Enough

We Will Not Abandon bannerI just read the Huffington Post article by Dana Laquidara entitled:

Hope and Empowerment for Alienated Parents and Their Children

I am deeply honored and appreciative of the kind words of support from Ms. Laquidara.

Everything I do, I do for the children who are caught in the pathology of “parental alienation,” and reading Dana’s story inspires me once more as to why I’m doing this.  This is not a child custody issue, it is a child protection issue.

We must rescue the children caught in the pathology of childhood “parental alienation.” This is an imperative of the highest order.

While I can empathize with the tragedy, loss, and grief felt by targeted parents, your loss is not my primary concern.  My concern is rescuing and protecting the children.

While your loss is great and your suffering is deep, you must not wait for someone to rescue you – because your children are waiting for you to rescue them. I understand the barriers you face.  Foundations eliminates those barriers.  There is nothing standing between you and your children except the ignorance and inertia of establishment mental health.  But this is your fight, for your children.  It is up to you to rescue them.

After reading Ms. Laquidara’s account of her childhood, a fire lit once more for me. This pathology stops. Today.  Now.  We will NOT abandon one more child to the pathology of the narcissistic/borderline parent. Not one more child.

I am so done with mental health ignorance and incompetence that enables, colludes with, and supports the psychological abuse of children by a narcissistic and/or borderline personality disordered parent.

Mental health professionals have a professional OBLIGATION to protect children – not collude with and support their psychological abuse by overtly pathological parents.

Let me explain something to non-professionals (and to remind professionals)… mental health professionals have two legally binding obligations, called “duties,” the “duty to care” and the “duty to protect.”  Failure in either of these legally binding professional duties would represent malpractice.

The “duty to protect” involves our professional obligations surrounding suicidal patients, dangerous patients, domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse.  All mental health professionals receive training in our professional obligations regarding our “duty to protect” (e.g., suicide assessment and hospitalizing suicidal patients, warning the police and potential targets regarding threats made by dangerous patients, assessing and risk-management planning in cases of domestic violence, and assessing and reporting child and elder abuse).  Mental health professionals have a defined professional obligation called the “duty to protect.”

Licensing Board Complaints

Licensing board complaints are about procedural issues, such as violations of the Ethics Code. The licensing board doesn’t care about whether the diagnosis was accurate or inaccurate, or whether the right treatment was conducted.  The licensing board will simply examine whether proper professional standards of practice were followed. Licensing boards are not going to reopen and reexamine details of the case to determine whether the mental health professional made the correct diagnosis or provided the correct treatment.

Our argument to the licensing board is that the mental health professional lacked the necessary professional competence based on their prior education, training, and experience to appropriately assess, diagnose, and treat the issues involved with your children and families. We’re not going to re-argue the specifics of your case, we’re going to attack the education and training of the mental health professional in specific areas of professional competence (i.e., the attachment system, personality disorders, and family systems therapy).

This is important to understand: licensing boards don’t care if the mental health professional made the correct diagnosis or did the correct treatment based on the details of the case, they just care whether the correct professional standards of practice were followed.  Our argument in this regard is that the mental health professional did not possess the proper education, training, and experience to properly assess, diagnose, and treat this “special population” of children and families.

Malpractice Lawsuits

Malpractice lawsuits, on the other hand, are different. Malpractice lawsuits do care about what happened. Did the mental health professional get it right? Malpractice lawsuits will look at the details of the case. Was the correct diagnosis made and the correct treatment provided?

The upside to licensing board complaints is that they are free to file. The downside is that within the current climate surrounding the construct of “parental alienation” the licensing board is not likely to take action against the license of the mental health professional at this time. That’s okay.  One parent files, and another, and another, and another… eventually the licensing board will become exceedingly uncomfortable covering up for the professional incompetence of ignorant mental health professionals.  And board complaints are extremely stressful for the mental health professional and they cost you nothing to file.

Malpractice lawsuits have the downside that they will require the targeted parent to hire an attorney, so that they can be expensive. The upside is that they are exceedingly dangerous for the mental health practitioner because they do look at what was done; was the correct diagnosis made, was the correct treatment implemented? 

In addition, there is the added danger for the mental health professional that the malpractice insurance carrier will settle the case prior to trial, resulting in higher insurance rates and a permanent stain on the professional record of the mental health professional.  It’s this potential for settlement by the insurance company that makes malpractice lawsuits extremely dangerous for the mental health professional.

Professional Collusion with Child Abuse

After reading Ms. Laquidara’s article and consulting recently on several cases of “parental alienation,” I am so done with mental health incompetence that enables, colludes with, and supports the psychological abuse of children by overtly pathological parents.  The collusion of mental health professionals with the psychological abuse of children is not only a direct violation of the mental health professional’s “duty to protect,” it is a perversion of it.  Instead of protecting the child, the mental health professional is colluding with the abuse of the child.

Any mental health professional who, through willfully maintained ignorance or willfully negligent practice, enables, colludes with, and supports the psychological abuse of children, rather than fulfilling his or her professional obligation and “duty to protect” the child, deserves to lose their license to practice.

Willfully colluding with child abuse either through willfully maintained ignorance or willful professional negligence is outside the boundaries of responsible professional practice.

Ms. Laquidara’s article has lit a fire in me.  This is about the children, and this is about preventing child abuse and the destruction of children’s lives.

I will therefore do everything in my power to get the professional license revoked of any mental health professional who willfully or negligently enables, colludes with, and supports the psychological abuse of children inflicted on them by an overtly and clearly pathological parent.  Mental health professionals have a defined “duty to protect” which is a non-negotiable professional obligation.

Willful and negligent failure in the professional’s “duty to protect” is to collude with the abuse of children.  For a mental health professional to willfully or negligently collude with child abuse is reprehensible.

To Mental Health Professionals:

So let me speak directly to ignorant and incompetent mental health professionals who are, through your willful ignorance and willful negligence colluding with and supporting the psychological abuse of children by overtly pathological parents:

When you’re in the courtroom being sued by a targeted parent for malpractice, guess who’s going to be the expert consultant for the plaintiff, instructing the plaintiff’s attorney in exactly where your professional vulnerabilities are?  That would be me. Do you really want that?

And guess who’s going to be reviewing and critiquing, in detail, your chart notes, your assessment procedures, your diagnosis, and your treatment plan?  I am.  Again, do you really want that?  Do you really want me looking into and critiquing your assessment, your diagnosis, and your treatment plan – in detail – with your license on the line for a failure in your “duty to protect”?

And guess who is probably going to be writing an exhaustive 50 to 125 page report excoriating your professional practices, the accuracy of your diagnosis, the appropriateness of your treatment plan, and your abject failure in fulfilling your professional “duty to protect” – item by item, detail by detail.  Most likely me.  And when I do, I’m going to bring the full power of the theoretical material discussed in FoundationsJohn Bowlby, Aaron Beck, Theodore Millon, Salvador Minuchin, Marsha Linehan, Jay Haley, Peter Fonagy, Otto Kernberg, Alan Sroufe, Edward Tronick, Bessel van der Kolk, Mary Ainsworth, Marinus van Izendoorn, Mary Mains, and the wealth of scientific literature in attachment theory, personality disorders, and family systems theory down upon your head as the standard of professional competence in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of this special population.

All with one goal… to revoke your license to practice.

If you are a mental health professional, who through your willful maintenance of professional ignorance, negligence, and incompetence enables, colludes with, and supports the psychological abuse of children by overtly and clearly pathological parents, I am going to be your worst nightmare.

Do you really want that?  Do you really want to be sitting in a courtroom being sued for malpractice and have me as the expert consultant for the other side?  Do you really want all the power of the theoretical formulations of Foundations and your own professional ignorance being brought down upon you in an excruciating cross-examination by the plaintiff’s attorney?

V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed is an established DSM-5 diagnosis.

Mental health professionals are expected to make this diagnosis when it is warranted under their professional obligation and “duty to protect.

When a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed is made by a mental health professional, that mental health profession is then required to take appropriate protective actions which they then document in the patient’s record.

THAT is the professional standard of practice to which you WILL BE HELDaccountable.

Just so you’re fully aware, what you will be required to defend is why you did NOT make the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed in response to significant and prominent developmental psychopathology (i.e., attachment system suppression), personality pathology (five a priori predicted narcissistic/borderline symptoms in the child’s symptom display), and psychiatric pathology (the presence in the child’s symptoms of a delusional belief and possibly induced phobic anxiety directed toward a parent) in the child’s symptom display that can ONLY be the product of pathogenic parenting by the allied and supposedly “favored” narcissistic/borderline parent (Foundations).

If you feel up to defending your lack of diagnosis as we come at you full-bore, fine by me.  Not my license.  You’ll probably want to start preparing yourself by reading up on Millon, and Beck, and Kernberg, and Bowlby, and Linehan, and Minuchin, and Haley, and…

Oh, and if you decide to go the “child was traumatized” route, I suggest you look at criterion A in the DSM-5 diagnosis of PTSD, because that’s the definition of “trauma” that you’re going to be held accountable to prove, “Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence.”

But then again, maybe you’ll never have to testify in court, because maybe your malpractice insurance carrier will look at the case against you and decide that it’s in their financial interests simply to settle the case before ever reaching trial.  Let’s see, how will that be for you, having a malpractice lawsuit that was settled before trial on your professional record?

Collusion with Child Abuse Stops

I am serious as a heart-attack.  Mental health collusion with the psychological abuse of children by clearly and overtly pathological parents stops.  Today.  Now.

Mental health professionals have a professional obligation and “duty to protect” which they are expected to fulfill.

If mental health professionals think that this pathology doesn’t exist, they can take it up with Dana Laquidara, they can take it up with Ryan Thomas, and they can take it up with me.  Because we are DONE abandoning children to the psychopathology of narcissistic and borderline personality parents.

Not all post-divorce parent-child conflict is “parental alienation.”  The three diagnostic indicators of attachment-based “parental alienation” can reliably and consistently differentiate the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” as described in Foundations from ALL other forms of parent-child conflict, including parent-child conflict caused by authentic domestic violence and authentic physical and sexual child abuse. 

Children from authentic domestic violence and authentic physical and sexual abuse will NOT evidence a haughty and arrogant attitude or a sense of entitlement toward the authentically violent and abusive parent, so that these children will NOT meet Diagnostic Indicator 2 for attachment-based “parental alienation.”  Also, their belief in the abusive parenting practices of the authentically abusive parent is accurate, meaning that it is not delusional, so that these children will also NOT meet Diagnostic Indicator 3 for the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation.”

There is NO OTHER pathology that will produce the three diagnostic indicators of attachment-based “parental alienation” other than the psychological processes described in Foundations.

We must protect 100% of the children 100% of the time from ALL forms of child abuse, INCLUDING child psychological abuse inflicted by a psychologically unstable and decompensating narcissistic/borderline parent.

Professional collusion with child abuse stops.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857

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