In the run up to three major conferences focusing upon parental alienation around the world, we are busy preparing for the next phase of work in this emerging scientific field.
Coming soon is the PASGNordic Conference in Stockholm, which looks at parental alienation, what it is and what to do about it.
Very quickly after that is the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners Conference in London, which examines the international scientific evidence for parental alienation, the legal and mental health interlock required to manage such cases and the internationally recognised standards of practice which govern practitioners who work in this field.
In October, at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Tasmania, the ‘Family Violence – Lost in the Fog’ Conference, examines parental alienation as part of a pattern of coercive control as well as looking at research evidence and practice in this field.
Three major events in three months, all of which are drawing significant numbers of people together to discuss the worldwide reality facing children of divorce and separation.
It is time to tell the truth about parental alienation and it is time to speak up and speak out about the harm that it is doing to children all over the world. Harm which will be avoided now that this issue, long overlooked, avoided and ignored, is properly placed where it belongs, in the children and families mental health arena.
I have read so much nonsense about parental alienation in my time in this field that nothing surprises me anymore. From the wizard proclaiming that his and only his way is the right way (you know who he is), to the witch who proclaims that all parental alienation is about child abuse victims being forced to see their abuser (yes people like this do still exist), the issue of parental alienation continues, amongst the uneducated, to be a controversial issue and those of us who do this work, continue to dodge the cross fire of opinion, misrepresentation and denial in the info wars which surround it.
My question about parental alienation, has always been – why, when the subject has been so strenuously researched – see the extensive database of peer reviewed studies here – is the subject’s existence still so frequently debated? And why, when there is extensive evidence of how it can be treated, is treating it still the subject of so much contention?
The answer I guess, lies in the manner in which the issue has to be managed by the legal system in any given country and how this, in its most adversarial manifestation, gives free rein to the personality disordered, the conflict ridden and the downright delusional people who can be found around the alienated child.
Having worked in many alienation cases in court, it has always been a fascination of mine to watch how parental alienation behaviours leak into the legal teams around the family. In one case I worked in, a barrister appeared to have apoplexy, so angry was he that parental alienation was being mentioned as the reason for a child’s rejection of a parent. His reaction was quite something to observe and he appeared to take it personally that this ‘American thing’ as he put it, had entered a court room he was asked to be present in. Cut to a scene last week on Twitter, when an outraged attorney accused me of promoting a child abusing cult headed by a pedophile. It seems parental alienation gets some people hot under the collar by it’s very existence and now that the subject is being taken seriously in Europe for the first time, even the phrase ‘pro-parental alienation ‘ has sprung up (as a way of diminishing the seriousness of the issue by characterising people who work in this field as being campaigners).
All of which is of no real consequence of course because parental alienation is real, it is researched, it is diagnosed and it is treated. It is also now officially recognised by the World Health Organisation as parental alienation is included in the new edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a synonym or an index term for the specific diagnosis of QE52.0 Caregiver-child Relationship Problem.
Which means that those who seek to distance themselves and those who seek to change its name and those who seek to demolish, dismiss and deny it, are shouting into the wind. The reality that parental alienation harms children, by forcing them to use the coping mechanism of psychological splitting to cope with the impossible pressures placed upon them in the divorce and separation landscape, is writ large upon the future and there is no going back now.
Which is why these three upcoming conferences have such meaning and why those who are heading to Stockholm, London and Hobart in the coming weeks, hold enormous responsibility.
We are heading into a critically important time in helping children and their families around the world, because what happens next codifies the way we will help the children of the future.
Come and join us, we are making history.
Join the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners Conference in London – Book Here (Event now close to capacity – book now to guarantee a place)