The Stockholm Conference: PA-What Is It? What To Do About It?Program Book

 

SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE PARENTAL ALIENATION STUDY GROUP

Stockholm, Sweden – August 24-25, 2018

 

Parental Alienation Study Group Mission Statement

Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG) is an international, not-for-profit corporation. PASG has about 500 members – mostly mental health and legal professionals – from 50 countries. The members of PASG are interested in educating the general public, mental health clinicians, forensic practitioners, attorneys, and judges regarding parental alienation. PASG members are also interested in developing and promoting research on the causes, evaluation, prevention, and treatment of parental alienation.

 

Board of Directors of PASG

William Bernet, M.D., President

Abe Worenklein, Ph.D., Secretary

Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D., Treasurer

Amy J. L. Baker, Ph.D.

J. Michael Bone, Ph.D.

Wilfrid von Boch-Galhau, M.D.

Lena Hellblom Sjögren, Ph.D.

 

Board of Directors of PASG Nordic

Lena Hellblom Sjögren, Ph.D., Chairperson and Secretary Jan Angner, Treasurer

Carl Söderberg, Member Ulrika Ekenberg, Member Ingemar Lilleberg, Deputy Maritta Lilleberg, Auditor

 

Welcome to Skeppsholmen

On the image above, the red DAY ONE indicates the Östasiatiska Museets hörsal, Skeppsholmen (The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities), the meeting place for Friday, August 24.

The red DAY TWO indicates Skeppsholmens folkhögskola, segelsömmarsalen, Slupskjulsvägen 12 (Folk High School), the meeting place for Saturday, August 25.

The island of Skeppsholmen became the naval port of Stockholm in 1634. Positioned strategically at the Baltic Sea entrance to Stockholm, it has traditionally been the location of several military naval buildings. The oldest building, the admiralty house during 1647-48, was rebuilt in Renaissance style in 1854-56. Since the movement of the military functions elsewhere, there is no longer any military presence. Several museums are found on Skeppsholmen, such as the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) and Östasiatiska Museet. On the southern shore is the old sailing ship af Chapman which is now a youth hostel.

 

Day One – Friday, August 24, 2018

Östasiatiska Museets hörsal, Skeppsholmen

PARENTAL ALIENATION – WHAT IS IT? Coordinator for Day One: Demosthenes Lorandos

8.30 Registration

9.00 Welcome and Some Practical Information

9.15 William Bernet – “The Scientific Foundation for Parental Alienation”

10.00 Amy J. L. Baker – “What Research Says about Parental Alienation Strategies and the Harm Done to Children and Families”

10.45 COFFEE / TEA

11.00 Ronald P. Rohner – “They Love Me, They Love Me Not – And Why It Matters”

11.30 Simona Maria Vlǎdica – “Parental Alienation – A Form of Severe Child Psychological Abuse: Implications for the Decision-Making of the Courts on the Exercise of Parental Authority”

12.15 Nick Child – “Finding Parental Alienation on a Bigger Map: Useful Learning from Wider Perspectives”

13.00 LUNCH at the restaurant at Moderna Museet

14.00 Steven G. Miller – “How Can – and Should – Professionals Accurately Distinguish between Alienation and Estrangement?”

14.45 Matej Zaplotnik – “Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities: Experience of Parental Alienation in Slovenia”

15.30 Ryan Thomas – “When Your Alienated Child Doesn’t Respond”

16.00 Panel Discussion – Tapio Koivula (Finland), Eivind Meland (Norway), Daniel Goldmand (Denmark), and Stefan Sandén (Sweden) – “Perceptions of Parental Alienation in the Nordic Countries”

17.00 Conclusion

 

Day Two – Saturday, August 25, 2018

Skeppsholmens folkhögskola, segelsömmarsalen, Slupskjulsvägen 12

PARENTAL ALIENATION – WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT? Coordinator for Day Two: William Bernet

8.00 Asunción Tejedor Huerta – “What Can Experts Do in Cases of Parental Aliena- tion?”

8.45 Ursula Kodjoe – “Consensus Model in Germany with Interdisciplinary Coopera- tion: Early Intervention as Best Prevention”

9.30 COFFEE / TEA

10.00 Demosthenes Lorandos – “Foundation for Cross Examination of Critics of Parental Alienation”

10.45 Ashish Joshi – “Parental Alienation: An International Perspective – From ‘Gard- ner’s Theory’ to Child Abuse”

11.30 Questions and comments for four morning speakers regarding legal perspectives on parental alienation.

12.00 LUNCH at Skeppsholmens folkhögskola

13.00 Jennifer Harman – “Power Structures among Families Affected by Parental Alienation: Implications and Interventions”

13.45 Karen Woodall and Nick Woodall – “Reunification Work: Experiences from Lon- don”

14.30 Linda Gottlieb – “Taking the Child and Alienated Parent Down Memory Lane to Reunite: A Role-Play”

15.15 Day Two Panel – “Parental Alienation: What To Do About It in the Future? Take- home Messages from the PASG2018 Conference”

16.00 Conclusion

 

PROGRAM  MANAGERS

Chairperson of PASG2018 Program Committee: Lena Hellblom Sjögren, Ph.D., is an investigative forensic psychologist and researcher in Sweden, with an interest in human rights, democracy, and the violations of these rights. Dr. Hellblom Sjögren is a member of Board of Directors of PASG and is the chairperson of PASG Nordic. She has published books regarding paren- tal alienation as a violation of the child’s human rights: Hemligheter och minnen: Att utreda tillförlitlighet i sexualbrottmal (Secrets and Memories: To Investigate Reliability in Sexual Criminal Cases) and Barnets rätt till familjeliv: 25 svenska fall av föräldra (The Child’s Right to Family Life: 25 Swedish Cases of Parental Alienation). Dr. Hellblom Sjögren contributed a chapter for The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome. She has testified as an expert witness in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Ireland.

Chairperson of PASG Technology Committee: Tom Janssen, a technologist in Antwerp, Bel- gium, is an alienated father and director of JATO, a company helping and coaching alienated parents.

 

SCIENTIFIC COUNCIL FOR PASG2018

Nils-Göran Areskoug, M.D., Ph.D., a physician and musician, is a fellow of the Strömstad Acad- emy in Sweden. Dr. Areskorg studied intergenerational parental alienation in Scandinavia. He proposed establishing a Nordic center of clinical research, education, and rehabilitation of fami- lies who experience parental alienation.

William Bernet, M.D., professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, is the president of the Parental Alienation Study Group.

Lars Dencik, Ph.D., is senior professor of Social Psychology at Roskilde University, Denmark, where he founded the Centre for Childhood and Family Studies. His research has focused on the impact of societal modernization on family life and children’s development.

Lena Hellblom Sjögren, Ph.D., is a member of the Board of Directors of Parental Alienation Study Group and the chairperson for PASG Nordic and for the Program Committee for PASG2018.

Eivind Meland, M.D., is professor at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Bergen, where he specializes in family medicine. He has many years’ experience in preventive health services for children and adolescents, with publications on divorce and loss of parental contact.

J. P. Roos, Ph.D., is professor emeritus in Social Policy at the University of Helsinki. He has published extensively on well-being, life stories, generations, and generational helping. He points out that the concept of parental alienation has relevance for grandparents who may be hindered in having contact with their grandchildren.

Frode Thuen, Ph.D., is professor at the Centre of Evidence Practice at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. He is also a psychologist in private practice. Family issues and couple relationships are the main areas of his research and clinical interests, including disputes and conflicts between divorced parents and how this influences the psychosocial health and development of their children.

Per-Ole Träskman, LL.D., professor emeritus at the University of Lund, was formerly the Dean of the Faculty. He has also been a professor in criminal law and the law of procedure at the University of Helsinki. He has published books and many scientific articles regarding criminal law and criminal procedure.

 

SPONSORS OF PASG2018

Several donors have contributed significantly to the financial support of PASG2018. One of them is a Swedish targeted father, whose two oldest children have lost their father due to the lack of knowledge of parental alienation. We greatly appreciate the generosity of the donors.

Thanks to Our Donors

The leadership and members of PASG greatly appreciate the generosity of individuals and institutions who donate to this organization. Donations may be made through the website (www.pasg.info), by making scheduled monthly contributions through PayPal, or by contacting any member of the PASG Board of Directors.

 

ABSTRACTS AND PRESENTERS

DAY ONE
PARENTAL ALIENATION – WHAT IS IT?

Presenter: William Bernet, M.D.
Title: “The Scientific Foundation for Parental Alienation”

Abstract: Detractors and deniers of parental alienation have frequently cited “the lack of em- pirical evidence” to criticize the importance and even the existence of this mental condi-
tion. This presentation will introduce the evidence that supports the reality and the signifi- cance of parental alienation. (1) In courts in the United States, scientific validity can be demon- strated by showing that the concept has been generally accepted in the scientific community. Parental alienation has been recognized by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychological Association, the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and the World Health Organization. (2) There is a vast amount of descrip- tive, qualitative research, e.g., the work of Wallerstein, Gardner, Kopetski, Clawar, Rivlin, John- ston, Bricklin, and Warshak. (3) Regarding quantitative research, it is possible to distinguish loyalty conflicts (a common, mild mental condition) from parental alienation (a rare, serious mental condition).

Information about Presenter:

William Bernet, M.D., a graduate of Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, is a professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. In 2007, Dr. Bernet and Judge Don R. Ash published Children of Di- vorce: A Practical Guide for Parents, Therapists, Attorneys, and Judges. Dr. Bernet edited Parental Alienation, DSM-5, and ICD-11, which was published in 2010. Dr. Bernet and his colleagues edited Parental Alienation: The Handbook for Mental Health and Legal Profession- als, which was published in 2013. He was the founder and first president of the Parental Alien- ation Study Group.

*****

Presenter: Amy J. L. Baker, Ph.D.
Title: “What Research Says About Parental Alienation Strategies and the Harm Done to Chil-dren and Families”

Abstract: Dr. Baker will review the 4-Factor Model for identifying whether a child’s rejection of a parent is due to alienation: (1) a prior positive relationship between the child and the now re- jected parent; (2) absence of abuse or neglect on the part of the now rejected parent; (3) use of multiple alienating behaviors on the part of the favored parent; and (4) the child exhibiting behaviors consistent with alienation. Particular attention will be paid to the alienating behaviors of the favored parent and the research basis for them. The presentation will also briefly review the 11 reasons why the courts should intervene. For example, the negative long-term conse- quences of parental alienation for children’s social-emotional functioning and well-being, with a discussion of some of the key research findings.

Information about Presenter:

Dr. Baker has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Teach- ers College of Columbia University. Her expertise includes parental alienation, children in the child welfare system, and psychological maltreatment.

She is the author or co-author of 8 books as well as over 110 published articles. Some of her books include Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Breaking the Ties that Bind and Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex. She is also a co-author of the psychological maltreatment guidelines developed by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. Dr. Baker provides workshops and trainings on parental alienation and psychological maltreatment to legal and mental health professionals across the United States and abroad. She also provides telephone coaching for targeted parents and has provided expert testimony across the U.S.

*****

Presenter: Ronald P. Rohner, Ph.D.
Title: “They Love Me, They Love Me Not – And Why It Matters”

Abstract: In this video of a TED Talk, Dr. Ronald P. Rohner provides a 15-minute overview of In- terpersonal Acceptance-Rejection Theory. IPARTheory holds that the most fundamental com- ponents of human psychology and behavior are the complementary feelings of love and rejec- tion. The experience of a loving relationship is more uniform, while rejection can take the form of hostility, indifference, and “undifferentiated rejection.” Acceptance by the important people in one’s life leads to a healthy psychological adjustment; persistent rejection may lead to anxie- ty, insecurity, anger, impaired self-esteem, and even suicidality. Dr. Rohner emphasizes that the physical experience of acceptance – i.e., hugs – is important.

Information about Presenter:

Ronald P. Rohner, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of Human De- velopment and Family Studies and Anthropology at the University of Connecticut in the USA. He is also the founding President and Executive Director of the International Society for Interper- sonal Acceptance and Rejection. Moreover, he is author of Interpersonal Acceptance-Rejection Theory, along with most of the measures used to empirically test the theory. As a result of his lifetime commitment to cross-cultural research, Dr. Rohner received the American Psychologi- cal Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psy- chology. He also received the Outstanding International Psychologist Award from the USA for 2008.

*****

Presenter: Simona Maria Vlǎdica, Ph.D.
Title: “Parental Alienation – A Form of Severe Child Psychological Abuse: Implications for the Decision-Making of the Courts on the Exercise of Parental Authority”

Abstract: The minor, a victim of parental alienation, is threatened with leaving if they don`t participate in the denigration campaign of the other parent. Also, the child is emotionally dependent on his parents and, if he remains with one parent, he is emotionally dependent only on this parent. All children love their parents, but not all the parents love their children. The psychological effects of alienation on the child do not hesitate to appear. There is the risk of depression due to the feeling of “loss” of one of the two parents. After a while, the internal psychological and emotional organization of the child becomes centered around the rejection of the parent who has no permanent access. Interventions should include: (1) Prevention, since the greatest hope for alienated children is the early identification of symptoms by judges and prosecutors and specialized psychological intervention. (2) Concrete actions, among which psychological counseling and resumption of natural relationships with the nonresident parent, initially with the help of specialists such as psychologists.

Information about Presenter:

Simona Maria Vlǎdica, Ph.D., is a psychologist and authorized mediator in Bucharest, Romania. She is a lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology – Ecological Uni- versity of Bucharest and the head of Health Media Group in Romania, a communications and public relations company dedicated to education and health care. Dr. Vlădica is also the repre- sentative of the Professional Body of Mediators in the relationship with the judiciary at the Bu- charest Court of Appeal.

 

***** Presenter: Nick Child, B.Sc., MBChB, MRCPsych, M.Phil.

Title: “Finding Parental Alienation on a Bigger Map: Useful Learning from Wider Perspectives”

Abstract: For decades those who have fallen down the pothole of parental alienation have been shouting to get rescued and to warn the world so other people don’t fall in. The shouting has only produced slow progress. The natural imperative of rescuing victims hinders our think- ing more widely about how to map and predict the potholes, about what might get through to the world more effectively about these potholes. We need to work on creating a bigger or a better map until we come up with one that works. Dr. Child explains that the identical core pattern that is found in parental alienation is found in a wide range of other family and non- family group situations (e.g., domestic violence and cults) where extremes of “undue influence” are also found. Dr. Child argues that parental alienation advocates should team up with these fellow fields – some of which are at present our direst PA-denying enemies!

Information about the Presenter:

Dr. Nick Child retired in 2003 from a career as a NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service community-based psychiatrist in Edinburgh and Lanark- shire, Scotland. Dr. Child says, “In 2010, I met a remarkable client, now colleague. No client should ever have to teach their therapist first in order to get help. Roy Mackay mailed Amy Baker’s famous book with his request to be seen. Her comparison with cults hit me in the stomach. He helped me see and overcome my allergy to parental alienation. To make up for my previous incompetence, I now work to raise awareness about PA through networking, or- ganizing, thinking, and writing, rather than through direct clinical or court work with clients.”

*****

Presenter: Steven G. Miller, M.D.

Title: “How Can – and Should — Professionals Accurately Distinguish between Alienation and Estrangement?”

Abstract: Mental health and legal professionals must often deal with strongly aligned children – that is, children who are strongly aligned with one parent and resist contact with, or even re- ject, the other parent. Indeed, from an international perspective, there is consensus among ex- perts that we are witnessing a veritable epidemic of this troubling family dynamic. In such cas- es, the key question is whether the child is resisting contact for a valid or reasonable reason (in which case, by definition, it is now called estrangement) or whether the child is resisting con- tact for no valid or reasonable reason (in which case, by definition, it is now called alienation). Unfortunately, professionals who do not specialize in this area will often find it difficult to dis- tinguish between the two – and will often make serious errors. This presentation provides par- ticipants with a conceptual framework and conceptual tools with which to understand and manage such cases. Designed for both mental health and legal professionals, Dr. Miller will pre- sent an approach that is practical, evidence-based, and scientifically valid. That will include some generally accepted criteria that can be used for accurate professional decision-making.

Information about Presenter:

Steven G. Miller, M.D., holds degrees in psychology and medicine from Brown University. He did his residency training at Brown University and Harvard University. For 30 years he was a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School and presently works as an independent consultant. His current practice focuses mostly on behavioral and forensic medicine. Dr. Miller is an expert in clinical reasoning, clinical problem- solving, and clinical decision-making. More specifically, he is an expert in decision-making under uncertainty; how cognitive errors lead to professional errors; and conditional probability (that is, the probability of one thing given another thing, for example, the probability that a child is alienated given that the child displays certain behaviors). A popular speaker, he has directed several hundred continuing education courses for physicians and other clinicians and has pre- sented over 1000 medical lectures.

*****

Presenter: Matej Zaplotnik, B.A.

Title: “Parents ́ Rights and Responsibilities: Experience of Parental Alienation in Slovenia”

Abstract: Mr. Zaplotnik will present his experience with parental alienation in Slovenia. His ac- tivities have included: counseling divorcing parents; lecturing on parental alienation to 250 Slo- venian judges, prosecutors, and criminalists; conducting seminars for social workers on “Paren- tal Alienation – Child Emotional Abuse”; cooperating with the Slovenian Human Rights Om- budsman; and providing information for national television and newspapers; and even present- ing the topic of parental alienation in the Slovenian Parliament. Mr. Zaplotnik hopes to intro- duce a reunification program into Slovenia within the next 5 years. He is eager to take any op- portunity to raise awareness about parental alienation dynamics or help target parents and children deal with that problem. The presentation will consider ideas, opportunities and direc- tives for countries with a low level of parental alienation awareness and recognition.

Information about Presenter:

Matej Zaplotnik, a mental health professional in Slovenia, works with divorced famlies. He is the director of Svetovalno izobraževalni Center MIT (Counseling Education Center MIT). He has shared his knowledge about parental alienation in Slovenia with professionals from the other fields in Slovenia, such as lawyers, judges, criminalists, social workers, and therapists. He has also arranged for professional materials from the United States to be translated into the Slovenian language, such as: the book Parenting Apart, by Christina McGhee; a DVD program, Welcome Back, Pluto, by Richard Warshak; the psychological instru- ment, Parental Acceptance-Rejection Questionnaire, by Ronald Rohner. In December 2017, Mr. Zaplotnik published the first peer reviewed article on parental alienation in Slovenia in Judicial Bulletin. Mr. Zaplotnik has criticized Slovenian custody evaluators and has tried to change the system and improve the work of custody evaluators.

*****

Presenter: Ryan Thomas

Title: “When Your Alienated Child Doesn’t Respond”

Abstract: In this video, Mr. Thomas makes use of his real-life experiences and inside perspec- tive as an alienated child. He shares a 7-step process on what to do when your alienated child does not respond to you.

Information about Presenter:

Mr. Ryan Thomas was an alienated child who reunited with his father after decades apart. He helps parents and professionals in over 25 countries to gain an inside perspective on what goes on inside the child’s mind, and how to reach them. Mr. Tho- mas is the author of Sabotaged!: 3 Hidden Weapons of Parental Alienation and the founder of the Reconnect Academy and Breakthrough Monthly, both online training programs.

 

 

DAY TWO
PARENTAL ALIENATION – WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?

Presenter: Asunción Tejedor Huerta, Ph.D.

Title: “What Can Experts Do in Cases of Parental Alienation?”

Abstract: This presentation will focus on the work that experts do in the courthouse in cases of parental alienation, as well as the options for interventions and solutions for the most conflict- ing cases. Dr. Tejedor Huerta will make a brief statement about her work in Spain and Latin America. Also, she will explain that the appointment of a parenting coordinator is the last solu- tion for the complete resolution of the most conflictive cases of parental alienation.

Information about Presenter:

Asunción Tejedor Huerta, Ph.D., is a forensic psychologist in Spain. She has received a degree in psychology from the University of Granada and certification as an Expert in Family Mediation from the University of Oviedo. She earned a master’s degree in diagnosis and therapy at the Maslow Cattell Institute. Dr. Tejedor Huerta is a certified spe- cialist in psychotherapy and has been accredited by the European Federation of Psycholo-gists’ Associations (2013). She has participated as a speaker in numerous national and international conferences. Dr. Tejedor Huerta is currently the president of the Ibero-American Association of Legal Psychology in Spain.

*****

Presenter: Ursula Kodjoe, M.A.

Title: “Consensus Model in Germany with Interdisciplinary Cooperation: Early Intervention as Best Prevention”

Abstract: In the Consensus Model, the paramount task for all professions is to work toward a consensus between the parents that is in the best interests of their children. In this model, the common aims that all the professionals pursue are: (1) All children have the right to undis- turbed access to both parents and to an ongoing relationship with the parent living outside the family and that parent’s extended family. (2) The parents must receive all the support they need to (re)establish responsible, autonomous parenthood so they can make the proper decisions on behalf of their children together. The parents are obliged to participate in what- ever intervention that is necessary. Another important component of the Consensus Model is the acceleration of the legal proceeding, since “early intervention is the best prevention” of detrimental developments like alienation or loss of contact and family relations.

Information about Presenter:

Ms. Ursula Kodjoe is a family therapist, mediator, family court expert in Germany. She has studied in Vienna, Munich, and Freiburg, and had advanced training in USA. She offers counseling and therapy for individuals, couples and families. She has been court-appointed to evaluate high-conflict cases. Ms. Kodjoe has been concerned about the typical functioning of the family law system, so she has trained lawyers, judges, psycholo- gists, and social workers in interdisciplinary cooperation. She has conducted cross-cultural me- diation and counseling and training in de-escalation with families on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Family Affairs. She has conducted seminars and provided consul- tation in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, and USA. Always, her focus has been on children ́s needs and rights to keep meaningful relationships with both parents after separation and divorce.

 

***** Presenter: Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D.

Title: ”Foundation For Cross Examination of Critics of Parental Alienation”

Abstract: Voir dire is French for “speak the truth.” Both voir dire and cross examination are means for excluding or limiting junk science and junk scientists in the courts. Dr. Lorandos will explain a methodology for voir dire and cross examination and illustrate this process with material from real cases and real witnesses.

Information about Presenter:

Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D., is a psychologist, attorney, and legal scholar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. He received his Ph.D. from Union Graduate School and his J.D. from the University of Detroit School of Law. Dr. Lorandos is a member of the bar of numerous jurisdictions, as well as the United States Supreme Court. Dr. Lorandos was a co-editor of both The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation: The Handbook for Mental Health and Legal Professionals. He is currently working on a three-volume set for Thomson Reuters WEST, The Litigator’s Handbook of Forensic Medicine, Psychiatry and Psychology, with 44 authors from four countries as well as another book for Charles C Thomas Publishers, Parental Alienation: Science and Law.

*****

Presenter: Ashish S. Joshi, LL.M.

Title: “Parental Alienation: An International Perspective – From ‘Gardner ́s Theory’ to Child Abuse”

Abstract: Swedish courts have questioned the theory and scientific reliability and validity of pa- rental alienation. In fact, there appears to be a myth that parental alienation is an “American invention” or simply “Gardner’s theory.” This is absurd. Parental alienation is an expression of human behavior. It occurs worldwide and with many similar behavioral patterns. While some aspects of parental alienation vary from country to country, the behavior, unfortunately, is found worldwide. This presentation focuses on a survey of countries – both civil law systems and common law systems – and discusses how these countries, with their different legal, de- mographic, social, and ethno-cultural norms, have addressed the problem of parental aliena- tion. We will see how Italy, Germany, Spain, Israel, India, Brazil, Mexico, USA, UK, Canada, and New Zealand have dealt with claims of parental alienation. Mr. Joshi will focus on the UK, USA and Canada and look at their court decisions adjudicating claims of parental aliena-tion. Did the courts of these jurisdictions accept the claims of parental alienation? What evidence did the courts look at? And if they found alienation to be present in a case, what legal or mental-health interventions were put in place to remedy the situation? What caused these countries to acknowledge that parental alienation is not just “Gardner’s Theory” or an “American inven- tion,” but constitutes child abuse and needs immediate and a serious intervention?

Information about Presenter:

Ashish S. Joshi, a lawyer in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and State Bars of New York, Michigan, District of Columbia, and Gujarat, India. Mr. Joshi’s practice focuses on complex litigation including cases involving severe parental alienation, international child abduction, and false allegations of child sexual abuse stemming from parental alienation. Mr. Joshi serves as the editor-in-chief of Litigation, a flagship journal of the American Bar Association.

*****

Presenter: Jennifer Harman, Ph.D.
Title: “Power Structures among Families Affected by Parental Alienation: Implications and in-terventions”

Abstract: Power is an essential element of social interactions where there is interdependence between people. Asymmetries of power in relationships provide fertile ground for abuses of power to occur. Parental alienation, a form of family violence, is characterized by gross asym- metries of power in relationships that have dissolved. Using interdependence theory of Kelley and Thibaut, Dr. Harman will discuss the common imbalanced power structures that she has found in her research among families affected by parental alienation, how these power struc- tures affect the types of behaviors that alienating and targeted parents can exercise, and how abuse of power can be better addressed to mitigate this form of family violence.

Information about the Presenter:

Dr. Jennifer Harman is an associate professor of Psychology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. She obtained her doctorate in social psychology from the University of Connecticut and has been studying intimate relationships and public health issues her entire career. Her recent line of research has focused primarily on parental alienation, particularly the social psychological factors that promote this problem. She has published several peer-reviewed research papers on this topic and a book co-authored with Dr. Zeynep Biringen, Parents Acting Badly: How Institutions and Societies Promote the Aliena- tion of Children from their Loving Families (recently translated into Swedish). Dr. Harman also serves as a director of Simply Parent, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping parents and families affected by parental alienation and forging new and innovative solutions.

 

***** Presenters: Karen Woodall and Nick Woodall

Title: “Reunification Work, Experiences from London”

Abstract: Karen Woodall and Nick Woodall deliver a reunification program in the UK which is psychotherapeutic in nature and based upon the use of transfer of residence which is the UK court’s ultimate intervention in cases of parental alienation. This program utilizes a direct transfer approach, ensuring that the reintegration of the child’s psychologically split state of mind takes place through an immediate encounter with the rejected parent in the security of the home environment. Therapeutic assistance takes place after residence transfer rather than before and utilizes a twelve-week program to restore the child’s perspective and re-introduce the previously alienating parent under supervised conditions. Karen Woodall and Nick Woodall – working as a team – have reunited several children and Karen Woodall has undertaken many reunifications as a sole practitioner with a high degree of success.

Information about Presenters:

Karen Woodall and Nick Woodall are the founders of the Family Separation Clinic in London, U.K. They are psychotherapists and the authors of Parental Aliena- tion: Learning to Cope, Helping to Heal and Putting Children First. The Family separation Clinic is the founder of the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners (EAPAP).

 

***** Presenter: Linda Gottlieb, LMFT, LCSW-R

Title: “Taking the Child and Alienated Parent Down Memory Lane to Reunite: A Role-Play”

Abstract: This intervention for parental alienation capitalizes upon the child’s profound instinct for a parent and the power of family systems therapy for healing. The audience participants in the role play will experience the powerful effectiveness of this intervention that has not yet failed Ms. Gottlieb in facilitating the healing of 40 alienated parent-child relationships. If anyone in the audience would like the opportunity to experience this intervention under Ms. Gottlieb’s guidance, please bring to this conference pictures and/or other memorabilia of your children. An uplifting experience is promised!

Information about Presenter:

Linda Gottlieb, LMFT, LCSW-R, is a family therapist in New York, USA. She trained under Dr. Salvador Minuchin and is a former faculty member of the Minuchin Center for the Family. Ms. Gottlieb is the author of The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Family Therapy and Collaborative Systems Approach to Amelioration. Ms. Gottlieb is the developer of and treatment provider for an effective intensive, 4-day reunification program for severe alienation named Turning Points for Families, where she successfully “jump-starts” the reconnection.

 

 

 

Art by PASG member Xiaojie Zheng (See following page.)

During both days of the conference, Ms. Xiaojie Zheng will display artworks and site-specific installations that relate to parental alienation.

Ms. Xiaojie Zheng is a visual artist, art educator, curator, and arts and culture consultant for the past two decades. Ms. Zheng received a transnational education in the arts in China, the Netherlands, and the United States. Her artwork and collaborative projects are inspired by
her unique life experiences on three continents. Ms. Zheng works primarily in painting, drawing, mixed media, and site-specific installations. She has won multiple awards for her artworks which have been commissioned, exhibited, published, and collected by institutions and private parties in Asia, Europe, and North America. Ms. Zheng promotes art for daily life, art for unity, and art for social justice.

Ms. Zheng is a targeted mother whose children have experienced severe parental alienation since her son was abducted by the paternal grandparents in 2004. Since then, her legal battles have been going through family court, district court, and domestic relations court in two states in the U.S. Her legal battles, still not concluded, have involved a dozen judges, two dozen lawyers, multiple guardians ad litem, court-appointed custody evaluators, court-approved parental alienation experts, and numerous therapists, social workers, and counsellors. Regard- less of massive evidence, expert reports, and testimony, Ms. Zheng continues to be blocked from both her children.

Ms. Zheng’s multimedia work, This is Faith, was created for a special exhibition, A Place of Her Own, curated by the Asian America Women Artists Association (AAWAA) in San Francisco, California, in 2010 and 2013.

This is Faith, 2010, oil on canvas, 18” x 36” and 60” x 72” (45.8 x 91.5 cm and 152.4 x 182.9 cm), poem, MP3, earphones.

Photo credit: Bob Hsiang

Parental Alienation Study Group http://www.pasg.info

Parental Alienation Study Group Nordic http://www.pasgnordic.com

Parental Alienation Database http://mc.vanderbilt.edu/pasg

Online Parental Alienation Education http://ncapa.thinkific.com