The 3rd EAPAP (European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners) European Conference with International Participation began this morning. It is organized by the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center and will last until September 18, 2020 in the form of a webinar. The introductory speech of the conference was given by the our director, professor Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD, who greeted 400 registered participants – experts, practitioners and scientists:
“I can’t help but notice everything we went through this year, personally, professionally and in the realization of this conference. It seems like a lot, like our constant battle and mission on the ground around which we will gather in the next few days. It is always stormy, unpredictable and messy, but here we are, standing strong, united, flexible, cross-sectoral and enthusiastic for our children and the children to come. The theme of this year’s conference is the promotion of new clinical knowledge and theoretical approaches to working with alienated children. In particular, we explore transgenerational trauma, psychological splitting, attachment, power and control, research and case management. We will look back at what we know and what we have done, but our focus will be on something beyond that, on healing beyond reunification itself. We will try to dive much deeper, according to a true understanding of alienation, in addition to the well-known indicators of everyday practice. Child rejection of one parent, as we see it today, manifests internal spilitting in the child, a traumatic spilitting that must be treated. We will talk about trauma, induced psychological splitting, power dynamics and control, underlying psychopathology, and how to work with it. We all need the most knowledge and practical skills that we can start using today, and my great hope is that we will all get it, starting now. When Nick and Karen Woodall came to Croatia last year and gave a public lecture as a gift to Croatian experts, when over 800 of us signed the document “28 truths”, then our country was chosen to host this year’s conference, with esteemed speakers from around the world. This conference is not only a success of experts, it is a huge Croatian, Zagreb and regional step towards the European and world stage in child protection. And we plan to justify that trust. “
The organization of the conference was assisted by the City of Zagreb, and Mayor Milan Bandić opened the conference (video): “Dear and respected participants of the international conference on child protection, I greet you on my own behalf and on behalf of the City of Zagreb, unfortunately, in this virtual way. I am convinced that we will soon meet real, not virtual. I also greet you on behalf of a woman who has dedicated her life to the protection of children and youth and who has been the head of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection for 20 years, professor Gordana Buljan Flander, PhD. I especially want to greet her friends from Europe, Karen and Nick Woodall, who live the same vision and mission with the desire to help every young person in growing up, in the early stages as well as later, even in times of crisis. I wish the conference full success. See you on another occasion directly on the beautiful squares of Zagreb. Thank you!”
In the introductory part, Nick Woodall presented the organization and activities of EAPAP – the European Association of Parental Alienation Practitioners. In his speech (video), he described the founding in 2017, the mission of EAPAP and the goals for the future. He especially emphasized that experts from 15 European countries are involved in the work of EAPAP, to cooperate with experts-clinicians from North America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Asia. He said that the key partnership for EAPAP is the support partnership between the Family Separation Clinic from London and the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center.
Wilfred von Boch-Galau, a world expert on alienation, gave an introductory speech entitled: “Where We Come From: Historical Perspectives of parental alienation in research”:
”Experts can facilitate the process of alienation or interrupt it. The biggest mistake is to wait for the child to ‘return’ to the alienated parent on their own” said Wilfred von Boch-Galau.”
First two days of the conference are organized for professionals working with children, and the third day (September 18, 2020) is open to the public, especially as an education for interested parents, who can also participate in the Karen and Nick Woodal webinar for parents only. Applications are in progress, on the registration link: https://en.eapapzagreb2020.com/registracija
The third conference of the Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG), the umbrella institution in the world for child alienation, was held September 12-14, 2019 in Philadelphia, USA. The PASG has more than 500 members, most of whom are professionals in the mental health and justice sectors, from more than 50 countries, and since last year's conference of the European Association of Alienation Practitioners (EAPAP) at the invitation of Professor Emeritus Dr. William Burnett, 10 experts from the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center also joined.