Hamish sketched his own long career that was more psychoanalytical than systemic. But child psychiatrists and their multidisciplinary colleagues cannot help but work with families in both clinical and legal practice. He noted that some therapy is talking therapy, and others is walking therapy – walking means: doing things together behaviourally. Words may not be enough. He validated the importance of Parental Alienation as a serious concern to prevent and intervene with. Over the years he has seen small hubs of interest develop, of which this is another. He hoped that these will eventually meld into one more coherent and effective field. Click here for Hamish’s Aide memoir themes for mental health professionals of what he said as he opened the closing plenary.
Themes in the small group discussions raised the contrast between the hard end of PA – in court settings where assessments had to consider the welfare of the child and advise tough decisions against a parent’s and the child’s stated wishes – and the wider contexts of working with alienation patterns – where the negative language (“alienation” and “narcissistic personality disorder”) are not going to help engagement or understanding.
Dr Hamish Cameron, a consultant child psychiatrist for over 40 years, worked at St George’s and the Cassel hospitals, and in independent practice. Instructed since 1973 by the Official Solicitor, CAFCASS and NYAS as an expert witness in family proceedings, he has lectured to family Judges throughout the British Isles on childhood suggestibility & children’s false beliefs, attachment, adoption and contact issues and alienation. As part of the Family Court team, he has assisted in many Parental Alienation cases.
After the event
The first interest in the conference was an international one! Stan Korosi and Bill Bernet of the PA Study Group asked for and got a report of our event to go in the PA Internataional Newsletter. They and others have followed the progress of SSoPA in the UK and the report appeared within a week! Click here to see what Nick wrote.
Alison O’Mahony – who looked after our books on the book table – throughout the day listed points to remember.
Dominic Raeside, Head of Mediation at Family Law in Partnership (FLIP) summarised the very recent last bits of the Children Act (England and Wales) about Parental Involvement. He supplied this further information for us. The headline is: ‘Family courts will presume that each parent will play a role in the life of their child’.
There was a request for those with particular shared interests to get together. Well, here’s your chance – put in a new post opening up a blog on the topic.