Initial Response to Karen Woodall

There is a group of professionals, of which I am a member, called the Parental Alienation Study Group which is led by Dr. William Bernet. 

The purpose of this group is to share knowledge and information regarding the pathology of “parental alienation” with the goal of resolving the “parental alienation” pathology.  In the November newsletter of the Parental Alienation Study Group, Dr. Karen Woodall offered her critique of an attachment-based model of “parental alienation.”

Unlike the prior critique offered by Drs. Bernet and Reay within PASG, I was not offered a prior opportunity to respond to Dr. Woodall’s critique, so the first I saw this critique was in the November Newsletter.  I wish to take this opportunity to respond to Dr. Woodall’s critique of an attachment-based model of “parental alienation.”

I have posted Dr. Woodall’s critique of an attachment-based model of parental alienation from the PASG Newsletter to my website for general reference regarding my response:

Karen Woodall: Parental Alienation and Paradigm Shifts: An unnecessary diversion for the UK

When I read Dr. Woodall’s critique in the Newsletter of PASG, I submitted the following response to the PASG Newsletter. I am also posting this response to my website for general reference:

Response to Karen Woodall’s Critique of Foundations

In my next blog post, I will have more to say regarding Dr. Woodall’s critique of Foundations and the response of Gardnerian PAS experts generally to an attachment-based model of parental alienation.  But prior to this upcoming post, I think it is important to read my Response to Karen Woodall’s Critique of Foundations for an understanding of how an attachment-based model is going to create a solution to the pathology of “parental alienation.”

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


10 thoughts on “Initial Response to Karen Woodall”

  1. So “Foundations” isn’t “the answer” in and of itself. The answer is actually the mindset that “Foundations” brings with it. It’s called “Foundations” for a reason. By solving the absolute worst form of “parental alienation” it provides a firm foundation on which to build modes of other, lesser forms. Clearly Dr. Childress has built his house upon the rock.

    1. Thank god someone is recognising narcissists and sociapath who go out of their way to destroy the other parent, I’ve been speaking out about this from my own sons experience from his ex sociapath wife, who lied to caffcass and the court to get her revenge, to stop him seeing his son. She did her research on domestic violence and planned to get him arrested so she could get rid of him as he was confronting her about stealing etc., once he was confronting her she was hatching her plan. Even pulled out the mental health card but only does it when it suits her. She uses her children and manipulates and controls them with her mind games. She is one nasty piece of work and dangerous. But a lot of professionals are fooled by her Oscar winning performances that she so cleverly acts out. The wolf, sheep and little child are her three personas, so we wait until this is recognised more especially in the courts.

  2. Woodall writes:
    “In the UK as in other countries, many targeted parents are better read in the field of parental alienation than the practitioners who work with them. We now regularly encounter parents who have marched into the office of their family court practitioner with the book Foundations tucked under their arm, determined that this is the answer to the problem that they face. Sadly what happens in such cases, is that the lack of alienation awareness in the practitioner (plus a cultural dismissal of the reality of parental alienation), leads to the parent being seen as obsessed and fixed in thinking. This contributes to the strategy of the alienating parent who simply sits back and claims that they are being victimised by a fanatical ex who is fixated on parental alienation.”

    How could informed, targeted parents contribute to their own alienation if they are asking the family court for help? How would it be possible that the alienating parent to “sit back” and claim that it is they who are being victimized? Is Woodall admitting that in the UK the family court practitioners are unwilling or unable to review the evidence?

    If that is true, then the alternative is for the targeted parent to feign ignorance of what is happening to them and their children. Would that then magically motivate the family practitioner to accurately identify the source of the family pathology?

  3. I am an engineer not a psychologist. I am also a targeted parent of many years. What I have witnessed is absolutely pathogenic patenting (pathology created by parenting). What I have witnessed is not created in one day but over time.

    I have been perplexed with the mental health industry involving custody evaluations, where it seems that the evaluations do not consider the fact that creation of pathology could be in the infantile stages of development. In the medical industry, they would simply state that there are preliminary sings of the pathology; therefore, we will schedule a time in the near future to reevaluate.

    I do not know the referenced definition of “hybrid cases”, but I wonder it they are simply just various stages of the creation, which requires reevaluate in 3 to 6 months.

  4. 1. Today a great thing happened. There was an actual professional conversation between two people I admire and follow closely. Progress has been made.
    2. Where I live, “pure alienation” is not a solved problem. I could go on for thousands of pages.
    3. I think people in general have a really hard time understanding the huge advantages of the “less is more” approach, where people who do not understand pathogenic parenting eventually stop with their lame arguments and where psychologists can be held accountable for abusing children and where hundreds of years of orthodox psychology and supporting research and consensus can be leveraged.
    4. I look forward to learning more about the relative percentages of pathogenic parenting versus less malignant variants.
    5. I agree that if mental health can understand the worst cases they will later have a better chance of understanding the rest. There is an acid test for whether something is or is not pathogenic parenting.

  5. Attachment comes with the pain and grief. It is a part of the mind not our soul. Once instructed by Lord Budha that a person should be desire less. The major reason to this statement is that when we get attached to something then we start fearing losing it which results into the negative behaviours. Once we lose something we are attached to makes us furious and angry. We also lie and betray when we want to hold on to something which we know that is not ours. In the state of being attached to something we might also become greedy for more and more than what we already have with us. It makes us obsessive and lustful. Whenever we are attached we may become selfish too. So attachment is like a dark pitfall from where one can’t escape easily.

  6. Amen Jason Hofer. Foundations helped me unlock the problem to solve for myself and my son. We as targeted parents are ultimately the ones that need to rescue our children. We cant wait for the legal or mental health system to catch up!

Leave a 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