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Entries in Karen Woodall (2)


Parental Alienation: interview with Karen Woodall

When Karen Woodall from the Centre for Separated Families was in Edinburgh for our events on December 4th we filmed a short interview with her.

Kare gave two talks that day, one to a audience composed mainly of professionals (lawyers, mediators, child psychiatrists and people working with children and parents).  After mentioning how the English courts are recognising alienation as a feature of some high conflict contact disputes, she described how this unreasonable rejection of one parent is a sign that a child's adaptation to parental separation has gone wrong.

She talked about cases she has experienced and treatment routes involving work with the whole family.  The need for a "super-parent" was mentioned - taking a role when the parents themselves aren't able to sort things out. 

For cases in court, the judge could act as "super-parent", and in discussion it was commented that a few Sheriff's are already dong this.

The evening session was attended by parents and grandparents who are experiencing alienation, including some who are not seeing their children at all.  Karen talked about the causes of alienation and how it is affected by the previous experience of the parents, as well as offering reassurance that alienated children do eventually seek out the rejected parent.

In bringing Karen Woodall to Scotland, FNFS hopes to promote follow-on work both amongst the legal and family support professionals and amongst Scottish parents affected by alienation.  We are gathering comments and experiences through a short survey which is open to anyone, not just participants at the events, and will promote further networking. 

See also this Scottish site and Karen's blog.


Parental Alienation: how to spot, treat it and prevent it

Parental Alienation is a feature of some high-conflict contact disputes between separated parents, in which children develop an extraordinary fear and loathing of one parent and a simultaneous total loyalty to the other parent. These children show complete resistance to any form of contact with the non-resident parent (not only refusing to visit, but also refusing to receive cards or presents, and often destroying those that are sent) and they openly express an extraordinary level of hostility and/or fear of a parent with whom they once had a loving relationship. 

 Karen Woodall will speak at two events in Edinburgh on Tuesday December 4th to Edinburgh to talk about her work with high conflict families experiencing parental alienation. The afternoon event is intended for professionals working with families, and the evening event for FNF members and others affected by parental alienation although these events are open to all comers.  Tickets can be booked online using the above links or by emailing scotland@fnf.org.uk or ringing 0131 557 2440..

Karen will describe how she has begun to form the foundations of a methodology for assisting families experiencing alienation after divorce or separation  This work is founded in the belief that supporting the whole family is the right approach: gender mainstreaming rather than excluding and sometimes vilifying fathers.

.Karen Woodall is chief executive of the Centre For Separated Families (www.separatedfamilies.info), a charity that works with everyone affected by family separation in order to bring about better outcomes for children. Their services are available to parents who are sharing care, those who are caring for their children alone and those who are not able to spend time with their children.

She is also the co-author of Putting Children First, a handbook for separated parents and has been expressing her views in an outspoken blog http://karenwoodall.wordpress.com/