I am doing what I can to bring the tragic nightmare of “parental alienation” to an end. The battle to reclaim professional mental health as your ally has been engaged. We are demanding professional competence in the mental health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the pathogenic parenting referred to as “parental alienation” in the common-culture. It’s time now to also start turning our attention to the failures of the legal system as well.
Pathogenic parenting that is creating significant developmental pathology in the child (diagnostic indicator 1), personality disorder pathology in the child (diagnostic indicator 2), and delusional-psychiatric pathology in the child (diagnostic indicator 3) in order to meet the emotional and psychological needs of the parent represents a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.
Pathogenic parenting is not a child custody issue, it is a child protection issue.
It is a child protection issue.
It is the professional responsibility of ALL mental health professionals to appropriately assess and to accurately diagnose the pathology. This is an expectation of professional competence consistent with Standards 9.01a and 2.01a of the ethics code of the American Psychological Association.
Yet even as the battle to reclaim professional mental health as your ally is underway, it is time to also turn our attention to solving the current failures of the legal system to appropriately respond to the pathology of “parental alienation.” One of the greatest challenges faced by targeted parents is explaining the pathology to legal professionals, such as minor’s counsel and guardians ad litem, as well as to family law judges.
In an effort to address this issue I have written a 40-page booklet for legal professionals describing the pathology of the narcissistic parent using standard and established psychological principles and constructs. This booklet relies on descriptions of the narcissistic pathology drawn directly from the established literature of professional psychology to both describe the pathology of the narcissistic parent and to highlight its characteristic features. This booklet is now available on Amazon.com:
My goal is to provide targeted parents with a resource that they can provide to legal professionals involved with their families, such as minor’s counsel and guardians ad litem, which will explain the pathology of the narcissistic parent in high-conflict divorce. I wanted to make this resource brief enough to be easily accessible yet also substantial enough to be authoritative and accepted. To accomplish this I relied on quotes drawn directly from the professional literature woven amidst my narrative framework.
I do not use the term “parental alienation” at any point in the booklet. The description of the pathology relies entirely on standard and established psychological principles and constructs grounded in the professional literature.
The brief 2-4 page Chapters of The Narcissistic Parent are:
- The Narcissistic Parent
- A Hidden Pathology
- Blame and Projection
- Triangulation of the Child
- Disregard for Truth and Authority
- Trauma Reenactment Narrative
- Processing Sadness and Grief
- The Co-Narcissistic Child
- The Attachment System
- Child Testimony
- Epilogue: The Dark Triad
is now available through Amazon.com.
I’m aware that many targeted parents have asked that I produce a similar resource that they can provide to school personnel. I’m still working on conceptualizing what school personnel would need to know about families and children in high-conflict divorce. It hasn’t yet framed itself into my mind. But in the meantime, this booklet, The Narcissistic Parent, may also be useful to educate school personnel regarding the pathology until I can develop a booklet which is more directly focused on issues relevant for school personnel.
I’m doing what I can as quickly as I can because I understand that each day that passes without a solution to the pathology of “parental alienation” is one day too long.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857