Chaired by Sir Paul Coleridge, Day One of the European Association of Practitioners Conference was attended by 140 delegates from eleven countries around the world, including Hong Kong, New Zealand, USA and several European countries.
This was a jam packed day in which we heard from leading researchers Amy J L Baker and Bill Bernet along with presentations about practice from leading Psychologists Dr Gordana Bujlan Flander and Dr Simona Valdicka.
In the afternoon we heard from leading legal people Fran Wiley QC who gave us the rough guide to managing PA in court and Brian Ludmer from Canada who presented a new way of delivering structured interventions that stop short of transfer of residence. We ended the day with Steve Miller M.D and Bill Bernet and the scientific evidence and clinical reasoning that underpins this field.
Bill Bernet talks about the scientific evidence for parental alienation
This is a gathering of professional who have power and influence in Europe and who shared with us throughout the day their thoughts in an interactive approach which allowed for development of key ideas.
Later in the day, Linda Gottlieb and I held a parents Q and A session to gather thoughts from the parent panel representatives in the audience and reflect upon the key issues facing families. The parent panel members are important representatives of the realities facing parents and the information from their input, which started with our survey and which will progress onwards after the conference to inform the work of the European Association, is key.
The headlines from the conference as summed up by Sir Paul are as follows –
- There is onward education work to be done across all disciplines.
- The need for EAPAP is clear
- There is a desperate need for international standardisation of terms and methodologies.
- There is an immediate need for highest quality training of all professionals – especially judges (2/3 of work done by magistrates in the UK – they need support)
- Need for speed in the process – court needs to recognise and act quicker (including judicial continuity)
- Therapy (the go to easy option) is of very limited use on its own and a complete waste of time without teeth provided by the court
- People have their own clouded judgement based on personal experience
- Caliber of speakers throughout the day was gold standard
- Sir Paul ended by endorsing EAPAP
We thank him for his work on the day and the tireless work he has done throughout his career to support children and families.
Day two starts at 9.30am today and we will be examining all aspects of mental health interventions which we know work for alienated children and families.
The two days are being filmed and will be shortly available on YouTube, I will alert you when they are ready.
We have made great strides in Europe over the past 24 hours. We have delegates in attendance who are clearly and strongly committed to taking this work forward with us and implementing the aims of EAPAP.
For your children and their children. We will not stop now.