You don’t know it. The citadel of establishment mental health doesn’t know it. The legal system doesn’t know it. The Gardnerians don’t know it. But the solution to “parental alienation” is now available.
The second support booklet for Foundations – Professional Consultation – is now available on Amazon.com.
You now have the solid bedrock of Foundations on which to stand; you have a structured and defined assessment and remedy protocol you can take to the court, and you have my professional-to-professional consultation to the mental health treatment providers working with your children and family.
Foundations: Provides the solid bedrock on which to stand.
Professional Consultation: Obtains an accurate mental health assessment and diagnosis.
Single-Case ABAB Assessment & Remedy: Offers the court a structured proposal for the remedy (requiring a period of protective separation).
Done. The structural framework for the solution is in place, it simply needs to be actualized. I’ll have additional support materials coming in the fall; including my book on Diagnosis as a companion to Foundations, and a second, and even better, court-related approach regarding a Treatment-Needs Assessment protocol. But these will represent improvements. With Professional Consultation, the structural framework for the solution is now in place.
Everyone has been lulled by 30 years of Gardnerian PAS into falsely believing that we need the mental health system to “accept something” and that we need to prove “parental alienation” in court. Neither of these premises are true.
The construct we have traditionally called “parental alienation” is not some “new syndrome” that requires acceptance. Instead, it is simply a manifestation of established and well-defined psychopathology ALREADY ACCEPTED by the citadel of establishment mental health. We don’t need them to accept anything. We just need them to stop being so incredibly ignorant and, because of their ignorance, so incredibly incompetent.
Professional Consultation solves this.
Professional Consultation is a 50-page booklet designed for you to give to the mental health professional involved with your children and family. It is my professional-to-professional consultation with this other mental health professional. I have posted the Introduction to Professional Consultation to my website so you can see the tenor and tone of the book.
In the Introduction I alert the mental health professional to the Ethics Code issues to which they will be held accountable. In professional-speak, I am clearly being no-nonsense in getting their attention. The clear implication of the Introduction in professional-speak is that if they don’t attend to what’s in the booklet, they do so at their own peril.
We don’t need anyone to accept anything. We just need them to stop being so incredibly ignorant of what they should ALREADY know in order to work with you and your families.
Professional practice standards (as defined and mandated by the American Psychological Association in their Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct) do not allow mental health professionals to be ignorant (Standard 2.01a) and do not allow them to hurt you and your family because of their ignorance (Standard 3.04).
Professional practice standards also REQUIRE that mental health professionals consult with other mental health professionals “in order to serve their client/patients effectively and appropriately” (Standard 3.09), and professional practice standards REQUIRE that mental health professionals “undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence” (Standard 2.03).
These are not suggested professional practices, these are REQUIRED professional practices.
What Foundations and Professional Consultation do is fully activate all of these professional practice standards for you and your family.
If you give them Foundations, the mental health professional is likely to be arrogant and lazy, and so they may not read it. It’s too big. It takes too much effort to learn something.
So I intentionally limited the size of Professional Consultation to 50 pages. A little book, not so intimidating, easily digestible. It’s just enough information to put them on notice and hold them accountable. It’s essentially establishing a trail of documentation that we tried to enlighten them regarding their professional obligation to be knowledgeable and competent with this “special population” of children and families.
Once they read Professional Consultation, one of three things will happen:
1.) They will decide that the pathology being expressed in the family is over their head and beyond their competence, and they will decline the case.
Good. We have eliminated a “binding site of ignorance” for the pathogen who was poised to collude with the pathology in destroying your relationship with your child.
2.) They will buy Foundations (or perhaps you can ask if they would like you to provide it to them; but based on their request for it), they will then read Foundations, and they will become competent in their assessment and diagnosis.
Excellent. As a result of their professional competence, they will provide your child with a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed regarding the parenting practices of your ex-, which you can then take into court seeking a protective separation (Single-Case ABAB protocol).
In addition, the mental health professional will file a Suspected Child Abuse report with Child Protective Services concerning the parenting practices of your ex-. You won’t need to make this report, the mental health professional will make this report. When CPS comes to interview you (or the professional), give them a copy of Professional Consultation.
3.) The mental health professional will decline to be educated but will nevertheless continue to diagnose and treat.
In which case they will be in violation of at least four professional practice standards as defined by the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association:
Standard 2.01 regarding the requirement to be professionally competent.
Standard 3.09 regarding consultation with other mental health professionals.
Standard 2.09 regarding maintaining professional competence.
Standard 3.04 regarding avoiding harm.
If the mental health professional chooses Option 3, he or she does so at their own peril. If they choose to remain ignorant and incompetent and yet nevertheless assess, diagnose, and treat then the full weight of Foundations can be brought to bear to indict them regarding the four Standards of the Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct listed above.
If, however, they choose to develop professional competence and do the right thing, conduct the proper assessment (the Diagnostic Checklist) and make the proper DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed when the three diagnostic indicators of attachment-based “parental alienation” are present in the child’s symptom display, then they will have the full weight of Foundations to support them.
Their choice. They can defend their diagnosis against Foundations, or they can use Foundations to support their diagnosis. Up to them.
With Professional Consultation, all the primary pieces for the solution are now in place. It’s just that no one knows the solution surrounds them. Like the reference to the kingdom of heaven in the Bible, that people will look for it to arrive in some sort of thunder clap of signs to be observed but that instead it is already within our midst, the solution to “parental alienation” has not arrived with a thunderclap, but is already in our midst, and in fact the solution to “parental alienation” has been available all along. It’s just that no one saw it.
Everyone was looking to a “new syndrome” and no one bothered to actually define the pathology within already existing, standard and established psychological principles and constructs.
Foundations corrects that.
Foundations establishes the definition of the pathology from entirely within standard and ALREADY ACCEPTED psychological principles and constructs, and in doing so it immediately empowers you, and it immediately provides the solution to the pathology traditionally called “parental alienation.”
Parental Alienation Doesn’t Exist
The solution has arrived, but no one yet sees it. Not even you.
First, understand this: There is no such thing as “parental alienation.”
The construct of “parental alienation” does not exist as a defined construct in professional psychology. There is NO SUCH THING as “parental alienation.”
See, it surprises you that I’d say that doesn’t it? Not even you see that the solution ALREADY EXISTS. We don’t need some “new syndrome” of “parental alienation.” The pathology is already fully described within standard and established psychological principles and constructs. Call it “parental alienation,” call it “attachment trauma reenactment pathology,” call it “pathogenic parenting,” call it “Bob” for all I care. The pathology is already defined within the established constructs of attachment theory, personality disorders, and family systems theory. Nothing new.
In professional psychology, there are cross-generational coalitions (Haley, 1977; Minuchin, 1974), attachment trauma reenactments (Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1980, van der Kolk, 1989), and personality disorder dynamics (Beck, et al., 2004; Kernberg, 1975; Millon, 2011)… but there is no such thing as “parental alienation.”
The words “parental alienation” have NO power.
An attachment-based reformulation for the construct traditionally called “parental alienation,” on the other hand, as described in Foundations, gives you tremendous power. Because all of the things described in Foundations exist as documented facts within established psychological principles and constructs.
The solution has been there all along. This isn’t some sort of “new” pathology.
The attachment-based reformulation for the construct traditionally called “parental alienation,” as described in Foundations, provides the solid bedrock on which we can stand and fight, and from out of this solid bedrock of established psychological principles and constructs I have forged for you the sword of your empowerment.
There is no such thing as “parental alienation.” You will not find that diagnosis in the DSM-5, because there is no such thing as “parental alienation.”
There IS the pathology of role-reversal relationships, cross-generational coalitions, personality disorders, the reenactment of childhood attachment trauma, the pathology of splitting and projection. All of these things exist within the accepted and defined constructs of establishment mental health. These things exist.
And when these things are present and produce a child’s rejection of a normal-range and affectionally available parent (what has traditionally been called “parental alienation”) this fully-established and fully-defined pathology warrants the following DSM-5 diagnosis as specified in Foundations:
309.4 Adjustment Disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct
V61.20 Parent-Child Relational Problem
V61.29 Child Affected by Parental Relationship Distress
V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed
That is the DSM-5 diagnosis for the pathology people traditionally call “parental alienation.”
Notice two things about this diagnosis of the pathology:
First, nowhere is there a diagnosis of “parental alienation” – because the diagnosis of “parental alienation” doesn’t exist. There is no such thing within establishment mental health as “parental alienation.” “Parental alienation” doesn’t exist.
Second, notice the fourth diagnosis; V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed. That exists. And that’s what the construct of “parental alienation” is within standard and established forms of psychological pathology. The pathology traditionally called “parental alienation” is child psychological abuse – confirmed.
When the three diagnostic indicators of an attachment-based reformulation and redefinition of the pathology that has traditionally been called “parental alienation” are present in the child’s symptom display, this represents child psychological abuse – confirmed.
We do not want, and we are not seeking, a diagnosis of “parental alienation” because no such diagnosis exists within professional psychology. What we are fully expecting, however, is that when the three diagnostic indicators of the pathology described in an attachment-based reformulation for the construct of “parental alienation” are present in the child’s symptom display, that ALL mental health professionals WILL make the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51, Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed regarding the parenting practices of your ex-.
We are also expecting that all mental health professionals will file a suspected child abuse protection report with the appropriate child protective services agency. Not you. You won’t be filing this report, because you won’t have to. The mental health professional will be filing this report regarding the “confirmed” psychological abuse of your child by the distorted parenting practices of your ex-.
Will CPS do anything? Not just yet, not today. Because they’re still ignorant. But once they become knowledgeable and competent, they too will confirm child psychological abuse by your ex- when the three diagnostic indicators of attachment-based “parental alienation” are present in the child’s symptom display. When you meet with the investigator, give them a copy of Professional Consultation.
Ultimately, we may not even need to get the court to order a protective separation of your child from the pathology of your ex-, CPS will do it based on a report filed with them by the mental health professional. That’s the goal.
By defining the construct of “parental alienation” from entirely within standard and established psychological principles and constructs, Foundations activates Standards 2.01a and 3.04 of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association. You can now hold mental health professionals… accountable.
But be aware… There is NO SUCH THING in professional psychology as “parental alienation.”
The words “parental alienation” have NO power.
The weapon I have forged for you is Foundations. This book empowers you.
Our goal is not to file licensing board complaints against incompetent mental health professionals, our goal is not to seek revenge for past wrongs that may have been done. We don’t want to hurt anyone
Our goal is to require professional competence. Give Professional Consultation to the mental health professional. Alert them. Invite them into knowledge. But if they defiantly choose to remain ignorant, and because of this ignorance they wind up hurting you and your children… well, they’re not allowed to do that based on the established Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association.
Q: What about Master’s level professionals who aren’t psychologists, are they covered by the same Standards?
A: No, they have their own professional ethics codes, but they all say pretty much the same thing. Mental health professionals are not allowed to be incompetent, and we’re not allowed to harm our clients because of our ignorance and incompetence. It’s not allowed.
(I’m only one psychologist working to solve this as quickly as possible, and there’s only so much I can do. Start coming together and developing resources for yourselves. I’d recommend signing up for Dorcy Pruter’s companion site to the Empowerment videos. She’ll be producing support materials throughout the summer and fall, that will probably be a good resource for you all as we roll out the solution.)
Parental alienation is solved. It’s just that no one knows it yet. But perhaps you’re beginning to see it. If you still think there’s something called “parental alienation” then you’re still trapped in the old mindset. Notice I always put quote marks around the term “parental alienation.” There is NO DSM-5 diagnosis of “parental alienation.” The construct of “parental alienation” does not exist in establishment mental health.
But we’re not seeking a diagnosis of “parental alienation” – we’re seeking a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed. Is the window of the solution beginning to open for you? Are you beginning to see the path?
Foundations establishes the solid professional bedrock on which we stand.
Professional Consultation activates the already existing Standards of professional practice. What we’re seeking from ALL mental health professionals is an appropriate assessment of the pathology (i.e., the Diagnostic Checklist) and, when the three diagnostic indicators are present in the child’s symptom display, then we want ALL mental health professionals to provide the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed (and to file a suspected child abuse report with Child Protective Services).
Then we take this confirmed DSM-5 diagnosis into the legal system (and ultimately into the Child Protective Services system) to obtain the protective separation that’s needed to restore your child’s authenticity. Perhaps through the Single Case ABAB protocol, or perhaps through the Treatment Needs Assessment that’s coming in the fall along with the book Diagnosis.
First mental health, then the legal system. There will be a lot of inertia and ignorance in mental health that won’t do anything (think Jabba the Hutt). But we will be relentless. The professional bedrock of Foundations is solid. You have a right under Standard 2.01 to expect and receive professionally capable and competent assessment, diagnosis, and treatment for your children and your families. This is not suggested professional practice, it is required professional practice under Standard 2.01.
We must clear out the binding sites of ignorance within mental health that the pathogen is using to disable the response of the mental health system to the pathology. Once we have cleared out professional ignorance – and so incompetence – every single mental health professional will assess for and respond to the presence of the three diagnostic indicators of attachment-based “parental alienation” with a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed regarding the parenting practices of your ex-
Because when we define what parnetal alienation is within standard and established psychological principles and constructs, that’s exactly what it is, child psychological abuse… confirmed.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
Beck, A.T., Freeman, A., Davis, D.D., and Associates (2004). Cognitive therapy of personality disorders. (2nd edition). New York: Guilford.
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and Loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. NY: Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and Loss: Vol. 2. Separation: Anxiety and Anger. NY: Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and Loss: Vol. 3. Loss: Sadness and Depression. NY: Basic Books.
Haley, J. (1977). Toward a theory of pathological systems. In P. Watzlawick & J. Weakland (Eds.), The interactional view (pp. 31-48). New York: Norton.
Kernberg, O.F. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism. New York: Aronson.
Millon. T. (2011). Disorders of personality: introducing a DSM/ICD spectrum from normal to abnormal. Hoboken: Wiley.
Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Harvard University Press.
van der Kolk, B.A. (1989). The compulsion to repeat the trauma: Re-enactment, revictimization, and masochism. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12, 389-411.