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Training in Rijeka About Parental Manipulation of Children in Divorce

Training for the staff of the Social Welfare Centre Rijeka under the title “Parental Manipulation of Children in Divorce” was held on 23 and 24 May 2017. It was conducted by Prof. Sc.D. Gordana Buljan Flander and Mia Roje, psychologist.

Participants acquired new knowledge and skills related to:

• defining and recognising the harm of parental conflict to children

• recognising high-conflict divorce, frequency and characteristics,

• recognising couples at risk for high-conflict divorce,

• exploring transgenerational transfer of conflict and divorce through family history,

• categorising parental conflict according to theoretical and empirical data,

• psychological basis of the harm of parental conflict to children,

• recognising and assessing the harm of parental conflict to specific groups of children,

• assessment and explanation of the best interests of the child in parental divorce,

• article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – child’s opinion is not always in the child’s best interest; how it can be tested and how professional opinion can be supported,

• recognising parental manipulation and parental alienation,

• differentiating structures and reasons for child’s rejection of a parent,

• observing and interpreting manipulative behaviours in line with contemporary literature,

• psychoeducation of parents if they are cooperative,

• use of situational questions in counselling parents if they are cooperative,

• making decisions whether a treatment of the child/family is to be recommended, when and what type,

• demystification of manipulation as of a rare behaviour,

• recognising families at risk for manipulation of children,

• understanding the manipulative parent and his/her basic characteristics,

• analysis of the power dynamics,

• toxic triangle in manipulation related to the attachment theory,

• assessment and statement of grounds of the urgency of intervention,

• taking control by the system,

• recognising manipulation as emotional abuse according to contemporary scientific knowledge,

• legal procedure in cases of manipulation – criminal charges filed for emotional abuse,

• writing and supporting professional findings and opinions,

• recognising sings of abuse in the child and further procedures,

• deeper understanding of the child,

• examining manipulation/level of manipulation of children in practice,

• differentiating between types of abuse allegations,

• analysis of relevant factors in assessing abuse allegations.