Parental Alienation Awareness Day Statement by Dr. Childress

The Michigan Parental Alienation Awareness Day rally graciously asked me to provide a statement to their rally.

Below is a written transcript of my video recorded statement to them:


2016 Parental Alienation Awareness Day

Dr. Childress Statement to Michigan Rally

Part 1:  Reclaiming Mental Health as Your Ally

Children love both parents, and they should be allowed to love both parents.  That children across the country are being manipulated and exploited by the narcissistic psychopathology of one parent into rejecting the other parent is an abomination.  It must stop.  Today.  Now.

The family nightmare that is “parental alienation” must end.  Today.  Now. 

The domestic violence of “parental alienation” must end.  Today.  Now. 

The psychological abuse of children that is “parental alienation” must end.  Today.  Now.

This is not a hope; this is not a request.  It is a demand.  We are demanding professional competence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of this attachment-related pathology.

Right now we are locked in a battle to reclaim mental health as your ally in recovering your children, your authentic children, your sweet and loving children, and returning them to your arms.  The citadel of establishment mental health has, for far too long, been held captive by the trauma pathogen of “parental alienation” and its allies, who have sought to keep you isolated and alone, isolated from your allies in the mental health system, isolated from allies in the legal system.  It has kept you alone to keep you powerless.  This ends.  Today.  Now.

We are currently engaged in a battle to reclaim mental health as your ally.  Once we have reclaimed the mental health system as your rightful ally in your fight to rescue your children, then, with the mental health system at your side, we will turn to recruiting the legal system as your ally in ending your family nightmare; the domestic violence and the psychological child abuse of “parental alienation.”

Leadership among the community of targeted parents has arisen and they created a petition to the American Psychological Association that calls for a change in the official position statement of the APA on “parental alienation.”  The current position statement of the APA is only three sentences long. 

The first sentence says that allegations of domestic violence should be taken seriously.  This sentence makes it seem that the advocates for protection from domestic violence are adversaries of the those of us who seek to end “parental alienation.”  This isn’t true.

By framing the advocates who seek an end to “parental alienation” as adversaries of the advocates for domestic violence protection, this sentence divides you from your natural allies in domestic violence protection. We’re not adversaries, we are natural allies of the advocates for domestic violence protection. 

The pathology of “parental alienation” is a form of severe domestic violence where the child’s loving bond with the targeted parent – with the victimized spouse in the domestic violence of “parental alienation” – is being used as a weapon by the narcissistic-abusive spouse to inflict immense suffering on the other spouse, as revenge for divorcing the narcissistic and abusive parent. 

Instead of battering the other spouse with fists, and punches, and strikes, the narcissistic-abusive spouse is using the child’ loving bond with the other parent as a weapon to inflict immense suffering on the other spouse.  By destroying the loving bond the child has to the other parent, the domestically violent narcissistic and abusive spouse is killing the child’s love for the other parent as a means to exact a retaliatory revenge against the other spouse for divorcing the narcissistic-abusive parent. 

The pathology of “parental alienation” is a savage form of domestic violence.

Yet the opening sentence of the APA’s official position statement regarding “parental alienation” makes it seem like advocates for an end to “parental alienation” and the domestic violence protection advocates are adversaries.  We’re not.  We’re natural allies.  This adversarial isolation of you from your natural allies in domestic violence protection needs to end.  Today.  Now.

The next sentence of the APA’s position statement on “parental alienation” calls into question the very existence of the pathology, referring to “so called” Parental Alienation Syndrome.  The pathology exists.  Personality disorders exist.  The psychological collapse of a narcissistic-borderline personality parent surrounding divorce exists.  This is NOT a “so called” pathology.   It is a very real; a tragically real pathology.  The APA must be called upon to recognize the very real existence of “parental alienation.”

The final sentence of the APA’s position statement is that a conference of the American Psychological Association convened 20 years ago, in the 1990s, questioned the existence of Parental Alienation Syndrome as a pathology.  As anyone who follows my work knows, I too challenge the accuracy of Gardnerian PAS because it proposes that “parental alienation” represents a unique new form of pathology in all of mental health, unrelated to any other form of psychopathology in mental health. 

I disagree with this proposal of Gardnerian PAS.  “Parental alienation” is not a unique new form of pathology, it is a manifestation of standard and well-established forms of personality disorder and attachment trauma pathology, in which parental attachment trauma from their own childhood is being transferred into current relationships, mediated by the narcissistic and borderline personality traits of the parent that are themselves a product of this childhood attachment trauma of the parent. 

This is not some unique new form of pathology, it is a manifestation of standard and well-established forms of attachment-trauma and personality disorder pathology.  To solve “parental alienation” we don’t need a “new theory” of the pathology as a “new syndrome” in professional psychology.  We simply need an accurate diagnosis of the “parental alienation” as an attachment-trauma pathology, mediated by the narcissistic and borderline personality traits of the allied parent. 

It’s not a matter of a “new theory” – it’s simply a matter of a correct and accurate diagnosis of the psychopathology within the family.

Nor do we need to have a new syndrome of “parental alienation” accepted into the DSM diagnostic system.  Once we accurately diagnose the pathology of “parental alienation” then we will discover that the diagnosis of the pathology is it is ALREADY in the DSM diagnostic system, on page 719.  It is a diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

We don’t need anything accepted in order to end “parental alienation”, now, this very instant.  We simply need an accurate diagnosis of the pathology within standard and well-established constructs of attachment-related pathology and personality disorder pathology.   That’s all we need.

Part 2:  A Call to Action

The American Psychological Association needs to change its position statement on “parental alienation.”  Its current position statement has been hijacked by the allies of the pathology who seek to keep you separated from your natural and rightful allies within mental health.  The official position statement of the American Psychological Association regarding “parental alienation” rightfully belongs to you and your children, not to the pathogen and its allies.

Recently, a group of leaders within the community of targeted parents formulated a petition to the APA seeking a change to the APA’s position statement on “parental alienation.”  They sought two goals. 

First, that the American Psychological Association formally acknowledge that the pathology of “parental alienation” exists – using whatever name the APA wants; “parental alienation” – attachment-trauma reenactment pathology – or pathogenic parenting – whatever they want to call it – the pathology exists.

Second, that your children and families represent a “special population” within psychology who require specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently assess, diagnose and treat.

The leaders within the targeted parent community also requested that the American Psychological Association convene a high-level conference of experts in attachment theory, personality disorder pathology, trauma, and family systems therapy to produce a white paper on the pathology of “parental alienation” and to recommended the wording changes to the official APA position statement on “parental alienation.”

This proposal for a high-level conference of experts must pass two committees in order to be submitted to the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association for its consideration.  Just weeks ago, in April of 2016, the first of these committees passed the motion to submit the proposal for a high-level conference of experts to the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association.  If the second committee which meets soon also approves the motion, then the proposal for a high-level conference of experts will be submitted to the Board of Directors of the APA for its consideration.

The APA convening a high-level conference of experts to produce a white paper on the pathology of “parental alienation” would represent an important tipping point in our demand that all mental health professionals begin accurately diagnosing this family pathology from within standard and established psychological principles and constructs.  We don’t need a “new theory” of psychopathology, we simply need an accurate diagnosis of “parental alienation” using standard and fully established psychological principles and constructs of attachment-related pathology and personality disorder pathology. 

The family psychopathology of “parental alienation” is already in the DSM diagnostic system.  It’s on page 719.  Once we accurately define “parental alienation” as pathogenic parenting that is creating significant developmental pathology in the child– personality disorder pathology in the child –– and delusional psychiatric pathology in the child – in order to meet the emotional and psychological needs of a decompensating narcissistic/borderline parent, the pathology of “parental alienation” will warrant a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed. 

This pathology is already in the DSM-5, we just need to make an accurate diagnosis of it.

In response to the petition of targeted parents, this past week the APA removed its prior flawed position statement on parental alienation from its website.  Let me say that again; in response to you – the parents who have been targeted by this vicious and cruel trauma pathogen – the APA has now removed its flawed position statement on “parental alienation” from its website.

Let’s hope that this represents a signal that they are listening to you, that they are hearing your suffering and the suffering of your children; and that they intend to work with us to bring your suffering and the suffering of your children to an end. 

The American Psychological Association cares about you and your children.  Bring your voices to them, let them hear you, now, today.  Write to them, asking them to convene this high-level conference of professional expertise in attachment theory, personality disorder pathology, trauma, and family systems therapy to examine the construct of “parental alienation.”

You are suffering such terrible-terrible trauma and pain.  Professional psychology should be your ally in bringing your pain and your children’s suffering to an end.  Contact the APA.  Let them hear your voice.  The leadership among your ranks has the appropriate contact information for the APA.  Write them letters, today, now.  Write them emails.  Have your friends and extended family write to the APA. 

Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, Poland, France, all of our international allies, contact the APA and urge them to convene this high-level conference of experts.  The time is now.  We are on the battlefield fighting for your children.

Dorcy Pruter and I stand squarely in the center of this battlefield fighting to return your children to you.  We will not waver.  We will not relent.  Join us on the battlefield fighting for your children, fighting to rescue your children.  Contact the APA.  Let them hear your voice.

The family nightmare that is “parental alienation” must end.  Today.  Now.  This is not a hope; this is not a request.  It is a reality.  It is time to bring this nightmare to an end. 

Children have a right to love both parents, and to be loved by both parents in return.

You have more power than you know.


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

The video recorded statement of Dr. Childress is at:

2016 Statement of Dr. Childress to Michigan Rally: Part 1

2016 Statement of Dr. Childress to Michigan Rally: Part 2

8 thoughts on “Parental Alienation Awareness Day Statement by Dr. Childress”

  1. I am so grateful for this work that is being done on behalf of ALL alienated children. I have so much hope that this will keep moving forward now, and I look forward to being a part of it in any way that I can. Thank you Dr. Craig Childress for your unrelenting pursuit of a solution, and to all the other professionals who are working on behalf of powerless children. And lastly, many thanks to all the parents who are doing their best to reclaim their children. Don’t ever give up. Let me be a voice for those children: thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. Dr Childress, I’m still with you.  Don’t stop.  You matter.   You’re not alone in this.  In spite of blatantly obvious blockades or daggers in disguise I’m better off being armed with the truth.  The truth has set me free.  I’m free to be logical, rational, patient, and even compassionately understanding.  I’m free to discover my warrior voice within, no praise-no blame.  I will be striving for wisdom, although it costs me all that I have!    ……..  TENACIOUS. Very truly yours, Tonya 

                                 Dr Tonya Meade                            304 N 5th Avenue                         Princeton, IN 47670                             812-499-6230 Sent from Outlook Mobile

  3. Breathing a little stronger with each layer of truth revealed. Attended a PA Awareness rally yesterday at the Harrisburg, PA, visited legislator’s office and was not afraid to talk openly and frankly about the disturbing process by which my ex-husband eradicated me from my daughter’s life. Thank you, Dr. Childress, and everyone who works to free our children from this insidious form of child abuse.

  4. Dearest Craig, you are our “light in hell”, leading us out of the darkness, with our children in hand. Your influence has begun to work it’s magic. My love and gratitude for you flow from the depths of my heart and soul to the gardens of Heaven. What an incredibly wonderful human being you are! ****Please see our dream becoming reality at C.J.J. v. A.J., 2016 BCSC 676. This is a 108 page Reasons for Judgement of Justice Blok of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, in Canada, where I am currently in proceedings to rescue my daughter, who has seen the light, been illuminated and has set A PRECEDENT that I will use in the coming trial and which we can ALL USE. I am emailing you the full Judgement which will change the course of history. HE ACCEPTS THAT Parental Alienation is CHILD ABUSE!!
    I include the summary of the decision here for all to read – it seems you have persuaded Dr. Amy Baker to consider and propose your factual findings and interpretation of PA. Judge Blok of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Bless you, Bless you, Bless, Doctor Childress – you have given me the tools to sharpen my proverbial axe. You remind me of the astuteness shown by Abe Lincoln when he said, “If I have 8 hours to cut down a cherry tree, I’m going to spend 7 hour sharpening my axe.” Thanks to your diligence, research, consistency and compassion, the rotten trees are going to come down hard and fast! With love, light and affection, Lisa and Sofia
    Fortuna Media Inc – lisa[at]fortunamedia.ca, liona@parentsforchildren.org

    Dr. Childress Note: For space considerations, an edited version of the Court decision is appended below:

    [368] A.J. professes to have X’s best interests at heart, but his actions seem entirely at odds with his words. Throughout, he has failed to cooperate with or abide by the recommendations of professionals, or court orders based on those recommendations, all of which were aimed at helping X and, as a collateral effect, helping the other two children.

    [369] A.J. maintains he “tried and tried” to get counselling for X but C.J.D. would not follow through. The evidence shows that he cancelled most of the counselling that C.J.D. arranged. His only mentions of counselling were in the context of telling C.J.D. that it was her problem. His attitude is best exemplified by his comment that X’s relationship problems with his mother were “nothing to do with me”. He has not, as he asserted, been “trying to get counselling for years”; instead, he has for years told C.J.D. that the problem was her problem and it was up to her to fix it. A.J. has failed to accept that he has played any role whatsoever in X’s significant psychological turmoil, and yet his role is a very large one.

    [370] I am satisfied that, contrary to his assertions, A.J. has made no real attempt to resolve the fractured family situation…

    [382] Based on a careful consideration of all of the evidence in this case I find the following to have been proven:

    a) prior to separation C.J.D. was the parent who provided primary caregiving for the children, and she and X had a positive, loving relationship;

    b) the children had a positive, loving relationship with their father prior to separation;

    c) nothing in the evidence establishes any abusive or neglectful behaviour on the mother’s part that would warrant the extreme hatred and rejection that X has displayed;

    d) A.J. has substantially misrepresented matters in his dealings with professionals;

    e) A.J. has engaged in a number of behaviours consistent with alienation; and

    f) X has exhibited a number of behaviours consistent with alienation…

    VII. Summary

    [426] I make the following orders:

    a) X will be enrolled in the Family Reflections Reunification Program (FRRP) run by Dr. Kathleen Reay, to commence as soon as possible;

    b) X will continue in that program under the direction of Dr. Reay until Dr. Reay recommends otherwise, to a maximum of 12 months unless extended by court order, with liberty to the parties to apply for any necessary directions or orders to facilitate the objects of the program;

    c) during that time, the parenting arrangement shall be as determined by Dr. Reay, with liberty to the parties to apply to Court to review that determination;

    d) on completion of each phase of the FRRP, Dr. Reay shall provide a report to the parties and to the Court concerning X’s progress and current situation;

    e) A.J. shall participate in the FRRP as directed by Dr. Reay;

    f) Dr. Reay shall prepare a brief report outlining the counselling or other programming she recommends for family members other than X and provide a copy of that report to the adult family members affected and to the Court;

    g) the claimant will pay the up-front cost of the FRRP and all associated activities and counselling, with leave to address the ultimate responsibility for those costs at a later date;

    h) there will be an order suspending (not terminating) A.J.’s joint custody of X and granting sole custody of X to C.J.D. until further order of the Court;

    i) at least certain of A.J.’s parenting responsibilities for X will be suspended in similar fashion, which I discuss further below;

    1. Thank you for your kind words, although I cannot take credit for altering Dr. Baker’s belief systems. Based on the judges findings, it appears that his decision remains based on the eight Gardnerian PAS symptoms. This case appears to have been won based on the involvement of Drs. Baker, Miller, and Reay. I am happy to learn of the successful resolution of this Court matter in returning your children to you. My best wishes to you and your family.

  5. Finally, some hope for the thousands of children whose mental sovereignty has been stolen, and the parents whose screams have fallen on deaf ears. Thank you, Dr. Childress.

  6. Dear Dr. Childress,
    Thank you for your tireless efforts on our behalf!. It may be too late for my son who is 26 and still alienated from me. However, I will continue to support you and your allies in hopes that other parents will not have to experience this hell.
    I am from Minnesota ndwill do whatever I can to help being this to an end. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Not giving up. I AM A Mother.

  7. Dear Dr. Childress,
    Thank you for your tireless efforts on our behalf!. It may be too late for my son who is 26 and still alienated from me. However, I will continue to support you and your allies in hopes that other parents will not have to experience this hell.
    I am from Minnesota and will do whatever I can to help being this to an end. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Not giving up. I AM A Mother.

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