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 Parental Alienation Study Group in Sweden PASGNordic2018 – Book Here
Join the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners Conference in London – Book Here (Event now close to capacity – book now to guarantee a place)
Join the University of Tasmania and EMMF at the Family Violence – Lost in the Fog’ Conference – book here
Exciting times ahead!
Sadly too late for many of us but hopeful for others. It’s like the recognition that physical abuse in marriage/relationships is not the only abuse there is and that at long last, emotional abuse is recognised in law.
Well done Karen and everyone involved in working towards full recognition and understanding 🙂
Reblogged this on Madison Elizabeth Baylis.
okay so if we are accepting that parental alienation is bad then are we also accepting that the foster system or parents being ripped away from children is also bad? are these meetings going to address foster care also? Technically the government is acting as a third parent when deciding where children go or stay…great post.
Some years ago, Australian journalist/current affairs reporter, George Negus quipped that it’s filthy rumour the
human race is intelligent. I could say that this comes too late for my father and aunt who were deeply affected by
the acrimonious divorce of their parents 1935-1937 (and the rigid wall of silence that passed for normal for the rest
of their years) – but I won’t. I am still alive and as their descendent can, and do, contribute to raising the awareness of
this within my local community and directing social workers and health professionals to the existence of this website.
The positve side of word-of-mouth.
It’s good that Parental Alienation is being better understood and discussed seriously, but as with every post I read here, I fear that a wider application of the science of PA in legal cases before the Courts could have almost just as bad an outcome as the current vogue (at least in the Welsh Family Court and in Cafcass Cymru) for simply dismissing it altogether as irrelevant. My issue is that the children, in either scenario, are pawns in a system that either decides they should a) remain in the care of the alienating parent who escapes censure (very much my case) or b) are removed from that parent’s care and placed with the alienated parent (which would have caused incredible distress to my girls who love their Mother and who I would never wish to see shut out from her life unless THEY make that choice in later life) or c) are placed in to care – which was what the wholly biased and thoroughly corrupt Family Court Legal Adviser threatened me with to stop me further pursuing my case before a Judge. I see no win for the children in any of these options, which was why I withdrew from their lives. I suffer (and how) rather than them and only time, if I am lucky and they see the truth, will remedy that . Meanwhile: at least their lives haven’t been determined by the law or by science…but by love and sacrifice – as it should be!
I think you should speak to parents whose children were removed from the alienating parent Rob, because it is a myth that removal causes incredible distress to an alienated child in a severe case of alienation. The reality is that instead of dismissing it, PA should be recognised and treated. If it were physical abuse you would not think twice about removing a child from a parent who was breaking a child’s legs, but because it is emotional and psychological and so you cannot see it, people balk at it. Sir Paul Coleridge, was a High Court Judge, he transferred residence of children and invented the suspended residence transfer as a method of concentrating the mind of alienating parents – it works in some case but not all. Alienation should not treated by love or sacrifice in my view but proper mental health intervention which protects the mind of the child. I work with recovering alienated children, the damage done is immense, beyond almost comprehension – because it is not about contact with a parent at all, a true case of parental alienation is a case of child abuse and it is urgent that we treat such cases properly.
Bravo Karen. Abuse is abuse. Children deserve protection. I tried appeasement. I tried patience. It all failed.
After 6 years and over $200,000 in attorneys, supervised visits and court costs my husband won sole custody of his youngest daughter. All three of his daughters were emotionally abused into believing he was molesting and abusing them. Fortunately the oldest wouldn’t fall for it and has no relationship with her mother or mothers family. The middle one who is now 21 stuck to the lies and doesn’t see her dad or his family. The youngest, now 16, is doing extremely well, as her counselor told the judge who inquired later, “better than expected and flourishing”.
This is my story about parental alienation and it only got worse afterwards…the government need to be stopped
Yes I am going through this as we speak and have been for a long time and have decided that either way the children have to know what is going on!
Parental Alienation brainwashes children to have hatred and distain towards the other parent. It is very much like a cult and the brainwashing of very inmature and young minds. Li
Karen what about parents who are alienated from their children because children have chosen that. Then they have stopped their children seeing the grandchildren ?
This information has saved my life, as I finally see others recognise what I have experienced and am still going through with my children. They brought an 8 year old child into court and asked her to decide who she wanted to be with. Judges have no understanding and need training as well as all the rest. It is too late for me but I beg you keep up this work you will never know how many people and children you will save. I detached with love for my children’s sake, easier said than done. Sean.
I am a step-dad to my wife’s daughter. 5 years ago, at 15 years of age, my step-daughter stopped all contact with us and our family. 2 Years ago my sister in-law managed to turn things around by reasonning with the father, an abusive little man who has sent police round to our house on numerous occasions for sending texts to the child to make believe harrassment stories, none of which the police did anythnig about. Over the last 2 years, we have seen my step-daughter go from demonic to quite pleasant, but again we have not heard from her in the last two weeks and she is still incredibly damaged. Even her boyfriend who seems like an intelligent young man, has not been around us much lately, so I fear the father has managed to sway their feelings towards us from great to pah. Anyway, thanks for your info Karen as always.