Press Release:
Final report on the international conference on "The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) -
An Interdisciplinary Challenge for Professionals Involved in Divorce"


Impulses for Research

You can buy everything except for a mother and father (Tamil proverb)

In a time of free relationship structuring, of feminism, single ideals and of the unmarried cult, the above saying gained a new topicality within the framework of the first international conference on the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in Germany. Held in the Frankfurt Maritim Hotel under the chairmanship of the Wuerzburg psychiatrist Wilfrid von Boch-Galhau, this conference, which with 300 participants was well attended, was concerned with the phenomenon of parental alienation after separation and divorce in children.

Coming from USA was Richard Gardner, the founder of the new disorder category that might be accepted in the DSM-V (the American Diagnosis Manual) in 2010, accompanied by the two clinical psychologists and PAS specialists Richard Warshak and Christopher Barden. Their presentations were based on case studies and long-years' experience with members of families with PAS victims.

Different professional groups arrived from 16 countries, indicating, on the one hand, the explosive nature as well as, on the other, the wide spectrum of the problems involved. Both psychologists, psychotherapists, (children) psychiatrists, as well as judges, court experts, social workers right up to educationalists, family and children doctors developed an exciting exchange in these two days, in which they generally focussed on the competence of the individual specialists, yet also on the interdisciplinary aspect of the theme "children of separation". What was extraordinary for a specialist conference was the participation of affected mothers, fathers, grandparents and adult children of divorce, who in their commitment gave the talks vitality and significance as well as shifting the theoretical aspects of the PAS into a real world of anguish with youth offices, courts and human dramas. The upshot of those directly affected participating and the problem being reviewed objectively was lively, concentrated talks and encounters appropriate to provide research into the problems PAS poses with new impulses and the daily rounds at family courts with significant motivation.


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