This isn’t about us professionals.
This is the most horrible pathology I have ever come across. This evil pathology must stop. I am passionate because there is no way we should be tolerating this pathology for a single day. It is unconscionable that this pathology is tolerated within mental health.
Early on, when I was working with one family the exact nature of the pathology suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks.
Oh my God – one day the targeted parent has a child, and the next day they don’t. It’s as if someone killed their child. The alienating parent is so angry that they are killing – they are murdering – the other person’s children.
“I’m so angry at you for leaving me, I’m going to kill your children.”
Oh my God. That’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard. To be so angry at someone that you kill their children to get revenge. That is the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard.
But not only that, the alienating parent is getting the child to be the murderer of the other person’s children. Oh my God, I don’t know which is more horrible, to turn your own child into the murderer of the other person’s children, or to turn the other person’s child into the murderer of the other person’s children.
And then, the alienating parent is also getting the child to kill his or her own mother or father. That’s so incredibly horrible. To get a child to kill his or her own mother. That’s such a horrible-horrible thing to do. To get a child to kill his or her own father. Oh, my God.
This is THE most horrible thing ever. This is evil. Pure evil.
So while I was reading up about personality disorders and attachment trauma, and all that “professional” stuff, I was also reading up about evil. Pure evil. Because this pathology is on the same line as core, fundamental evil.
So as I was reading Kernberg and Millon, I was also reading up about evil, and the research and science surrounding evil:
Baumeister, R.F. (1996). Evil: Inside human cruelty and violence. New York: Freeman/Times/Henry Hold.
One of the interesting things is that evil never sees itself as evil. It actually thinks the other is evil, that the victim is evil. The Nazi’s didn’t see themselves as evil. They thought it was the Jews who were evil.
The alienating parent thinks it’s the targeted parent who is evil.
And then there’s the link between the absence of empathy and evil:
Baron-Cohen, Simon (2011). The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty. New York: Basic Books.
And the link between developmental trauma and the absence of parental empathy.
Moor, A. and Silvern, L. (2006). Identifying pathways linking child abuse to psychological outcome: The mediating role of perceived parental failure of empathy. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 6, 91-112.
“Only insofar as parents fail in their capacity for empathic attunement and responsiveness can they objectify their children, consider them narcissistic extensions of themselves, and abuse them. It is the parents’ view of their children as vehicles for satisfaction of their own needs, accompanied by the simultaneous disregard for those of the child, that make the victimization possible.”
The absence of parental empathy is the origin of inflicting psychological trauma on the child. And inflicting psychological trauma on the child destroys the child’s capacity for empathy. And the absence of empathy is the origin of human cruelty. And the absence of empathy is the origin of evil.
The attachment system is the neurological brain system governing all things love-and-bonding. Empathy is critical in love and bonding, and the absence of empathy is the source of human cruelty and evil. Trauma to the attachment system destroys the capacity for empathy within the attachment system. The origins of evil are in psychological trauma to the attachment system.
The MOST disturbing child symptom is not the suppression of the attachment system, it’s not the delusional disorder, it’s not the haughty and arrogant contempt and scorn. The most disturbing child symptom is the absence of empathy that allows the child to kill this other person’s children.
To the pathological parent: For you to kill another person’s children because you are angry with them is the worst thing I have ever heard. To get a child to exhibit that level of cruelty is beyond the psychological abuse of the child, it is evil.
And then there is the grief of the targeted parent. To have someone kill your children is the worst possible thing ever. The grief bores to the very marrow of one’s being. Oh my God, the grief is so profound and so deep. How can it possibly be endured.
This is the most awful and horrible thing I have ever come across. This is pure evil.
This must stop. Immediately.
I was on my way to writing marvelous books solving parenting and ADHD, but there’s no way I could continue on that path. This evil must stop. Today.
To the pathological parent: You are not allowed to kill someone’s children because you’re angry with them.
But we can’t stop it because… because why?… why can’t we stop this, why doesn’t anyone see it? Stupid, stupid, stupid, these mental health professionals are so incredibly stupid. Don’t they see it? Why don’t they see it? They are colluding with this astounding evil.
That stops. Any mental health professional who colludes with this profound evil does not deserve to be a mental health professional. They do not deserve their license to practice.
How do we pull that stupid, stupid, so incredibly stupid mental health professional’s license? If they are going to collude with this evil, I want to pull their license. They do not deserve to have a license to be a mental health professional.
“I’m angry with you because you rejected me. So I’m going to kill your children.”
And the mental health professional – and I use that term extremely loosely in reference to these people – is colluding in this murder of someone’s children. I want their license revoked.
Can I do that with Gardnerian PAS? No. Okay, then we need something else. Because I want their license revoked if they are going to collude with this astonishingly cruel, this cavalierly cruel murder of someone’s children. If the mental health professional is that incredibly stupid, then they don’t deserve a license to practice in the field of professional psychology. Go be a plumber. Go be a computer technician. Go be an engineer. Go be anything else – but DON’T practice professional psychology. Stay away – stay far, far away from working with children and families.
So what do I need to do to pull their license to practice psychology? We need to able to hold these stupid and incompetent mental health “professionals” ACOUNTABLE. I need to activate professional standards of practice to be able to get their licenses revoked if they are going to be that incredibly incompetent.
Can we revoke their license based on Gardnerian PAS. If we can, I’m totally fine with that. I’d be the biggest fan of Gardnerian PAS ever. If we can’t, then we need to do something else, because I want their license revoked.
“I’m so angry with you because you rejected me, I’m going to murder your children.”
Abhorrent. Evil. Just plain evil. And the mental health “professional” (I might just start putting the word “professional” in quotes regarding these people) is so incredibly stupid, so incredibly incompetent, that they are colluding with the murder of this person’s children, and they are colluding with the profound degree of child abuse that empties the child of human empathy and allows the child to perform such an abhorrent act of human cruelty.
I am disgusted. Viscerally disgusted by these stupid, stupid mental health… people. How do we get their license revoked, these stupid….
If it takes defining this pathology totally within standard and established constructs so we can activate professional standards of practice to revoke their licenses, then let’s do it.
Can we revoke their license – today – not in five years, not in ten years – today – can we revoke their license to practice today? No. Then let’s do something different, because we need to revoke these stupid mental health… people’s licenses today.
You know what… I think I might just stop calling them “professionals” and start calling them “mental health people,” because they don’t deserve the title of being a professional.
So I’m sorry if I’m abrasive. I’m sorry if I’m arrogant. I don’t really care. I don’t want this to continue a single day – a single minute longer than absolutely necessary. I will push, and prod, and drive this as fast as I possibly can. Working late into the evening. Working weekends. Working every spare moment of my time. I want these mental health people’s licenses revoked. Today. Now. They do not deserve a professional license.
And now we’re finally here. Once I got Foundations published, I can now hold them accountable. I’m trying my best to give them fair warning –
I’m coming for your professional license to practice. I’m going to do EVERYTHING in my power to get your professional license revoked.
That is my sole mission, to get your license to practice professional psychology revoked. And I may not be able to do it today, or tomorrow, but I am not going to stop until I get your license to practice revoked – or until you stop colluding with this evil, with this profound human cruelty; with the induced evacuation of the child’s capacity for normal-range empathy that makes them a collaborator to their pathological parent’s astounding act of human cruelty.
I may not be able to get your license revoked today. You may escape me today. But I will not rest until you either stop colluding with this human cruelty, this evil, or I get your license to practice revoked.
So I have no patience for professional discussions about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin or what makes for a “bona fide” expert. The ONLY thing I want is to revoke the professional license of these stupid, stupid mental health… persons – or for them to stop colluding with this evil; with this immense human cruelty.
I’m sorry if I’m a “problem child.” I just want the professional license of these stupid mental health persons revoked, and by God I’m going to do everything in my power to accomplish that. Every ounce of my knowledge, every ounce of my skill, is directed toward one goal – to get their licenses revoked or else for them to stop colluding with this evil.
If we can do it with Gardnerian PAS, I’ll be the biggest fan ever. But we can’t. Then I’ve developed an approach that will allow me to go after them. And I am absolutely going after their licenses. Join me, don’t join me. I don’t care. I am going after their licenses to practice. If you join me and we can end this one day sooner, then I hope you join me. If me being a pigheaded pain-in-the-butt moves this one day faster to getting their licenses to practice revoked, or for them to no longer collude with this cruelty, then I’m going to be a pigheaded pain-in-the-butt.
I want them to STOP colluding with this human cruelty and evil, or I want their license to practice professional psychology revoked, and I will not relent until either one or the other is accomplished.
This immense human cruelty stops. This evil stops. And every ounce of my will is directed toward this purpose.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
17 thoughts on “Personal Motivation”
My empathy response to this evil is off the charts. One “mental health person” is on my hit list. You and I asked for him to collaborate, instead he pointed the finger back at me! He pulled out of therapy, but that doesn’t account for the 3-1/2 years he could care less about my daughter, my other 2 young adult children, or about me. No, he cares about himself as he condones his behavior and that of the alienator. I’ve seen other victims in his waiting room going in for the slaughter! That hurts! He claims he’s “helping” children get through divorce”. Bunk! He is on the district court’s list as a mental health evaluator. (So is the guardian ad litem who crucified me for no reason as the alienator paid her over $5000 to do it over 2 years ago!) These “professionals” have to go down. He is a member of the APA and I cannot hold off one more day because I feel miserable for all of us, Dr. Childress. I am over this and want action. I have the complaint form but I also have the trepidatuon. I can’t come at him alone. I need strength and courage. Right now my heart is dying.
So I feel what you’re saying and seeing red. I hate this! I’m tired of being blamed and I am a wonderful mom. That is my crime. Oh, oh… on top of this… If a mother is rejected, she must have done something really WRONG. Really?!
Doc, you put into words what my daughter and have been enduring for all these years. There isn’t any other way to describe it- it is evil personified. The pain is so deep and debilitating, I am paralyzed- she is paralyzed.
Dear Dr Childress,
I’m living in Belgium and following your blogs since 6 months or so, i’ve ordered and read your books and for me since i start reading, it all became very clear.
I’m, to say it with nice words: “a subject matter expert”, an alienated parrent as such.
I’ve translated most of your articles in dutch to make them readable for others and started together with a Belgian organisation to help alienated parents with their storry. I see on am average of 2 parents a week. I can tell you that about 90% off them can remember a trauma happening during childhood of their ex-partner. Some of them are not able to remember such things just because they never received info about that period.
The reason i write this message: keep going, I’m convinced that you’re om the right track, the battle will be long, but it’s worth fighting it for all those kids.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for being totally pissed off. The stupidity, negligence and ignorance in both the psychology and legal arena’s I have encountered is beyond obscene. I have fought like a lioness to stop the horrific damage being done to my adult children when I escaped their increasingly pathological and very dangerous father. I have been shut down over and over. FBI, DA, Governor, Board of Judicial Review, Special prosecutions, Attorney General, and on and on. Lawyers running the other direction, weak and absurd rationalizations by idiot counselors and psychologists who I find out I am more well read and aware than they are. I have been treated like dirt by these people while victim after victim of my disturbed husbands pathology pile up to help him destroy my children’s minds, hearts and souls. When I escaped and stepped out as buffer he took them right out of reality with the help of a crooked judge’s making up legal documents not based on any facts or evidence. Handing a pathological man weapon after weapon to aid his destruction of their grasp on reality. I have an appointment with a psychologist at UCLA who understands psychotic behavior in families with Huntington’s disease for help in freeing my children. I may have an in with the state attorney generals office to try to get an apology to my children by a corrupt judge who helped destroy them and with full knowledge almost got their mother killed. God help me have the strength to keep fighting this nightmare beyond belief. I know evil all too well.
Dear Dr Childress, thank you for your passion and understanding and your commitment to saving our children. I read all your blogs hoping I will find a way to get my daughter back. She is 19 now and I realise it isn’t going to be easy but she is my baby and I will never give up. I can’t express to you how grateful I am, I thought I was the only one going through this and at times believed I must really be a “bad mother”, you have thrown me a lifeline.
Thank you for all the time and effort you have contributed towards putting a name to this scary, evil pathogen. Prior to your publications of “Foundations” I had no idea how to even begin understanding this pathogen, after being humiliated and defeated by the mental health and legal systems. To have you lead the fight is a blessing. As survivors, it is a long recovery to making sense of the devastation, as the legal and mental health systems assist the pathogen in removing our loving children from our lives.
To hear your distress and feel your frustration in this post validates everything I have felt during this journey of fighting this pathogen. I had a mental health evaluator 4 years ago get everything wrong, left me feeling victimized and wounded. I would love to take steps to have his license revoked, but unfortunately he died, leaving me with no closure or recourse.
I am now back in court fighting a losing battle for my third child, who will turn 18 in 5 months. Both my ex and I had a court date last month and he and his lawyer chose not to show up for our court date. What did the legal system do? Reassigned a new date with zero accountability for my ex and his lawyer not coming to court!
The pathogen that you have described is indeed evil, as I learn to deal with my grief daily in the loss of my children. Please continue your work as someone or something has to stop this abuse!
Dr. Childress, thank you for your admirable work on behalf of children and families. I applaud your passion and relentless efforts. From your blog: “And then, the alienating parent is also getting the child to kill his or her own mother or father. That’s so incredibly horrible” – this realization is what motivated me, years ago, to get a masters in mental health – I needed to understand something I could not understand from my own heart and soul, from my own loving family. And then…I took myself straight to Uganda, to the region of the evil terrorist Joseph Kony, and I worked with former child soldiers there, innocent children forced to harm their beloved parents and families. There, you see this so clearly. It outrages nations. It is horrific. But the solution is similar – know it, label it, take swift, sure action, and love the children back to health while educating all. Thank you for your work.
my missing child.
It takes a village mob, and it starts with one person. Its been seven years. I get random inspiration and go to the courthouse to see if I can access the court records to try to understand exactly what was said to justify the destruction of my life and in turn the destruction of my daughters world and her participation in same. I run into my court appointed lawyer and he basically says that they do what the clients want and its good that I am reading your writings, because I have emailed your, Dr Childress, writings to him, and I should have ‘hope’ and that the only people who will know are the people that I personally tell so hense the self made isolation. I see that my daughter is also isolating herself from everyone but the very sad part is that isolation and lies will not protect us from future attacks and I honestly still do not. The judges also do not understand how much power they have and how we submit to that power. It is extremely difficult to believe that they are sitting for justice. I have heard that some do make good decisions. It hurts to know that I was not the favoured child in court. I DID, as a child, accept, lie, move on and eventually forget about the past abuse to lead me here, so I guess that is not the right way but that is what we are told to do so…
I dont think talking about it will do anything either… and no one to talk to now anyway.
This may not be postable.
Here is the darker side.
Some have called me ungreatful. They are wrong.
I am grateful for myself, for other target parents and for the children who are being abused through the sick and I agree “evil” efforts of the “allied” parent. I read what you write and you write a lot. You truly are a tireless crusader.
Established mental health is not listening as it should be. Please keep rocking the boat.
You are right to help parents bring to light the lack of competence, inability to connect the dots(build the puzzle) the arrogance and the harm many mental health professionals bring to the child through this as well as the harm they bring to targeted parents often to hide from their own incompetence and or disorders.
Mental health may not be lining up behind you but parents are. You are all over the internet. Parent groups quote you constantly. Every parent out there, that is struggling against the pathology being inflicted onto their children, is primarily doing so because of the failure of the mental health “professionals” that have been involved in their cases with their EYES WIDE SHUT.
When the relevent boards are inundated with well written complaints regarding these “professionals” the “establishment” will sit up and take notice.
We need help though. We do not need to have our complaints written off as coming from someone with a personality disorder or character impairment…..or as if we are trying to get even, which is of course a symptom of a personality disorder. We need to use the right words and we need to know how and where to apply the standards of practice or ethics the professional should be adhering to in each of our cases. It is not easy. If we have had particularly bad professionals, ones that do not behave professionally it can be traumatizing. In my case there have been seven “professionals” involved. Only two, one of which is my own therapist and the other the therapist assigned to my child, have recognized what this is. Out of the other five three behaved professionally albeit incompetently and well I hate to say it, but….. like they were ignorant or blind to family systems therapy personality disorders or the mal-adaptive behaviors associated with them cross generational coalitions attachment theory role reversal etc…….
Two however were nut jobs, (these are the type that can be dangerous) who not only behaved ignorantly/blindly but who also brought their own issues into therapy, who had no sense of boundaries (I do NOT mean sexual boundaries), who where uninterested at looking at any information beyond the combined (it must be true) narrative of the cross-generational coalition, who had no questions only answers, who became rescuers to the cross-generational coalition and its narrative, who once eager in their role of rescuer lent themselves to being used by the allied parent to inflict further harm to both the target parent and through this effort to the child and to the parent child relationship. Its just sick. The sad thing I read my story through the experiences of others over and over again. I had even seen it play out once before with a family friend many years before my own situation.
Targeted parents are behind you. We just need to know how to appropriately translate our experiences and to know how they apply to violations of standards and ethics.
Mental health establishment is not going to sit up and pay attention until it gets rattled by a host of complaints that are well constructed and sound.
It is an intimidating task. I sort through my notes the therapist notes and other documents to know what is and what is not important and how to focus my words so that Standards/ethic violations are clear. How do you express the harm to a child by therapists who become rescuers to the cross generational coalition?
How do you get the boards to understand that through a lack of professional competence harm is coming to the families that find themselves caught up in this type of situation? ……….Target parents are left needing to become experts. Mental health “experts” do not always appreciate attempts at educating them. Some can actually become passive aggressive or covert aggressive with you if you try.
Any how (because I rambled on to get to this point), I think you will see especially as you continue to empower us is that it will start with a trickle that will turn into a flow that will become a flood that can’t be ignored or sandbagged.
You abhor the pathology it is vile and deceptive and it uses the child to thrive. You are right.
Who cares that right now others who work with this population want to nitpick your work instead of glean from it. You have the attention of thousands upon thousands of parents who are living this situation every day and we WILL lend our voices to yours. We just need to know how to, correctly so that we are heard.
I really think my 10 year case involving all 7 of my children is perhaps THE POSTER CASE for your “personal motivation” to accomplish its goal. Contact me if I can be of assistance to end this legal crime of white collar child trafficking cash cow. 7 children and a “disabled” spouse, at all stages of development tossed into the system to exploited for their personal gain…and like the “Hotel California” you can never leave.
For the whole family,
Father, reluctant activist
Dr. Childress, How can I share your posts on Facebook?
(My boyfriend hasn’t seen his daughter in 6 years – no phone calls returned, no texts (except for some nasty remarks including profanity), no thank you for gifts…she is 17 years old now and being treated for eating disorder, anxiety, takes antidepressants but no one sees the real issue! Thank you. Susan Procaccini Spanish Court interpreter NY State (Yonkers Family Court)
Yes, it does feel like a killing of my children. With a heaping side of utter despair at their rejection. And bone tired exhaustion, trying to forecast and protect myself against his next move.
For me, at this time, it is the Fear that rules my life. The children who still come home to me part time, are sent as weapons, like kamikaze. No matter what I do or say or how I live my life, he will extract small bits from them, which he will then blend with his embellishments, and it suddenly becomes “truth”. The results vary from further bashing from my adult kids for events that never happened, to child welfare investigations based on allegations (which are impossible to have occurred) made by a child about friends or family of mine, all to please the pathological parent, and aid in his efforts to paralyze my life. I cannot leave my children alone with anyone for even a moment, or others are subject to his accusations. I often just choose not to take my kids around friends or family members because of the great threat that their worlds might also be devastated.
I have no options of any consequences to negative behavior my kids exhibit, because that is also turned into untruth. The result is that I am bullied, even by my youngest children. Nothing I do is right, or good enough. I don’t know how to navigate, because everything I do leads nowhere good. My heart breaks for my children, and also for myself. I am ashamed to say it, but it is truth. I’m so tired. Being in a constant lose/lose, no matter what I do, is draining in every way. And it is getting worse, not better.
Wanting my children, yet dreading their presence is a crushing grief, complete bewilderment, and heart-rending guilt all of its own. I don’t know how to even live my life. Living in Integrity is not enough.
Dr. Childress, if I may add my humble opinion to your professional admonitions, I’d like to state what you cannot for reasons we need not explain. Slavoj Zizek explain the phenomenon as the Lacanian notion of fantasy as a constitutive lie, i.e., “Our inner truth is the lie we construct to be able to live with the misery of our actual live.” As Louis C.K. puts it, he told shitty jokes for 15 years before getting it which means that he didn’t know how to do anything else – hence, he was stuck in his craft. PAS adherents are no exception to the finite realities of human existence – vested in their lie and terrified of liabilities. Chris Hedges adds the Peter Tillich identified all human institutions are inherently evil. Life is absurd and cruel.
Dr. Childress, if I may add my humble opinion to your professional admonitions, I’d like to state what you cannot for reasons we need not explain. Slavoj Zizek explain the phenomenon as the Lacanian notion of fantasy as a constitutive lie, i.e., “Our inner truth is the lie we construct to be able to live with the misery of our actual lives.” As Louis C.K. puts it, he worked shitty jokes for 15 years before getting it which meant that he didn’t know how to do anything else – hence, he was stuck in his craft. PAS adherents are no exception to the finite realities of human existence – vested in their lie and terrified of liabilities. Chris Hedges adds that Peter Tillich identified all human institutions are inherently evil. Life is absurd and cruel.
So Dr Childress I’m going to court tomorrow in a custody battle I am having with my child but this is not the child that I’m being alienated from this is another child from a Later marriage. but the therapist in the case of my alien ated child whom which I have been arguing with for 3 years about Attachment-Based parental alienation has been called in to testify in a case regarding my character and my parenting skills and more less to talk bad about me because she will not reason with me so therefore I’m a bad person since she will not understand what I am trying to teach her about Attachment-Based parental alienation. I can’t wait to see what she says especially since I have threatened her with malpractice suits and licensing board complaints I would think that she would be considered a hostile witness saying that you know all this is happening. there must be some type of ethical violation of a therapist testifying against another person in another case I do not know I hope everything goes good in court and I hope her testimony will not bear any reference or bad will towards me all I’ve tried to do was teacher what was happening to my son but she won’t listen she’s ignorant and incompetent and now she’s trying to help take another child away from me what the hell has happened to the legal system what the hell has happened to the mental care system I wish this nightmare would just go away
Threatening is not the right approach. Remember, I have been urging you to be kind. Hostility and aggression, and trying to force people to do something will make you seem intransigent and as if you don’t listen. You can provide materials. You can ask that they assess for the pathology. If they assess for the pathology and say it’s not present. Then they have done their job. If they have not assessed for the pathology or if they have identified the pathology as being present but decline to make an appropriate diagnosis of it, then this may warrant additional review by their licensing board regarding Standards 9.01 and 2.01. But be kind. If targeted parents are arrogant and threatening, then this reflects poorly on everyone. Arrogant and threatening are narcissistic personality traits. Kindness is always a good thing.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.