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  • alyse65

Why I have chosen to self publish my twin PhD thesis and not put it in academic journals. Am I crazy? 4.3.24.

In the pioneering realm of adult survivors of child psychological abuse research, commonly known as severe parental alienation (SPA), and the dedicated mental health and law professionals who navigate this terrain, conflict is not just prevalent—it's ubiquitous. Parents are embroiled in battles for custody, experts spar over research methodologies, terminologies and affiliations, while the children and adult survivors observe from the shadows. However, this status quo is poised for a transformative shift.

As a recent PhD recipient immersed in the pioneering field of SPA research and therapeutic intervention, I confront a formidable hurdle: the exorbitant publishing fees that now loom ominously over academia. No longer shielded by the read and publish agreements afforded to PhD candidates, I find myself at a crossroads. Navigating a busy career as a doctor, a clinical psychotherapist, dedicating four days a week to research, and actively participating in initiatives like "The Anti Alienation Project," including the organisation of the world's first adult survivor conference on October 10th, 2024, is no small feat. Our commitment extends beyond mere organisation; we're ensuring that adult survivors not only run the conference but also take centre stage as keynote speakers. This decision underscores our belief in amplifying the voices of those with lived experiences—a philosophy encapsulated by the hashtag 'Nothing about us without us.'

Yet, amidst these endeavours, I find myself facing a daunting challenge: disseminating my research to a global audience. In a bold and resolute move, and inspired by the significance of my grandson's first day at primary school, I've made the decision to self-publish my thesis in two books, including the omitted sections truncated by the stringent word count constraints of academia, through an esteemed Australian publishing house. My next literary endeavours will focus on two main topics. The first book will explore the experiences of adult survivors, while the second will discuss the perspectives and treatment protocol I'm developing to assist mental health practitioners in supporting survivors effectively. My intent is clear: I refuse to let institutional barriers stifle the dissemination of my research.

This decision to bypass traditional academic journals, which often serve as gatekeepers to scholarly discourse, is not made lightly. Countless submissions met with praise for the quality of my work yet ultimately rejected for not aligning with specific journal scopes or deemed too "medical" or "psychological." My experience resonates with many fellow academics, including my sibling grappling with similar hurdles in their field of suicide research.

Could this be the harbinger of a new era in academic publishing? A paradigm shift where scholars reclaim control over their narratives, unencumbered by prohibitive publishing fees? The resonance of this decision extends far beyond my individual circumstances—it signals a rallying cry for academics worldwide who refuse to be shackled by the confines of traditional publishing models. It's a clarion call for innovation, inclusivity, and accessibility in scholarly dissemination—a future where knowledge knows no bounds, and voices previously marginalised find their rightful place in the academic discourse.

And another thing, did you know that it costs me the same price to write a book as it does to publish a journal article???

Currently, I'm self-publishing my dual thesis and chronicling the journey through a blog. I'll be discussing the intricacies of this process along with insights into life as an academic researcher focusing on adult survivors of SPA and the mental health practitioners aiding them. Moreover, I'll be sharing updates on the treatment protocol I'm presently developing, which will be the cornerstone of my second book. Also, did I tell you that I'm an adult survivor of SPA myself? I will add my lived experience to this subject as well. We have a long journey ahead of us...please join me. Dr Alyse


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