Slicing Up The Elephant

If you haven’t yet been made aware or don’t follow me on social media, I work with victims and professionals on the subject of personality disorders and parental alienation.  It is a personal passion and it has driven me to take some huge action steps which I wanted to share with you.

 

In October this year, we at COAP are hosting a conference on parental alienation in Lincoln.

 

I have been educating professionals for a while now on narcissistic parenting and parental alienation, which is great and really helping to spread awareness in my locality, but I wanted to do more.

 

For me the conferences fulfill four main purposes:

 

  1. Education
  2. Awareness
  3. Multi-disciplinary approach
  4. Numbers

 

EDUCATION

 

I believe, from professional and personal experience, that children and family workers have not been adequately trained to deal with this level of severe parental mental health (see my blog post).  

 

As a social worker there was one module of mental health in my degree training and it was very generalised. We covered:

 

  • values and ethical mental health
  • social work practice and mental health (what is mental health, the medical model)
  • Legal and political context
  • Working with vulnerable people (adults and children)
  • Multi-disciplinary working

 

It certainly did not go in depth on personality disorders and their impact on others.  And I understand why but I am merely illustrating a gap in education. Today’s social work degrees do not include a mental health module at all.

 

Post qualification we do the NQSW (new qualified social worker) training but this focuses more on assessment and practice than specific service user issues.  Additional to this is in-house training which, whilst really interesting and insightful, never once covered personality disorders. Even the Sexual Offending workshop didn’t delve into this complex area.  And again, I understand why.

 

Social work is just that – social.

 

Personality disorders (assessment, diagnosis and treatment) are medical.

 

Equally the legal profession know the law. They are experts in that area.  But they do not understand attachment theory, family systems theory or personality disorders.  They rely upon others who equally lack that knowledge.

 

Therefore these families tend to fall through the cracks despite the fact that evidence PROVES that mental health impacts families and children MORE THAN any other parenting capacity factor.

 

(from Cleaver et al (2001) Children’s Needs – Parenting Capacity, Department for Education)

 

So my aim for these conferences is to bridge that gap.  To provide education for those professionals who need it in order to protect vulnerable children.

 

AWARENESS

 

Parental alienation is not new.  Agencies have been talking about it for a while now and lots of noise is being made.  But change is still coming too slowly in my eyes.

 

I actually believe the solution is really simple.  But without raising that awareness, it has become a kind of huge elephant in the room. We know it’s there but have no idea what to do about it and so it is largely ignored.

 

But the truth is parental alienation is CHILD ABUSE.

 

And we are all responsible for safeguarding our children.

 

These conferences will help to raise that awareness not just in professional circles but also the wider community.

 

They will also raise awareness that there ARE solutions.  We don’t have to be scared of tackling this.

 

MULTI-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH

 

Everyone is coming at it from one perspective only – either legal, social or medical.  

 

And sadly this is a huge part of the problem, in my eyes, with the failure to get a real grip on parental alienation despite the fact that some experts have been working in this area for 30 years.

 

As stated above, social work is social and uses one model.

 

Legal uses another.

 

Medical uses a different one.

 

Parental alienation requiries one model from all these approaches and that is relatively new.  And thus far undesigned. But I am working on it!

 

These conferences will give all children and family workers from a multitude of disciplines a chance to come together in professional curiosity to be part of the solution.  That is my tag line for my training business – Be part of the solution.

 

NUMBERS

 

Let’s face it, it’s a numbers game!

 

My training is more intense and in-depth but I can only train up to 15 people at a time.  Whilst that is invaluable in the solution, it is also slow.

 

But these conferences will bring together 75-100 people all at one time.

 

And it works the other way too.

 

Delegates will get to hear from 5-6 expert speakers in one day.  That is exceptional. And a very rare opportunity.

 

I genuinely believe that these conferences have the power to take the elephant and slice it up into bite sized pieces, making what looks initially like a huge problem, into something much more manageable.

 

We have kept the price down as much as possible so that only costs are covered for us organisers and delegates get real value for money.  Most full day conferences cost well over £100. These are just £75. You get CPD points and a printed brochure to take away. Oh and we might throw in some refreshments!

 

The conference is in Lincoln and all you have to do to register is click Lincoln and you will be directed to the booking page with more details.

 

Even if you can’t attend or chose not to, PLEASE help us spread the word by sharing the details (this post and my posts about the conference)

 

Many thanks for reading and if you are coming along, I really look forward to meeting you and please do come and say hello.

 

Follow me at:

 

www.facebook.com/NAPARRC

www.twitter.com/sasquires3006

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-squires-bsc-social-work-910527b0/

 

Sarah Squires

 

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