Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome

Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome
May 28th & 29th, 2011   •  Montreal, Quebec, Canada


William Bernet, M.D.– Keynote Speaker

The Differential Diagnosis of Contact Refusal

When parents divorce, children sometimes resist interaction with one of the parents. Dr. Bernet will explain the various causes of contact refusal and will illustrate them with clinical vignettes: the maltreated child; the child with loyalty conflicts; the overly anxious, worried child; the stubborn child; the child escaping family conflict; accidental indoctrination; and purposeful indoctrination by one of the parents. It is important to understand the underlying reason for a child's contact refusal in order to devise a treatment plan for that child and family.

Update regarding Parental Alienation and DSM-5 Dr. Bernet and his colleagues submitted formal proposals in 2008 and 2009 that parental alienation be included in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, to be published by the American Psychiatric Association. He will explain the current status of those proposals with the DSM-5 Task Force.

William Bernet, M.D., a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is board certified in general psychiatry, child psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. As an expert in forensic psychiatry, Dr. Bernet has testified in 15 states.

Dr. Bernet has written professional articles and chapters on a variety of subjects, including: group and individual therapy with children and adolescents, humor in psychotherapy, forensic child psychiatry, child maltreatment, true and false allegations of abuse, satanic ritual abuse, reincarnation, child custody and visitation, parental alienation, testimony regarding behavioral genomics, and risk management.

In 2007, Dr. Bernet and Judge Don R. Ash published Children of Divorce: A Practical Guide for Parents, Therapists, Attorneys, and Judges. In 2010, Dr. Bernet published Parental Alienation, DSM-5, and ICD-11.

Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.

The Psychosocial Treatment of Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation Disorder is a phenomenon that has been observed for years by parents, mental health professionals, attorneys, and the courts. The concept sometimes thought of as "brainwashing" has grown in public awareness and has become controversial. Much is written about how to identify alienation, but little is described about what occurs in therapy to unify alienated families. This presentation will close the gap between making the diagnosis and understanding therapeutic protocols to reunify the alienated child with the rejected parent. The presentation will focus on practical psychosocial and cognitive interventions that are easy to understand and applicable in a clinical setting.

Douglas Darnall, Ph.D., is the author of Divorce Casualties: Understanding Parental Alienation (second edition) and Beyond Divorce Casualties: Reunifying the Alienated Family. He is the PsyCare, Inc., CEO and Clinical Director of the Liberty Clinic. PsyCare has eight outpatient mental health clinics in Northeastern Ohio that are accredited by The Joint Commission. Dr. Darnall received his Doctoral Degree from Kent State University and his Master's from San Diego State University. He has been a practicing psychologist for 32 years, and previously worked 20 years for the Trumbull County Family Court. He has testified in 12 states and has serviced over 1,000 families. He has appeared on the Montel show and Court TV and numerous radio shows. He has authored and coauthored numerous peer-review journal articles on Parental Alienation and Spontaneous Reunification. Dr. Darnall is on the editorial board for the American Journal of Family Therapy. Reference to his work has been written up in over 50 newspaper articles. Dr. Darnall has given presentations at both State and National Conferences including the Missouri State Bar and North Dakota State Bar Associations, AFCC, Children's Rights Council, and Local and State Bar Associations on Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome. He has gained international recognition for his work with divorced families.

S. Richard Sauber, Ph.D.

Alienation, Estrangement, and Bona Fide Abuse: The Diffrentiating Criteria for the Development of the Reunification Plan

The procedure for differentiating between alienation (moderate to severe), estrangement, and bona fide abuse will be explained according to the criteria and symptoms that require trained interviewing and assessment techniques. Once this determination is achieved, the development of a reunification plan can occur. This plan defines the essential individual and interactive variables within the family dynamics, the terms under which the family members may participate, and the role of the reunification therapist, plus the rules and sanctions ordered by the court. The chart constructed by Dr. Sauber as it appears in his second edition of The Handbook of Parental Alienation with Drs. Lorandos and Bernet will explain the distinction between psychotherapy and/or family therapy and reunification therapy, with special attention to the issues and conflicts within the 20 categories presented.

S. Richard Sauber, Ph.D., has been in practice for 30 years as a forensic family and clinical psychologist who specializes in the evaluation, consultation, and treatment of complex litigious family law cases. He is Board Certified in Family and Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology and licensed by the Ordre des Psychologues du Quebec. Trained at Harvard University in this area of expertise, he has been court-appointed or retained as an expert conducting forensic evaluations in his national practice. Formerly, Dr. Sauber was Professor of Family and Clinical Psychology in the Departments of Psychiatry at the Medical Schools at Columbia, Brown ,and the University of Pennsylvania. At the latter two medical schools, he was Director of their Post-doctoral Training Program in Family Psychology/Family Therapy/Family Forensic Psychology. He has been on the Founding Board of Directors of the Academy of Family Mediators and National Academy of Professional Custody Evaluators. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Children's Rights Council in Washington, D.C. Since 1976, Dr. Sauber has been the Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Family Therapy. His most recent book with Richard Gardner, M.D., and Demosthenes Lorandos, J.D., Ph.D. is entitled The International Handbook of PAS: Conceptual, Clinical and Legal Considerations (2006) and is now being written in its second edition with Demosthenes Lorandos, J.D., Ph.D., William Bernet, M.D., and S. Richard Sauber, Ph.D., entitled The Handbook of Parental Alienation for Mental Health and Legal Professionals.


Abraham Worenklein, Ph.D.– Keynote Speaker

Cutting the Suit to Fit the Alienated Child: Individualizing the Nature and Modalities of Intervention

It is essential to ensure that a thorough and comprehensive assessment is done to determine the presence of alienation and ensure a differentiation between "realistic and justifiable" estrangement and true alienation. Thereafter, it is equally essential to ensure the application of relevant procedures and techniques for neutralizing the alienation process and normalizing the relationship with the targeted [alienated] parent. To accomplish this, the therapist must have a solid understanding of the actual programming and indoctrination techniques that were utilized with the child in order to best reverse the process.

Factors that will be discussed include the motives of the alienating parent, and the techniques and themes utilized by the alienating parent. Consideration of the modifications to employ must include the frequency, duration, and the environment in which the alienated child will interact with both the aligned parent and the targeted parent. In addition, there will be some discussion of risk factors that are often found in situations where a child is more likely to become or to remain alienated, including factors relating to parenting style, inter-parental relationship, and reactions of the target parent, as well as factors related to cognitive capacities and developmental considerations and the involvement of a new partner and "step-siblings."

Abe Worenklein, M.Sc., Ph.D., is a clinical and forensic psychologist in private practice in Montreal, a professor at Dawson College, and a lecturer at Concordia University. In addition to his practice in clinical and forensic evaluation and psychotherapy, he is certified as a family mediator. Dr. Worenklein has been declared an expert witness in Superior Court and in Youth Court several hundred times, primarily in Canada, but also in the United States and the Caribbean, and he has presented on this topic at numerous professional conferences in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He has been quoted in significant judgments dealing with parental alienation and high-conflict divorces. He is a member of the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology and has been certified by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. Dr. Worenklein is on the committee to have Parental Alienation accepted into the DSM-V and ICD-11 and has spoken on many occasions on the radio regarding parental alienation and its effects on alienated children. He is also on the International Board of the American Journal of Family Therapy.

Terence W. Campbell, Ph.D.

Reducing Parental Conflicts Between Divorced Spouses:
Recommendations for Mild to Moderate Alienation

This treatment protocol is a step-wise procedure addressing: (1) figure-ground reversals in how divorced parents perceive each other, (2) identifying custodian's reasonable expectations for conditions that would allow normalized visitation, (3) obtaining the non-custodian's agreement with the custodian's reasonable expectations, (4) defining the children as neutral and obtaining their commitment to neutrality, (5) identifying parental "allies" whose influence must be addressed, and (6) defining the conditions for future parental communication.

Dr. Campbell completed his doctoral degree in Human Development and Clinical Psychology at the University of Maryland in 1970. He also did post-doctoral training in family psychology and family therapy at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine. Dr. Campbell was a co-founder of the Psychodiagnostic and Family Services Clinic of the Macomb County (Michigan) Circuit Court in 1972.

Dr. Campbell's publications have appeared in various scientific and professional journals including the American Journal of Forensic Psychology, American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, Journal of Systemic Therapies, Michigan Bar Journal, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, and Psychotherapy. His work has also been reprinted in the Norwegian journal, Fokus Pas Familien.

Dr. Campbell's first book - Beware The Talking Cure: Psychotherapy May Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health - published by Upton Books, an imprint of SIRS Publishing, was released in September of 1994. His second book - Smoke and Mirrors: The Devastating Effect of False Sexual Abuse Claims - was released by Insight Books, a division of Plenum Publishing, in September of 1998. His third book - Cross-Examining Experts in the Behavioral Sciences - (co-authored with D.A. Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D.) - was released by the West Group in September 2001 with annual updates for every year beginning in 2003. Dr. Campbell's fourth book - Assessing Sex Offenders: Problems and Pitfalls - was published by Charles C. Thomas in July 2004 as part of its American Series in the Behavioral Sciences and Law. His fifth book - Benchbook in the Behavioral Sciences: Psychiatry, Psychology, and Social Work - (co-authored with D.A. Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D.) was released by Carolina Academic Press in April 2005. His sixth book - Assessing Sex Offenders: Problems and Pitfalls-2nd Edition - was published by Charles C. Thomas in November 2007.

Dr. Campbell has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Systemic Therapies. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Sexual Offender Civil Commitment: Science and the Law. He is a member of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation of Philadelphia. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Association for Consumer Protection in Mental Health Practices. He has been designated a Fellow of the American Psychological Society in recognition of "a distinguished contribution to psychological science." He is also board certified in forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Campbell has also been listed in Who's Who in America since the 56th edition in 2002.

Dr. Campbell frequently assists attorneys in matters related to appropriate standards of practice, evidentiary reliability in forensic psychology, eyewitness identifications, coerced confessions, child custody and visitation evaluations, allegations of child sexual abuse, and claims of repressed memories. He has testified as an expert witness in numerous states and the Dominion of Canada.

Dr. Michael Bone

Treatment for Alienated Children: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why?

The Family Court is often in the position to attempt to remedy what we now know to be parental alienation. Those experienced in this field will be quick to attest to the fact that what is recommended by the court—typically outpatient therapy—does not typically work, and often makes things worse. This presentation lays the foundation of why this is the case and what must be recommended if relief is to be found.

Parental alienation engages, at even the neurological level, the vulnerability we humans have to become biased. It is in our DNA and reverberates in our creation and use of the symbolic process from language to its application in storytelling. We are hard wired to search out danger and are easily made vigilant. It is these tendencies and biases—primitive and biologic as they are—that are engaged and exploited when parental alienation is present.

Our profession has attempted to tame the effects of parental alienation in children, and perhaps not surprisingly, differences of opinion have arisen for both intellectual and political reasons. In this presentation, the two overall competing models will be explored. From this abundance of material, the basic ingredients of a "state of the art intervention" will be revealed. While there is not a "one size fits all" application to resolve parental alienation, the common basic ingredients will be isolated, and a discussion will be presented exploring how these various ingredients may be applied to individual cases.

The primary focus of Dr. Bone's work is high-conflict custody disputes involving parental alienation under the pretense of divorce. His goal is to help establish custody plans and parenting roles that encourage positive relationships between children and BOTH parents. Working with both mothers and fathers, he has spent more than 25 years dealing with high-conflict divorce as a therapist, expert witness, mediator, evaluator and consultant, nationally and internationally. He has worked on hundreds of cases, garnering positive results.

Cases involving parental alienation must be handled differently. It is not as simple as hiring professionals who are familiar with or say they understand Parental Alienation. The legal issues that appear in alienation cases are unique. Failure to understand the uniqueness of these cases by mental health professionals or lawyers in these cases can (and often does) lead to disastrous results.

Dr. Bone worked extensively with the late Dr. Richard Gardner, who first described the syndrome in 1985. Dr. Bone served on the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board of the Parental Alienation Research Foundation in Washington, D.C. In 2006, Dr. Bone closed his clinical practice and began a full-time consultative practice devoted entirely to the development of remedies for and education about parental alienation. These activities include consulting on individual cases with parents and attorneys, as well as in the development of educational products involving practical strategies for parents who are experiencing parental alienation.

Glenn R. Caddy, Ph.D.
Conference Moderator

Dr. Caddy is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist licensed in the State of Florida and Australia. He holds Diplomate and/or Fellowship status within the American Board of Clinical Psychology, the Behavior Therapy and Research Society, the International Academy of Behavioral Medicine, the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, the American Academy of Forensic Examiners, and the American Board of Sexology. He is also a Fellow of the American Psychology Association, a member of the American Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy, and a member of both the Colleges of Clinical and Forensic Psychology of the Australian Psychological Society.

Dr. Caddy was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of New South Wales, Australia. In the mid-1970s he took a clinical research scientist position at the Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles and was promoted to progressively more senior academic positions at several major medical schools and universities, becoming Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Behavioral Sciences Faculty of Nova Southeastern University and also Clinical Professor of Psychology within Nova's School of Medicine. Dr. Caddy has served on the editorial board of a number of scientific journals, and for more than ten years he was series editor for the Advances in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine series for a major publisher. Dr. Caddy now serves on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Family Therapy. Dr. Caddy has published more than one hundred peer reviewed scientific manuscripts, numerous monographs, four books, and several internet-based distance learning programs. He has consulted with dozens of private and public organizations from the online test developer, Psych Systems, to the British Broadcasting Corporation in the production of their series Crimes of the Century. He has also consulted for numerous state agencies, including the California Department of Mental Hygiene, the Virginia Office of the Capital Collateral Representative, and the Florida Department of Children and Families. At the national level he has consulted for the National Institutes of Health, the United States Air Force, the Secret Service, and the Veterans Administration.

In 1990, Dr. Caddy left full-time academia and entered the practice of clinical and forensic psychology. He has directed the American Academy of Behavioral Medicine and the Institute of Forensic and Clinical Psychology. Today he runs his own practice. Dr. Caddy has served broadly as a clinician and/or expert in more than a thousand legal cases, including criminal, labor relations, Federal Title Seven, and State Discrimination cases. In personal injury cases he is well known for his involvement in matters of high trauma, including brain injury [the Delta 191 crash in Dallas, the Sunset Limited crash in Louisiana], and for torture and brutality cases, including his work in war crimes cases. Dr. Caddy also has worked extensively in issues involving the formation of cults and of mind control. He has also worked in multiple aspects of family law and high conflict divorce. It was within this context that his earlier work in mind control led him to develop an interest and expertise in Parental Alienation. Dr. Caddy has been a consultant to and/or qualified as an expert and testified in some two thousand cases in both State and Federal Courts in the United States, Canada, and Australia. More than 100 of these cases have involved issues in parental alienation.