ensure that families suffering from Parental Alienation receive prompt and effective intervention. Finally, it has been noted that alienation is best treated psychologically than inside the courts, in response to the existent debate about the possibility of introducing a law to make Parental Alienation a criminal offence in Ireland.
ARAÚJO, 2019