How Soon?

I recently noted the following comment from Marsha in the Facebook group seeking a deeper Appreciation of my work and writings, and she suggested I respond in a blog.  I’m listening, and here is the blog.  Marsha suggests that I misled by implying that the battle would be quick, and that the solution would be soon, and now she and others are disappointed.

Here is the Facebook post from Marsha:

OK. @Dr Craig Childress,

I’m mad at you. Side note, I’m not really mad at you, was meant to be an ice breaker.* I don’t know you to be mad at you.

You got parents thinking that Foundations will change their situations, (I mention to people that Rome wasn’t built in a day). However, your wording about Foundations when it came out, really made parents think things were going to change quickly. Now, there are parents that have the book, watch your videos and don’t have the $$$ to back any of this up.

What am I or others supposed to tell these parents?

They are learning the dynamics and feeling more helpless, instead of empowered.

You said we are going to change things now.

Would you be open to making a blog post that is like “I know this is going to take time, and I know that it’s going to take more time if you’re a broke parent, significant change will probably take, let’s be realistic, at the very least 5 years?

You can’t just write a book and disappear!! Where are you?
We are trying to get your book out there to professionals.
For free we are advocating for YOU.

Please tell me what to say to parents that don’t see a way to fix their situation after reading Foundations. They are feeling more helpless!
You need to know this! Put your empathetic shoes on and feel what a desperate parent with no more income feels.

Help!!!! (I feel like breaking down in tears)

First, let me thank you Marsha for your courage in offering this challenge.  It’s not easy to take a contrary position, but it is often just these sort of contrary positions that deepen dialogue and deepen understanding.  So thank you.  As I address the issues you raise, I encourage you to hold on to the bumpy ride until you reach the conclusion of this post in No Worries.

To my friends who rose to my defense, my thanks to you as well.  I agree with the issues you raise.  Remember that dialogue and discussion is a good thing, and if everyone thinks alike then this stifles the exploration of issues and life is boring.  Not only do dogs and cats exist, so do monkeys and lizards and birds.  The existence of any one does not nullify the existence of another. 

So, to address the concerns you raise, Marsha…

I know how desperate you and others feel. These are your children. They are the love and light of your world. They mean everything to you, and “parental alienation” has turned your entire world into a nightmare.

With the publication of Foundations, I said the world was changing.  And now four months later, things are still the same. So what’s up with that? Why did I get your hopes up that things would be different quickly.

But you’re mad at me because “parental alienation” isn’t solved yet?

What are you taking about? Of course it’s solved. It was solved the moment Foundations was published. It’s now just a matter of enacting the solution. It’s just a matter of time now. 

When I drop my keys I know they’re going to hit the floor because of gravity.  Done deal.  My keys are going to hit the floor, it’s just a matter of time.  Bang, yep. 

Same thing.

By defining the pathology of “parental alienation” from entirely within well-established and fully accepted forms of existing pathology, the solution to the pathology traditionally called “parental alienation” is now available. It just waits to be enacted.  How long before it’s enacted?  How long before my keys hit the floor?  By introducing licensing board complaints I’m providing a turbo-charged boost.  The publication of Foundations has created the gravity that will inexorably result in the solution.  The only thing holding back the solution is a paradigm shift from the old Gardnerian PAS model for defining the pathology to the new attachment-based model for defining the pathology  The exact moment this paradigm shift occurs, that’s the exact moment the solution becomes enacted. 

In Stark Reality I said,

“If you are going to rely on me for that, I would anticipate that this will take between 10 to 15 years for an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” to achieve professional acceptance.”

My current goal is by Christmas 2016. I’m applying all the pressure I can to the process.  Waking targeted parents from their induced slumber of victimization. Wake up!  Empowering targeted parents to cause great pain to my incompetent professional colleagues  (On Notice).  Defining the road map for enacting the solution (the Empowerment video series).  Challenging the Gardnerian PAS experts to bring their influence to bear (which I do again in this post).  

One of the biggest turbo-charging boosts is coming from the immense courage of my professional colleague and your children’s steadfast advocate, Dorcy Pruter.  Right now and into the near future, she is exposing herself to be viciously attacked by the pathogen.  What the pathogen doesn’t realize, however, is that if it doesn’t succeed in destroying her then all of the dark energy it is expending to destroy her is going to create the very paradigm shift to an attachment-based model that will allow us to enact the solution to “parental alienation.”  There is a significant battle looming, and Dorcy is going to be the lightening rod who draws the savagery of the pathogen out into the open.  I will stand shoulder to shoulder with her in the center of this battlefield, and in defending her professional knowledge and expertise in this area, I too will draw the pathogen’s secondary fire, not as intense as the fire Dorcy draws, but still intense and savage.  This is about to get nasty.  But this is it.  The time for battle is now.

Gardnerian PAS offers no solution whatsoever. Switching to an attachment-based model as defined in Foundations provides a DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed, it provides a set of 3 diagnostic indicators that definitively identify “parental alienation” as either present or absent, and it defines a set of domains for professional knowledge required for the competent assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of “parental alienation” to which ALL mental health professionals can be held ACCOUNTABLE.

The moment the paradigm shifts from a Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model, the solution becomes available immediately, because it is already here, just waiting for the paradigm shift. The solution is sitting right there, right on the table in front of you. Oooooo, so close, and yet still not quite here.

The fact that this solution now exists is what allows targeted parents to begin holding mental health professionals accountable by filing licensing board complaints for possible violations of APA ethics code Standards 2.01 and 9.01 regarding boundaries of professional competence and for a possible violation of the mental health professional’s “duty to protect.” The Gardnerian PAS model doesn’t allow us to hold mental health professionals accountable for their ignorance and incompetence.  An attachment-based model does.  Gravity.  The keys are going to hit the floor.

The only reason that these APA ethical code Standards are now active for you and other targeted parents is because the solution is here, right now. If the solution was five years away then the applicability of these APA ethical code Standards wouldn’t be available for another five years. But that’s not the case. They are available to you today, right now, because the solution is available today, right now.  Targeted parents are beginning to enact the solution as we speak.

What you’re referring to as “no solution” is that establishment mental health doesn’t yet know that an attachment-based model even exists. That’s true. But that’s not because the solution doesn’t exist, that’s just an ignorance factor.  Do you think it will take us five years to educate establishment mental health that an attachment-based model for the pathology exists?  Really?  I suspect once targeted parents start filing licensing board complaints you’re going to get the attention of establishment mental health pretty quick.  One or two malpractice lawsuits, a RICO lawsuit.  I think we can get their attention pretty quick here.

But how long this takes is not a me issue, it’s a you issue. These are your children. This is your fight. I have given you the tools and weapons you need to protect your children. But I am not your warrior, it’s you who are your children’s warrior. Stop waiting for someone to rescue you, because your children are waiting for you to rescue them.

Many targeted parents have been lulled into inaction by their powerlessness. Wake up.  Act.  Fight back.  “But you promised the solution would be here today.”  It is.  It’s sitting right there on the table in front of you.  It’s a sword you can use to fight for your children.

I also know that many targeted parents are exhausted by their traumatization.  I get it.  No worries.  This is a battle for ALL the children.  If you need to sit this out because of your trauma, no problem.  We’ll be fighting for your children as well.  One voice is quiet. Ten voices is heard.  A hundred voices is a movement, and thousand voices is an unstoppable force.  Become an unstoppable force.  Become a tsunami.  In Foundations you have a solid theoretical foundation on which to stand and fight.

There’s a story about a flood that comes to a small town. The townsfolk are told to evacuate to higher ground, but a devoutly religious man decides to remain at home because he has faith that God will protect him.

As the flood waters rise, a group of neighbors drive by and say, “Get in the car and come with us.” But the man says, “No thank you, I have faith that God will save me.” As the flood waters rise a canoe paddles by and the people in the canoe say, “Get on board and come with us.” And the man says, “No thank you, I have faith that God will save me.” The flood waters keep rising and the man climbs onto his roof. Soon a motorboat comes by and the rescuers say, “Get on board.” But the man says, “No thank you, I have faith that God will save me.” Soon the flood waters begin to lap around the man’s legs, and a helicopter comes and lowers a rope ladder, and the man is told to climb the ladder. “No thank you,” says the man, “I have faith that God will save me.” Finally the flood waters sweep the man off the roof and he drowns.

When the man gets to the gates of Heaven, Saint Peter is standing there and the man asks Saint Peter, “I kept believing in God, and I kept waiting and waiting for God to rescue me. Why didn’t God rescue me?” Saint Peter replied, “What are you talking about? First we sent you a car, then a canoe, then a motorboat, and we even sent a helicopter to rescue you.”

Dr. Childress, why haven’t you solved “parental alienation?” What are you talking about? First I gave you a solid theoretical foundation that defines the pathology as a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed. Then I gave you a set of video instructions on exactly how to enact the solution. Then I gave you a booklet for an ABAB assessment and remedy protocol to provide to the court to seek a protective separation and remedy for the child’s “parental alienation” pathology.  Then I gave you a Professional Consultation booklet to give to your therapist to alert the therapist to the nature of the pathology.

Plus, the solution is available. Right now. This instant. The only thing that’s preventing the enactment of the solution is that we’re still operating under the old paradigm of Gardnerian PAS to define the pathology. The moment the paradigm shifts to an attachment-based model, the solution of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed becomes available immediately.  It’s already available.  If a child comes into my practice with the three diagnostic indicators, I’m making the diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed and I’m filing a suspected child abuse report with the Department of Children and Family Services.  Other mental health professionals can too.  Today.  Right now.  Based on the theoretical model provided by Foundations.  The keys are falling, they just haven’t quite hit the floor yet.

Why are You Working for Delay?

So if the only thing standing in the way of the solution is the change in paradigms from a Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model, why are you mad at me when I’m the only one giving you all these various tools and weapons to fight for your children, but then you’re giving a free pass to all the Gardnerian experts who are continuing to work to actually maintain the old Gardnerian PAS model, which will only SLOW DOWN the pace by which the solution becomes available? Why are they doing that? I don’t know. Why don’t you ask them?

Why are Amy Baker, and William Bernet, and Linda Gottlieb, and all the Gardnerian PAS experts continuing to maintain their support for the Gardnerian PAS model, when in doing so they actually slow down the pace by which targeted parents acquire a solution? What solution does the Gardnerian PAS model offer?  None. In 30 years as the dominant paradigm defining the construct of “parental alienation” the Gardnerian PAS model has given you exactly what you have right now, which is no solution whatsoever. Meanwhile, a paradigm shift to an attachment-based model gives you an immediate solution, led by the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

The “new syndrome” model of Gardnerian PAS requires the approval and acceptance of establishment mental health, which has been consistently and steadfastly denied for 30 years. But because an attachment-based model defines the construct of “parental alienation” from entirely within established and already accepted forms of existing pathology, there is nothing for establishment mental health to accept or reject. That’s why the solution already exists. Right now. This instant. The only thing standing in the way of enacting this solution is the paradigm shift from the Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model.

So why are your Gardnerian allies withholding their active support to enact the paradigm shift? And in fact they’re actually acting to maintain the existing Gardnerian PAS model. Why are they doing that? Don’t they recognize that slowing down the paradigm shift to an attachment-based model actually slows down the enactment of the solution?

In the Parental Alienation Study Group, William Bernet and Kathleen Reay actually coauthored an article arguing that an attachment-based model was just PAS using different words.

Commentary to Foundations and Response from Dr. Childress: PASG Newsletter

What?  Why are they trying to morph a completely different attachment-based description of the pathology that is incredibly elaborate into just a form of PAS?   Really?  You’re really going to argue that an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” is simply Gardnerian PAS using different words?  That’s just mind-boggling.

Let’s put that idea to the test.  I’ll ask targeted parents, is an attachment-based model of “parental alienation” as described in Foundations simply Gardner’s model of PAS using different words?  What do you think?

If all that’s standing in the way of the solution to the pathology of “parental alienation” is a paradigm shift from the Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model, why aren’t the Gardnerian experts using the power of their professional standing and their professional contacts to speed up this paradigm shift?  Imagine if Amy Baker announced that she was switching from a Gardnerian PAS model to an attachment-based model. That would represent a tectonic shift that would immediately grab the attention of establishment mental health, alerting them that a new paradigm existed.  Imagine if she was actively using her professional standing to promote a paradigm shift.

This past summer, there was a high-profile “parental alienation” case in Michigan involving Judge Gorcyca. Amy Baker did a radio interview (WDET 101.9 FM) surrounding the Michigan case. This radio interview offered Dr. Baker a perfect media opportunity to lend her support to a paradigm shift, to talk about a new attachment-based model that identifies the pathology as psychological child abuse with three definitive diagnostic indicators.  But she didn’t take this media opportunity to foster the paradigm shift.  Instead, she discussed the 8 symptom indicators of a Gardnerian PAS model. She continues to actively work to maintain the old Gardnerian PAS model that offers no solution whatsoever rather than working to foster a paradigm shift to an attachment-based model that provides an immediate solution to the pathology.  Why would she do that?  Why is she continuing to advocate for the Gardnerian PAS model when that model offers targeted parents and their children no solution whatsoever?  I don’t know.  Why don’t you ask her?

My goal is to have the solution enacted by Christmas of 2016. Imagine how much faster this could be achieved with the active support of Amy Baker, and William Bernet, and Linda Gottlieb. But not only are they withholding their active support, they are actually working to slow down the pace by which the paradigm shift occurs in establishment mental health. It’s almost like they’d wish an attachment-based model just disappear, even though an attachment-based model provides targeted parents with an immediate solution.

Oh well, I guess they have their reasons for sitting out this fight to recover your children. So I guess we’ll just have to go it alone.

“It is better to be on hand with ten men than absent with ten thousand.”
– Tamerlane


But my goodness, Marsha, don’t you realize that a major battle is coming? In your chastisement of me, you state,

“However, your wording about Foundations when it came out, really made parents think things were going to change quickly.”

That’s correct. The solution is now available. All it waits on is the paradigm shift. Read the Dominoes post. Right now establishment mental health doesn’t even know that an attachment-based model exists. Even though an attachment-based model provides an immediate solution, if no one knows it exists then how do you imagine that the solution is going to be enacted? It almost sounds like you’re in a bit of a fantasy world, that you’re not fully grasping the situation. So let me explain some things about the upcoming battle.

There is a pretty nasty battle that still awaits us. The pathogen isn’t just going to relinquish your children. Battlefields are bloody, and chaotic, and dangerous. People get hurt, sometimes substantially hurt. Battlefields are not a nice place to be. And I’m going to be standing square in the center of this battlefield.

I have empowered targeted parents to harm my professional colleagues by threatening the livelihoods of my professional colleagues. By filing licensing board complaints against these mental health professionals, targeted parents will be threatening the ability of my professional colleagues to financially provide for their children and families. Stop and think about the implications of that for a moment; I am empowering you to threaten the ability of my professional colleagues to financially provide for their children and families. How do you think my professional colleagues are going to respond to that? Do you think I’ll be making any friends within my professional colleagues? Doubt it.

If you think you became an outsider in the Appreciation Group when you expressed a divergent opinion, imagine what I’m going to face from my professional colleagues when licensing board complaints begin to be filed against them at my urging and with my support.

Battlefields are bloody and chaotic, and not at all pleasant places to be. We still have a battle ahead of us.

In my recent post, Psychopathology and Custody Evaluations, I expose the financial racket of child custody evaluations.  How do you think my professional colleagues in Forensic psychology are going to respond to my calling their work, their profession, a financial racket and shell game?  Conducting child custody evaluations is their career, it’s their livelihood, it’s how they support their children and families, and I’m threatening all of that.  How do you think they’re going to respond to me threatening their livelihood? 

Battles are bloody, dangerous, and chaotic. Battlefields are not at all nice places to be. People get hurt, sometimes substantially hurt. And I am taking a position right square in the middle of this battlefield, shield and battleaxe in hand, preparing to take on all comers. Am I doing this for me?  No.  Am I doing this for you?  No.  I’m doing it for your children. I am fighting for your children. I am exposing myself to all the dangers of this coming battle because I am fighting for your kids.

And let me offer one more insight on the coming battle, I’m not the only one who’s going to be hit. The one who is going to be most exposed is going to be Dorcy Pruter.  Why?  Because she has the solution to resolving the pathology in your children and for restoring their normal-range development within a matter of days. Because of this, she represents a tremendous threat to the pathogen. The attack leveled by the pathogen against her is going to be savage and exceedingly vicious. It’s already begun, and it’s going to get worse.

But in the High Road to Family Reunification protocol of Dorcy’s is the resolution of your children’s pathological rejection of you and the return of their authenticity. I have personally reviewed the High Road protocol. I understand exactly how it works to achieve the resolution of the children’s pathology within a matter of days.

About two years ago when I first met with Dorcy surrounding her protocol, I was working on a model of reunification therapy (the initial essay is up on my website). When Dorcy showed me what she had in the High Road protocol, I stopped work on a model of reunification therapy.  No point.  She’s got it nailed. Reunification therapy will take at least six to nine months of struggle. The High Road protocol can resolve the child’s symptoms and restore normal-range development within a matter of days. She has the solution in her hip pocket. That makes her incredibly dangerous to the pathogen. It is going to attack her with everything it has in an effort to destroy her.

So when it attacks, I am going to stand shoulder to shoulder with her in the center of this battlefield. This means that the pathogen will then attack me with the same viciousness. Look at one of the attacks already on the Internet,

“Should I be scandalised by the fact that Craig Childress endorses her [Dorcy Pruter]?  Not really, his own program calls his credentials and professional ethics into question, so why should he not endorse a quack, taking great pains to explain that Dorcy’s Program is “not therapy” but an “educational intervention”. (by the way, Dorcy Pruter has no credentials in education either).”

Just pure malevolence. Notice how the pathogen doesn’t attack substance, it attacks my “credibility” and “professional ethics.”   So not only have I riled up my professional colleagues by empowering you to file licensing board complaints and by calling out the financial racket of child custody evaluations, the pathogen is also going to attack me with sneering malevolence because I stand in its way of destroying Dorcy. This battle is going to be nasty.  Oh, did I mention I have no friends within the Gardnerian PAS ranks either?

Dorcy knows full well the vicious malevolence that is coming for her, and I know full well the vicious attacks that are coming for me. But we will not waver in our fight for your children. We will stand squarely in the center of this battlefield and engage the fight for your children with equal determination. But Marsha, you act like you don’t even know this battle is coming. Where’s the solution, you ask? You expected the pathogen just to relinquish your children without a fight? Didn’t you hear me calling you to battle? Or didn’t you want to hear that part? For goodness sake, Marsha, steel your heart, pick up your sword and shield and join us on this battlefield. But trust me, battles are exhausting, sweaty, bloody, dangerous, chaotic, and not at all nice places to be.

But let me also say that I understand that many of you are emotionally and psychologically drained by the years of trauma and victimization.  I get it. No worries.  If you need to sit this one out, not a problem.  We’ll be fighting for your kids too, because this is a fight for ALL the children

In the coming days, you’ll see Dorcy and I standing squarely in the center of this melee. The job of targeted parents will be to keep your focus on the citadel of establishment mental health. Demand that the APA acknowledge that the pathology (as described in Foundations) exists . Break the pathogen’s veil of concealment. Expose it. And demand that your children and families be formally recognized as a “special population” requiring specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently assess, diagnose, and treat. Demand professional competence.

Is the solution here?  Absolutely. But you need to fight to make it happen. You need to fight for your children. The pathogen isn’t simply going to give them up to you.

Where are You?

Marsha, you write,

“You can’t just write a book and disappear!! Where are you?
We are trying to get your book out there to professionals.
For free we are advocating for YOU.”

What?  Where am I?  Have you read any of my posts over the summer and fall?   I’m also writing the second companion book to Foundations, which is Diagnosis, and I’m writing the companion book to the ABAB design instructing mental health therapists in a structured six-session assessment of the pathology of “parental alienation” for the court.  Did I mention I have a private practice so everything I do on this is after my workday seeing patients and on the weekends.  Where am I?  I’m working my tail off for you and your children.

For free you are advocating for ME?  Well then stop it.  This isn’t about me. It’s about your children. I’m about to expose myself to vicious attacks and slander for you and your children. Enacting the paradigm shift is about solving the pathology of “parental alienation” for all of your children. If you don’t understand that, if you think you’re somehow doing this for me, then stop what you’re doing because you don’t get it.

“Please tell me what to say to parents that don’t see a way to fix their situation after reading Foundations. They are feeling more helpless!”

Tell them to stop being so narcissistic and thinking only of themselves. Tell them that we cannot solve “parental alienation” in any one specific family or with one specific set of children unless we first solve it for all families and all children. Tell them that the solution to “parental alienation” will come when targeted parents put aside their own individual self-interests and begin to work for each other. “What about me” is narcissistic. “What about you” is empathic. Don’t be narcissistic. The solution for narcissism is empathy. Tell them to steel their hearts, pick up their swords and shields, and prepare to engage in the coming battle for their children.

No Worries

No worries Marsha. I appreciate the courage it took to challenge me. I understand your deep grief and frustration, and your hopes that this nightmare will end. I’m out there leading, and you want me to make it end, “When will it end? Don’t tell me it’s today if it’s not today.” I get it. No worries. The tragedy and trauma of “parental alienation” that you and others have endured is profound.  Your frustration and helplessness is entirely understandable.  No worries on my end, Marsha.

But we’ve got a battle ahead of us. The solution is here, but we still need to wrest your children from the pathogenic grasp of the pathogen, who will not release them without a serious fight.

The Pathogen

I’ve seen occasional objections from the allies of the pathology regarding my use of the term “pathogen.” If you run into these objections, don’t worry, ignore them, I’ve got it covered.

The pathogen represents a characteristic set of distorted “information structures” in the attachment system of the narcissistic/borderline parent which were created by the childhood trauma of abuse (which then led to the formation of the narcissistic/borderline personality traits of this parent). This characteristic set of distorted “information structures” in the attachment system of the narcissistic/borderline parent is what is responsible for creating the child’s pathology. The term “pathogen” refers to an agent that creates pathology, like a virus. The pathogen creating the pathology of “parental alienation” is a characteristic set of distorted and damaged “information structures” in the attachment system of the narcissistic/borderline parent (like a computer virus) that is creating the narcissistic/borderline personality pathology of the parent and the “parental alienation” pathology in the child.

Attacks on Dorcy

Don’t worry about attacks on Dorcy either. That’s my job. But just for your information as you encounter these attacks, Dorcy and I have submitted a proposal to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) for a joint professional presentation at their 2016 convention regarding the assessment of an attachment-based model of parental alienation in a legal context and its remedy.  If this presentation proposal is accepted, then as part of this professional presentation we will be describing the structure of the High Road protocol and how it achieves its effectiveness. One of the primary attacks on Dorcy and the High Road protocol will be that she is unqualified. Our response will come in this professional presentation, if the presentation proposal is accepted.

We have also submitted a similar proposal to Division 41: American Psychology-Law Society of the American Psychological Association for their 2016 convention. If this proposal is accepted, we will similarly be explaining the structure of the High Road protocol and how it achieves its effectiveness in resolving the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation.” If either or both of these professional presentations are accepted, I guarantee talks that will knock your socks off. Guaranteed.

So you wanted a blog post from me, eh Marsha?  Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it <smile>.  Thanks again for your honesty and your challenge, I know it took great courage.  No worries on my end, and I hope this addresses your questions and concerns.

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

18 thoughts on “How Soon?”

    1. Dr. Childress has my support. His understanding of what lurks behind Attachment-based Parental Alienation is invaluable; I had come to the same conclusion before I even knew that a term such as “Parental Alienation” existed. It was first and foremost about my children being caught in a Psychosis with their personality-disordered father.

      However, I know at least as well as any alienated parent how slowly the gut-wrenching days drag by, as you are missing your children and their childhoods, which is time and experience you can never re-gain. There is the horrible grief of betrayal by those whom you love.

      Not only that, but the thought that your children are being damaged by all of this can drive you to woebegone places in your own soul. I so empathize with all of that.

      And though none of us wants to have to consider it in this way, where oh where is all the money going to come from for these interminable court and mental health battles? Even with a reasonable middle-class salary, after today’s living expenses, with children included, there is just not that much left in the pot for such expensive battles. And you play right into the hands of the Narcissist, who badly wants to break you yet again through bankruptcy. In fact, one of his/her ploys is to saddle you with never-ending legal bills.

      I have just read a book that was published only last week. It is “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan B. Peterson. Consider reading it. Magnificent book. It will help keep you going in all of this.

      My other back-up is reading the insightful internet articles by Australian Melanie T. Evans about Narcissistic Abuse, and how to move out of the victim role to vastly improve your life. I have never been keen on “New Age” materials, and I thought for a long while this was another such New Age approach, so I avoided it. I lost time, unfortunately. Basically, Ms. Evans is talking about (and practicing) the healing of trauma in the body, the idea of which was published in Eugene Gendlin’s “Focusing” many years ago, and is also the basis of work by the likes of Bessel van der Kolk and Peter Levine today. So you could do far worse than giving Melanie T. Evans’ website a look over, as spousal/parental targets of Narcissistic Abuse.

      The further idea of in-depth autobiographical structured writing came out 30 or more years ago through the work of Psychologist James Pennebaker. Dr. Childress is putting this to good use in his suggestion that we write and send our (structured) stories. Prof. Jordan Peterson also has a version of this in his Self-authoring Program (Google it). And then there is the online Narrative Program from “Mindsight” author Dr. Daniel Siegel. Try any of these, or try all. The expense is low, but your time and effort are required. Good returns.

      While you are girding yourselves to fight this battle, these methods might strengthen you, the targeted parent. I am in the same low place so many of you are. I have several alienated children, and a truly vicious former spouse of many years. I had never before been through such a truly shocking and soul-destroying experience as this; my Narcissistic siblings had earlier chosen the shunning/silent treatment rather than the overt harm tactics of my husband. In fact, He would rub his hands in glee that he got to me this badly. But I am not going to lay down and roll over (though there are days it seems that way, even to myself).

      My best wishes to all, and my thanks to Dr. Childress.

  1. Hey,
    I understand you Marsha! I’m ready for a FIGHT!! Dr Childress has given us the ammunition to get our children back and we ALL must stand together!
    I know that the therapist we’re dealing with has colluded with the ALIENATOR as this is how they operate! We’re going to have to plow through these EGOTISTICAL therapist as well!
    Let’s all start filing the complaints and the lawsuits and whatever else we must do!
    The targeted parents have been beaten down in the “Family” Court System as well as opposing attorneys mental health, parent coordinators and sometimes by the targeted parents OWN attorney!
    I know this is not supposed to be a retaliation or revenge movement BUT… No, really the ALIENATOR is sick, they need some sort of help too. We know the plethora of emotions we have! It doesn’t feel good, so we must have an understanding of the ALIENATORS deep need for control and a desperate need to be valued! (But not at the kidnapping of our children’s minds)! I still don’t have a good grip on my emotions to be very UNDERSTANDING with the whole system of ignorance that are supposed to be protecting the children!
    The way I understand this, is the ALIENATOR once was a child who lived in unhealthy environments/practices & received no help!
    But I just can’t help myself right now, I want them committed!!
    Dr Childress has worked so hard to find the answer to what we couldn’t understand and has been working to give us the ammunition to get the children back! We’re going to have to use it!
    Yes I believe we’ve got a battle on our hands but I believe we can all stand together and be VICTORIOUS!
    Thanks to Dr Childress, our family’s SANITY has been restored!!
    MARSHA! MARSHA! MARSHA! I know, believe me! Everyone has been against us, but I know now that they’re just ignorant! It’s new and people don’t like change and especially those that have a bit of power and influence, I believe they’re a bit narcissistic too! We can change this, we have power too, there’s power in numbers (and knowledge)!
    Let’s not let them shut us down!
    Thanks Dr Childress!!

  2. We will win this fight, because there is no alternative. We are fighting for your children.

    But ultimately, targeted parents shouldn’t have to fight to protect your children. Our ultimate goal is to have the mental health system fight for you. The mental health system should be your ally. But instead they have abandoned you to the pathology. This first fight is a fight to reclaim the mental health system as your ally. Then, once we have the mental health system as your ally, they will carry the fight for you, so that in the future targeted parents won’t have to fight for their children because they will find an ally in mental health. That’s our goal.

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

    1. Dr. Childress,
      Thank you for all your work. I have read through your blog and your website and have learned so much. The one thing I would love is a key word search so it would be easier to find particular postings you have made. I reference your material all the time. I have not yet read your book but it is on my Christmas list.
      I agree with you that only those who are competent and qualified to investigate or treat this special population should be allowed to do so.
      My experiences have been horrible and traumatizing. It is horrible sitting and listening to a therapist sit and whisper I love you over and over as you are trying to get them to at least entertain the idea that there may be more to the situation than the combined and identical narrative of the allied parent and child. Then to top it off have that very same therapist insist you violate other peoples boundaries and hands me a book on boundaries that she informs me I must read. Surreal and crazy!

    2. Dr Childress, When I see those metaphorical keys that you have dropped I see them falling through water not air. They may not have hit the ground yet but you can definitely already see the ripples.
      Thank you.

  3. Dr. Childress,

    I sent you a message on your blog. I just sent my attorney and mental health care professionals your DMS-V diagnosis. My situation is extreme. My ex has been diagnosed with NPD by a court appointed psychiatrist in 2006. My boy is 14. I’m trying to save my son from becoming an abuser. He has been diagnosed with emerging NPD. He is in a therapeutic boarding school. I need help badly.

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. My name is Ken Iles. I am a parent of a person going through all the traumatization that you are all experiencing. We have been involved with pathogenic parenting since 2010. I am an advocate of Dr. Craig Childress hard work. We have finally made some gains with our local menta health center. It was not easy, but persistence on my part is surviving. They have the materials. They at reviewing it. I only hope they will take action in an appropriate manner for the children and targeted parent. The pathogens have been fighting me all the way. You are nobody and just a grandfather. You do not count. Look, my daughter and you need me out there fighting for you. Marsha, I get it. It is difficult to hang on but these are your children and my daughters and my grandchildren. I do have a rapport with my grandchildren but am always on guard because they view me as an enemy on the surface. We do not have a lot of money but we have another citation date set for December 2015. That is the only leverage my daughter has in maintaining her limited parenting time. I will not turn my back on psychological child abuse..

  5. Doc, I hear ya! I hear Marsha as well and the desperate cries of the children, parents, grandparents and families being dragged through this living nightmare.
    Of all the material that I have devoured and studied over the past 15 years, (please see references at the end of this post), you seem to have found a unique way to describe what has traditionally been inexplicable: the origins and dynamics of the pathology known colloquially as parental alienation (PA), and the agony of the children and protective parents who suffer its wrath. You present a true understanding of this dysfunctional behaviour and offer it to us as an attachment-based model.

    I can tell you from experience, even reading about PA frustrates the heck out of most of us. By the time we have discovered your work, we are deeply traumatized, overwhelmed, exhausted, in despair, furious and either frozen in a state of helplessness, or fighting impotence, as you yourself have recognized.
    We simply don’t have the time, energy nor inclination to read and digest any more information. All we want is for this torment to stop and to bring our children home to safety.

    What you propose in approaching the situation through the mental health industry, is understandable for those who have the capacity, the means and the strength to pursue that avenue. The majority need a template of sorts that will guide them, in localized groups, through a process in the Court itself. A Class Action seems the most feasible response to this unethical trend that threatens the safety of our children and families.
    The strategy that we are pursuing here in British Columbia, Canada, is designed to set a precedent upon which other jurisdictions may rely. We have already sent out instructions to other groups like ours across Canada and the United States and they are working diligently in their areas to file similar class action lawsuits.
    Our Class Action against the Attorney General of B.C., the B.C. College of Psychologists and the MCFD, (Ministry of Children and Family Development), will provide evidence of a defective legal and mental health system that has failed so many children and families to date. We intend to expose the trend that has been set by profiteering lawyers and expert witnesses and demand financial restitution and appropriate counselling for the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional, mental and physical distress imposed upon us. We have informed the media and will use commercial and private media to involve the public.
    The terrible truth we face is that without conflict, abuse and neglect, family lawyers and child protection lawyers would become extinct. We understand that this is why no lawyer in their right mind is prepared to represent children and families in a class action against the establishment. In simple terms, this would be like a lioness advocating for a herd of gazelles, which would present a direct threat to the sustainability of the pride of lions.
    So, in this situation, what is the solution? Abolishing the adversarial family law system and replacing it with a collaborative one? Regulation and monitoring of judges, lawyers, court experts and social workers by an independent society of watchdogs? Education for judges, lawyers, mental health practitioners, expert witnesses and child protection agents? Yes, all of the above.
    Let us compare, in a respectful way, parents, grandparents and guardians engaged in this dilemma as the “foot-soldiers” – those who have dealt face-to-face with the “pathogen” as you call it. Weary, brave souls who have survived watching their children’s spirits being broken. Mere mortals who have tried everything legally and morally possible to protect or rescue their children. We feel as if they are awake in a living nightmare in hell. Many of us, at some stage or another, have wanted to run away, hide or forget we ever met the alienating/dysfunctional parent. Others want to die at times because they can’t bear another day forced to watch their children suffer and believe themselves powerless to help them. Still others resort to taking their lives because they didn’t have the strength and support to continue fighting. Many give up and remain estranged from their children for decades. Some resort to drugs, alcohol or other substances to numb the pain.

    Those of us who have been in the abyss for years are ready to graduate and rally the troops, stand together with authorities such as you, remind people of their God-given authority as parents, children and human beings and lead them into court and legislature to demand the restoration of justice.
    It’s a tall order, but then so was the situation between David and Goliath, and we all know who won that battle!
    In fact, I am often left aghast, shaking my head and asking “Who are these heathens to defy the Law?” Who are they indeed? Corrupted lawyers, judges, court expert witnesses and child protection agents who no longer have the excuse of ignorance. Contaminated souls who wilfully follow this malignant trend dominating family law and child protection proceedings all for the sake of propagating conflict and making a profit from our suffering.

    Your research has led you to recognize the “pathogen” that inhabits parents and guardians with a psychological or pathological personality disorder. If competent and scrupulous mental health practitioners adhered to their Codes of Conduct and presented an accurate diagnoses to the Court, Judges and authorities would understand that we are dealing with a particularly nasty group whose sole intention is the destruction of protective parents and a principled society.

    Deficient mental health practitioners are merely a piece of this puzzle – deviant lawyers and judges who seek to profit either financially or professionally must be monitored by an independent body of watchdogs. The same applies for Child Protection Agencies which should be regulated and held to strict standards of care. We know enough about human behaviour to accept that too much authority in the hands of an ignorant or dysfunctional person is a recipe for disaster.

    We need to publicly condemn court officials and court experts who substitute the rule of law and clinical diagnosis with their personal opinions. Judges are public servants. We don’t pay them to voice their personal opinions. We pay them to uphold justice and the rule of law. Expert witnesses have a duty to the court to present evidence according to their clinical diagnosis and not their personal opinions. Please visit our website to view our Mission Statement and we look forward to joining forces with you. Thank you for all of your devotion and God Bless you, Lisa

  6. Dr. Childress,
    I have read this a few times. Trying to grasp this can be overwhelming.
    So, to target parents that are overwhelmed, exhausted, stuck, do what you can. Every little bit counts. Give your doctor or a child advocacy center a copy of Foundations. Or even your attorney.
    If we all do one thing, that’s huge, if we all do 2 things that’s even bigger. And on and on.
    But, do what you can. It’s not just on one persons shoulders, which makes it doable to those of us that are just exhausted. Dr. Childress addressed an issue in a blog from a Facebook post that I challenged him on. Think on that. I do not know any Doctors, let alone one that specializes in a certain area, to even take the time to respond. This is rare (I’ve had to deal with many specialists regarding two of my kids years ago, to get their attention takes work) He cares about the kids. He genuinely cares.
    Thank you Dr Childress for caring so much about our kids. And you too, Dorcy!!!!

    1. Well good luck! We’re stuck with a dishonest judge, opposing ruthless attorney behaving as though this is a blood sport, dishonest parent coordinators and now the ALIENATOR has chosen a therapist that has been a parent coordinator who’s a “friend” to the ALIENATOR! She’s not competent and she’s colluding with the ALIENATOR! She states what this 9 year old child has told her, he has been holding these “flimsy”stories inside for a long long time and has just now felt safe to tell someone and that would be the therapist!
      Mom has told therapist that she doesn’t know who this child is that she’s telling her about! That’s not her son! It just doesn’t make any difference, therapist wants money up front, No insurance accepted! ALIENATOR has blocked the first mom and sons visit, says child has plans and now therapist can’t have another meeting until 21 November! Mom hasn’t seen or talked to her son since March!
      Mom is paying child support and therapy and 1/2 of ALIENATORS previous therapy sessions when mom was unaware her son was seeing a therapist! She has no money for attorney and none for housing, food, car, insurance well NOT ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE! She’s lost EVERYTHING in bankruptcy! She’s ready to give up but not wanting to, she’s being forced out by the courts and therapist and ALIENATOR! All she’s able to do now is breakdown and cry!
      The mother has NO RECORD EXCEPT 2 speeding tickets, ALIENATOR has DV, several AI’s and PI’s, distributing to a minor but according to the attorney those doesn’t count since they were several years ago but the Mental health evaluation states ALIENATORS father was a HEAVY drinker that would beat his wife and the ALIENATOR would step in and his father would beat him, but his father stopped drinking and now they’re all Christians and have wonderful relationships!
      The ALIENATOR has been Dx with ADHD and Depression and was taking medication and he also states he voluntarily entered into a psychiatric hospital for alcoholism and just quit because of the child! 😏
      Mom states he is a controller and an abuser and that’s why she left him!👏😄
      I’m afraid mom has had a breakdown and may be suffering with PTSD! ALIENATOR made her a promise that when she left that he would make her life a living hell! He’s done that and much more!
      So I pray for you all!

      1. That sounds like every single thing is against Mom and for Dad. That sounds like so many cases Mom’s and Dad’s deal with every day and it leads to the target parent to appear “crazy” because they are so despondent, and the other parent seems to get away with everything. I’m so sorry. Trust me, one day, and I hope it’s sooner than later, these “Professionals” will have a whole lot to answer for. Which is why we have a lot of work to do to save kids.
        But that doesn’t give any relief to the situation now.
        Please have this Mom reach out to support groups online if she hasn’t already.

      2. Yes, thank you so much! She’s so not herself anymore and she is in the predicament where she can’t go forward, backward, left or right! I’m so concerned about her!
        She’s shut down!
        This is the most horrific thing any of us have had to try and make sense of! It’s not only affected her it’s affected our whole family! My grandson and I had a close relationship, I have been in his life since before he was born and now the therapist says he has told her that me and papaw are not on his family wheel and he has never liked coming to our home! Therapist says he has had these feelings for a long time but didn’t feel safe to tell anyone! I just don’t BELIEVE THAT for a minute! How can a child hold in those feelings and he’s only 9, and nobody would have ever thought that! He was always telling everybody who I was and everyone at school knew me because of him talking about me!
        He used to love us and now he doesn’t want to see us, according to his dad he has panic attacks if he thinks he is going to have to see his mother or his grandparents,(mothers parents)!
        We’re all just so frustrated, angry, sad don’t know where, what or how to make anyone hear us!
        But thank GOD for the Dr at least now we know we’re not all going crazy! This is REAL!
        I had hopes this new attorney could help but she doesn’t want the case she’s a friend of the judge!
        Another roadblock!

      3. I’m so sorry. That’s too young of an age for a child to even begin thinking on his own that he doesn’t want to see another side of his family. The therapist is wrong for not catching this. I’d look in Dr.Childress’ book and show the therapist where it states in the DSM that this child is being psychologically abused.
        As far as the attorney, that’s absurd. So, this attorney never takes cases that are with this judge? So, is this an admission that attorneys and judges are biased? I highly doubt this attorney has refused all clients that end up with this judge. I’d ask the attorney “OK. So, you’ve never taken a case that has this judge”?
        Ridiculous. They all know each other, they are colleagues.
        Please be sure that your daughter gets help for her anxiety/panic and/or depression.
        This is not something I’d tell a whole lot of people as it’s just another road an alienator can use against someone. Mental health…. Don’t let them use that. Trust me, many of these attorneys and judges are on some sort of anti depressant. The rest know someone who is. Do not let that be an avenue they take.
        The only way your daughter has a chance right now, is if she gets help with this anxiety and feelings of helplessness. Once that starts to get better she can look for another attorney, go to Dr Childress’ blog and print out the info he has provided to give to attorneys to better understand the situation.
        Again. I’m so sorry and this therapist is incompetent.

  7. @GAYLE – I am in a predicament similar to your daughter. My daughter, at the age of 9, in 2005, was court ordered to live with the abusive parent – two arrests for assault and harassment, and yet, Judge Nancy Morrison was enamoured by the narcissistic fool because he reminded her of her previous partner, a little old Italian man. My ex husband is Italian, but hard-wired and more cruel than anything I have ever seen in my life – towards my daughter, me and my own mother, her grandmother. Until Dr. Childress came along, I truly thought I was losing my mind, alone and awake in the worst frigging nightmare anyone could imagine.
    I don’t have to give you examples of what this toxic entity(can’t even call it human), has done to my daughter – and I have had to watch her die a little more each day as she has to submit to him in order to survive. My faith has been seriously challenged. I am terribly pissed off at a God/Creator whom I believed to be all about Love – really? Then why are our children being terrorized by demons/pathogenic parents? How can a handful of filthy lawyers in the US, Canada, UK and elsewhere use our children so blatantly to secure a perpetual income?
    After having exhausted every avenue, I got together with other Moms and a few Dads, who have been screwed and are watching their children being destroyed. At the end of this month, we proceed to the Supreme Court, with international media involved, to expose the corrupt Judges, lawyers, custody and access “experts” and social workers who are complicit in the alienation.
    We are suing them for 100s of millions of dollars for the Intentional Infliction of Mental, Physical and Emotional Distress. This is the only language they understand – money.
    I wish I had the means to rally all the parents and grandparents in North America, but I don’t. What I can do, and what I am doing, is leading 23 parties (parents, grandparents and adult survivors of parental alienation) to submit evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of profiteering by lawyers, so-called court expert witnesses et al. Our intention is to set a precedent and then to spread the news and share documents that will enable other parents, grandparents and adult survivors to form Class Action lawsuits around the globe.
    Corrupt, disgusting and incompetent lawyers and mental health practitioners who give all the good guys and gals a bad name, will be exposed and held accountable. We are also going to be using social media such as Youtube etc. to cover the process. Look out for us and hang in there, our children and grandchildren need us. Together we can win. Let’s bring our children home.

    1. Oh that’s great! I hope this will be the ground breaking moment to STOP this pathological parenting crap! I know what you mean about your faith! I just had a talk with HIM last night and I really felt that I should stop wavering and trust but at the same time we can’t sit by and wait for the miracle to fall out of the sky. The plan you have sounds like a good one!
      My daughter has court in Lexington Ky and let me tell you I know this is all about who you know too! This court system here is corrupt and the politicians and attorneys will become very RUDE to you if you have a complaint against some other state/government official and pretty much start putting the fear in you and turn it around on YOU! The attorneys that could do something about this don’t want the case due to the previous attorney being friends or their brother worked with this judge when she was a legislator or the case is to old, all sorts of reasons why not help!
      I will keep following you and keep my daughter informed, she’s so despondent she doesn’t want to hear or talk about it! She has no hope anymore! She can’t stand the thought of her son being psychologically abused and she can’t get to him!
      This is her first and only child!
      I keep praying for wisdom and knowledge, I hope HE hears our prayers!
      I’m also thinking about how to write a column in the newspaper without getting myself sued and we have a talk radio station and I have written KET to air a round table discussion about this but haven’t heard anything from them!
      I guess I should have had a long list of people to request it with me!
      All they care about here are the horses and basketball!! I guarantee if someone wanted to complain about a horse being mistreated it would make front page and a prison sentence would follow!!
      I don’t know where your located at but if we can help please don’t forget we’re willing to do what we can! I mean that Sincerely!!

      1. Bless you, Gayle! I am up here in Canada- you can read about our class action on our website- I have ordered Foundatiions for the Judge and if Dr. Childress is available, we would fly him up here to educate the ignorant. I hope that someone in the US can start a similar action involving Dr. childress’s suggestions. You can reach me at lisa(at)

      2. Oh okay well that is a great idea!
        Would love to see that happen! Dr Chidress is so knowledgeable! If I had not have found him we were all feeling like we were going crazy! We had never heard of PA! We always knew something was wrong but couldn’t understand why the child would say certain things and his emotions were up and down and sometimes just all over the place!
        My daughter would notice that right before she would be served with court papers the child would get very clingy to her!

Leave a Reply to E. Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s