Assuming that the report is true, this story tells us that psychiatry can be abused anywhere, even in enlightened Europe.
The victim: a thirteen-year-old girl in Belgium.
Her symptom: she refuses to speak to her father.
The court-ordered treatment: involuntary commitment to a psychiatric clinic.
Her parents have been divorced for some time and her mother and grandmother have apparently turned the girl against her father.
Her father appealed to the courts and they found the girl mentally ill. They confined her to a psychotherapy center, aka a psychiatric clinic for treatment.
They want to know why she won’t speak to her father and why she threw a tantrum when he showed up at her first communion.
One might also ask why they believe that the answer to these questions will cure her of her aversion. Perhaps she knows something that the experts do not know.
The Daily Mail has the story:
A Belgian juvenile court has sent a 13 year-old girl to live in a psychotherapy centre - so specialists can try to discover why she hates her divorced father and never talks to him.
The father from Veurne on the Belgian coast has rights to visit his daughter- an only child - who lives with her mother and her grandparents, the court was told.
But every time she is in the same room with her dad she turns her back on him and refuses to talk or communicate with him in any way.
Now the court has decided that the girl must be removed to a neutral refuge away from the influence of her mother and grandmother so the psychologists can try and diagnose the problem.
A lawyer for the father said his daughter appeared to be suffering from a psychological disorder known to specialists as PAS - Parental Alienation Syndrome-- as there was no other reason for the behaviour.
No other discernible reason, I would add.
Let’s imagine, as the story suggests, that there has been no sexual abuse.
And yet, what kind of man has his daughter committed to a psychiatric clinic because she seriously dislikes him?
Don’t this man’s actions in the legal case suggest something unsavory about his character? Isn’t it heartless, to say nothing of emotionally abusive, to remove a child from her mother’s home and to have her institutionalized?
Would you, knowing only what you know, shun him or welcome him into your circle of friends?
Maybe the girl knows something and sees something that the Belgian courts are ignoring.