IACP Accredited Family Therapy CPD day – Face to Face or Online Learning Outcomes:

 The CPD day is designed to introduce learners to some of the key principles in family therapy approaches to working with couples, individuals and families. Learners will gain an overview of the family therapy approach from its inception in the 1950’s to present day before being introduced to the ideas of circularity and circular questioning.

Learning Strategy:

Learning outcomes:

On completion learners will be able to

Simply contact brian@changes.ie to schedule training.



This is an essential training for those who are working with families and young people post relationship breakdown, where access and visitation is presenting problems.

The early identification of alienating dynamics may help arrest its development and limit the psychological and emotional damage that parental alienation causes to children. If the problem is identified early, it is possible to create interventions that privileges the right of children to have a relationship with both parents and identify specific supports to help the family overcome these challenges in a positive way.

Brian is Co-director of the first European accredited Postgraduate Award in Parental Alienation Studies. This was developed and accredited in collaboration with the Institute of Family Therapy Malta. The current cohort of learners on this program are social, legal and mental health professionals from across the globe to include Iceland, UK, Ireland, Malta, Russia, US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and China for more information on this go to: https://parentalalienation.eu/post-graduate-award-in-parental-alienation-studies/

Additionally Brian is the founding editor of the first and only peer reviewed journal across the globe devoted to the scholarly exploration of parental alienation. See link here: https://journal.parentalalienation.eu/



All social, legal, psychological and mental health practitioners working with children and families, practitioners working as expert witnesses in private family law proceedings, undergraduate and post graduate students.


Practitioners are increasingly being faced with a phenomenon where children strongly align themselves with one parent while rejecting the relationship with a previously loved parent without justification in the context of a high conflict relationship breakdowns often referred to as parental alienation (PA).

The American Psychological Association is currently reviewing their position in relation to the phenomenon. The British Psychological Society and CAFCASS have placed this phenomenon on their agenda publicly. Additionally, the phenomenon is in the current draft of the ICD 11. It seems timely that this training raises awareness, education, aetiology, construct, interventions and impact on children and families in Ireland be provided at this time to health professionals in Ireland.





Lecture, group discussions, case studies and experiential.

What materials will participants receive?

Copies of facilitator’s published papers with further resources & literature.

Qualifications and prior experience necessary:

Working with families & Children across the social, legal or mental health professions.


Brian’s first undergraduate award was in Emergency Medical Science. He then earned a B.A. Psychotherapy before earning an M.Sc. Systemic Family Psychotherapy at University College Dublin & the Mater Hospital.

Brian is a Systemic Family Psychotherapist. He has lectured on accredited undergraduate and post graduate degree program’s in psychological theory and therapy. He has designed and delivered two M.Sc. programs both of which have been validated by Middlesex University, London.

His area of interest, practice and research relates to the phenomenon where children resist contact with a previous loved parent in an unjustified way in the context of high conflict separations and divorce often, referred to as parental alienation. He acts as an expert witness in private family law proceedings where alienation may be considered to be a factor.

Brian has completed the only study regarding parental alienation in Ireland. This study adds to a paucity in the literature globally. It was conducted with ethical permission from the Human Research Ethics Committee at University College Dublin and graded A in final examination.

Brian has been published in peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed journals nationally and internationally. He has delivered seminars regarding PA at a variety of venues including the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference (2016) in Nottingham and more recently at Queens University Belfast (2018) and the Tavistock Clinic London (2018), Dublin City University, European Parliament, Brussels, St. Petersburg, Russia among others.


“Brian is a very professional, congruent, knowledgeable and engaging lecturer.”

“Brian is an excellent lecturer, who gives superb insight into the training.”

“Brian has been excellent, engaging and very individually helpful.”

“Brian’s approach is always good, it’s clear and well delivered.”

“Thanks for all your insights, Brian, amazing learning.”

“The training content was excellent and kept me interested throughout.”


O’ Sullivan. B (2012) Does Helping Hurt, Journal of Canadian Paramedicine, 35:1, pp.25- 27
O’ Sullivan. B (2013) the Alienated Child, Irish Journal of Family Law, 16:1, pp. 20-23
O’ Sullivan. B (2014) Paramedic Attitudes to Deliberate Self Harming Behaviours in Ireland, Journal of Paramedic Practice, 6:3 pp. 116 – 118
O’ Sullivan. B (2015) Parental Alienation should be a criminal offence, Irish Times
Monday September 1, 2015 https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/parental-alienation-should-be-criminal-offence-says-group-1.2335436
O’ Sullivan. B (2016) Parental Alienation – Guest writer The Westmeath Examiner
O’ Sullivan. B (2017) Parent Alienation, Irish Psychologists are beginning to recognize a new and damaging phenomenon https://villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2017/02/parentalienation
O’Sullivan. B (2018) Parental Alienation – A Systemic Perspective, Context, Journal of Systemic and Family Practice (UK)
O’ Sullivan. B (2020) The lived experiences of Parental Alienation in Ireland – Summary of findings, a Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Irish Journal of Family Law, 23, (1)
O’ Sullivan. B & Guildea. B (2020) Clinical and Legal Aspects of Parental Alienation, Irish Journal of Family Law, 23, (4)

Fee: €150.00 per person – contact us for group bookings, brian@changes.ie

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