17 Comments

  1. Hi Karen
    My name is Jim- not sure where to say thanks but your blogs and analysis of what is going on in family services and the courts was a huge inspiration to carry on in my attempts to see my kids. After numerous allegations of domestic violence, which were all disposed of in court and four years of utter heart break, 27 court hearings, 5 investigations by social services and 3 by cafcass with one commital for prison (as a consequence of the police overruling the court on account of issues the children made known to them and them returning to my home and me then being deemed to be in contempt) our children were finally allowed to move back their home with me in November 2012 having been wrongfully removed in January 2009. Ultimatley they were the ones who fought hard to have me back in their lives – my daughter recently saying to me that I didnt get them back – they got me back. I am desperate to try to be as inclusive asI can be with mum despite everything but that is difficult with mum refusing to acknowledge or work with me towards a more shared parenting arrangement. Much of her time is spent trying to continue to undermine the childrens relationship with me, my partner and her children (our four children being very close). I have read much of your book on seperated families but wonder if there is anything more I can do vis a vis getting mum back on board such that the hurt of the past can be put behind us and the needs of our children become the predominant focus.
    I remember recalling a dark moment having been told by Social services that I should, for the sake of the children step out of their lives – all in a report based on an ‘interview’ with me that had never happened, and it was the knowledge that others such as you knew differently that kept me going.

    Again thanks so much for the inspiration

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  2. Jim your story personifies others who have suffered likewise. I am researching this more locally in West Cornwall and daily I receive as a trained Samaritan issues which you write about in variation.

    Most of my clients when asked what they feel about their family situation want two fundamental realities.

    1. The return of the children into a caring and loving family where they know that they are
    then doubly loved, supported and protected. Where both parents have to act to themselves with parental responsibility.
    2. To have the current legislation changed to include the repeal of the Children’s Act 1989 and to incorporate the protection schedules/sections into a new and all encompassing legislation to fundamentally include responsible parity or equality of cooperative parenting…(not just shared parenting). They want both parents to be examined for their ability to be parents which is the most important job ever, and if incapable train to do this and it would (through the like with associated therapy) provide for greatly improved parents and weed out those with personality and narcissistic personality disorders to provide relevant therapy before becoming an engaging and balanced parent.

    Not much really when you think of the benefits to 1/3 children currently being abused and the savings on unnecessary Court cased would be incalculable!

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  3. One more point brought to my attention in regards to Jim’s position above. Re, Local Authority; use any means to bring them morally and legally to their knees. Use all methods available re: Data Protection Act and Court Transcripts.If LA knew that they were going to be sued by up to 20% of all households in their jurisdiction then they would soon join Karen Woodall’s classes to retrain all their Children Services Offices…who are public servants and who similarly don’t like the national press knowing that they are aiding and abetting domestic violence (including that of associated parental alienation) due to polarised actions of parents who are effecting this (cryptically) as well as overt criminals of the opposite extreme who are quite rightly charged criminally as those who act abusively as parental alienators.

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  4. Hello Karen

    I am a children’s guardian (please do not hate me) involved with my partner in his own private law proceedings which are now in their 5th year! It’s ironic because I act as a public and private law guardian yet I am powerless in terms of our own private law case. I now truly know what it feels like when no ones believes you even the guardian who simply states the children must be telling the truth.

    When I met my partner three years ago his children ran into his arms and told them they loved him they now say ‘all we won’t for Christmas is you dead’ he has endured as have they 5 Cafcass officers, 32 court hearings, play and family therapy 78 positive contact sessions, positive report from independent social worker and no findings at finding of fact. 3 years in magistrates court and 9 judges! And get again as contact progresses to overnight for the third time more allegations. I’ve seen three beautiful children destroyed emotionally, confused and so full of anger. Yet the Gaussian believes every word the children says even in light of all the evidence.
    I am at breaking point and can only imagine how these poor children must be feeling. To have feelings of such hatred for a man that adores them is heart breaking.

    I feel how an innocent person must feel in death row, desperately wanting to prove ones innocence when nobody is listening. Trying to protest and being scutinised. I genuinely have a pain in my heart, I feel such loss and sadness for these children whose childhood has been stolen and who have had positive childhood memories replaced poison and mistrusted.
    We are still in the process contact will be cancelled again no doubt another hearing more trying to defend ourselves for something we have not done. I have no doubt the damage has been done.

    The saddest lies in the fact that my partner is a great man and father and without his children he is not whole and I am not sure what lies ahead for us with a gap that can never be filed.

    J x

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    1. J, I don’t hate children’s Guardians please don’t think that I am simply hating on them as a group I am not, I work with some fantastic Guardians who have helped to save children in the situation you describe, the Guardians I fear and reserve my contempt for are those who faced with the suffering of children, the complexity of their withdrawal and the reality that the rejected parent has done nothing wrong, still act in a manner in which their political ideology drives their decisions. Those people are despicable in my view, but Guardians per se are not.

      My heart goes out to you for you are someone who works in that post and who is watching the power that another Guardian has to damage your partner and his beloved children. This is a position not unlike the one I find myself in sometimes, because in some people’s cases you can do so much good but in your others you are a helpless bystander. It is a ghastly thing to understand what needs to be done but be powerless to make it happen on a wide scale.

      I hope you will find on here and on our new site coming as soon as we get downtime from our too busy working schedule, the help you need. If you want more help or assistance you can contact us at the Family Separation Clinic. Very best Karen

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    2. Hi Jayne,
      I can relate to what you are going through. I am a lawyer, and had the same story play out with my partner within the first 6 months of us getting together. He had no contact with his youngest child for 6 months until contact centre visits commenced. He had no interaction, contact or communication with his older children for over 2.5 years. We decided not to pursue a legal solution. Instead we choose the “high road” of paying as much child support as possible always saying yes to the mother’s requests and giving gifts. For us it worked, and he now has all of 3 children back in his life. What I wanted to say to you is to be mindful about how much of the emotional weight you are carrying. Because from this view point, looking back, I can see that I carried far too much of the guilt, shame and pain of the rejection. I see now that my partner was a player in the alienation, that he is responsible for much of what occurred, and that through negativity, depression and passivity he also allowed me to become the driver in trying to resolve the situation. As a result, I carried the responsibility for every intervention towards reconciliation. If you are a capable rescuer, beware of falling into this trap! In some ways its important to accept, on emotional level that this is a drama he is playing out with his first family, and you don’t really need to join in. I also want to mention be careful about making the other parent, the alienating parent “a baddy” It is so difficult, when you live with the anguish alienation causes, but any negativity towards the other party prevents reconciliation. I practiced continually loving and forgiving the children’s mother so much, that I eventually fully understood and accepted her decision, even though I could also see how cruel it was. we are now friends! One final thing, things do change… especially when we change ourselves. 😀

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  5. Hi Karen, I read the posts and cried. So like the struggle I and my two little children have endured over the past 5 years. Guernsey is so corrupt with the Family Courts, lawyers and Child Services etc all joined together to destroy the targeted parent. Ive see my two children’s happy faces slowly being turned to misery and I’m powerless to do anything. I’ve seen the fear in my little Princesses eyes when I dropped her off and my ex wife’s partner was there…the abuse my little boys endured but still nothing done. The false allegations of sexual abuse I have endured and my daughter aged 3 subsequently being examined invasively on two occasions with no charges being brought against the mother for false allegations or child abuse re examinations. I could go on…

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  6. Hi Karen, I am a parent of 5, and have been alienated from my chidren by their mother. Please tell me, what is your plan for solving “parental alienation” using the Gardernian PAS model?

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    1. If you would like to speak to people for whom we have resolved the problem of alienation in their child, please do ask me for a list of names of those with whom I have worked. There are many of them willing to speak about my reunification work. I have absolutely no idea what you mean when you talk about a ‘Gardnerian PAS model’, I use the concept of the alienated child as opposed to parental alienation in my work and PAS was long ago discarded as a label. If you would like details of all of the concepts, assessment protocols and other details of how we work, our book will be published shortly by Charles C Thomas.

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  7. I have stumbled across this after trying to undertake some research on this matter. I’m a children’s social worker, but more importantly a mother to a nearly 6yr old boy. Myself and his father are happily married and he has two much older siblings (18 &20). I’m really struggling with the relationship between myself and my son. He has always favoured his father but over the last year this has escalated to a point whereby if I touch him he acts revoluted, he shuns any affection and rejects my attempts of communication. I’m at a bit of a loss and I feel because of my profession i should know how to handle this, but clearly don’t. I’m trying not to take this personally, but finding it quite difficult. I’ve just ordered your book, but from what I have seen this focuses on separated families?! Is that right?

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    1. Hi Karla, it sounds as if your son is going through one of those alignment phases that some children go through naturally. I cannot give you generic advice but I do work with children who behave like this in families which live together. Six/seven is a critical age for a boy, his relationship with his mother changes naturally as he starts to see himself as an older child and begins to identify with men more. It would depend on how you and your husband work together but now is the time of your boy to learn respect for women and girls and through seeing his father and you in relationship together and for his father to assist him to understand that he does not have to reject you just because he feels himself to be a bigger boy now. I would want to investigate attitudes in your family to men and women too and also take a look at how your son is being schooled to understand the full picture. If he is completely rejecting you then it would be important to really dig underneath and see if anything has occurred in recent weeks/months. You can email me at office@familyseparationclinic.co.uk and send me some more details and I will advise if I can, if I think there is more information needed I will ask for it and advise you on how we can help. You might want to take a look at some of the child development literature, I can send you details of good books to read if you email me. Very best Karen

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  8. Hi Karen

    I am a children’s social worker, more and more I am coming across what appears to be parental alienation. I have encountered mother and fathers being targeted, interestingly it appears more so in my experience that it is mothers being targeted.

    I would like to know if you can signpost me to resources to support both targeted parents and the parent alienating and also any advice around reunification.

    I am currently working with children who are subject to ongoing and lengthy proceedings both private and public law.

    Any advice would be greatly received.

    Many Thanks.

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  9. Thank you sharing such a accurate reflection on the pain and anguish I’m feeling right now.

    For the last two years I’ve noticed a difference in my two children both 14 – it was always hard to articulate but I noticed no matter what I did there was no gratitude and a lack of interest – even empathy at times (which has increased significantly this year) both would return from the alienators almost pumped up with rehearsed things to challenge me on or ridicule my plans, hopes and beliefs. This has resulted in a child who is suffering with mental health issues and one who is completely indifferent to me.

    The children left me just over a month ago ( planned and carried out without my knowledge whilst I was at work) they have been exposed to messages to me which completely obliterate my love for them as a mother accusations of emotional abuse and portraying me as a narcissist who they need protection from. When I try to make plans these are overuled and controlled by their father. Every disagreement I have ever had with the children has been completely embellished to me not caring, respecting them and not being capable of love. Which sadly my children seem to believe. All I have tried to do guide and put in place boundaries which will serve them well as young adults.

    I can’t get help anywhere social services tell me to see a solicitor, mental health service are supporting the alienation even more and I’m no longer involved in my daughters care as I suspect they are in the belief there has been emotional abuse in her life. My ex is refusing mediation which I have tried to set up and has told the children it’s ridiculous and will not work as not legally binding which they have both parroted back to me.

    I feel like I’m just existing through this – my work is affected and I cannot make social plans as I’m completely consumed by this. I feel
    Exhausted and starting to become ill from the loss of the children I have nutured up and till now.

    My children are suffering and they believe this is due to my ‘behaviour’

    I feel helpless

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