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February 22nd 2013. The weather may have been cold and bitter but that didn't stop Karen Woodall, Director of the Centre for Separated Families and a world export on the subject of Parental Alienation coming to Llandudno Junction to speak to a group of dedicated professionals who gave up part of their Friday evening to listen to her.
This was the second time that the charity Families Need Fathers Both Parents Matter Cymru had invited Karen to speak to professionals in Wales on the subject. On both occasions, judges, CAFCASS Cymru officers, solicitors, mediators, social workers had come along to here her speak.
Shown in the foyer of the Welsh Goverment building are from left to right, Lady Lloyd Jones, Chair of the charity; Karen Woodall, Director of the Centre for Separated Families and Paul Apreda, National Manager of the charity.
The overriding message is that early intervention is important to reduce the damage to the child. The courts should not be afraid of using the judge as the absolute authority thus taking the responsibility of chosing which parent to see from the child. Children are too young to be forced to make adult decisions. Children worry terribly about hurting one parent, if they say they wish to see the other parent. When the decision process is taken away from them by the judge they are very relieved. It is no longer a case of "Mummy, it's not that I don't love you but I would like to see Daddy" but a case of "Mummy, the Judge says I have to see Daddy" or it could be "Daddy, not that I don't love you but I would like to see Mummy" but a case of "Daddy, the Judge says I have to see Mummy"
Karen referred to the latest research in the field.
She also explainaed about the attachment heirarchy where in a normal family, the child is down at the bottom of the hierarchy and either mummy or daddy are at the top, with granny probably coming in third! However in separated families, often the child finds his/herself at the top of the attachment heirarchy which is too great a responsiblity and not healthy for the child.
The Powerpoint notes that Karen used are available by clicking here.