No More Generic Therapy for Parental Alienation

There is a new dawn breaking in the field of parental alienation, especially in Europe where we continue the work of the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners.  This new dawn heralds what the internationally recognised standards of practice which are set down in research tell us.  Generic therapy in all of its forms are contraindicated in practice with alienated children and their families.  That does not been generic therapy is not recommended, it means it is FORBIDDEN.

Gone are the days when practitioners are free to simply make it up as they go along.  Gone are the days when practitioners can tell you that they don’t agree with international research.  Gone are the days when the people who work with you can tell you anything they want to because they know better than you do.

The European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners is being managed by the most senior experts in Europe in the field of parental alienation.  This group has come together out of concern for alienated children and  parents and the practitioners who wish to work with them using the international standards of practice which are known globally to be most effective.  This is not a project built upon a whim.  It is not a project based upon the idea that the field of parental alienation should be open to all who wish to say they are expert.  This is a serious and sustained piece of work to protect the families who suffer this pernicious and complicated problem and to prevent them from being preyed upon by people who say they are experts when in fact they are anything but.

This is an incredibly toxic arena to work in and one which some seem to think can be turned into some kind of playground for anyone who wants to join in.  Let me tell you this.  Suffering parental alienation is no picnic and working with it is no playground.  EAPAP is not designed to make heroes out of those who become members, it is designed to train, mentor, supervise and develop the highest calibre of professionals possible.  This is not about people being able to claim the status of parental alienation expert, it is about ensuring that there is a group of people drawn from each country in Europe, who are trained, skilled, supported and protected in work which is repeatedly successful because it is underpinned by the internationally recognised standards of practice.  In an environment where self proclaimed experts are popping up like mushrooms in a dank dark field, families urgently need the protection that EAPAP can give them, it is our intention to ensure that 2019 will provide that across Europe.

I read recently the avid attempts of one person in the UK who believes that EAPAP is advocating a ‘my way or the highway’ approach to working with PA.  You bet we are and why would we not be?  International standards of practice are set down in the research and as Steve Miller M.D showed us at the conference in London (you can see his slides here) generic therapy for parental alienation is not only contraindicated, it is FORBIDDEN.

Arguing that the set down standards of practice are somehow not helpful therefore, is a bit like telling a brain surgeon that advocating the right way to perform brain surgery is unhelpful to the overall field of brain health.   Others in the UK who spend their time writing critical observations about those of us who are working to bring about safe and successful practice with families affected by parental alienation, are irritants who can be largely ignored but the questions these people raise in my mind remain the same.  Why, when the internationally recognised standards of practice are so clearly set down in the historical literature, is there a need to change or challenge those guidelines?  Could it be personal?  Could it be political?  I think it is a toxic mixture of both myself, with a healthy dose of arrogant self interest thrown in.

We are not making this up as we go along at EAPAP.   The work we are doing links directly to that which was started in 2002 by Wilfred Von Boch-Galhau and colleagues, work which you can read about here.  Wilfred is on the board of the EAPAP and bringing his special expertise to developing the internal standards and guidelines which will embed EAPAP as the kite mark of gold standard practice in this field in Europe.  This project is serious, it is timely and it is designed  to clean up practice with families to protect them and the practitioners who work with them, from the harm that unscrupulous others do.

2019 is a big year for the work of EAPAP with our first project being training to the Judiciary around Europe on best practice in this field.  With powerful background support for this, we will be producing information and guidance and demonstrating how the use of internationally recognised standards of practice, bring repeated success across the spectrum of parental alienation from mild to severe and at all ages of children.

No more generic therapy is our motto.  Showcasing structured, time limited interventions which use therapeutic strategies to build sustainable change, EAPAP will demonstrate to parents and the Judiciary those standards which are required in this field.  This will enable parents to choose interventions which are EAPAP approved and will demonstrate to the Judiciary that a practitioner can do what they claim to do.

The time for paying thousands for endless weeks of once a week therapy is over.  The time for submitting to the lofty expertise of people who say they are experts is over.  The time for making it up as we go along but calling ourselves parental alienation experts is also over.

We do not come from out of the blue.  We are not self appointed Tsars, we are people who have followed the trail of those who went before us, building upon historical evidence and practice and adding to that our own experience and knowledge.  We work with those who know and do.

The past is our foundation, the future is our promise to children and families affected by parental alienation.

EAPAP is changing your world.


7 thoughts on “No More Generic Therapy for Parental Alienation

  1. My father was on his own by age 12, he turned out exceptionally good at his work,obviously with no parents support.
    They had the money to send me to a good school, and I turned out bad.
    The question for my tiny brain, is if you see a correlationship with parents
    giving a lot or is it better for kids to own their own mark in a workforce?


  2. Thank you for caring Karen.

    Cafcass culture is supported without any evidence (as far as I know). Outcomes of children undergoing a Cafcass form of treatment will not have been followed up by any long term survey. An open ended ‘experiment’ carried out on tens of thousands of children every year.

    The medical community, in contrast carefully evaluate every single treatment at substantial cost. Risks are identified, quantified and made public so informed decisions are made. We expect this responsibility to be carried out by the N.H.S but not by this public institution? Researched outcomes are fundamentally needed to function properly. To argue against it and let car manufacturers, social housing, criminal justice, water authorities free to supply whatever they ‘feel’ is fit for purpose is crazy. Isn’t it time Cafcass evaluated it’s own outcomes?

    Research may not be cheap or quick, and to design it will need lots of consideration. The alternative however may be many future law suits based around negligence.


  3. I think you have to be clear about what you mean about generic therapy, and where it is appropriate. It is clear to me that legal and social adherence to the “voice of the child” has done a lot of damage making the voice of the child an indication of it’s welfare. There is a lot of ignorance around these difficult family scenarios that needs to be cleared up.


    1. I’m sure there is – whilst we say no more generic therapy as a motto, EAPAP will set out what the internationally recognised standards of intervention look like. We begin with a judicial training programme across Europe.


  4. This is somewhat concerning. I’m glad there is a specialized therapy for this, but the extreme language that’s used throughout the blog makes me skeptical. I grew up with very black and white-thinking parents and when I see ‘forbidden’ and other somewhat-theatrical language, I am very concerned. If I did not believe in your true want to change the way parental alienation is looked at, I might question whether this was a pitch. I think, when dealing with children of parental alienation, even if the situation is extreme, the language and the emotion needs to be toned down (if by a professional).


    1. I think your reaction to this may be because you grew up with black and white thinking parents. This is not a pitch for anything apart from the right way to treat what is one of the most problematic presentations it is possible to encounter in psychology or psychotherapy. Listen to Steve Miller and think carefully about what he is saying. You may need language toning down but the interventions which need delivering do not need to be toned down they need to be CORRECT for the dynamics which are causing the problem. If you analyse the blog, what is extreme about it? That there is a correct way to treat PA? That methods which harm children should not be used? What is extreme about that, think carefully about it. If it were cancer would you want someone experimenting on you? Not sure what is theatrical about the language – forbidden is what contraindicated actually means – Steve Miller is an MD, he is a world expert in clinical reasoning. When dealing with children who are alienated of course one does not use such language but when arguing for change and the right way to treat alienation one certainly does.


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