Best Legal Blog Contest

I want to make a quick announcement. 

I learned that my blog has been nominated for inclusion in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest.

The voting site for the contest is at:

Best Legal Blog Contest Voting

What’s The Expert Institute, you might ask?  I don’t know.

And honestly, I don’t care all that much either.  Any solution that involves having targeted parents prove “parental alienation” in court is no solution at all.  Proving “parental alienation” in the legal system is far too expensive for most targeted parents to afford and it takes far to long.  Time is on the side of the pathogenic parent.  The pathogenic parent can delay and delay legal proceedings for years.

The solution to “parental alienation” is through the mental health system:

The Solution

I’m working on the solution for all children and all families, not just one family at a time. This solution will ultimately be through fixing the broken mental health system, not the legal system. But until we fix the mental health system response, there’s little alternative for targeted parents other than proving “parental alienation” in court.

I’m sorry that professional psychology has so completely failed you.  The first step is to get all mental health professionals to properly assess for the pathology using the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting.

Yet even as I work on the solution for all children and all families, I know that for each targeted parent this is a directly personal experience with your specific child. I realize that each targeted parent is trying to solve their problem today, now, before the mental health system has been fixed first. 

Based on this understandable motivation of individual targeted parents, I am sometimes asked to serve as an expert witness in court proceedings in hopes that my testimony about “triangulation” and “cross-generational coalitions” might be able to persuade the court.  I’m not optimistic about that.  The legal system response remains broken. But if your attorney thinks my expert testimony might be helpful and that’s a route you want to go, then your attorney can contact me by email and I will provide the attorney with additional information about my potential role as an expert consultant and witness.

(Just as an FYI regarding my expert testimony, I have found my testimony to be the most helpful when the mental health professional who is involved with your family has used the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting and my testimony then addresses the meaning and implications of the symptom ratings made on the Diagnostic Checklist by the involved mental health professional.)

Again, however, my focus is not (yet) on fixing the broken legal system response.  My focus is on fixing the broken mental health system response for all children and all families in order to ensure that all children and all families receive appropriate assessment of the pathology, accurate diagnosis of the pathology, and effective treatment for the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” (AB-PA).

I suppose it’s nice that my blog has been nominated in a contest for the “Best Legal Blog.”  Getting the attention of the legal system regarding this form of attachment-related pathology is a good thing.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Psychologist, PSY 18857

10 thoughts on “Best Legal Blog Contest”

  1. Dr Childress, your blog nomination is wonderful! You deserve much credit and gratitude from families who have been helped by your practice and research. Keep up the great work.

  2. I must disagree with you on the solution. I think it will not change until the “grant” $ is redirected and that will not happen until there is a concerted grass roots effort that I fear at this point must be of the magnitude of revolt.

    42 U.S. Code § 13001a
    (7)the term “multidisciplinary response to child abuse” means a response to
    child abuse that is based on mutually agreed upon procedures among the
    community agencies and professionals involved in the intervention, prevention,
    prosecution, and investigation systems that best meets the needs of child
    victims and their nonoffending family members;(8)the term “nonoffending family
    member” means a member of the family of a victim of child abuse other than a
    member who has been convicted or accused of committing an act of child abuse;
    and (Pub. L. 101–647, title II, § 212, as added Pub. L. 102–586, § 6(b)(2),
    Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5029; amended Pub. L. 114–22, title I, § 104(1), May
    29, 2015, 129 Stat. 236.)
    42 U.S. Code § 13001b
    (a)Establishment of regional children’s advocacy program The Administrator, in coordination with the Director and with the Director of the Office of Victims of Crime, shall establish a children’s advocacy program to—(1)focus attention on child victims by assisting communities in developing child-focused, community-oriented, facility-based programs designed to improve the resources available to children and families;(2)provide support for nonoffending family members; (2)Grant recipients A grant recipient under this section shall—(A)assist communities—(i)in developing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary response to child abuse that is designed to meet the needs of child victims and their families; (iii)in preventing or reducing trauma to children caused by multiple contacts with community professionals; (iv)in providing families with needed services and assisting them in regaining maximum functioning;

  3. The more people that vote the more attention can be drawn to this issue. Everyone go vote with each home/work computer, laptop, cell phone, and tablet you own as each device shows a different IP address and will count as a separate vote.

  4. Frankly I agree. However I think changing the mental health system’s inertia is going to take some groundbreaking successful malpractice suits to get change and that’s an uphill battle. I have a classic case of a extremely incompetent therapist fully contributing to the pathology and a complaint to the state’s board of licensing was ignored. I presented the case to a malpractice lawyer and he wasn’t interested. I have all the data and facts, and my case is strong. No one is interested in helping me help my children.

  5. Dr. Childress,

    1) Appreciation : I truly appreciate that you are so able and willing to focus and keep your target amidst the storm of cries for help, both with blatant and detailed individual situations 
… but as well, indirect cries for help transformed into attacks from everyone stuck behind the veil of the Pathogen with a kind of powerful Stockholm syndrome,
… not to mention the attacks from actual psychopaths.

    2) Nomination : Bravo, any publicity is good publicity

    3) Mental Health System :
    3.1) I’ve heard that it takes a generation to replace a paradigm. (I’m sure the original quote was ‘more better’)
    3.2) Any organized system has the prerogative of ensuring its survival. Any major change will be seen as a threat.
    3.3) This has probably already been mentioned, but here is my suggestion: that we all try to make this necessary evolution inviting.
    3.3.1) We should limit our blame to those that did as they were taught and contributed to the current system as they were encouraged to do so with rewards ranging from academic positions to financial benefits, but especially the perverse “benefit” a victim (unaware protector of status quo) has when protecting an abuser (the Pathogen).
    3.3.2) We should encourage anybody that awakens to the realization of all the good that can come out of stopping to play the current game from which those that are supposedly helped really are not.
    3.3.3) We should openly reward those that change camp, understanding that these people are potentially risking their revenues, carriers and reputations. The higher they are in the power structure in the Pathogen’s camp, the more they risk to loose of their current livelihood, but the most we can gain from having them as allies, or at least no longer going through their attacks. Some of these people may have damaged many lives and possibly contributed to ending some prematurely, but we can’t change the past – we can take what we have today and build on this for a better future.
    Many thanks,

    Marcel from Montreal

  6. Three assumptions that need to be challenged about the current state of knowledge:

    (1) that pathogenic parenting practices (and parental alienation) necessarily happens in the context of divorce, custody, and access, The narcissistic rage in a narcissistic/borderline parent is triggered by a divorce (causing a re-enactment of intergeneration trauma and invoking fears of abandonment. However, the obsession, to destroy the relationship between an authentic parent and a child, in absence of intervention, is everlasting.

    (2) that pathogenic parenting practices (and parental alienation) are effected exclusively, or predominantly, by the custodial parent. The narcissistic rage triggered by the re-traumatization of an intergenerational trauma and fears of abandonment can manifest in either parent.

    (3) that a custodial parent has a greater capacity to engage pathogenic parenting practices (and effect alienation of an authentic parent) than a non-custodial parent. The yearning for the love of an absent and non-participatory parent bestows a significant “power-over” the children.

    (4) that when several children all turn on the custodial parent, this is evidence of the pathogenic practices of a custodial parent. A parent with a narcissistic/borderline organization willing to exploit the children has many covert avenues available. One of the most powerful methods of infiltrating the family dynamics by a non-custodial parent is it to target the eldest child as a proxy. Under the distorting pathogenic influence of the narcissistic/borderline parent, the child is engaged to undermine the relationships of the custodial parent with the rest of the children. This is achieved by the covert communication of information, believed to be true by the delusional parent, designed to undermine the trust a child reposes in the custodial parent, setting the parent up as a predator. The information (based on the delusions) is then circulated clandestinely between the siblings without the knowledge of the targeted parent, inciting a potential mutiny, with all the children demonstrating the personality traits (grandiosity, absence of compassion, entitlement, haughty and arrogant attitude, and splitting) towards the targeted parent. The siblings build cohesion by, colluding and conspiring together, to withhold the information from the custodial parent. There is virtually nothing the authentic parent can do to protect the children from this deeply disturbing dynamic.

    1. These are all valid points. I believe the important issue is to begin moving away from the poorly defined construct of “parental alienation” and return to the solid foundations of established principles and constructs in professional psychology. Once we do this, all of the variations can be addressed.

      What I have described is the basic skeletal structure for a particular form of attachment-related pathology involving the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma, mediated by the personality disorder pathology of an allied narcissistic/(borderline) parent that is itself a product of this parent’s childhood attachment trauma. Once we have a foundation for understanding the core structure of this form of family attachment-related pathology, we can then more accurately understand, diagnose, and treat the minor variations to the pathology that occur in individual contexts.

      Not all traumas will produce the same constellation of later personality traits, and the individual expression of childhood trauma in a family will take on individualized aspects of the situation for that family. Yet, in all of these various manifestations of the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma, certain aspects indicative of this form of attachment-related pathology will be evident.

      From my perspective, it is important that we move away from the poorly defined construct of “parental alienation” and return to the firm foundations of standard and established psychological principles and constructs. Variations to the pathology can then be effectively addressed.

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

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