You can contact Karen Woodall at the Family Separation Clinic for appointments, consultations, discussions and further information.  We offer coaching by Skype to parents all over the world as well as a range of support services to families in the UK.

A wide range of resources and help for families where children are affected by alienation and related behaviour can also be found at the Family Separation Clinic 

Media enquiries should be made to


23 thoughts on “Contact me

  1. Nigel J Ritchie (Swansea) says:

    Karen i have just reviewed your article most interesting! sadly I am going through this at present after a loving relationship with my children I have not seen my son for 3 years he is 17 and my daughter for a year she is now 9.
    I have spent nearly 20k in the courts to no avail. My ex wife is the source of the parental alienation of my children towards me. Up until 2007 I had a full active life in bringing up my children. Your work has certainly made me sit up – well done

  2. Rhys Gwynn says:

    This is a world apart from the attitude I encountered in court. Whilst agreeing wholeheartedly that the focus should be on the helping the child to cope with changed circumstances, the unpalatable reality is that the alienation does not just happen, it is more often pushed along by the would be resident parent. Courts seem reluctant to consider the deliberate misleading of a child to be a form of abuse even though the potentially severe outcomes noted in the video are well known, and regularly appear to forget that emotional abuse in law, even if not so obvious and more difficult to prove, is there on a par with physical abuse.

    What many parents know is that the ease with which the other parent can relocate merely facilitates the chances to further the alienation, either purposefully (aided often by the appalling inequality in state support to both parents) or by dint of cutting the other parent out of the child’s life to such an extent as to make that parent increasingly irrelevant to it. The law on relocation seems unacceptably confused with precedents being picked, depending entirely on a judge’s whims. It is rarely discussed properly. My MP, who sits on the Justice Select Committee which carried out the pre-legislative examination of the Children and Families Bill, appears to think that it is acceptable for the mother to relocate with the child if she claims (but does not need to prove) that she is seeking work, claims (but does not need to prove) that she wants family support or claims (but does not need to prove) to have found a better school, even if this is contrary to the child’s wishes or when there is no paternal abuse, or no existing educational deficiency and regardless of the impact of such instant distancing on the father child relationship. Expecting one parent, substantially cut out of a child’s life by the underhand tactics of the other, to somehow conquer the frequent depression that results, cope with extensive travelling at great cost and physical strain, retain a meaningful relationship with the child and reach some parenting agreement with the parent who has manufactured the alienation in the first place, is a very tall order. I wonder how you advise parents in such circumstances.

  3. LJ says:

    I think you are amazing, why can’t there be more of you. I started following you because I have one of the most amazing friends. She made a silly mistake nearlly three years ago. She lost everything, main thing being her son. Despite all she picked herself up and survives every day. The dad has done everything he can to stop their son wanting to see the mum. She hits a brick wall every day because of him. She regually receives hope from the legal system and child specialists. But It always ends the same and she can’t see her son. How can a child being washed fool so many professionals. You are her hope and inspiration.

  4. Marcia says:

    Dear Karen,
    I live on the fine line between estrangement and alienation.

    I would learn much if you could post your thoughts on how an estranged parent should attempt to reconnect with their child and how an aliented parent should attempt the same. I am curious about the overlap in action by the parent that is pushed out of their child’s life – for whatever reason.

    I have made some mistakes in parenting my middle-school child which might have lead to estrangement. I do have evidence of alientating behavior by his other parent. (I am an American, and middle school is our 6th through 8th grade or about 11 to 14 years old.) I am the mother. Until June 2014, I was the residential – custodial – parent.

    In December 2013, when my relationship with my child was disintegrating before my eyes, my therapist asked if she could have a session with my child. The end result of their interview was that my child met over half of Dr. Gardner’s benchmarks for alienation. I reacted with fear. I had told my child and the father that my child could move to the father’s home following the Christmas holiday. I changed my mind. My child returned to me in January – and would have nothing to do with me – no meals, no movies, no playing – nothing. Hence – I live on the fine line between estrangement and alienation. Since January, I continue to have concrete evidence of alientation by the father and step-mother.

    My child suffered and did not thrive in my home. I was boxed into the corner by the other adults and my state and county’s reluctance to litigate alienation. I agreed for my child to live with the father. My child would at least be where he wanted to be and might find happiness and relief from the severe hatred that my child demonstrated toward me.

    “Done is done.” I can’t change the past. I cannot undo that tipping point where my child felt betrayed by my changing my mind because I was betrayed by the father.

    I have learned much from your blog. I bet that I am not the only parent living on this fine line. Many of us want to learn how to walk down the road of reunification as an estranged-alientated parent. What do we do that’s the same and what do we do if we are only one of the above?

  5. SEGUIER Dominique says:

    Hello Karen,

    I got your address with Tony UPTON of PARITY. Our SOS PAPA association wants to work with several European partners on the project Save the Planet father. If this interests you, thank you for contacting me and may be soon.
    I present our association and the project:

    Our association is fruitful in creating devices that meet the unmet needs of young people and adults faced with complex family issues, painful and traumatic. We have chosen to wear the focal three of them because of the importance of public and welcomed the recognition given by major institutions (including the Fondation de France) and patrons from the world of business.

    Place of performance of activities: many intervention sites scattered over the North, Pas de Calais and Picardie

    Save the planet father ! ! !
    Our project : Studying the different manifestations of despair consecutive to dispersal of the family* and especially children (rupture, separation, lost) on fathers in order to develop a database of indicators accessible for all participating countries with the intentions to suggest secondly the design and adaptation of the techniques therapeutic , apt to stem possible risk-taking behavior ( alcoholism, chronic depression, phobia judicial decisions … ) characterizing pathological behavior or resulting by an inadequate decision-making process. The presence of factors such as psychological fatigue and anxiety perceived as emotional phenomena known to prevaricate the cognitive process, are understood as being able to promoting risk taking. In the exam the data collected by our association “Sos papa Nord Picardie” as part of an empirical step of identification of the life course to our members, it seems desirable to equipped the evaluation using an heuristic framework scientifically validated in order to identify factors influencing risk-taking, and to determine the factors who encouraged and then to deploy a set of therapeutic workshops which have preventive virtues .
    It seems to us fundamental to broaden the spectrum of the reflection in considering all the problems including suicide. Counting the dead is practiced very well with the contribution of observatories dedicated to the issue of suicide. However, a state of the art on the matter of suicide conducted thoroughly on all institutional sources of the territory reveals an interpretation for the less monolithic for the difficulties proven by men with respect to the work. Develop in this way the eventual troubles of the employability of fathers in situation of decompensation, returns to properly remove the emotional dimension of the individual father. More than promoting psychological autopsy as a single response, our project will focus by the rigor of its study to stem institutional discrimination embodied here by the denial of masculine sensitivity in all compartments of human existence (besides work) .
    Beyond the speculative aspect of the approach, a circularity of glances between professionals and associative activists (care, justice, social work) neighboring countries must allow us to identify together knowledge conducive to well-being and elaborate then a common repository on strategies of supported upstream (suffering’s indicators) and downstream (taking into account the individual father ,into a human acceptance in the course of preventive care and remedial ).
    God saves LAZY students English lessons hum hum …


  6. annonymous says:

    Hi Karen:
    I just discovered your blog today. I am an alienated parent and still have some contact with one of my kids. Your two blogs about Empathic response and Sowing Seeds of Doubt were of particular interest to me. However, I am wondering if there were any additional articles which followed the “seeds of Doubt”? It seemed like we only got as far as preparing the ground. Could you please let me know. Thank you so much.

  7. private says:

    I have unwillingly been alienated from my daughter since she was 2-1/2 years old. I have lived just as the first 8 paragraphs of your article “Reuniting with your alienated child – a spring message of hope” on 12/04/2013 with my daughter now being near the same age as the oldest of the three in your article (mid-20’s yr. old)

    Five years ago I made first contact with her which resulted in her total rejection of this since her mother was extremely upset when she found out. I accepted that the set up a Facebook website in the hopes she would contact me. Two years ago she tried several times to contact me (just only asking for my email) and I responded to each attempt (although it was months later since I rarely visited Facebook). The main problem was I was never sure it was her (she used a different spelling of her name which I had tried to attempt contact at many FB websites with different spellings of her name, so a was cautious about giving out my email to potential spammers).

    Last November, she sent the correct spelling of her name, which is not common; since then we have been in contact by email on about a weekly basis learning about each other. Over the past 25 years, I have attempted to send her a Christmas and Birthday card; knowing she was not receiving them, I would send a copy to myself knowing one day she would contact me and I could send her those to show I never forgot about her. I sent these cards to her last week and letting her know I would like to meet, she has said one day she would like to meet also, but still trying to figure things out.

    I know not to try to force anything and your article spoke of allowing time which I find I have to keep my anxiety in check in anticipating our relationship. Another article I read stated an alienated parent reuniting with their child was like watching a movie run backwards including the amount of time the alienation took was close to the time it took to heal their relationship, although they had only been separated less than 10 years.

    Have you articles or suggestions on how I should proceed with establishing my father/daughter relationship?

  8. sammy potts says:

    Dear Karen,
    Morning hope your day is treating you well,sorry but I was wondering after reading some of the work you do on such topics and the depth of consideration that is applied,I was wondering your views on children sibling separation,and the effects of this resulting in feeling of punished or alienated please where its a three way bias/unbais on parent and child when children start to immunise themselves towards there situation of isolation or abandonment.And become comforted without parent/brother or sister.
    And also if you and your team what degree is this safeguarded in frameworks used in professional work like childrens services or enviroments such as foster placements.
    warm regards

  9. Dannette says:

    Dear Karen,

    I am bewildered by what I’ve read so far and praying the “HOPE” and success applies to my children and me also. When I got divorced from their dad 1993, I was blessed with being the custodial parent for 9 years. Towards the end of that time frame, things got difficult, I was constantly being put thru GAL investigations and I let them go live with him. The court said to give them acclimation time and family services would be in touch to arrange visitations – 2002. It’ been That never happened and it’s been 13 years. I don’t claim to be a perfect parent and understand I added to this outcome – are there any suggestions you can make to help a possible reconnection?

    Thank you – Dannette

  10. russell armstrong says:

    Hi Karen
    I have just posted this comment on the marylin stowe website with regard to research about the quality of time vs quantity of time a child spend with its parents. I just wondered what your thoughts were?

    “What is this kind of research aimed at?
    In life there are two kinds of separations with regard to children.
    One is that BOTH parents agree on the division of time the children will spend with each of them on a mutually respectful basis
    The other is that they cannot agree and resort to the Court system to determine the outcome.
    I have always wondered why some parents cannot agree on this division of time and have come to the conclusion its because one parent wants more than the other parent is prepared to “concede”
    (I hate using those terms but we must use some words to express the situation)
    So the ONLY parents who end up in the Court system could be described as follows.
    The “parent with care” refuses to agree to a division of time for the child(ren) to see the other parent to the extent that the other parent is motivated enough to seek a judicial determination.
    That’s it, case closed, no other condition exists that will lead to this outcome.
    Thus, once in the court system, the “feminists'” of this world have striven to ensure that by any means necessary that the judiciary determine the outcome as much in favour of the woman (normally the parent with care) as possible. And they use all kind of arguments (false or otherwise) to help in that result.
    In that regard this type of research is a smokescreen for the argument that the woman (parent with care) should have the majority of time because “that is in the best interest of the child” and that the other parent (normally the father) should be happy with less time because then he can have focused “quality time” with the child(ren)
    I say what a crock, the child(ren) experiencing as normal a family life with BOTH parents separately should be the best possible outcome.
    Normal life at mothers home
    Normal life at Fathers home
    And both of those require quality of care and quality of time
    The child(ren) should as far as possible have the benefit of knowing the cycle of life, routine and differing values that each parent can bring to his/her life and that can only be achieved with TIME.
    Normal wake up weekends & school days/play/homework routines etc can only be truly experienced by TIME at each parents home preferably a mix between 5/9 and 7/7 depending on how each parent can effectively show that they will have a reasonable and planned routine for the time they have with the care of their child(ren)
    Local authorities have to produce a care plan why not the parents??????”

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi Karen
    I have been researching regarding a two year old not wanting to return to his mother after fathers visitation, he has 2 siblings 6 & 8. The elder children have 4 nights a fortnight with their father & every visit he has to start from scratch with re building love & trust. When the 2 yr old has to return to mother he is extremely upset, at first it was thought to be due to leaving his siblings, so it was suggested they all be dropped off together, this did not change his sadness, I cannot find anywhere where it is discussed about this age group. Any thoughts or research I could read
    Thank you

  12. Jane Vincent says:

    I am involved from a volunteer perspective in working to support adults alienated from their children. My function is simply to provide them with hope that things will change in the future and to sustain them while they keep the link with their children alive.

    I do this because I am a 59 year old “child” who was alienated from a parent. I have five siblings – none of whom has “survived” our early experiences well. The parent from whom we were alienated died 28 years ago so in part I recognise I am also motivated to ensure they are included in a process denied them in life. I cannot speak for how they felt or what they may have wanted but, I know what was done to them, how children are used as weapons and what other adults looking on ignore or conspire with.

    It may also be important to note there are second generation issues of PAS for one sibling also. We note the absence of a niece and nephew – alienated from their five aunts and uncles and extended families. They are absent from our community just now but, they remain part of us. We extend our love and support for them in ways only a family affected by PAS knows can be done.

    I expect our experience is very similar in terms of outcome to those of others with similar experience of this particular form of child abuse I cannot use another word for it as there is none available to me which reflects my experience.

    I have memories of the emotions I felt throughout the time I was living in the family. They were mainly fear, confusion and anger. I had no idea who could be trusted and who could not. I am now aware the dominant emotion we all shared was one of feeling responsible for the survival of the alienating parent. Not knowing why that parent needed our protection made it hard to Our “loyalty” to the alienator was tested constantly and such was the level of sophistication allowed for them to fog the perceptions of all.

    As the eldest child I began to challenge the narrative of the alienator as I entered by early teens. I came to recognise inconsistencies or rather that the alienating parent just lied…routinely and for no apparent reason. The more questions I asked the more pressure I came under. Eventually, it raised my status to that of “target” also. I became subject to the same form of alienation as the alienated parent. My siblings were all “programed” to behave toward me in the same was as we had been programed to behave toward the alienated parent. It was a truly terrifying experience of an Orwellian nature. War is peace et al.

    I made intermittent attempts to reconcile with my siblings over the years and am just in the process of rebuilding relationships with a couple of them who now have insight into what took place. The reality of what 50 years of voluntary estrangement has generated for each of us is hard. We always saw one another – but we were never “with” one another. We are each trying to care for one another as appropriately as possible as we move through the inevitable grief process. None of us was able to grieve the death of the alienated parent properly and none of us was able to support each other in that experience either. Until now.

    We are trying to make our way to a future where our relationships with each other are not defined by what has happened in our early life.

    We discovered in later life that many adults around us DID know what was happening. We have received various apologies and explanations from people who all felt they abandoned us in one way or another. Consistently at the heart of their narrative and when questioned further was/is they feared being drawn into the maelstrom. Most had adopted one of two views – children are resilient or, children don’t notice what is going on around them. None realised the extent of what was happening or how complex the dynamic so I cannot blame them for their inaction. But, we all know better now so that cannot be allowed to continue.

    Because I am aware of the complex support structure required to break these toxic bonds in families like the one I grew up in I know it requires significant long term investment in training for all agencies connected to the family. In these times of austerity I don’t know how this will be achieved as public spending is slashed and all access to affordable legal supports are cut. I recognise my efforts have limited value but, I see them as better than nothing. Even with the unwavering support of a non judgemental friend or family member it is truly a terrible and terrifying situation. People cannot be left alone to deal with it. At best it’s too worst it is inhumane.

    I volunteer my support to alienated parents because I want them to know their children need them to continue to fight for them in whatever way they can. I know I was fought for. My dead parent was not a perfect individual but, they were not as described by the alienating parent. The most important thing for me is to have it recognised that I had a right to everything that relationship offered me. Most importantly I had a right to know I was loved.

    Until I stumbled across Karen and the work of her organisation I thought no one really grasped what happened in circumstances like mine. I have read much of the historical writings of Gardner and followed the work of various campaigns..but, Karen tells the story from all the angles. I feel I have found someone who I can trust to speak for me and those like me.

    It has been a source of reassurance and validation for me and all those I circulate it to who are similar impacted.

  13. (Dr.) Nigel Miles says:

    Well done Karen and Nick and all your fantastic work!
    However, more emphasis has to be investigated about the psychology of the parent causing children to resist contact and the ability of the other to understand, often their possible psychological dysfunction.
    As always the children are the “ammunition” only, unless there are abusive events enacted against them which recur to affect, “contact resistance” other than that perpetrated by the dysfunctional alienating parent.(AngP), which have been dealt with by Police investigation and subsequent criminal action against such a parent based on empirical evidence.
    My research has shown that much more needs to be addressed relating to the psychosis of parents in your hybrid and particularly in extreme “resisting” positions (top polarised positions). This was mentioned by Bala (06/12) et al in his address in his paradigm seminar in London.
    Children are mimicking the AngP in order to maintain a homeostatic psychological balance not because of the reality of their extreme hostility towards the non resident or alienated parent (AtP). It is for the AtP, to understand and to recognise such malignant behaviour by the AngP and unless treated an imbalance will remain and as such a parent will have to be removed as a custodial parent by the Court if their abusive behaviour does not desist and re-balance. When would this occur; at this time under current legislation rarely (case with little Ethan and Judge Wildwood’s presentation and balanced assessment of a few days ago may be an exception). However with a Responsible Parity of Parenting legislation (currently only supported by one political party and possibly the SNP) and with the support of society, change will be afoot.
    Responsible Parity of Parenting legislation will also include an assessment for comprehensive integral therapeutic-holistic support and mediation to allow parents in this situation to modify their behaviour to incorporate a balance of maintaining a psychological support of a child’s total best interest within the whole family unit irrespective of the social economic and ecological situation at that time and in the future.
    This new legislation will supercede that of the Children and Family Act (2014), under Family Law (which failed to enact this child and human right), This will enact morally and legally to provide responsible parity to each parent to act with balance and commitment, and the needs of effective parental responsibility; the President of the Family Division commented specifically in April this year, “Is more than a legal concept” and this is his interpretation from his vast knowledge and experience of the Children’s Act (1989), much (but not all) is anachronistic to our current needs for the best interest of all our children. The Office of National Statistics state that 1/3 of all minor children are experiencing some form of “resistance” (alienation)!
    Such new legislation will totally revolutionise our society. It will primarily be in the best interest of children and the re-establishment for them to have both the moral and legal rights to a balanced family life which is integral for a normal life and a better society. It will enable parents irrespective of the fact of being separated to act maturely. It will also be cost effective and not put the strain on Courts in the current unlimited applications (CAP) for hopeful family integration.
    You will either be a good parent (mother or father) and gain support from all siblings and all family members, or you lose this right.
    Let love, responsibility and sanity reign and hopefully our society will begin to hold its head up high for once! Sadly we wish that all parents would act maturely; in this case it will occur if they understand that they will lose engagement as a parent if they do not!
    We must also remember that such new legislation as given would allow your Family Separation Clinic(s) to flourish as units attached to Health Centres and general Health Clinics. (Redistribution of financial support from unnecessary Court cases and subsequent costs) So there will be no worries about the number of clients reducing; perhaps a 10,000% increase. Come on and cheer happiness that with such legislation our society for once may become a more balanced one when families will become real families again, in consideration of the manner society is changing; not the current one with so many unnecessary conflicts!
    Please think of the children and their real best interests as well as that of our great society. We will have enough other concerns in the next decade, let us make our families be what they really should be, happier and much more resilient!

    1. David Brown says:

      When is this change in legislation likely to occur? It cant come soon enough in my opinion! I feel that it may be too late for my children and me but there would be hope for other parents who are being alienated by resident parents to have a fair chance of challenging resident parents when there is a distinct possibility of parental alienation. I was a victim of parental alienation as a child and this has had a detrimental affect on my adult life too. My mother has since admitted that she had done it in order to protect me from my father and his ‘ways’. She has apologised for her actions but this doesnt make up for all those years I spent without having a father other than the stand-ins that she selected for me. I am in constant contact with my biological father these days and can say that he is the most wonderful dad that anyone could wish to have. I feel hurt by the fact that he was not around when I was growing up and did not have him around to be supportive to me and my brother. I made contact with him at the age of 20 and my mother still did not approve but could do nothing about it, other than to chastise him further and make her own feelings about him known in the hope that I would desist. I believe that it is a wish to punish him for leaving her and for the treatment she received whilst in the relationship, but how is this mine and my brothers fault, why should we have suffered as a result?
      My ex partner is doing exactly the same thing to me and the courts, CAFCASS and Core services seem only to want to tick the ‘Welfare checklist’ boxes and move on to the next case. I’m back in family court in Leicester next week, representing myself because I simply cant afford any more legal costs with a new family to support, with the real fear that this time I will not see my two children ever again, and from what I have read on the subject of parental alienation on various platforms across the cyber highway it seems highly likely this will actually be the case. :-(

  14. Anonymous says:

    Just been to family court today and it has been decided that my youngest child (she is 8) doesnt have to stay with me on a monday night any more but she can choose if she wants to or not….this is the position of cafcass, the childrens solicitor and the judge. and even though I have shared the care of both of my children since 2009 (shared residence) My ex has done a really good job of alienating the children… For now, I still see my girls (the eldest is 12) but my eldest only has to stay over once a month and the youngest once a week, of course this will continue to get worse….. I continue to read your “posts” in the hope that they will help…..

    1. Anonymous says:

      Dear Anonymous.

      I read your posting with great sympathy and found it heart-rending to say the least. I have no words that can possibly console you, except to say that I hope you find the strength to cope with your unjust situation, I truly do. Cafcass are doing more harm than good and I know that they are poorly trained, one day perhaps the courts may come to see the harm they do to so many parents like you. The whole system is broken and judges little realise how much harm Cafcass is doing in breaking up so many families as they regularly do. I have been through something similar to you in losing contact with one I love somuch, it is something that one grieves over everyday. I try and gain some solace from my own situation in trying to help other parents who find themselves in the same situation, in this way I have found a degree of emotional release, and it prevents me turning in upon myself. I truly hope that you get some justice and know that perhaps one day your 8 year old will know how hard you fought for them and to stay in a relationship with them. My best wishes. Paul.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’m a family law practitioner. My experience tells me there are mothers (sometimes fathers) who deliberately and maliciously set out the alienate their children, but there are (I suggest more) mothers who alienate without realising they are doing so (perhaps because the mother is stuck in the history of the parental relationship). It seems to my mind that unless the mother can be moved from her position, the children will remain in the vice of conflict wherever the children reside. Where can a mother find expert help to assist her to move forward and genuinely support her children’s relationship with their father?

    I am currently representing a young mother with two children aged 3 & 5; the 3 year old goes to contact very happily (with mothers full support) but the 5 year old won’t go (although now goes under duress (there is a court order) & each visit results in the child strongly resisting going and then making complaints to the mother of bad treatment during contact, which the mother suspects is fabricated by the child, but nevertheless finds very difficult to hear from her child). The mother is torn between her instinct to protect her child and knowing that the child’s reportage of contact is probably false. The mother is afraid that the 3 year old will, in time, begin to copy the elder sibling etc. The mother is asking for help for herself; I can’t find anything on your site in relation to helping mothers move on.

    Many thanks.

    1. karenwoodall says:

      If you woul dlike to email us at I can send you information on how to obtain help from us to help mothers (and fathers) in this position. What you describe is naive alienation which is often unconscious but in this case sounds as though awareness of this is coming to this mother. We can certainly help in these situations and quickly, we offer a six week rapid intervention service by skype or face to face for any parent in this situation. Kind Regards Karen

  16. Anonymous says:

    My reply via that email address is bouncing back. I suspect it’s my spam blocker thing! Is there a number I can call on?

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