I am beginning to shift my professional focus.
To remain focused on solving “parental alienation” (AB-PA) and keep my work conceptually distinct, I just created a new blog to begin the process of addressing the terrorist mind and pathological violence:
The Terrorist Mind: Pathological Anger and Pathological Violence
As I unraveled the narcissistic pathology of “parental alienation,” I was led into researching pathological anger and hatred, and ultimately into researching the nature of evil. The narcissistic pathology of “parental alienation” is evil (the Dark Triad Personality). This research into evil and the terrorist mind is not on my personal reference list for AB-PA because I don’t want to distract from the core solution to AB-PA.
Three of the primary references are:
Baron-Cohen, Simon (2011). The science of evil: On empathy and the origins of cruelty. New York: Basic Books.
Beck, A.T. (2000). Prisoners of hate: The cognitive basis of anger, hostility, and violence. New York: Harper Collins.
Baumeister, R. F. (1997). Evil: Inside human violence and cruelty. New York: Freeman.
Other research references are on my personal reference list for terrorism.
Through my research into the psychologically violent and abusive narcissistic pathology of “parental alienation,” I have been on the path of unlocking the pathological violence of the terrorist mind for several years now. I am currently forming a 501c3 non-profit to serve as the umbrella organization for providing training and Certification in AB-PA (The Childress Institute). If you scroll down the homepage for The Childress Institute you will see that one of the primary “Future Directions” is unlocking the terrorist mind and the extremism of pathological hatred.
The Terrorist Mind & the Extremism of Pathological Anger:
“Developing an attachment-based understanding of the terrorist mind, pathological hatred, and fanatical extremism, with the goal of developing primary and secondary treatment interventions to resolve the social and psychological attachment-related trauma pathology that creates the terrorist mind and the extremism of pathological anger.” (The Childress Institute website)
I will be addressing the linkage of the pathogen that is creating “parental alienation” to the pathology of the terrorist mind on the third day of my November AB-PA Certification seminars for Advanced Certification. Same pathogen, same set of damaged information structures in the attachment networks, with differing appending structures yielding different variants of narcissistic-psychopathic pathology.
The core set of damaged information structures that are creating “parental alienation” (AB-PA) are the same damaged information structures creating the pathological violence of the terrorist mind. You can recognize the symptom features of “parental alienation” (AB-PA) in the core symptoms of pathological violence:
A profound absence of empathy.
An absence of shared social morality.
A sadistic gratification in causing immense suffering.
Same pathogen, with slightly different appending structures surrounding a set of core damaged information structures in the attachment networks of the brain.
In my diagram for the underbelly of the pathogen (The Structure of the Pathology), you’ll notice that the pathogen (the damaged information structures in the attachment networks) attacks three other structures in the brain; logical reasoning, identity, and memory structures. The influence of the damaged information structures on identity becomes particularly relevant in understanding pathological violence and the terrorist mind (as does the pathogen’s construction of the Group Mind).
As I unpack the damaged information structures of the terrorist mind and pathological violence I will be expanding on the significance of the absence of empathy as a feature of attachment-related pathology. Ultimately, I will lead this into the assertion that the absence of empathy is the central core pathological feature of narcissistic pathology. Grandiosity, the need for attention, a haughty and arrogant attitude, entitlement, all the other symptom traits of narcissistic pathology are secondary personality features surrounding the core trauma-feature of an absence of empathy.
One of the key research articles I’ll be unpacking in this regard is Moor and Silvern (2006) whose research revealed that childhood trauma and the absence of parental empathy are the same thing – flip sides of exactly the same coin. Child abuse occurs because of the absence of parental empathy, and the absence of parental empathy is itself traumatic.
“The act of child abuse by parents is viewed in itself as an outgrowth of parental failure of empathy and a narcissistic stance towards one’s own children. Deficiency of empathic responsiveness prevents such self-centered parents from comprehending the impact of their acts, and in combination with their fragility and need for self-stabilization, predisposes them to exploit children in this way.” (Moor & Silvern, 2006, p. 95)
“Only insofar as parents fail in their capacity for empathic attunement and responsiveness can they objectify their children, consider them narcissistic extensions of themselves, and abuse them. It is the parents’ view of their children as vehicles for satisfaction of their own needs, accompanied by the simultaneous disregard for those of the child, that make the victimization possible.” (Moor & Silvern, 2006, p. 104)
My role in solving “parental alienation” is changing. Everything is now available for the solution. It’s now simply a matter of enacting the solution. The only barrier to the solution is professional ignorance and incompetence.
My role in solving “parental alienation” is to be a resource, to be the catalyst for creating change. My role is not to enact the change. That falls to targeted parents and their allies in mental health. It is up to you and your allies to address the profound professional ignorance and incompetence that currently destroys your families. In this coming change, I am your resource – I am your weapon, not your warrior. You, and your allies in professional psychology, are the warriors for your children.
That’s why I chastised your allies, the Gardernian PAS “experts,” for abandoning you in your fight for professional competence. Enacting the solution is not my role, it’s theirs. I have places to go and things to do. I’m just a lone psychologist in Southern California. It is up to your allies in professional psychology to help you enact the solution, to advocate for you in seeking substantially enhanced professional knowledge and standards of practice for professional competence.
It’s up to your allies in professional psychology to become the next generation of experts in AB-PA to help you achieve professional expertise and competence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of your children and families.
To the Gardnerian PAS experts: Stop fighting me and the transition to AB-PA. The world is changing. AB-PA is coming. AB-PA will, with absolute certainty, replace Gardnerian PAS as the dominant paradigm for defining attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce. The meme-constructs (idea-structures) of AB-PA are vastly superior to the meme-constructs (idea-structures) of Gardnerian PAS. The meme-constructs of AB-PA are derived from the structures of Bowlby, Millon, Beck, Minuchin, Stern and Fonagy, and the full research base in attachment theory, personality pathology, family systems therapy, intersubjectivity, and complex trauma. The meme-constructs of Gardnerian PAS rely entirely on only one person, Richard Gardner. The meme-constructs (the idea-structures) of AB-PA expand and link into so many other constructs within professional psychology, AB-PA is a vastly superior model of the pathology. AB-PA will replace Gardnerian PAS as the dominant paradigm defining attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce. That is a fact.
The existence of AB-PA will then require a systems-wide review by professional psychology of its approach to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the attachment-related family pathology of “parental alienation.” That’s the catalytic change-agent role of AB-PA. That is spot-on the purpose and function of AB-PA.
Gardnerian PAS has been around for 30 years. The meme-constructs (the ideas) of Gardnerian PAS have already been fully integrated into professional psychology.
The meme-constructs of AB-PA, on the other hand, are entirely different from the idea-structures of Gardnerian PAS. AB-PA will require professional psychology to integrate its new meme-constructs (idea-structures). Through defining the construct of “parental alienation” from entirely within the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology, the existence of AB-PA requires a systems-wide review throughout all of professional psychology and the legal system regarding how attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce is assessed, diagnosed, and treated.
That is a good thing.
AB-PA is not an accident. When this systems-wide review occurs, look at the meme-construct I’ve embedded prominently right up front: the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse. Like a falling series of dominoes, the DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse leads into a series of required child protection steps. This is not an accident.
AB-PA is a catalytic change agent designed to obtain professional competence. In the systems-wide review of professional practice required by the need to integrate the meme-contructs (idea-structures) of AB-PA, we will build into professional practice standardized and structured assessment and diagnostic protocols as a ground for professional competence. This is not an accident. This is the function and purpose of AB-PA.
To the Gardernian PAS experts: My role is to create the catalytic change agent, your role is to help targeted parents enact the solution offered by AB-PA.
Stop fighting against AB-PA. Work with AB-PA. Work with AB-PA to help create the systems-wide review of professional practices that AB-PA now requires. Work with me in establishing the professional standards of practice for professional competence required by AB-PA as a catalytic agent of systems-wide change.
To Bill Bernet: Use your connections and influence to promote the systems-wide review of professional practices regarding assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce. Stop fighting against the coming of AB-PA. It’s coming. Work with AB-PA to help targeted parents create the solution offered by AB-PA. Guide the PASG into advocating for changes to the APA position statement on “parental alienation” that are now required by the existence of AB-PA.
Work with AB-PA, Dr. Bernet. Stand on the pulpit that the universe has provided to you and use your voice to help create the professional transition into structured and standardized standards of professional competence and standards of professional practice (semi-structured and flexibly standardized). That is the role in this change process that the universe is seeking from you. Enacting the solution offered by AB-PA is not my role, that’s your role.
To Karen Woodall: My goodness, Karen, stop fighting against AB-PA. The prior issue I took you to task for was not “plagiarism” – heavens, AB-PA is not Dr. Childress, it’s Beck and Bowlby, and Million, and Minuchin… How can you plagiarize something that is already fully within the foundations of professional psychology? The issue is that you so prominently avoid citation of the meme-constructs of AB-PA when such citation would be warranted, thereby ignoring the existence of AB-PA. Your avoidance of citation and avoidance of support for AB-PA then delays the systems-wide review within professional psychology that AB-PA brings. Enacting the solution offered by AB-PA is not my role, that’s your role.
Work with the solution AB-PA brings, Karen. From what I hear, professional psychology in England is kind of archaic in their approach to assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment related pathology surrounding divorce (“parental alienation”). AB-PA is not a gradual incremental change within professional psychology, AB-PA brings transformative change to professional psychology. Professional psychology in Great Britain (the home of John Bowlby and attachment theory) could immediately become a world leader in the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce, and you could be leading this systems-wide change. Become the expert in AB-PA for Great Britain. Bring AB-PA to England. Assist in the systems-wide review of professional practice within the entire mental health system of England that will be required by AB-PA.
The mental health system has already integrated the meme-constructs of Gardnerian PAS. The mental health system has NOT yet integrated the meme-structures of AB-PA, and AB-PA both provokes and requires this integration. That’s what the ethics code Standards 2.01/9.01 meme-construct is designed to accomplish. I’m taking a provoking hard-line stance that requires professional psychology to consider and integrate the meme-constructs (idea-structures) of AB-PA (an integration of Bowlby; Beck; Millon; Minuchin to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-related family pathology surrounding diovorce).
Seriously Karen, November 18-20 at the Westin in Pasadena. Become Advanced Certified in AB-PA and take AB-PA back to England. Lead the systems-wide review in professional psychology across Great Britain that is provoked and required by AB-PA to help parents and families acquire standards of professional competence and standards of professional practice in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the attachment-related pathology in their families. It’s not my role to enact the solution, that’s your role. My role was to develop the catalytic change agent. I’ve accomplished my role.
I have things I need to get to – Manchester and Las Vegas. I need to shift over to the related narcissistic pathology of pathological violence and the terrorist mind, along with revisions to child therapy, and enacting solutions to the pathologies of ODD an ADHD, and developing 22nd Century solutions to education, and reducing recidivism in our criminally involved youth. I’ve got things calling for my attention. Principally right now, Manchester and Las Vegas. Pathological violence is a variant of the same narcissistic (attachment-trauma) pathology: absence of empathy, absence of shared social morality, and a desire to inflict immense suffering.
My role was to develop the catalytic change agent to create the solution. AB-PA accomplishes that. I am providing all of the resources needed to create the solution.
Foundations prompts the systems-wide review of professional practices surrounding the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-related pathology following divorce. On pages 312-313 of Foundations I directly discuss the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.
The Narcissistic Parent is a resource that can be provided to legal professionals to help educate them on this form of family pathology created by a narcissistic parent. On pages 34-37 of The Narcissistic Parent I discuss children’s testimony in court. This chapter alone is valuable for informing the legal system regarding the substantial drawbacks to seeking and allowing child testimony.
The Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting and the Parenting Practices Rating Scale provide documentation of the child’s symptoms and the parenting practices of the targeted parent. These assessment documentation instruments establish foundational standards of practice for the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce (Conversations with Dr. Childress: 4.01 & 4.02).
The Contingent Visitation Schedule provides a potential compromise solution to a protective separation of the child from the pathogenic parenting of the allied narcissistic/(borderline) parent. It can also provide a structured approach for stabilizing the family following a protective separation when the pathogenic parenting of the allied narcissistic/(borderline) parent is reintroduced.
AB-PA Certification seminars provide the resource for establishing standards for professional competence.
The AB-PA Key Solution pilot program proposal for the family courts provides the resource for broad-scale development of professional knowledge and competence across wide geographic regions.
I’ve fulfilled my role of developing the resources for creating systems-wide catalytic change in the mental health and legal systems surrounding the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-related pathology. My role is not to enact the solution. That’s your role.
I have things I need to get to (Manchester and Las Vegas). Can we please enact the solution to “parental alienation” as quickly as as we possible can? It’s important.
The Terrorist Mind: Pathological Anger and Pathological Violence
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857