Parental Alienation Disorder Leaps into Mental Health History with the American Psychiatric Association

Parental Alienation Disorder Leaps into Mental Health History with the American Psychiatric Association

2009 CSPAS Conference

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 14, 2010

Psychological research and studies have been investigating the phenomenon known as Parental Alienation for the last 60 years. Today, most mental health professionals regard it as a form of child abuse. During the year parental alienation also leaped into mental health history, as the American Psychiatric Association announced it is now considering – Parental Alienation Disorder for inclusion in DSM-5. There are 3 possible ways for P.A.D. to get into DSM-5: in the main body of Appendix A as a mental dis-order, in Appendix B as a relational problem or in Appendix A in one of the appendices of DSM-5 under Criteria Sets and Axes for further study.

The inclusion of Parental Alienation Disorder could help 200,000 children in American every year who suffer from this condition. It could also help abate this form of child abuse and bring families better treatment solutions along the way. In one of the American Journal’s of Family Therapy, Dr. William Bernet defined parental alienation as a mental condition in which a child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a high conflict divorce- allies himself or herself strongly with one parent and rejects a relationship with the other parent without legitimate justification. “

In NYC an international conference on parental alienation will be taking place at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine – October 2nd and October 3rd in the Stern Auditorium. Joseph Goldberg, Founder of the CSPAS conference said, ” The conference is important to every mental health professional involved in helping children and families. It also presents an opportunity for many family lawyers to educate themselves in ways that can help their clients obtain court interventions that are appropriate to helping these children.”

If you are interested in attending the conference please visit and register online at or call 647-476-3170. For all media list inquiries about and for the event please contact 646.370.3458.

About C.S.P.A.S

Founded in 2008 by Joseph Goldberg, The Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome is an educational organization assisting mental health professionals, family law lawyers, family mediators and other professionals to better understand parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome / disorder. Their goal is to assist children and families in need of educational information and referrals to professionals with a specialized expertise for counseling, psychological or psycho-educational services. Parents and professionals in both the family law and mental health communities will be able to locate a number of experts in parental alienation by simply visiting their website. C.S.P.A.S also disseminates information and literature to professionals and to parents. They maintain a strictly educational position and have no political affiliations. The C.S.P.A.S. does not accept funding from any organization affiliated with parental rights, nor do they take a position in favor of or in opposition to equal parenting. For more information visit


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American Psychiatric Association to Spotlight Symposium on ‘Hot Topics in Afro-American Mental Health’

American Psychiatric Association to Spotlight Symposium on ‘Hot Topics in Afro-American Mental Health’

New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) March 10, 2010

Dr. Smith and his team will present challenges in treating blacks in mental health, HIV and other taboo topics including, HIV and African American men ‘on the down low.’ The Center for Disease Control defines the phrase, ‘on the down low’ or ‘on the DL,’ as the ‘behavior of men who have sex with other men as well as women and who do not identify as gay or bisexual.’ The risks associated with this activity present widespread challenges for HIV prevention professionals. The stigma of homosexuality and the secretive nature of this problem results in a number of women showing up in clinics around the country diagnosed with HIV.

In the general population, “there is an alarming over-representation of Afro-Americans in the United States living with HIV and a large number have critical mental health needs as well,” says Dr. Smith. Mental health concerns in African Americans are supported by the frequently misdiagnosis for schizophrenia rather than a more accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder or other affective disorders in non-HIV patients.

William Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., DFAPA, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Howard University College of Medicine and Hospital, Washington, D.C., will address the unique psychopharmacological findings in the black community. One of the common challenges in treating and identifying mental disorders, according to Dr. Lawson is the ‘lack of research participation by African American patients and investigators in treatment development.’ Patients are suspicious and providers fail to engage the patient in discussions of these problems.

There is a glaring deficit in the use of mental health services by African Americans in the United States. According to a 1999 Surgeon General’s Report:

    Overall, only one-third of Americans with mental illness or a mental health problem get care. Yet, the percentage of African Americans receiving needed care is only half that of non-Hispanic whites. One study reported that nearly 60% of older African American adults were not receiving needed services.

    Nearly 1 in 4 African Americans is uninsured, compared to 16% of the U.S. population. Rates of employer-based health coverage are just over 50% for employed African Americans, compared to over 70% for employed non-Hispanic whites. Medicaid covers nearly 21% of African Americans.

Another expert presenter on the team, Janet Taylor, M.D., Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry at Columbia University affiliated Harlem Hospital in New York, and frequent contributor to CBS “The Early Show,” and NBC “The Today Show.” Dr. Taylor will discuss Women’s Mental Health issues. African American women are least likely of all subgroups to seek help in mental health issues. Their reasons may include; lack of insurance, mistrust of the medical community or reliance on family and religious support instead of seeking medical help. As a contributor to O, the Oprah Magazine, Dr. Taylor’s involvement from a grassroots effort is where she makes the most impact in the community. “Being on the frontline with individuals and their families battling the emotional and economic impact of mental illness is where I can make a difference,” says Dr. Taylor.

Harriet Washington, award-winning bioethics journalist and author of “Medical Apartheid,” will discuss the Impact of Past and Current Prejudices. In her book, Washington dissects the dark history of medical experimentation on African Americans from colonial times to the present. She discusses the past and present ethical issues in the treatment of individuals suffering from mental illness and chemical dependency in America. Medical Apartheid clearly paints a vivid, yet disturbing, picture of why African Americans have an innate mistrust of the medical establishment. Washington chronicles the history of African Americans being used as human guinea pigs in experiments from, Thomas Jefferson exposing hundreds of slaves to an untried smallpox vaccine before using it on whites, to the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study, in which black syphilitic men were observed, but not treated in order to document the long term effects of the disease.

Although most of the symposium will focus on African American mental health issues, a segment headed by Zack Cernovsky, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, will discuss the issues from a Canadian perspective. Dr. Cernovsky will describe the attempt of the current head of the infamous Pioneer Fund, J.P. Rushton, to influence physicians and psychiatrists, to believe in the genetic inferiority of blacks. The Pioneer Fund is a non-profit organization, established in 1937, to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences. Scientific scrutiny shows that Rushton’s methodology (e.g., measuring head circumference by tape as a substitute for IQ tests) and his generalizations from inadequate samples discredit his work. According to Cernovsky, “his books have probably misled at least some physicians.” These physicians may resort to discriminatory practices in their clinical decisions about black patients.

Mental health professionals and psychiatrists are uniquely positioned to assist patients in improving mental and physical health. The overall goal of the symposium is to provide a better understanding and awareness of the inimitable challenges in treating the African American mental health patient.

For information or the availability of any the above speakers, please contact Rhonda Daley, Pacificus Marketing Group, LLC at (707) 812-4380, For a fact sheet pertaining to this release, please visit:


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International Celebrities Condemn Torture through Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill American Prisoners

International Celebrities Condemn Torture through Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill American Prisoners

New York, NY (PRWEB) February 1, 2006

Mental Health Alternatives to Solitary Confinement, a coalition of over 65 organizations, including Community Access, Human Rights Watch, and the Urban Justice Center, has issued statements from Maya Angelou, Margot Kidder, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Andrew Solomon, and Alvin F. Poussaint, MD denouncing the inhumane practice of placing prisoners with psychiatric disabilities into solitary confinement. This outcry surfaces in conjunction with the unanimous January 10th Supreme Court decision, United States v. Georgia, No. 04-1203, which held that under the American With Disabilities Act, the State of Georgia lacks immunity from a lawsuit brought by a disabled prisoner, Tony Goodman; and the December 30th signing into law of the McCain Amendment, prohibiting cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment of prisoners in American custody.

Vuka Stricevic, Director of Public Policy at Community Access, stated, “We are delighted that these outspoken celebrities have given their support of the Mental Health Alternatives to Solitary Confinement coalition’s efforts to stop the torture of prisoners with psychiatric disabilities currently being inhumanely housed in solitary confinement cells. Irreconcilable with the Americans With Disabilities Act, allowing prisoners with psychiatric disabilities to be sentenced to solitary confinement is an egregious practice that results in sensory deprivation, severe mental decompensation, and oftentimes suicide.” Ms. Stricevic is available with background information and personal stories for reporters.

Margot Kidder, actress and political activist:

“Putting mentally ill and possibly delusional prisoners in solitary confinement is torture, no more, no less. We were all shocked and shamed by the disgustingly inhumane treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq. Should we not be equally shocked by the disgustingly inhumane torture of mentally ill prisoners here at home?”

Maya Angelou, best-selling author of “Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem” and “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”:

“The mentally ill are already alone. They live in a world that is broken, terrorized and desperately alone. Putting such people who are already shattered into solitary confinement is unnecessary cruelty. It is the rust on the razor which threatens the throat. They need health, at best and human company at least.”

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research; Chair of Harvard University Department of African and African American Studies:

“[The solitary confinement of mentally ill prisoners is) a horrific problem, where life itself becomes a grueling punishment and too often an unbearable torture.”

Andrew Solomon, author of best-selling National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression;” board member of the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign:

“There are few practices in modern American that are more barbaric than our jailing of people who suffer from mental illness, many of whom do not receive appropriate clinical interventions, do not have the control of their illness that such interventions might enable, and are left desperate and incoherent to the worst of prison abuses.

Mental illness and the regimented life of prison do not sit comfortably together. Prisoners with mental illness will be seen as aggressive, troubled, and inchoate. These qualities are frustrating to the guards whose duty it is to monitor such prisoners. They result in ever-stronger disciplinary measures. This is horrible for all concerned. Treating such prisoners for their mental health complaints would improve the quality of their lives; of the lives of other prisoners; and of the lives of the guards. It would also be humane and decent.

It would be horrible to have an overpowering psychological impetus to commit criminal acts; there is no need to compound that horror with solitary confinement, a state that would drive even the most sane among us close to the edge.”

Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Director of the Media Center of the Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston; Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School; co-author of “Lay My Burden Down: Unraveling Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis Among African-Americans”:

“Solitary confinement of mentally ill prisoners is archaic and only aggravates difficulties for all concerned. Psychotic and paranoid inmates become more psychotic and paranoid when placed in solitary. Individuals with major depression will deteriorate with a greater likelihood of become suicidal. For the mentally ill, their condition often precludes comprehending the purpose of such confinement in the first place. Frequently, the disturbing behavior leading to placement in solitary confinement is a manifestation of mental disorder and not a willful disobedience toward authority. Psychiatric management is more likely to lead to improved behavior than the use of harsh punishment.

To help inmates, we must begin to provide quality mental health services within our neglected so-called houses of correction. Mental health care is critical to facilitating prisoners’ successful reentry to society. In addition, inmates need appropriate follow-up services to ease adaptation to the outside world.

Placing inmates with mental illnesses in solitary confinement is inhumane, representing the antithesis of good mental health and treatment practices.”


Vuka Stricevic

Director of Public Policy

Community Access

(212) 780-1400, ext. 7792.


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