6 hours CPD


Adoption practitioners and managers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies and Local Authorities) and Independent Professionals.


    When parents first have a child there may be some differences in their ideas about parenting styles. In the course of time, if the relationship is not overly defensive, many parents come to an agreement regarding how they will parent their child. In relationships that are working well enough parents are able to present a basic united front to their children. When a couple separates however, it is not unusual for differences in parenting styles to re-emerge once again and the less that a separating couple are able to work together as co-parents the more likely it is that their divorce will be marked by high conflict.  

    This one day training session will provide:

    • an overview on the nature of couple relationships, the transition to parenthood with reference to adoption and the kinds of difficulties couples encounter along the way
    • a particular focus on the breakdown in the couple relationship and its impact on the couple and their adopted children
    • thinking about supporting the adoption practitioner as they attend to the needs of the couple, the adoptive child(ren) and the family system as a whole
    • help for adoptive practitioners in looking after their own needs as well as the impact of family breakdown on them. We will consider the ways in which adoption practitioners may be recruited to play out particular roles in regard to the couple’s separation/divorce
    • when a couple relationship breaks down the Family Justice System in the UK requires that to end the marriage one partner, the ‘Petitioner’, institutes legal proceedings against the other partner, the ‘Respondent’
    • from the outset the adversarial nature of the legal process may inadvertently lead to an enactment of the psychological processes involved in the loss of a significant relationship
    • consider how at the time of separation or divorce a couple will need to negotiate living arrangements and make agreements regarding their finances as they go from maintaining one household to two, often with the same amount of money. How financial resources are used can become a source of conflict ending in bitter conflict between partners

    Learning outcomes

    Participants will gain an understanding of the term ‘high conflict divorce’ and how it is characteristically applied to any of the following divorce situations:

    • Ongoing, unremitting hostility between adults
    • Drawn out or frequent court actions
    • Contact with children battles
    • Allegations of domestic violence, physical abuse, and/or sexual abuse
    • Restraining orders or no-contact orders
    • Lack of ability to communicate about children and their care
    • participants will increase their understanding of the psychological processes in divorce and separation

    About the trainers

    Liz Hamlin is a Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council and is a member of the BPC’s Professional Standards Committee. She is Joint Head of Clinical Services at Tavistock Relationships having been a Visiting Clinician in the organisation for many years working with couples, supervising practitioners and delivering training.  Liz has a special interest in working with couples and individuals facing divorce and separation and is a member of the Divorce and Separation Consultation Service. She extended her initial training as a Couple Counsellor with East Kent Relate in the 1990’s through her involvement in setting up a service called Relateen for adolescents whose parents were going through divorce or separation. Liz has been an IAPT Couple Therapy for Depression Trainer and Supervisor having been involved in TR’s development of the training since its inception in 2010.

    Damian McCann, D.Sys.Psych. is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist working as head of learning and development at Tavistock Relationships, London, and is adjunct faculty member of the International Psychotherapy Institute (IPI) Washington, DC. He is also a consultant systemic psychotherapist and has many years’ experience of working with children, adolescents and their families and of supervising a range of professionals both individually and in groups. He has a particular interest in working with gender and sexual diversity in psychoanalytic practice and has published and taught widely on this topic. His doctoral research was concerned with understanding the meaning and impact of violence in the couple relationships of gay men and he is involved in developing approaches to working with couples in which there is violence and abuse. He is currently editing a book on Same-Sex Couples and Other Identities: Psychoanalytic Perspectives to be published by Routledge in 2021.


    A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack.

    If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at [email protected]

    CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.

    The event starts in 94 days 14 hours 45 mins 51 secs

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