On the Perils of Therapy in Alienation Cases

Karen Woodall

I have been working recently on the reconfiguration of a differentiation route for the matching of cases of parental alienation in the UK to treatment. This work, which is one of our core concerns at the Family Separation Clinic, began for me in 2010 when I read the formulations of Friedlander and Walters in their excellent paper entitled ‘When a Child Rejects a Parent: Tailoring the Intervention to Match the Problem.‘  Now there is a new paper by the same authors, updating their work and setting out the way in which what they refer to as the Resist/Refuse Dynamic, should be worked with. This for me, is the only way that any case of parental alienation should be approached by the interlocking of the mental health intervention with the court process. Anything less, is, in my view, contributing to the heightened risk of harm to the child.

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