In a world which is rapidly waking up to the reality of parental alienation, it is interesting to take a look around the UK at what is going on in terms of work with parental alienation and work to raise the profile of the problem of parental alienation.
Although I have spent much of this year out of the country in Europe and the USA, I retain a strong interest and focus upon the UK and the way in which there is a mis-step between the court’s clear understanding of parental alienation and the ancillary service response to it.
One of my biggest issues about parental alienation has always been the way it has been systematically denied by those who work with separated families. I came to recognise some time ago that one of the reasons for that is the way that it has been used as a political game of ping pong by parental rights groups.
Now we have had some argument on here in the past about parental rights so I am going to make it very clear that in terms of my support for rejected parents, that never wavers. But I do not support the problem of parental alienation being claimed as a parental rights issue, particularly by groups who are, shall we say, less than critical of the failure of ancillary services to recognise the problem.
Parental alienation is NOT a parental rights issue, it is a mental health issue and as such the raising of consciousness about the problem is not assisted when it is located in the parental rights field. Doing so means that the problem is far to easily seen as an angry dads issue and it is too readily dismissed as a he said/she said problem. Additionally, when parental rights groups are seen to be cosying up to people they should really be holding to account, the problems for parents escalate.
Fortunately, I no longer have to the be the person who flags this problem because a fantastic resource exists which I have been recently introduced to, called Voice of the Child. Here is their cracking blog about recent events in the UK. Expect more from this quarter and support them, they are working for you.
This new blog above, is important reading. It is important not just because it exposes some serious issues but because it flags up the risks which lie ahead for the UK. Risks which are real and which could put the UK completely out of step with the world in terms of the right practice with parental alienation. The key area I am concerned about is the idea that therapy is the answer to parental alienation. It is not. It never has been and in the months to come, as Nick and I work with others to set standards of practice in work with PA affected families, the international benchmark will demonstrate that. As you read the blog above you will see that the biggest risk is that ancillary services in the UK will go down a dead end of telling parents that therapy is the answer, when that is completely contraindicated by all of the research evidence from around the world.
Fortunately an antidote to this risk is on the rise in the UK and I am delighted, excited and frankly dancing with joy that this awakening is coming. More news on this in the weeks and months ahead, all I can say for now is stand-by UK parents and children, the parent/practitioner response to the horrible problem of parental alienation is coming and it involves you, me and some pretty special people who are working hard now to bring a big difference your way.
If you want to get rid of the old ways, build the new and make the old obsolete.
The blog above is just the beginning.
The European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners will hold its first conference in London on August 30/31st 2018. Amy J L Baker will be presenting along with many other leading voices in this field. Tickets go on sale on December 1st. A special streaming of parts of this conference will be available for parents. More news on this soon.
We now have just a handful of tickets left for our training day on December 2nd in Central London. During this day we will be discussing new ventures in support for parents and children affected by PA as well as taking you through how to manage your own case in court and how to build longer term strategies for coping and healing. Tickets can be purchased here.