First post of 2016 and I am absorbed in the twin tasks of completing our new website and our book. Today I am delighted to be able to announce the name of our new site which is called Parental Alienation Direct. The site will launch shortly and alongside this our new book is now on the final lap before publication, 2016 is already shaping up to be the most exciting yet for the Family Separation Clinic.
Parental Alienation Direct is our new ‘baby’ and we are already playing the dutiful parents to the hilt as we make sure that the information we are making ready for you is clear and sharp and as useful as it can possibly be.
We have guest writers on board who will write about Parental Alienation from all of the angles we know will be helpful to you. Barristers and Solicitors from the UK will write about managing your case in court, Mental Health Professionals with decades of experience in working with families, will discuss the elements that they look for in deciding whether a child is alienated and parents we have helped will write about how they coped and helped their children to heal after reunification. All through the site we will be sharing our knowledge and skills with you so that you can become an alienation aware parent, making you more confident and more capable of coping with the painful experience of alienation from a much loved child.
We also have formerly aligned parents with whom we have worked writing for Parental Alienation Direct. These are parents who have worked alongside us to change their children’s minds and who understand how their child entered a rejecting position and what they did to encourage and support that. Our major focus at the Family Separation Clinic is to help children to have the healthiest relationships possible with both parents and to educate parents to understand how to achieve that. Sometimes it is possible to recruit a naive alienating parent into a therapeutic alliance which brings change to children’s lives. For some of these parents the experience is so positive that they are keen to share their experiences with a wider audience.
Parental Alienation Direct is first and foremost a self help site for parents but it will also have a section for professionals who wish to understand more about how to help families affected by alienation. One of the key aims for the Family Separation Clinic in 2016 is to build upon our successful 2015 training programme to professionals across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and we start this process early with CPD Seminars for Legal Professionals in conjunction with No5 Chambers in London on 21st January. This seminar is already sold out and we are planning similar deliveries across the country. Parental Alienation Direct will have all of our information about upcoming training events for professionals in the UK so that you can share that with the professionals working with you.
The new site also has a section devoted to finding the right help for your case and will list those legal and mental health professionals with whom we work and who we know really understand the issue of parental alienation. We are putting as much information into your hands as we can so that you can make the right choices as early as possible. We know that this is how to beat parental alienation over the longer term. Whilst we will focus upon working in the UK and Europe mostly, we will also list practitioners who we know are key in other countries and as the site grows, we will offer a section for you to add your own recommendations for people who can help.
Parental Alienation Direct is about you getting the help that you need and about helping yourself and each other. Building upon the self help theme which has built up over the years on this site, we know that this will be a powerful resource for all alienated parents everywhere.
The majority of the site will be free to access but we are charging an annual fee for the use of the new help forums which will be hosted on the site. This is to cover the costs of hosting and managing these effectively. Other charges will be for downloadable podcasts, articles, courses and webinars which we will be running in the second half of 2016. At all times we will keep the costs for resources from the new site as low as possible, helping you to make the most of what we can offer for as little financial outlay as possible.
As we begin the process of bringing our new ‘baby’ into the world we will also continue to focus upon the development of the Family Separation Clinic and our court based services which are delivered across the UK. We will also continue our coaching services which are now offered on three levels, basic support, specialist support and premium care. These are packages of help for parents who want to work with us to understand their case and manage the legal process. As coaches we work interactively with legal professionals helping to build strategy and maintain focus. This has been a core focus of our work in the past year and we will continue to develop this service to meet the needs of more parents. This is a service which is available in the UK and across the world by Skype, you will find more about it at the Family Separation Clinic.
Parental Alienation Direct is owned and will be managed by the Family Separation Clinic as part of our commitment to delivering free and low cost support as widely as possible. Whilst we have to charge for our services from the Family Separation Clinic you will be able to access basic help, advice and guidance from Parental Alienation Direct. What you must do is work out what is the most useful resource for you at any given time. Sections on Parental Alienation Direct will help you to do that. As is the case at the Family Separation Clinic, all profits over and above what it costs to deliver and do this work are invested in research, training, publications and development of resources to meet your needs. We want to make the lack of knowledge and acceptance of parental alienation a thing of the past and ourselves redundant with it, working this way is how we will achieve that, I hope that will be in my working lifetime.
Finally 2016 is designated by the Clinic as being a year in which we edcuate parents to understand parental alienation as comprehensively as possible. We know that there are those who seek help for alienation who are deeply disappointed when they are told that what they are dealing with is not alienation but something else. We know that there are people who become disheartened by this news and who find it difficult to understand what is really going on in the lives of their children. Parental alienation is an incredibly difficult field to work in, especially when using differentiation routes which do not rely solely upon parental self reporting. It would be wrong however, to see all cases of children’s refusing or rejecting behaviours solely in the light of one parent’s deliberate actions against the other. Of course this dynamic exists, we work with it all the time, but there are other reasons why children become resistant to post separation relationships too and it would be to fail children and you as parents not to acknowledge and work with that reality.
Our work is rooted in children’s reality, whether that be a reality which is forced upon them or their own truly experienced reality. Working out which is which is one of our first aims when we meet children, helping them to heal is the next. Treating a child as if they are alienated when in fact they are not will not bring healing, similarly, treating an alienated child with traditional therapeutic approaches will not being healing either. Knowing what to do, when, why and how is a key focus of what we do. Putting children at the very heart of everything we do, by educating, supporting and changing parental behaviours, using all of the means necessary to do that, is how we achieve our positive outcomes.
To support our claims of positive outcomes we have a list of parents who are willing to speak to others about the work we have done as coaches, therapists and court appointed experts. All of these parents are now enjoying healthy relationships with their children after our interventions, some of which have been strongly managed using the legal process, some of which have involved us working as coaches alongside legal professionals. Before anyone puts their trust in our services we offer the opportunity to speak to parents we have helped and we make certain that every parent knows that in order to achieve those outcomes, we may have to challenge behaviours, change minds and tackle difficult dynamics. By talking to other parents who have gone through this process you can be clear about what we expect of you as well as what you can expect of us. The work that we do is not traditional talking therapy and it is not about being nice to each other all the time. Neither is it about us doing the work without you as parents having to undertake some deeply challenging and difficult personal work. Parental alienation does not arise in a vaccuum, it arises in places where there are conflicted dynamics and often unhealthy parenting patterns in one parent which cause the need to adapt expectations and demands of what a relationship with a child can look like in these circumstances. Our goal is to liberate the child to have healthy relationships with both parents, if we cannot achieve that because one parent is unwell, our next intention is to support the child to have the relationship with the parent who is healthy. We do not flinch from that duty and we do not flinch either from our responsibility as practitioners to identify unhealthy parenting patterns in one or both parents. We know that what Dr Childress says about mental health practitioners who do not take these things seriously is right. Having the courage to name the problems and create the circumstances in which change can take place is a responsibility that everyone who works at the Clinic must accept. To fail to do that is to fail the child and place them in the most impossible bind which is abusive and which risks entrenching the problem not resolving it. Some of the parents we have helped will be working with us on our forums and you will be able to get advice from them about the journey to liberation of a child. For anyone who is considering long term or court based work with us, who would like to speak to parents we have helped, please contact us at the Family Separation Clinic, we can usually put you in touch with a number of parents within 24 hours.
For all parents experiencing the loss of a child, rejection, resistance and alienation we wish you a better year ahead, a more empowered year ahead and the opportunity to learn more about the difficulties you face with others who share your journey. Welcome to 2016, Parental Alienation Direct and the world of empowered parenting.