I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Parental Alienation ~ Judge blocks sending teen for deprogramming treatment

This is an interesting decision but it speaks loudly to the dysfunction in our Family Courts as the parental dispute has been going on since 1999 with the 2 children in the middle. That is tragic. Would this be the case with a presumption of shared and equal parenting? The family obviously has money to use so lawyers can play their games and buy their Mercedes Benz's and Porches at the expense of children's emotional health and financial legacy. Dr. Warshak has declined to discuss this further with Makin, the reporter, who has shown his bias toward PA by using the feminist Professor Jaffe at UWO to call Dr. Warshak's work quackery. Interesting how the media and the target "expert" can become so symbiotic to try and squash new ways to try and resolve a serious problem. It is pretty clear where Makin stands on it./MJM Globe & Mail

JUSTICE REPORTER

An Ontario judge yesterday blocked an attempt to forcibly send a Toronto child for deprogramming treatment in a controversial parental-alienation program in California.

Madam Justice Thea Herman of the Superior Court became the first judge to rule against the controversial treatment orders, overturning a 2008 arbitrator's order that the 14-year-old boy be coercively treated.

"The remedy of the Family Workshop, as acknowledged by the arbitrator and the parties, is an extreme one," Judge Herman said in her ruling. "That means that caution should be exercised in awarding such a remedy."

Treatment at the clinic - founded by Richard Warshak - involves isolating a child from the parent who is identified as having poisoned his or her emotions toward the other parent. Therapists then attempt to undo the child's hostile feelings.

Judge Herman said that the child and his 17-year-old brother, who can legally refuse forced treatment, must be assessed by an independent psychiatrist to determine whether the deprogramming would benefit or cause them damage.

Jan Weir, a lawyer for the children's father, said yesterday that Judge Herman's order will likely prevent the boys from ever being sent for deprogramming because an assessment will take at least six months.

"Effectively, I don't think these kids are going," Mr. Weir said in an interview. "I don't think that will ever happen now."

The children's parents have been locked in a bitter war of attrition since they split up in 1999. Last year, they agreed to appoint an arbitrator. However, the father disagreed strongly with the arbitrator's decision to send the children for deprogramming and appealed it to Superior Court.

In her ruling, Judge Herman concluded that the arbitrator placed too much stock in an opinion that Dr. Warshak offered to the effect that the children would benefit from his program.

She said that the independent assessment should focus, in particular, on whether the 14-year-old boy, who has Klinefelter's Syndrome, would undergo psychiatric suffering if his older brother opts out of treatment and he is sent alone.

Mr. Weir said in the interview that he was shocked when the arbitrator ordered treatment since he had little more than Dr. Warshak's say-so that the program is effective.

"Warshak saw only the mother -but not the father or the boys," Mr. Weir added. "He said that he wasn't giving a definitive opinion, but he actually did."

Mr. Weir said that, at a cost of $40,000 for four days of treatment, the program is expensive as well as unproven.

"Warshak came up a year and a half ago and did his first seminar," he said. "My impression at the time was, I think he has failed to establish himself with the psychologists or psychiatrists in the U.S., and now he's coming to Canada.

Earlier this week, Dr. Warshak rebuffed a request to discuss his program. "I have been very generous with my time speaking to journalists at your newspaper and other Canadian media outlets, but now I must turn my attention to other tasks," he said in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail.

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