End of another year and end of a decade all at the same time. As in all end of decade years, this one has had its challenges in my world but as usual, with a curious mind and a willingness to listen, the lessons have come into clear view.
This work, to bring illumination to the dark space of parental alienation, is not without its risks and this year those risks have increased exponentially to the successful outcomes we have achieved for families.
Having been stalked by an obsessive unwell woman from South London whose behaviour has been alarming not to say malicious and having been denigrated and diagnosed relentlessly on the internet, my tolerance for negative transference is, you might say, well honed. The addition of false allegations and targeted attacks on my professional integrity has been at times somewhat alarming, but I have survived and thanks to the Metropolitan Police and a couple of regulatory bodies, I end the year feeling safer and more secure in my work than ever previously.
Needless to say, the learning is never wasted and the parallels of what I have been dealing with and what rejected parents have to cope with are not lost on me.
And so, as the ‘still point in a turning world‘ moves on, I am starting to plan for the biggest forward shift of my working life so far, an endeavour I am calling The Lighthouse Project.
The Lighthouse Project is the work we are doing around the world to bring learning and skills to families affected by parental alienation and the practitioners who work with them. This project is based upon doing rather than thinking and practice rather than study. We have enough knowledge now to build a successful and sustainable response to this problem and this is now our most urgent task.
The Lighthouse Project combines three important initiatives –
- To deliver a programme of support to rejected parents which allows them to switch on the beam of healthy signalling to their alienated children and develop the therapeutic parenting skills necessary to help their children find their way home.
- To build a workforce skilled in utilising the principles and protocols of alienation aware practice that enables successful intervention with families affected by it.
- To build a prevention strategy which is utilises knowledge and awareness of the harm that is done to children when they suffer from induced psychological splitting after divorce and separation and to raise consciousness around the world of how this underpins the dynamics seen in parental alienation.
Delivery of the Lighthouse Project will be as follows –
- Through the widest possible delivery of therapeutic parenting skills to families affected by parental alienation. Starting in Iceland in January, London in March, moving on to Croatia in June and landing in the USA in October, these workshops will be structured to help parents switch on the beam of knowledge, skill and awareness of how to work with their children to light a road home.
- Through a training programme to professionals, using the principles and protocols of internationally curated standards of practice which are shown to bring successful outcomes for families. This training is for clinicians, those who have a foundational qualification and who want to work successfully to recognised standards. Training is already planned in Ireland in March and will also be announced for the USA in 2020. Development training for those who have already completed training will take place in the UK and the USA throughout 2020.
- Through our work with the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners via which we will develop the prevention strategy already agreed and signed by over 800 professionals in the Balkan Region.
Parent Support To begin the work of switching the beam to full, the stepwise approach we teach in our parenting workshops will be available to parents in Iceland and our new therapeutic parenting workshop will be available inLondon and, we hope, in Zagreb. We will also begin a series of podcasts to support this work and we will find the time and space to write the book to accompany this as well as add to the delivery schedule for 2020 onwards.
Practitioner Support 2020 also begins with us writing the clinicians handbook to accompany the training programme for practitioners which will be delivered around the world from 2020 onwards. We aim to have this book published in 2020.
Prevention, Education and Standardised Practice 2020
Parental Separation, Alienation and Splitting: Healing Beyond Reunification
It is our great honor to invite you to the 3rd European Conference with international participation EAPAP (European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners), which will be organized by Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center in Zagreb on June 15-16, 2020 at the Hilton Garden Inn.
“Parental Separation, Alienation and Splitting: Healing Beyond Reunification” is the name of the conference, from which the course of action and goal of EAPAP is clear, namely a deep understanding of alienation and other difficulties for children related to parental separation, as well as the development of clear and scientifically based guidelines for the work of all child protection professionals.
The Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center’s Initiative “28 Conclusions of the Profession in Protecting Children from Emotional Abuse in Parental Divorce: Establishing Good Practice in Croatia” from last summer garnered more than 800 signatures from experts of different profiles from Croatia and the region, after Karen and Nick Woodall’s lecture held in Zagreb,
The lecture was viewed in person and via live stream video by more than 3000 interested experts and specialists.
The excellent response from the Croatian expert public has unambiguously shown the interest, need and goodwill for further development in this area, which is not surprising since about one third of parents’ divorces are highly conflictual and the most frequent victims of adult disagreement, poor system coordination. with relentless flow of time – are kids.
EAPAP is opening a new chapter on child protection in this area in Croatia, and more than twenty eminent lecturers from Europe, the USA and the region are expected, with multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral, scientific, but also practical presentations, discussions and solutions.
We look forward to your arrival and taking new steps in child protection.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee,
Professor Gordana Buljan Flander, M.D., PhD.
The Scientific and Organising Committee of the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners are delighted to welcome Jill Salberg Ph.D as our key note speaker for the EAPAP2020 Conference. In our view, Jill’s work in the field of traumatic attachment is an important area for exploration by all clinicians working in this field.
‘When trauma revisits a person trans-generationally through dysregulated and disrupted attachment patterns, it is within the child’s empathic attunement and search for a parental bond that the mode of transmission can be found.‘ Jill Salberg Ph.D
Jill Salberg, Ph.D., ABPP is a clinical associate professor and clinical consultant/supervisor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Her articles on Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma appear in international psychoanalytic journals and she has co-edited two books with Sue Grand, The Wounds of History: Repair and Resilience in the Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma, and Transgenerational Trauma and the Other: Dialogues Across History and Difference,(2017). Both books won the Gradiva Award for 2018. She is in private practice in New York, U.S.
The full list of speakers at the EAPAP2020 conference is –
Ass. prof., Primarius Vlatka Boričević Maršanić, MD, PhD, specialist in psychiatry, subspecialist in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychotherapist
Prof. Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, permanent court expert
Ass. Prof., Primarius Danijel Crnković, MD, PhD, specialist in psychiatry, subspecialist in biological psychiatry, permanent court expert
Danica Ergovac, Master of Psychology, social worker
Ana Hrabar, mag.iur., lawyer, specialist in children’s rights
Štefica Karačić, President of the Croatian Association of Social Workers
Eleonora Katić, mag.iur., lawyer
Kolinda Kolar, mag.iur., Judge at the Zagreb Municipal Civil Court
Lana Peto Kujundžić, PhD, President of the Zagreb County Court’s Youth Division, President of the Association of Youth Judges, Family Judges and Children and Youth Specialists
Ass. prof. Bruna Profaca, PhD, professor of psychology, clinical psychologist
Renata Šantek, mag.iur., Republic of Croatia Supreme Court Judge
Primarius Domagoj Štimac, MD, PhD, specialist in psychiatry, subspecialist in child and adolescent psychiatry, permanent court expert
Mirela Badurina, PhD, psychotherapist (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Benny Baily phD, Department of Criminology, West Galilee Academic College Research Fellow at the Haruv Institute (Israel)
Dr. Sietske Djistra (The Netherlands)
Dr. Claire Francica (Malta)
Professor Jennifer Harman (USA)
Dr. Inbal Kivenson Bar-On (Israel)
Darja Kuzmanič Korva, mag., Secretary of the Association of Centers for Social Work (Slovenia)
Teodora Minčić, MD, PhD, specialist in medical psychology, court expert (Serbia)
Ass. prof. Milica Pejović Milovančević, MD, PhD, Specialist in Child Psychiatry (Serbia)
Ass. prof. Jill Salberg, PhD (USA)
Simona Vladica, PhD (Romania)
Francesca Wiley QC (United Kingdom)
Karen Woodall Psychotherapist (United Kingdom)
Nick Woodall MA. Psychoanalytical Psychotherapist (United Kingdom)
Presentations and Master Classes will be delivered in the following areas of clinical practice
- The role of trans-generational transmission of trauma in parental alienation
- Reformulating understanding of parental alienation using Object Relations Theory
- Understanding the power and control dynamic and its role in parental alienation
- Attachment trauma and its role in parental alienation
- Understanding induced psychological splitting in a child after divorce and separation
- The role of the legal and mental health interlocking partnership in treatment
- Best practice in working with families in Israel.
- Learning from Romania on prevention and legal management of cases of parental alienation.
- Using principles and protocols of best practice in Malta.
- Interventions adapted from the internationally recognised principles and protocols in Croatia.
- Master class in legal management of parental alienation in the UK
- Towards a new integrative assessment, differentiation and treatment route for parental alienation
- Introducing internationally recognised principles and protocols for assessment, differentiation and treatment of the problem of parental alienation.
The EAPAP2020 conference in Zagreb is for practitioners in mental health and legal management of children’s relationships with parents after family separation including social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, attorneys, solicitors and barristers, Judges etc.
Part of this event will be live streamed for parents and a Q&A session will be held during this section.
We will also be looking at delivering a therapeutic parenting workshop for parents in Croatia and surrounding region during the week of the conference.
Costs for the conference are as follows – we very much look forward to welcoming all interested practitioners to Zagreb in June 2020.
Early registration fee – 122,00 EUR / until January 31, 2020
Standard fee. – 169,00 EUR / February 01 – March 15, 2020
Late registration fee – 203,00 EUR / from March 16, 2020
All prices include VAT.
Registration is now open HERE