Parental alienation counsellors and therapists have formed a Europe-wide society.
The newly minted European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners was established following a meeting in Czech capital Prague attended by specialists in this understudied field.
With members from no less than 14 countries, the Association aims to draft clear standards and practices for therapists and counsellors working with families affected by the deliberate alienation of children from one of their parents. It will promote training, share the latest research and best practice guidance, and assist lawyers and mental health professionals to watch for signs and symptoms and respond in the most effective ways.
The European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners was formed at the instigation of the Family Separation Clinic in London. Lead therapist Karen Woodall, chaired the Prague meeting.
Attendees agreed that while awareness of parental alienation is increasing, official responses to the issue are often still inadequate and based on a patchy understanding of the phenomenon, leaving children “at risk of serious emotional and psychological harm.”
Standard family therapy rarely proves effective said Karen Woodall. She suggested that while the cultures and legal issues faced by alienation specialists in different countries may differ, the fundamentals are essentially the same so internationally recognised treatment standards would serve a valuable function. She discussed the emotional harm suffered by children caught up in parental alienation, describing this as “psychological splitting”, but said her experiences had taught her that this can be overcome.
The European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners will host a two day conference in London in August next year, aimed at delegates from the legal and mental health fields.
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