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What Should the Psychologist Look for in Diagnosing Parental Alienation in a Child

When diagnosing parental alienation in a child, the psychologist would observe and assess the child's behavior and attitude towards the alienated parent. In the presence of the alienated parent, the child may exhibit the following behaviors:

Unjustified Rejection or Hostility: The child may display unwarranted anger, resentment, or outright rejection towards the alienated parent. They may express negative views about the parent, make derogatory comments, or even refuse to interact with them.

Fear or Anxiety: The child may exhibit signs of fear, anxiety, or discomfort in the presence of the alienated parent. They may avoid eye contact, display tense body language, or exhibit signs of distress when forced to spend time with the alienated parent.

Parroting or Coached Responses: The child may repeat negative statements or accusations about the alienated parent that appear rehearsed or coached. They might use phrases or language that is beyond their age or developmental level, indicative of external influence.

Lack of Empathy or Guilt: The child may display a lack of empathy towards the alienated parent and show no remorse for their disrespectful or hurtful behavior. They may disregard the alienated parent's feelings or well-being, demonstrating a lack of emotional connection.

Alignment with the Alienating Parent: The child may excessively align themselves with the alienating parent's perspective, opinions, and behaviors. They may adopt the alienating parent's beliefs and adopt an adversarial stance towards the alienated parent, echoing their negative sentiments.

It is important to note that these behaviors alone may not definitively confirm parental alienation, as there may be other underlying factors at play. A comprehensive evaluation by a qualified professional is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.

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