A Retreat For Alienated Mothers – Somerset UK – June 2018

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 19.56.03

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 19.27.56

Building on our support for alienated parents, we are launching our alienated mothers retreats this summer in Somerset, England.  In addition, we will also be running this retreat for mothers in California and in Australia in 2018 (more information to come on those soon).

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 19.17.45

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 19.17.31

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 19.26.37

The location is in Somerset approximately one mile from Taunton in a peaceful valley.  Taunton can easily be reached on the Great Western Railway Line and via Cross Country Trains. The retreat is set in two luxury converted barns with two heated pools and plenty of open space to relax in.  We will have a creativity and wellbeing session during day two, gentle yoga and other exercise sessions, guided meditation and time for relaxing in between therapeutic work together. Part of the retreat will be devoted to your own personal situation and consultations with Karen and Nick Woodall on planning and strategising.

There are limited places for this retreat to ensure that we keep it intimate, warm and  closely supportive.

A deposit of £199 plus VAT is required to secure your place and payment plans of between 3 and 6 months are available.   Final payments for the retreat are due by June 8th 2018.

Bookings can be made for our Somerset (UK) Retreat online here.

Bookings for our Retreat in California will be open shortly.

Information about our work in Australia this year will be here soon.

We have decided to devote our retreats to alienated mothers this year because we are aware of the particular pressures that mothers feel in these circumstances.  This is not to say that fathers do not feel pressures too and we will, if there is interest, run retreats for dads in conjunction with some of the wonderful male support workers we have met on our travels.  We will also consider some mixed retreats if there is interest in us doing so.




  1. It’s a beautiful thing to include stepmom’s. Thank you. The alienation towards stepmom’s can have a lasting effect….


    1. That’s so true, Patricia – I see it every day with my partner of 9 years. Step-parents (whether married to the rejected parent or not) are, emotionally, every bit as involved in the PA drama as the biological parents, albeit playing a different ‘role’. And so key to the rejected parent living as normal and healthy a life as possible, such that they can be in the best state to parent their alienated child when the, inevitable, opportunity arises


  2. This is truely revolutionary, Karen – only someone doing this work for all the right reasons could have the vision and courage to take such a ground-breaking initiative x


  3. Oh Karen, the start date of your retreat is the day my son went to his daddy’s, 8th June 2013 5yrs ago, and it made me think it was indeed a sign! If I can possibly do it I will try to get but finances after Christmas can be scary! I will certainly do my best as at times i feel like I’m the only mammy that this has ever happened to! I have interaction with all of you online and I do appreciate it so much. However, to actually sit and physically interact with other mammy’s who have experienced this would be so helpful and I think would give me that extra strength needed! And for fear of sounding like a groupie, I’d love to meet you and the team! I hope that if unable to get you will fill us in on how it goes! My partner says because of the date I have to go……I’m not superstitious!!

    Again Karen, many thanks, how many of us you get from one day to another through your hard work and commitment!

    Frankie x


    1. Hi Frankie, just to clarify, the start date of the retreat is 11th June, the 8th June is when payments are to be complete. So that might make a difference to your thinking…..or not! If you would like to go do email me at office@familyseparationclinic.co.uk and we can discuss a payment arrangement. You will be very welcome and there will indeed be 14 other mothers there and our team and we will take great care of you all xx


      1. Thks Karen, more haste less speed as my mum used to say!!

        Don’t know where I’ll be by then! Told anybody who would listen that my son was allowed to run wild and his daddy facilitated him, just to make sure he’d never contact me!! Unfortunately his great new car caught the eye of the local police who stopped him and 3 chums and after a search of his car found drugs! My 17 year old son is now up in court at the end of the month for possession with intent to supply!!

        Not that it would make a. dam bit of difference but I’d love to contact those involved in my case and tell them but seems petty at this stage!
        Wouldn’t have found out only for my 14yr old. daughter telling me after she’d been up for a day! Daddy and paternal grandmother said she was not to tell me, I’d find out in the local. press, but God help her, she did, scared and all as she is of daddy!

        So Karen it goes on, my son’s ambition to go to university or join the police is now gone! He will have a criminal record for the rest of his life and my only hope is that with a clear record to date and his age, he won’t do jail!

        This is PA at its most dangerous!

        Frankie x


  4. Dear AV. I have let your comment through because you are asking me questions in a reasonable manner, unlike other ‘protective mother’ commenters whose comments are not going to get through.

    There is a great deal wrong with the process in the family courts both here and in the USA, that much is clear. It is unfair that you do not receive the Guardian’s report for example until the day of the hearing, that is indeed wrong.

    I also know that SOME fathers DO use allegations of alienation as an continuing pattern of abuse. Unlike the previous poster however, you do not immediately assume that I believe all fathers and so I will respond to the issue via your question.

    To ensure that a case of parental alienation IS a case of alienation we examine the family using an assessment which takes at least 30 hours of our time. We look at whether or not the child is justifiably rejecting a parent FIRST and we continue to scrutinise that parent throughout.

    It is not the case that the Clinic would automatically assume a father is alienated simply because he says he is.

    The system is NOT for narcissistic fathers and it is NOT for narcissistic mothers either, it simply is what it is, it is not biased at all – but the people who work in the system often are. And there is your problem.

    If a parent is not turning up for contact, if a parent is harming the child, if a parent is unpredictable we would be looking not at alienation but justified rejection.

    As for your comment about prices, not really sure what that is about, several other comments of the same nature were left here overnight so there has obviously been a gathering of the indignant clan somewhere online. The retreat for alienated mothers is for truly alienated mothers, not mothers who have enmeshed their children and influenced them. It is a place where, instead of spending thousands on litigation, mothers can learn about how to manage their own case, receive support and care and leave feeling that they are in a stronger place to fight for their children. These are mothers who HAVE been abused and they are singularly unrepresented AND unheard of. I find these mothers to be dignified, courageous and absolutely focused upon their children.

    I am not sure I agree that ‘protective mothers’ are not heard of because they do not have money. I think plenty of people know about them already.


  5. Lucy, I am letting your comment through because it is not offensive though you make some pretty breath taking statements without any evidence to back them up whatsoever. I have a bit of time today however so I am willing to tackle your comment, I am however, not going to allow this comment thread to become a place where women who claim alienation is not real dominate. The retreat, which is for mothers who HAVE been abused, (interestingly so many of these women are simply ignored by the women’s rights movement even though they fit the picture of coercive control perfectly) is a place where mothers can find peace from being judged and support to work on their personal case. These women have been harmed by the alienating fathers in their case, they are healthy mothers who have been forced out of their children’s lives. I do not know what is so offensive about helping mothers in such circumstances, other than presumably, those of you who believe that PA does not exist, think these women are making it all up.

    Grown up children who were alienated by their unwell mothers and not listened to by the state’s servants are also coming forward, they too have a story to tell, will you listen to their story too or is the only story women like your group will listen to, the story that sounds like yours?

    I disagree that the dynamics of DV are not understood by the court, what qualification do you have to back that assertion? DV is understood and worked with and PA is often disregarded and not worked with, so quite how you come to an analysis that women are disadvantaged in this process I don’t know. The only women I see being disadvantaged are those who are truly abused by alienating fathers.

    There is clear research evidence which points to false allegations and alienation, you can find all of this readily, it is not difficult. There is a pattern of behaviour which is key to understanding it. It is regularly seen when women claim that a father is abusive and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to show that he is. This can happen in waves for years, the perpetrator of false allegations being utterly convinced to a delusional level that the father is harmful. The children locked into a delusion with the mother that this is true. There are clear behavioural patterns which are seen in mother and child when this occurs and it is well evidenced in the mental health literature and used by the psychologists and psychiatrists who assess such mothers.

    As for rare false allegations of DV, I would again point you to evidence – here is such a study

    Click to access False%20allegation%20paper%202%20October%202017.pdf

    And here is the conclusion….

    “The data set out in this article indicates that the majority of purported false accusations were by females against males who were family members or intimates concerning child
    149 A Chi-Sq test for independence indicated a significant association between the gender of the accused and the stage that they contacted the organisation, X2 (48, n = 701) = 116.7, p = .00, Cramers V = .20.
    150 A Chi-Sq test for independence indicated a significant association between the type of wrongdoing accused of and the stage that organisation was contacted, X2 (108, n = 701) = 413.9, p = .00, Cramers V = .26.
    Page |24
    abuse/neglect and sexual offences (child sexual abuse, rape, indecent and sexual assault) with the majority of those accused seeking support and advice at the point of accusation.151 The prominence of purported false allegations within the family environment and intimate relationships may reflect interpersonal dynamics, along with the opportunity to falsely accuse. Reaching out for support at the point of accusation suggests that those who purport to be falsely accused experience accusation as a challenging life event for which they need support and advice. Indeed, evidence suggests that the immediate impact of being accused involves ‘falling into a state of shock, experiencing nausea and nervousness, and feeling “stunned” and “surreal”, as if being in “a bad dream”’.152 Assuming similar responses in this study sample, it is unsurprising that so many participants made contact and did so at the point of accusation. The point of contact data also suggested that many of the allegations involved formal investigation or some form of legal proceedings.”

    We could play research tennis for a while, you using your preferred research and me using mine but I feel that would lead us nowhere.

    The point is you stand in a particular place and view the world through a lens which fits your comfort zone.

    I stand in your place and all of the other places to get a 360 degree view and then I stand in the child’s place to get their 360 degree view.

    I understand that you project all of your beliefs upon me that I must be a very bad person in order to do this work but that is your responsibility not mine. My responsibility is to make sure that everything I do is scrutinised before the court, anything I write is cross examined and any decision which is made is made by the Judge not by me. This area of work, this field of knowledge is growing and no longer is it acceptable for children to be inveigled into a parent’s mindset or used to soothe the parent’s delusional belief. Everything which is done in pursuit of making sure that children are safe, is done properly and with the child in mind. Just because it does not coincide with how you and others in your mindset believe the world is, doesn’t mean it is wrong, far from it. Now, I have responded to your comment and I hope that is enough. You have plenty of other places to do your talking, here is for parents who really have been abused and who are hurting and coping with the loss of their child because of it. Go well.


      1. I did not say what I believed in. I quoted facts substantiated by peer reviewed studies.


  6. Karen, you have great patience!
    Time to let the lunatics return to the asylum!!
    Those of us involved, and I speak as an alienated mother know the work you do and the help you give to all suffering from PA!

    Frankie x


    1. Thanks Frankie, I was interested to see how they would play it out, clearly they are mothers who have alienated their children and been found to have done so in the court system, one of whom was well known for running away. They are all blocked now and won’t be returning anytime soon. (I have found the WordPress block button – a marvellous thing indeed!). x


    2. No more PMA on here thank you. This is a safe place for parents who have been alienated, not somewhere for alienating mothers to go to ‘prove’ their innocence or list their grievances against CAFCASS and the family courts. You have your own spaces for that, I suggest you use them.


      1. you are very welcome, if we can bring help and support to as many as possible, I don’t mind how we do it. K


  7. Dear Karen,
    You are an answer to many prayers. Your ability to word the extensive psychological damage and complexities required to do so are profound, detailed, evidence and experience-based and in all ways complete. Since first learning of PAS, I have spent a great deal of time combing the internet, including pumed.com and other medical and evidence-based resources, and can say with certainty that you far surpass them all! I want you to understand just how thankful I am and how touched I am in so many ways. Feeling so alone, lost and hurt with no one to turn to and letting so much emotion and need for validation build up over time that attempting to let anyone in to this ridiculously intensely dramatic world of dysfunction is ultimately too overwhelming. How does one even begin to describe their side of the story to a therapist whom starts with “so, tell me what’s been going on” when years have passed, kids no longer want you and you are pinned as the reason for all forms of decline despite an incredible amount of evidence indicating alienation and severely mentally disturbed parent? Due to the active nature of my case I cannot give details, but I am excited, no-ECSTATIC-to have found you and your resources and cannot wait to begin putting them to use.

    Please please tell me you are coming to the US soon?!

    Dear stepmoms,
    I want you to all know that you are not alone! I am finding more and more of us, suffering in a total and utterly complete isolated silence because, well, the biological parents are all that matters in the courts’ eyes. As Karen and other experts astutely point out, it’s the behavior, not the target, that should be concerning and the focus of diagnosing and treating. Education and sharing our stories, both success and failures, will be crucial to helping the world understand just how devastating dysfunctional family dynamics can be so that change is in order.

    Prayers, encouragement and cheers to surviving and thriving!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s