Karen Woodall

Psychotherapist, Writer, Trainer, Researcher

Training with the Family Separation Clinic

Our training opportunities are designed to develop new practitioners in the field of parental alienation around the world.

In 2020 we will be working in Iceland, Ireland, Poland Croatia, Malta and the USA.

You can find out more information about our practitioner trainings in 2020 by checking back here regularly or visiting www.familyseparationclinic.co.uk

As part of our commitment to supporting practitioners working with alienated children and their families we have co-founded the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners 


For Parents

About the workshops

This workshop is an intensive, hands on opportunity to fully explore your own case and build a strategy for managing it. During the workshop we will be guiding you through the steps of understanding and managing your case in court and giving you practical advice on how to present your case to other professionals.

We will look at the internationally recognised standards of intervention for cases of parental alienation in this series of workshops and guide you through the steps of understanding what is available in your country currently and how to choose the best practitioners  available.

Learning how to get the best out of the court system and the mental health services available, we will help you to avoid the pitfalls and build a strong road to recovery for your child.

The next workshop for parents is in the UK on March 14 2020 in Central London, you can book here to attend.

13 thoughts on “Training with the Family Separation Clinic

  1. I see myself as a helper, although in some cases I seem to act more like a prophet of doom.
    I, like many helpers, have reached a manageable position in terms of co-parenting having recovered from a potentially disastrous destructive family separation.
    It has been a journey of some 9 years or so to date. I have received invaluable help and assistance from two Counsellors, one of whom is a lifelong friend, the charity Families need fathers and other family members.
    I dallied with the Courts for a year or so trying to get support for my role as a father (none of which was given)
    I approached Institutions such as Social services, Cafcass and the Department of Education, and my local Doctor looking for help but only came across prejudice.
    My saving grace was my Counsellor.
    It was she who made me realise more than anyone that the power to make change was in my own hands.
    It’s not that there was anything obviously wrong with me; I am not an alcoholic, I don’t suffer from any other serious addictions………it’s just that I was wondering around like a headless chicken lacking direction and failing to see the wood for the trees.
    Change takes many forms and I can list some here so you know where I can help.

    1 Empathy.
    I don’t mean just for your child. I mean for all the protagonists; not least your Ex.

    2 Emotional intelligence.
    Most people tend to value intelligence in terms of its academic status but if you want to recover from an emotional meltdown you will need the above.

    3 Parenting skills based on emotional intelligence.
    I cannot emphasise enough how important this is for you. We all think we know the best way to parent and it is far too easy to criticise our Ex. but there are key skills to be learnt which are seldom in evidence when you first split from your Ex.

    4 Self-help.
    This is crucial. Many of us are traumatised from the split and are unaware of how ill we have become. What we need is a boost of self-esteem, self-worth. Often we are at rock bottom and in this state of mind we often make the wrong decisions, one’s that will only aggravate our situation and erect barriers rather than heal. display our anger when it is your worthiness that is needed. A sense of injustice is not a parenting aid.

    5 Alienation.
    I have no cure for this and my personal experience is limited to dealing with the tendencies rather than extended lengths of separation. I have witnessed parents who have been separated from their children for a long time who still harbour hopes of a reunion and this is tragic. I can help these people but they must be willing to be brave and make personal changes. Some of the barriers set up by the target parent to prevent reunion seem to be constructed within themselves (a sort of emotional safety net). A great place to study parent/child reunion is on the Jeremy Kyle show. You may be struck by the ambivalence of target parents.
    If you still feel that your Ex. is the raging lunatic or the obsessing narcissist and a narcectomy is the only solution, then I probably can’t help you. This is all about you not about them.

    I am aware of the fact that Karen deals with the most extreme cases of alienation and I fully appreciate her expertise. I am particularly impressed by her approach to children and sensitivity to their needs. I have learnt a lot from Karen both in terms of the political and personal.
    I am a strong advocate for shared parenting with each parent having a substantial amount of time with their children. Ideally parents should not move too far apart, they should learn to accept one another and the individual relationships which develop between parent and child.

    Lastly if I haven’t put you off I am willing to talk and listen. Beware, I have been told I make a better coach than a counsellor.

    It would be good to share experiences with other helpers.

    Kind regards


    1. Nice points made here “Anonymous”. Well done for managing to establish a co-parenting status!

      Regrettably, I haven’t been able to do that, and maybe like some of the tragic cases you mention, I still harbour hope of reunion after something like 7 years….(gulp!)… Regardless, I agree with what what you say in general, and I also have begun focussing on myself more and more rather than blaming “them”.

      (PS. If you give yourself an anonymous pseudonym then we know how to reference you.)


    2. Hi, Sorry i have only just found this page, but have been aware of Karen and her husband work for quite a while.
      I am the non residential parent of 3 sons, 20 year old now at uni, 18 year old living in supported care, and an 12 year old. Just to give you a little background.
      My middle child 18, is the most affected by PA, the supported living really has allowed him, not to feel as under pressure of choosing which parent he sees. He was living with me, following his father throwing him out. But was put in the position that it was “wrong” to live with mum.

      I feel some of you headlines are spot on……get help, counselling, get help for the trauma you went for, as most of us are struggling at that point.

      Being emotional strong for the child.

      Empathy for the other parent, I feel may only take place, after you understand, learn what is taking place. This has taken me a while, due to my past trauma, and seeing the effect on the children.

      I agree with courts need to have 50/50 parenting as an ideal, as this removes parent competition, and hopefully if insisted by the courts, would disable any pressure of loyalty by parents.

      I am in the court arena right now, but as the exs first move, was to move away, 50/50 would be problematic, but possible.


  2. I’m going to put this out there…

    I’d like to write a book on uplifting, soul-lifting, heart-warming stories of reunification, although most may well appear to be miraculous. The book may well resemble the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” formats. I know there is that book by Dr. Amy Baker, but I’m sure that is different.

    Of course my intention is that I want it to be a mega-best-seller but also that this would be my way of helping “the cause”, of reaching out to others, alienated as I am, and help all of us focus on the positive, and at the same time be aware of the reality and just do the best we can.

    Anyone got any thoughts on the way forward? Any suggestions, thoughts, inputs or anything else by anyone at all is most welcome.

    Karen, is it OK to write this in other areas of this blog of yours?


    1. I am an alienated parent. No idea where to turn or how i can be in my Childrens life. I am one of those people who cling on the words that people say about when they are old enough they will come around. But I have no belief and it makes me so sad. Any help or advice will be sooooo welcome.


    2. Hello
      I just read that you are thinking of writing a book ….on alienation. I am in the process of writing about how alienation manifests itself in my family (extended and nuclear). I sure would like some company because todate it’s been a somewhat lonely task.


  3. In my own search to find any relatable comparison cases to my own extreme severe PA case I started this same journey for my own hope to find stories also. I was trying to seek successful stories from adult alienated children. My motivation died down after awhile but Let me know if you’d want to consider taking on this project together and co-author a New York Best Seller. Regardless, best of luck to your efforts to find the positive in the horror of parental alienation!


    1. Hey there! Thank you for your reply Anonymous Mommy!

      I think that’s a great idea that we really should talk about. Are you okay to email me your contact details on PapaMissingKids@gmail.com



      1. Hi Anonymous Mommy

        Was wondering if you have you received my email?



    2. Hello
      I have a similar story and am interested in writing an ethnographic account using my own family and experience. I have academic training and thought that I could write an interesting book/companion to a text book because I think people who haven’t experienced PA don’t comprehend what it is because it is unthinkable under so called ‘normal’ circumstances. I’m sure there is a better way of saying this and hope you know what I mean. I’m thinking of a co-authored text.


  4. Desperately Seeking professionals treating psychologist possibly forensic? And legal expertise. Victoria


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