Parental alienation counsellor Karen Woodall sanctioned for malpractice


The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) has published findings of professional malpractice in respect of Karen Woodall, a therapist specialising in work with families where parental alienation is a factor. The BACP is the UK’s largest professional body representing 40,000 counsellor/therapist members.

Parts of the complaint (upheld) relate to Ms Woodall providing a written assessment on the family including opinion that the child ‘is suffering from…’ and ‘I make this diagnosis…’ when she had not in fact met the child at that time. Other findings relate to a lack of clarity in respect of fees and the nature of services offered.

The BACP Panel was unanimous in its decision that the findings amounted to “professional malpractice on the grounds of recklessness and the provision of inadequate professional services in that the service for which Ms Woodall provided fell below the standard that would reasonably be expected of a practitioner exercising reasonable care and skill.”

The Panel also found that ‘Ms Woodall lacked the personal moral qualities of Sincerity, Integrity, Competence and Wisdom to which all practitioners are strongly urged to aspire.’

The above comments from the BACP Professional Conduct Panel are taken from their published findings which can be viewed at: BACP Professional Conduct: Hearing Findings, Decision & Sanction; Reference 704956 [July 2015} (Link no longer active)

For those currently wishing therapeutic assistance we recommend ‘5 steps to choosing a psychologist, counsellor or psychotherapist if you are experiencing alienation‘.


The sanction made by the BACP in respect of this matter has been complied with by Karen Woodall and the case closed. Please see BACP Sanction Compliance Notice Published