The second day of the International Academy of Practice with Alienated Children Conference was packed full as the first, with a similar number of delegates in the auditorium and over a hundred delegates from around the world joining us online.
The day began with the Honorable Judge Dr Shiri Hyman from Haifa, who set out the work of the Judiciary and the areas of concern in cases where children align and reject a parent, followed by Ben D Garber PhD, who discussed the importance of considering dynamics and diagnosis.
Dr Sietske Dijkstra explored coercive control and the experience of alienated mothers, followed by Clinical psychologist and senior lecturer, David Banai, who described the similarities between the inducement of children and recruitment to cults, and suggested that the child must suppress its core memories.
Joan Long, a chartered psychologist and psychotherapist from the Republic of Ireland, described hesitancy in the Irish family court system and the challenges of working with alienation cases and the need for boundaries in the family and the system.
In the afternoon, Dr Inbal Kivenson Bar-On spoke further about the breakdown of social norms and the requirement to reinstate strong and stable boundaries around children and families affected by alienation whilst couple and family therapist, Dikla Sherel, talks about the systems around the family and the impact of interventions.
Israeli family lawyer, Moran Samun LLM, then expanded upon the interaction between law and psychotherapy and describes the role of lawyers in managing complex cases after which, Dr Benny Bailey, of Western Galilee College, about qualitative research into court mandated interventions in cases of alienation.
Our final session began with an interview between Karen Woodall and Dr Alice R. Berkowitz, clinical and forensic psychologist who practices in California, talking about her long experience of working with alienation, and reflecting on how therapists can work with negative projections. This lead to a presentation by Teodora Minčić, a psychologist and specialist in Medical Psychology, who joined the conference from Belgrade to talk about the hostile environment encountered by child protection workers and the need for practitioner safety.
Our final presentation was from psychologist Mia Roje Đapić who talked about the negative projection directed at practitioners by campaign groups, and the harm that this can do to children’s safety. The conference supported Mia’s call for practitioner courage and determination not to be terrorised by campaigners who create false narratives, in order to distract people from the harm which is caused to children when they are induced to use psychological splitting.
The conference closed with a resounding agreement that the work of the Academy is essential for the protection of abused children in divorce and separation and a strong and unified commitment to mutual protection and support from all the countries in attendance.
The conference attracted attention from nineteen countries around the world with 248 delegates. Brought together by funding and collegiate work between the Western Galilee College and the Family Separation Clinic, this conference was not for profit with all proceeds going to fund further development work by IAPAC.
There is much work now to be done to build upon this successful endeavour.
For those who attended, on demand recordings will be available, I will post details here and they will be on the IAPAC website. On demand purchase will also be available when the recordings are uploaded.