Professional Competence

The current mental health response to the attachment-related pathology commonly called “parental alienation” surrounding divorce is abysmal. The field of professional psychology is rampant with profound professional ignorance and with profound professional incompetence.  Professional psychology should be ashamed of itself.

Assessment leads to diagnosis. Diagnosis guides treatment.

The first step to establishing professional competence is to obtain appropriate assessments of symptoms from ALL mental health professionals who are dealing with any form of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

Notice I didn’t say “parental alienation.” We must return to standard and established psychological principles and constructs in assessing and diagnosing this form of attachment-related pathology.

All mental health professionals who are involved in assessing, diagnosing, and treating any form of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce must be held professionally accountable for conducting an appropriate professional assessment of the attachment-related pathology within the family…

… including the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma from the childhood of an allied narcissistic/(borderline) personality parent to the current family relationships, mediated by the personality disorder pathology of the parent, that is itself a product of this parent’s childhood attachment trauma.

The attachment system is the brain system governing all aspects of love and bonding throughout the lifespan, including grief and loss. A child’s rejection of a normal-range and affectionally available parent represents a distortion to the child’s attachment-bonding system in the brain. A child’s rejection of a normal-range and affectionally available parent is an attachment-related pathology.

The correct clinical psychology term for this attachment-related pathology is “disordered mourning” (Bowlby, 1980).

The narcissistic/(borderline) parent is the “primary case” of the pathological mourning within the family, and this parent’s own disordered mourning pathology surrounding the divorce is being transferred to the child through the aberrant and distorted parenting practices of the parent.

The source of the disordered mourning is this parent’s incapacity to process sadness and grief surrounding loss.  Instead of experiencing sadness and mournful longing, the personality pathology of this parent translates sadness, grief, and loss into “anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes” (Kernberg, 1977, p. 229).

An appropriate assessment of this attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce is to assess for and document the potential presence of three diagnostic indicators of pathogenic parenting by an allied narcissistic/(borderline) parent who is in a cross-generational coalition with the child against the other parent (Haley, 1977; Minuchin, 1974).

Notice I did not say “parental alienation.” We must return to standard and established psychological principles and constructs.

Pathogenic: patho=pathology; genic=genesis, creation.  Pathogenic parenting is the creation of pathology in the child through aberrant and distorted parenting practices.

Pathogenic parenting is a standard construct used in both developmental and clinical psychology.  The term pathogenic parenting is most often used with regard to attachment-related pathologies, since the attachment system never spontaneously dysfunctions, but ONLY dysfunctions in response to pathogenic parenting.

The three diagnostic indicators of pathogenic parenting associated with the trans-generational transmission of pathological mourning are:

Attachment system suppression of the child’s normal-range attachment bonding motivations toward a normal-range and affectionallly available parent.

Narcissistic personality traits in the child’s symptom display. These are the “psychological fingerprints” in the child’s symptoms of the psychological control of the child by a narcissistic parent.

A persecutory delusional belief regarding the child’s supposed “victimization” by the normal-range parenting practices of the targeted parent. This reflects the child’s incorporation into the false trauma reenactment narrative of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent.

All of these symptoms are standard forms of clinical psychopathology that are well within the standard scope of professional practice for assessment and diagnosis expected for all mental health professionals – attachment bonding disruptions, personality disorder traits, encapsulated persecutory delusions. These are all standard forms of clinical psychopathology.

The Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting is an assessment tool for documenting the presence these three symptoms. I also wrote a blog (which appears as Chapter 4 in my book, Essays on Attachment Based Parental Alienation: The Internet Writings of Dr. Childress) which is entitled, “Diagnosing Parental Alienation,” in which I describe each of these diagnostic indicators and the 12 Associated Clinical Signs.

Both the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting and Chapter 4 of Essays regarding “Diagnosing Parental Alienation” are on my website.

Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting

Diagnosing Parental Alienation

If a targeted parent wants to give something to an involved mental health professional, I would recommend the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting and the companion Chapter 4 from Essays describing the three diagnostic indicators and the 12 Associated Clinical Signs.

These two companion pieces become the drum-beat for professional competence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the attachment-related pathology of AB-PA.

Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment.

Pathogenic parenting that is creating significant developmental pathology in the child (diagnostic indicator 1), personality 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.

Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment.

In all cases of child abuse, physical child abuse, sexual child abuse, and psychological child abuse, the standard mental health response is to protectively separate the child from the abusive parent, to treat the impact of the abuse on the child in order to recover and restore the child’s normal-range and healthy development, and once the child’s healthy development has been recovered and stabilized, to then reintroduce the relationship with the formerly abusive parent with sufficient safeguards to ensure that the abuse does not resume once the child is reintroduced to the formerly abusive parent.  Typically, the abusive parent is also required to obtain collateral psychotherapy to develop and demonstrate insight into the causes of the prior abusive behavior.

This is the standard of practice in all cases of child abuse based on the professional obligation called the “duty to protect.”

Assessment leads to diagnosis.  Diagnosis guides treatment.

All three of the diagnostic indicators of pathogenic parenting by an allied narcissistic/(borderline) parent are standard and established forms of psychopathology within mental health – attachment bonding symptoms; personality disorder traits; symptoms indicating an encapsulated persecutory delusion.

These symptoms are well within the standard of practice for ALL mental health professionals. There is absolutely NO legitimate reason that a mental health professional should not assess for these symptoms.  No reason.

The only reason a mental health professional would NOT assess for these symptoms is an obstinate and intransigent insistence on remaining incompetent in the assessment of attachment-related pathology.  No matter the consequences on the child and family, this mental health professional insists on remaining incompetent in the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

“No. You can’t make me be competent in my assessment of pathology. I absolutely refuse to assess for standard symptoms of pathology.  No.  I refuse. I will not be professionally competent in my assessment of pathology.”

However, mental health professionals are not allowed to be incompetent.

For psychologists, Standard 2.01a of the American Psychological Association states:

2.01 Boundaries of Competence
(a) Psychologists provide services, teach and conduct research with populations and in areas only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study or professional experience.

For marriage and family therapists, Standards 3.1 and 3.10 of the Code of Ethics for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy states:

3.1 Maintenance of Competency
Marriage and family therapists pursue knowledge of new developments and maintain their competence in marriage and family therapy through education, training, and/or supervised experience.

3.10 Scope of Competence.
Marriage and family therapists do not diagnose, treat, or advise on problems outside the recognized boundaries of their competencies.

For Master’s level mental health counselors, Standard C.2.a. of the Code of Ethics for the American Counseling Association states:

C.2.a. Boundaries of Competence
Counselors practice only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, state and national professional credentials, and appropriate professional experience.

For social workers, the Ethics Code of the National Association of Social Workers states:

Value: Competence
Ethical Principle: Social workers practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise. Social workers continually strive to increase their professional knowledge and skills and to apply them in practice.

1.04 Competence
(a) Social workers should provide services and represent themselves as competent only within the boundaries of their education, training, license, certification, consultation received, supervised experience, or other relevant professional experience.

In Canada, the Values Statement for Principle II, Responsible Caring, of the Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists states:

In order to carry out these steps, psychologists recognize the need for competence and self-knowledge. They consider incompetent action to be unethical per se, as it is unlikely to be of benefit and likely to be harmful. They engage only in those activities in which they have competence or for which they are receiving supervision, and they perform their activities as competently as possible. They acquire, contribute to, and use the existing knowledge most relevant to the best interests of those concerned.

II.6 Competence and self-knowledge
Offer or carry out (without supervision) only those activities for which they have established their competence to carry them out to the benefit of others.

In Australia, Standard B.1.2.a of the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics states:

B.1 Competence
B.1.2. Psychologists only provide psychological services within the boundaries of their professional competence. This includes, but is not restricted to: (a) working within the limits of their education, training, supervised experience and appropriate professional experience

In Great Britain, Standard 2 of the Code of Ethics and Conduct of the British Psychological Society states:

2 Ethical Principle: COMPETENCE
Statement of Values
Psychologists value the continuing development and maintenance of high standards of competence in their professional work, and the importance of preserving their ability to function optimally within the recognised limits of their knowledge, skill, training, education, and experience

In South Africa, Standard 1 of the Professional Board for Psychology, Health Professions Council of South Africa, Ethical Code of Professional Conduct (Effective from 1 April 2002) states:

1. Professional Competence
Psychologists shall develop, maintain and encourage high standards of professional competence to ensure that the public is protected from professional practice that falls short of international and national best practice standards. Psychologists shall accept that they are accountable for professional actions in all domains of their professional lives.

1.1  Competency Limits

1.1.1  Psychologists shall limit practice to areas within the boundaries of their competence based on formal education, training, supervised experience, and/or appropriate professional experience.
1.1.2   Psychologists shall ensure their work is based on established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline of psychology.

1.2.  Maintaining Competency

Psychologists shall maintain current competency in their areas of practice through continuing professional development, consultation, and/or other procedures in conformance with current standards of scientific or professional knowledge.

In the Netherlands, Standard 3.4b; Article 100 states:

3.4b Professional competence

Article 100 Maintenance and development of professional expertise

Psychologists must maintain and develop their professional expertise in accordance with recent developments in psychology. They must keep informed of the relevant professional literature and participate in relevant additional and refresher courses

Mental health professionals are not allowed to be incompetent.  

Professional incompetence is a violation of ethical standards of practice for all mental health professionals everywhere.

This means that if a mental health professional is assessing and diagnosing an attachment-related pathology in a family, then that mental health professional MUST BE COMPETENT in the assessment and diagnosis of the attachment-related pathology as it manifests in the family relationships (notice I did not say “parental alienation” pathology).

The symptoms to be assessed are all STANDARD forms of pathology in mental health:

Attachment bonding symptoms in the child’s symptom display (diagnostic indicator 1)

Personality disorder symptoms in the child’s symptom display (diagnostic indicator 2)

An encapsulated persecutory delusion in the child’s symptom display (diagnostic indicator 3)

These are all STANDARD and established forms of pathology within professional psychology that are entirely within the scope of professional practice for assessment and diagnosis by ALL mental health professionals everywhere.  All we’re asking for is standard professional competence in the assessment and documentation of the child’s symptoms.

The only – the ONLY – reason a mental health professional would not assess for these symptoms of a trans-generational transmission of attachment-trauma relative to an attachment-related pathology in the family is a completely obstinate refusal on the part of the mental health professional to be competent in their job.

That is astounding to me.  Yet I know it is occurring even now.  That mental health professionals would insist – absolutely insist – on being incompetent in their assessment of pathology is a professional disgrace. 

ALL professionally competent mental health professionals WILL ASSESS for and document the presence of the three diagnostic indicators of pathogenic parenting associated with the trans-generational transmission of “pathological mourning” (Bowlby, 1980) within the family; an attachment-related disorder which is being mediated by the personality pathology of the allied parent (Giammarco & Vernon; 2014; Kernberg, 1975; Millon, 2011) who is in a cross-generational coalition with the child against the other parent (a “perverse triangle”; Haley, 1977).

It stands now with the professional organizations.  Will they back up their standards for professional competence with enforcement?  Or are their standards requiring professional competence just words without meaning or substance?  Platitudes to appease but not to be taken seriously.

Will professional organizations allow – and by allowing, will they collude with – such rampant disregard by so many mental health professionals for basic standards of professional competence in the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce?

That’s the question now before ALL professional organizations.  Do they mean what they say in establishing standards requiring professional competence?

Attachment-related symptoms are a standard form of pathology within mental health. 

Personality disorder traits are a standard form of pathology within mental health.

Delusional pathology is a standard form of pathology within mental health.

All we are asking is that all mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating any form of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce ASSESS for and document these symptoms in the child’s symptom display. 

That all.  Just assess for the symptoms.  That’s all we’re asking.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Psychologist, PSY 18857

Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss: Vol. 3. Loss: Sadness and depression. NY: Basic Books.

“The deactivation of attachment behavior is a key feature of certain common variants of pathological mourning.” (p. 70)

“Disturbances of personality, which include a bias to respond to loss with disordered mourning, are seen as the outcome of one or more deviations in development that can originate or grow worse during any of the years of infancy, childhood and adolescence.” (p. 217)

Kernberg, O.F. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism.. New York: Aronson.

“They [narcissists] are especially deficient in genuine feelings of sadness and mournful longing; their incapacity for experiencing depressive reactions is a basic feature of their personalities.  When abandoned or disappointed by other people they may show what on the surface looks like depression, but which on further examination emerges as anger and resentment, loaded with revengeful wishes, rather than real sadness for the loss of a person whom they appreciated.” (p. 229; emphasis added)

Haley, J. (1977). Toward a theory of pathological systems. In P. Watzlawick & J. Weakland (Eds.), The interactional view (pp. 31-48). New York: Norton.

“The people responding to each other in the triangle are not peers, but one of them is of a different generation from the other two… In the process of their interaction together, the person of one generation forms a coalition with the person of the other generation against his peer.  By ‘coalition’ is meant a process of joint action which is against the third person… The coalition between the two persons is denied.  That is, there is certain behavior which indicates a coalition which, when it is queried, will be denied as a coalition… In essence, the perverse triangle is one in which the separation of generations is breached in a covert way.  When this occurs as a repetitive pattern, the system will be pathological.” (p. 37; emphasis added)

Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and Family Therapy. Harvard University Press.

“The rigid triangle can also take the form of a stable coalition.  One of the parents joins the child in a rigidly bounded cross-generational coalition against the other parent.” (p. 102; emphasis added)

Millon. T. (2011). Disorders of personality: introducing a DSM/ICD spectrum from normal to abnormal. Hoboken: Wiley. 

“Under conditions of unrelieved adversity and failure, narcissists may decompensate into paranoid disorders.  Owing to their excessive use of fantasy mechanisms, they are disposed to misinterpret events and to construct delusional beliefs.  Unwilling to accept constraints on their independence and unable to accept the viewpoints of others, narcissists may isolate themselves from the corrective effects of shared thinking.  Alone, they may ruminate and weave their beliefs into a network of fanciful and totally invalid suspicions.  Among narcissists, delusions often take form after a serious challenge or setback has upset their image of superiority and omnipotence.  They tend to exhibit compensatory grandiosity and jealousy delusions in which they reconstruct reality to match the image they are unable or unwilling to give up.  Delusional systems may also develop as a result of having felt betrayed and humiliated.  Here we may see the rapid unfolding of persecutory delusions and an arrogant grandiosity characterized by verbal attacks and bombast.” (p. 407-408; emphasis added).

Giammarco, E.A. and Vernon, P.A. (2014). Vengeance and the Dark Triad: The role of empathy and perspective taking in trait forgivingness. Personality and Individual Differences, 67, 23–29

“First cited by Paulhus and Williams (2002), the Dark Triad refers to a set of three distinct but related antisocial personality traits: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy.  Each of the Dark Triad traits is associated with feelings of superiority and privilege.  This, coupled with a lack of remorse and empathy, often leads individuals high in these socially malevolent traits to exploit others for their own personal gain.” (p.  23)

9 thoughts on “Professional Competence”

  1. Nailed it again as usual Dr. Childress! Thank you! But I am compelled to sound in. I agree incompetence abounds, but there are also some professionals attempting to work in this arena of family court where the diagnostic professionals income in some part is dependent upon repeat clientele sent from the legal system one way or another. Due to Grants from the State and Federal Government for “victims only” or “non-offending family” a collusion, or even conspiracy exists to garnish as much money as possible to these local causes. This seems to be without any real accountability, and when you have a colluding group with agendas that may be sided to sway to a “victim” as determined before evaluation, there is a power play in political model to maximize agendas and grants. Collusion + Power + $ – Accountability is a recipe that any professional who has a business to run finds very tempting to lean to the desires of the collusion and their pre-evaluation determinations. So that is, please the Social workers, the Judge and the Grant benefactors and you will be promised a steady stream of clients. This is almost too much to resist for the profession, especially those that are incompetent. This recipe for easy money and power has permeated the family court and all connected services as recent history continues to repeat itself when the FBI one by one finds deep entrenched racketeering in many cases, even child trafficking rings. Not all are so deep and dark, but it appears to be at all levels, an epidemic of corruption, that is linked to these cases and it appears seemingly without exception. My point being that do you address the spider webs clogging the room with a broom, or remove the spiders by any method? I propose both, but the webs will reappear unless the spiders are removed. Now if we wish to continue this scheme we can add yet another tax paid position that will remove webs on a continuous basis, thus prolonging the need for this position and for more power and money….and call it “fixed”. But “fixed” has a different meaning in the context of defrauding the tax payer. How to fix the conundrum in a permanent way, or a way that is truly ethical and for the people and their children is a challenge. In your diatribes that are oh so true I find that the only resistance to everything you propose is that no one wants to give up the “cash cow” but milk it for all its worth! Everyone else is; the system is federally mandated being defrauded so builds the local family court infrastructure. It appears only two thing might be a real fix: Stop the false allegations in their budding stage or remove family divorces from the judicial system in the first place. Say a prenup for every couple that protects the children or something. More realistic may be to take the type of accountability found in the educational system for grant money and apply it the family court system.

    One thing I know at this point that this “cash cow” is not going to be given up without some butchering and blood.
    This is really an easy problem to fix if it were not for the corruption being greedily and lustfully guarded at all costs. These people are not looking for your truth or any real solutions, so much so that many have had their life removed for attempting to help the children / remove the “cash cow”. A revolt may be the only crow bar useful to pry this dual Psyche / Court clam from the greedy hands. and it appears everyone in government already knows
    for they designed it.

    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;
    – “families” is always defined as “nonoffending” in the system and making the system ‘all powerful’ and parents and children in to lifetime ‘victims’ to be exploited.
    – system = “grant recipient”
    -“multidisciplinary response to child abuse” means a conspiracy by the local system.
    – “…accused of committing an act of child abuse” the means of causing billions of dollars in litigation for government sanctioned fraud that cannot be defended against.
    – “Grant” is an invite to defraud the government without oversight or accountability and a motivation to create “nonoffending families”; offending families, even where none exist so as to support the existing ‘Frankenstein’ local system that grows without real purpose.
    – “that best meets the needs of child victims and their nonoffending family members” is the false guise to hide the debauchery and fraud behind, create discrimination and favor, removing the balance and blindfold from the judiciary, while giving them mafia like motivation and purpose to defraud both sides of the family for gain ill-gotten from the State and Feds without
    accountability… ultimate power corrupts ultimately reigns again.
    God help US!

  2. Dr Childress, I want to let you know that you have helped me greatly understand my sister’s reaction to divorcing her husband. She initated divorce proceedings against her husband and was so cruel that I believe he died prematurely (he had a preexisting heart condition) due to the stress and mean spiritedness that she inflicted on him. She did everything to him that you mention in your videos. Her acts were so egregious that I cut off all contact with her and kept my children from her and her kids. I believe that your diagnosis is spot on as I always thought her behavior indicated a narcissistic disorder as well as the cross-generational and attachment components. I remember (when she and her husband were going to a therapist) thinking that the therapist was missing the whole problem! She was also able to get the legal system to side with her. Please keep up the great work. I am only a layperson but I want you to hear my voice and encouragement in this battle. Don

    1. “she was able to get the legal system to side with her.” There are no real winners in family court, only the exploited one way or another: two monsters in every “parental alienation” case. It is not our X that is the problem for that could have been settled quickly by anyone really seeking best interest and truth! it is the system that has empowered our X’s to destroy themselves along with our children and US! A Federal law created system that is literally trafficking in family destruction and exploitation. They have taken our crazy X who grabbed the tiger by the tail to our X’s, our children and our torturous slow and painful destruction by extracting life itself, every drop of bloody benefit drawn out for, their position, power and gain. They have a lab they call the court room and psychological office to create the Frankenstein X, and turn the empowered monster any way they so please as long as it gives them their desired result…more, much more of the same! Repeat over and over, recreated generation-ally to ditto the effect! The system has become a lustfully greedy monster anaconda itself to squeeze the life out of every family that comes near it coils…like ants farming aphids it fattens the family for every bit of life blood it can consume from them. One family member may rise up rebel and on occasion win and scar the giant anaconda, as it slithers on to the next set of victim cash cows, only to form a scar that toughens its hide. They welcome the next family to their “lab” with the lure and bait painted to look like justice, and best interest of the child so that they can reel in the catch and with forked tongues and empty promise that you each will win and your child’s best will be achieved the cash cow is led to the slaughter house and they make a double killing that simply grows and empowers the giant anaconda to repeat the same. You clamor for truth and best interest actually fuels the giant snake or toughens its hide. So write on, take your stands, proceed in your divorces where even a win, is a loss and the giant grows feeding upon the frenzy and your efforts to take it out. So Dr. Childress claim the truth, this System monster snake has no ears to hear, only appetite!

      1. Point confirmed: Watch for these buzz words: “trauma” in psyche reports which garnishes lots of extra grant monies, And “temporary” in court orders which means the flow of money is uninterrupted.

      2. Any solution that requires targeted parents to prove parental alienation in court is no solution at all.

        An attachment-based model of “parental alienation” is seeking a different solution. Ultimately the solution will move through an accurate DSM-5 diagnosis of the pathology as V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed which will then generate a suspected child abuse report from the mental health professional to Child Protective Services. CPS will then apply the same diagnostic criteria and confirm the DSM-5 diagnosis made by the mental health professional. CPS will then protectively separate the child from the psychologically abusive parent and place the child in “kinship care” with the normal-range and affectionally available targeted parent.

        Therapy will then restore the child’s normal-range development. Once the child’s symptoms have been treated, resolved, and the child’s recovery has been stabilized, the child will be reintroduced to the pathogenic parenting of the formerly abusive parent, with sufficient safeguards in place to ensure that the psychological abuse does not resume upon re-exposure of the child to the pathogenic parenting of the formerly abusive parent.

        To this solution, some will say, “But CPS doesn’t do anything.” To which I reply. Not yet. We need to construct this solution step-by-step. Right now we are at the step of getting a proper assessment of the pathology from all mental health professionals (the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting that’s up on my website). Then the next step, and a relatively easy step at that point, is to get all mental health professionals to give an accurate DSM-5 diagnosis of the pathology as V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

        Once a DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse is formally given to the pathology in the family, this activates the mental health professional’s “duty to protect,” meaning that the mental health professional MUST do something to protect the child; the mental health professional must take “affirmative action” to protect the child. One such affirmative action – and really the only action I can think of that will protect the child – is to file a child abuse report with CPS. This will discharge the mental health professional’s duty to protect.

        It’s at that stage of creating the solution when we shift our focus to the CPS response. CPS is going to increasingly be seeing Child Psychological Abuse reports being submitted by mental health professionals – not by the targeted parent, but by the mental health professional involved in the case. CPS is not going to know what to do about the increasing number of Child Psychological Abuse reports they’re receiving from mental health professionals. That’s when we then have the opportunity to train CPS social workers in the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” (AB-PA) and the three diagnostic indicators of the pathology.

        CPS will already have in-hand a confirmed DSM-5 diagnosis of the pathology as V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse made by a mental health professional. All the CPS social worker needs to do is assess the family using the same symptom criteria (the 3 diagnostic indicators of AB-PA and the 12 Associated Clinical Signs). The CPS social worker then just needs to confirm the existing already made DSM-5 diagnosis of the therapist who is involved with the family.

        Once the CPS social worker confirms the therapist’s existing DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse, this then creates two independently made diagnoses of Child Psychological Abuse made by mental health professionals. These two independently made diagnoses of Child Psychological Abuse then warrant the protective separation of the child from the psychologically abusive parent and placement of the child in “kinship care” with the normal-range and affectionally available targeted parent.

        ALL without the targeted parent ever having to go to court or prove parental alienation in court. The initial DSM-5 diagnosis from the mental health professional can be achieved in as little as 6 to 12 weeks from the first contact with the family. CPS then investigates based on the child abuse report made by the mental health professional, confirms this already existing DSM-5 diagnosis and we have solution.

        That’s the solution offered by a paradigm shift to an AB-PA model of the pathology.

        The nightmare you describe is the no-solution whatsoever offered by continuing with a Gardnerian PAS model of the pathology. Gardnerian PAS gives us exactly the nightmare you describe.

        AB-PA gives us a real solution – through the mental health and CPS systems, NOT through the courts.

        Why any of the Gardnerian PAS “experts” continue to hold onto the Gardnerian model and it’s 8 diagnostic indicators is beyond me. Do they not want a solution? I don’t know. Ask them why they’re continuing to hold onto the Gardnerian model of PAS. Ask them to describe what solution Gardnerian PAS offers. It’s beyond my understanding why they continue to hold onto Gardnerian PAS. The solution is so clear once with switch to an AB-PA model of the pathology with it’s three diagnostic indicators.

        You will know the model adopted by the mental health professional by the diagnostic criteria they use: The eight symptom identifiers of Gardnerian PAS, or the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA. It’s time for mental health professionals to declare for a paradigm, and to justify their position. So far, I have not heard any justification from the Gardnerian PAS “experts” as to why they are holding onto the Gardnerian PAS model of the pathology and it’s eight vaguely defined symptom identifiers.

        AB-PA provides an immediate solution. Gardernian PAS provides no solution whatsoever.

        Any solution that requires targeted parents to prove “parental alienation” in court is no solution at all.

        Gardnerian PAS “experts,” Gary Myers offers a blistering attack on the solution provided by a Gardnerian model for the pathology that requires targeted parents prove parental alienation in court. What is your response? I’ve told Gary the solution offered by AB-PA. What solution do you offer Gary? And if you offer him no solution, why do you continue to hold onto Gardnerian PAS that offers no solution?

        Craig Childress, Psy.D.
        Psychologist, PSY 18857

      3. Again sounds wonderful! True and correct… Is there a current model for psychological abuse that CPS follows for any other psychological abuse? ( I propose none exists) In my experience I was told by the (10 year) Child Protection Investigator when I shared the issues with the children being “brainwashed” /PA (Clawar & Rivlin ISBN-13: 978-1627221559 ISBN-10: 1627221557): 1) “One of the worst forms of Child abuse” 2) “Next to impossible to prove… a) ‘expensive evaluations’ b) ‘child would have to be in fetal position curled up in corner.’ 3) ‘We concentrate on physically verifiable abuse’ 4) ‘No I will not investigate such a claim’. It is not without understanding that I challenge your goals, lets say ‘as the Devils advocate’ but with 11 years of experience being forced to rescue my own 7 children one by one from the system. I truly hope your tentative stated plan really works as you are one of our children’s only bastions of any real hope. I am simply confronting and proposing you are not really fighting for one truth vs another, but truth vs corruption to the level of racketeering like Grey-lord, Cash for Kids, etc. to the highest levels of the government system. I.e. there is no reason your work is not currently readily accepted and used in the system except they do not care about children, except using them as a cover for the likes of mafia style government sanctioned child trafficking. Perhaps if the full truth is proclaimed from both of us, all of us, President George Washington may be proved correct when he stated “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.”
        May God Help U.S. !

  3. As always, excellent insight. Yes professional incompetence is rampant out there from my experience. I cringe when I think my severely alienated young adult children blindly going to an incompetent therapist and them doing even more damage.

    1. We need to see national coverage of this topic. There are too many “professionals” that are looking for easy money. You might also tap into what has happened in my case: brainwashed kids who now as adults have re-enacted their father’s threatened revenge on me, using my son,their half brother as a pawn. Yet their “truth” is hurting themselves, although not yet realized by themselves, it would explain why one gets all red , sweaty, with bad headaches & the other floats around on the say so of manipulative friends. Neither one has been exposed to proper investigation of why their prior memories of us &happy times have been drastically erased & replaced by lies of me. There is no one ethical enough to help. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We need to be able to voice our sorrow and concerns to someone who cares. There is no one.

  4. I will note “Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed And Brainwashed Children” ISBN 0-89707-628-1 is an exhaustive Psychological study driven by judges and the ABA that covers at minimum 1000 families over 12 years that has been putting forth the truth since 1991 #26 years ago and it is yet to be accepted and embraced fully by the system. So I again propose that the systems ears are blocked and their eyes are decidedly closed to truth no matter who authors it… WHY?

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