Why is AB-PA vs PAS Important?

Why is the dispute between the AB-PA model and the PAS model important?

It has to do with which set of diagnostic indicators is used in diagnosing the pathology.  This is key – this is fundamental – to the solution.

Gardnerian PAS provides a set of eight symptom identifiers that do not lead to the solution.  They are too vague and they allow mental health professionals too much latitude to NOT diagnose the pathology.   Furthermore, the Gardnerian 8 symptoms do NOT lead to a definition of “parental alienation” as psychological child abuse.

For thirty years we’ve been using the Gardnerian 8 symptom identifiers (or some variant of them) and they have given us precisely the situation we have right now – no solution.

When I set out a decade ago to create the solution (I’ve been working on the solution for 10 years – I didn’t just begin my work on this), I first analyzed in detail what the problem was.  I then set about constructing the solution to the problem.

The response of the mental health system to this form of attachment-related pathology is broken. As a result, the mental health system is not giving accurate feedback to the legal system that would allow the legal system to act with the decisive clarity necessary to solve this form of attachment-related pathology in the family (a protective separation period of the child from the pathogenic parenting of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent during the active phase of the child’s treatment and recovery).

The reason the mental health system is broken is because of profound and extensive professional incompetence in assessing, diagnosing, and treating this form of attachment-related, personality disorder, and family systems pathology.  In order to achieve a solution, we must first clear out the extensive professional incompetence surrounding the assessment and diagnosis of this pathology, and reestablish professional standards of practice for professional competence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of this attachment-related family pathology.

Gardnerian PAS Allows Incompetence

Why is there such rampant professional incompetence?  Because Gardnerian PAS allows it. That is important to understand.

By proposing that the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” is a “new form of pathology,” unique in all of mental health – a new syndrome – Gardnerian PAS does not rely on established constructs and principles to define domains of professional competence necessary for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the pathology.

The Gardnerian PAS model allows professional incompetence.  Don’t believe me?  I could explain in detail why this is, but I have a much simpler way to show how Garnerian PAS allows professional incompetence to thrive.  For thirty years – 30 years – we’ve had the Gardnerian PAS model.  Look at the degree of professional incompetence that surrounds us.  I rest my case.  Gardnerian PAS allows professional incompetence.

Among sports fans there is an airtight argument to shut-down shoulda-woulda-coulda arguments following games… Scoreboard.  Which means look at the scoreboard and see who won and who lost.  Gardnerian PAS.  Thirty years – 30 years.  Scoreboard. 

Gardnerian PAS is a failed paradigm.

The solution is to re-define the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” using standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology that will then allow us to define domains of professional competence to which ALL mental health professionals can be held accountable.

Once the pathology is defined using standard and established constructs and principles, we can then identify a set of definitive diagnostic indicators from within these established constructs and principles that can be used to definitively diagnose “parental alienation” 100% of the time, and we can then develop a standard of practice assessment protocol to which ALL mental health professionals can be held accountable.

So that’s what I set about doing.

AB-PA is the result.  AB-PA provides a definition of the attachment-related, personality disorder related, family systems pathology of “parental alienation” from entirely within standard and established constructs and principles, that then defines domains of professional competence required for ALL mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating this form of attachment-related, personality disorder related, family systems pathology.

What’s more – and this is key – a set of 3 definitive diagnostic indicators of the pathology are derived from AB-PA that can be used to establish a standard of practice for ALL mental health professionals in the assessment and diagnosis of the pathology.  Solution.

No other pathology in all of mental health will produce this specific set of all three diagnostic indicators other than the attachment-related, personality disorder related, family systems pathology I describe in Foundations.

Since AB-PA is based entirely within standard and established constructs and principles, all mental health professionals can now be held ACCOUNTABLE under standards for professional competence (Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code), and all psychologists MUST ASSESS for the attachment-related pathology of AB-PA under standards for professional competence (Standard 9.01a of the APA ethics code regarding Assessment).

They do not have a choice.  This, too, is critical to understand… they do not have a choice.  If they fail to assess for the attachment-related pathology of AB-PA in cases of attachment pathology surrounding divorce, or if they fail to possess the required domains of knowledge necessary for professional competence, then they are in violation of APA ethical code Standards and are vulnerable to licensing board complaints.  Accountability for professional competence.

Gardnerian PAS does not allow us to hold mental health professionals accountable.  Again, don’t believe me?  Let me explain.  In Gardnerinan PAS we’re trying to hold them accountable for professional competence in Gardnerian PAS, with its slippery 8 diagnostic indicators and mild-moderate-severe forms of a supposedly unique new form of pathology unrelated to any other pathology in all of mental health.  That’s impossible to do.  Just look around you and you see the result.

They maybe-kind-of make the diagnosis of “parental alienation” sometimes, but not always, and not definitively, and then even if they say there’s “parental alienation” they don’t know what to do about it and they recommend “reunification therapy” that goes on for years with no result.  That’s all a product of Gardnerian PAS.  Scoreboard.

For thirty years – 30 years – we’ve had the Gardnerian PAS model.  Look at the degree of professional incompetence that surrounds us.  I rest my case.  Gardnerian PAS allows professional incompetence.  We cannot hold mental health professionals accountable to be experts in Gardnerian PAS.  As much as we may wish we could… we can’t.  It is not possible.  30 years.  Scoreboard.  Done.  Let’s move on.

Q:  But doesn’t establishment psychology have to first accept AB-PA as a model for the pathology?

A:  No.  And this is important to understand.  Establishment psychology has ALREADY accepted the constructs of the attachment system, personality disorder pathology, and family systems pathology.  There is NOTHING for establishment psychology to accept or reject.  All of the component pathologies of AB-PA have ALREADY been accepted.

That’s the whole point of defining the pathology using standard and established constructs and principles (a procedure called “Diagnosis”).

Gardner didn’t do a proper diagnosis of the pathology.  Instead, he opted for a conceptually lazy way out by proposing an entirely new form of pathology with a set of entirely new and unique symptom identifiers unlike any other pathology in all of mental health.  That’s just bad diagnosis.

The “we need to be accepted” way of thinking is a false Gardnerian PAS way of thinking born in Gardner’s proposal of a “new form of pathology.”  Everyone is living in a dream created by Gardner’s “new form of pathology.”  Wake UP!  There is NO new form of pathology.  All we have to do is properly diagnose the pathology using standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.

Wake UP!  There is no “new form of pathology.”  Wake UP!

If we are proposing a “new form of pathology” – a new syndrome – then, yes, this proposal for a “new form of pathology” needs to be accepted.  But AB-PA is NOT proposing a new form of pathology.

Get it?   Break free of Gardnerian thinking.  There is NOTHING for establishment psychology to accept or reject.  It’s simply a matter of obtaining an accurate diagnosis of the attachment-related pathology from within standard and fully established forms of existing pathologies within mental health.

Wake UP!  It’s just a matter of diagnosis.  No new pathology.  Just diagnosis – using standard and established, fully accepted constructs and principles of professional psychology.  Diagnosis.

When Gardner skipped the step of diagnosis he took everyone off the path of professional psychology and led everyone into the weeds, and brambles, and overgrowth that we’ve been slogging through for 30 years. 

Diagnosis is the application of standard and established constructs and principles to a set of symptoms.  In proposing a “new form of pathology,” Gardner skipped the step of diagnosis, and in doing so he led everyone down the wrong path, a path away from professional standards of practice and into a world of professional incompetence. 

AB-PA puts us back on the path of correct and proper professional practice; the diagnosis of pathology using standard and established constructs and principles.  NO “new form of pathology” proposals involving eight uniquely created new symptoms developed specifically for this supposedly “unique new form” of pathology.

Stop it!  There is no new form of pathology unique in all of mental health.  It’s just a matter of properly diagnosing the pathology using standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  

AB-PA corrects Gardner’s diagnostic sloppiness.  This pathology is NOT a “new form of pathology.”  Gardner simply did not employ the necessary professional rigor to properly diagnose the pathology using standard and established constructs and principles.  AB-PA corrects Gardner’s diagnostic error.  AB-PA diagnoses the pathology by applying standard and established constructs and principles to a set of symptoms.  Because AB-PA is NOT proposing a “new form of pathology,” there is NOTHING for establishment psychology to accept or reject because everything has ALREADY been accepted.

Get it?  Wake UP!  Break free of the conceptual limitations imposed by thirty years of Gardnerian PAS.  There is NOTHING to accept or reject.  All of the component pathologies of AB-PA have already been accepted.  Through AB-PA, all mental health professionals can now be held ACCOUNTABLE for domains of knowledge necessary for professional competence and, most importantly, for an established standard of practice in the assessment of the pathology – the three diagnostic indicators that definitively identify this form of attachment-related, personality disorder related, family systems pathology.

Standard of Practice

Once we achieve the paradigm shift from the Gardnerian PAS model to the attachment-related model of AB-PA , ALL mental health professionals MUST administer the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting in all cases of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.  Not because I say so, or because we ask them to.  They must do it as a matter of professional competence in attachment-related pathology, personality disorder pathology, and family systems pathology surrounding this form of attachment-related, personality disorder, and family systems pathology.

The only thing standing in the way is that they don’t yet know that a second model of AB-PA exists.

We cannot force mental health professionals to be competent in “parental alienation.”  We CAN, however, force them to be competent in the attachment system, and we CAN force them to be competent in personality disorder pathology, IF – IF – we define the pathology ENTIRELY in terms of the attachment system and personality disorder pathology.  Get it?

The paradigm shift to AB-PA will achieve a defined standard of practice in the assessment and diagnosis of “parental alienation,” and will achieve a defined standard of practice in the required domains of knowledge (attachment system expertise, personality disorder expertise, family systems expertise, trauma expertise) necessary for professional competence in assessing, diagnosing, and treating this pathology.  We get rid of professional incompetence.  Ta-da.

But what Happens to Gardnerian PAS?

Notice, that NONE of these domains of required professional competence (the attachment system, personality disorder pathology, family systems constructs, and trauma), include expertise in Garderian PAS.  Can you see now why the Gardnerian PAS experts are so resistant to the change to AB-PA?  They are fighting for their own status as “experts.” 

Once the paradigm shift occurs, it won’t be enough simply to be a self-proclaimed expert in Gardner’s eight unique symptom identifiers of PAS, they will actually have to expand their knowledge and become experts in the attachment system, experts in personality disorder pathology, experts in family systems theory, and experts in trauma.  There will be no such thing as “parental alienation” from a professional point of view. 

From a professional point of view, the construct of “parental alienation” disappears and becomes the attachment-related pathology of pathological mourning manifesting in pathogenic parenting by an allied parent in a cross-generational coalition with the child.  Notice I didn’t use the term “parental alienation” in any of that definition of the pathology.  I used only defined and fully established constructs in professional psychology.

The Gardnerian PAS experts hate me because I am taking away their domain of expertise. They just want AB-PA to go away.  They don’t even want to acknowledge that AB-PA exists because the mere existence of an attachment-based definition of the pathology using standard and established constructs and principles takes away their domain of expertise.

If they had the chance, I am certain that they would like to destroy me and destroy AB-PA.  Not a doubt in my mind.  Luckily for me, they can’t do it because I’m standing on the rock-solid Foundations of established psychological principles and constructs of professional psychology.  So they are left merely to fume and fluster in their desire to destroy me and negate AB-PA.

But make no mistake, they hate me.  They do not want AB-PA to become the standard of practice because they are desperately trying to hold on to their relevance as “experts.”  That’s the back-story on all of this AB-PA versus PAS controversy.  That’s why Dr. Bernet wrote an essay entitled, “Old Wine in Old Skins” trying to make the argument that AB-PA is just a version of PAS.  They don’t want to acknowledge that there is a new model for the pathology that takes away their “expert” status. 

That’s why Amy Baker and the Gardnerians produced a set of Guidelines for how to determine a “bona fide parental alienation expert.”  They feel threatened that their status as “experts” is being imperiled by me through AB-PA, so they are trying to reassert that they are the “bona fide” experts in “parental alienation” (unlike this upstart, Dr. Childress and his AB-PA model).  That’s the back-story on all of this.

And that’s why Linda Gottlieb wrote her article-essay thingy claiming that “Science Discovers PAS and Declares it to be Psychological Child Abuse” in which she made such a prominent point of saying what a great “scientist” Richard Gardner was, and how an “overwhelming consensus” of “parental alienation” experts accept Gardner’s 8 symptom identifiers.  That’ the back-story on what they’re trying to do. They are desperately trying to nullify AB-PA in order to hold on to their positions as experts in “parental alienation.”

Do you want evidence of this?  How many times do they reference me or AB-PA in their professional work?  Zero.  I am like Lord Voldemort to them; he-who-shall-not-be-named. 

There are four major scientific advances to be found in AB-PA:

  • Linking the pathology to the disorganized attachment of the “alienating” parent – which is then linked to the narcissistic and borderline personality pathology in the parent.  This is a huge conceptual advance with profound implications.  Yet they ignore even mentioning it.
  • The trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma through a false trauma reenactment narrative of “abusive parent”/”victimized child”/”protective parent.”  Again, this is a huge conceptual advance in it’s explanatory capability for the false allegations of abuse.  Yet they ignore even mentioning it.
  • The induction process is NOT through “badmouthing” the other parent, it is through manipulating the child into adopting the false trauma reenactment role as the “victimized child” in the trauma reenactment narrative.  Again, this is a huge conceptual advance in explaining how the pathology is produced in the child and in explaining the presence of the encapsulated persecutory delusion (diagnostic indicator 3) in the child.  Yet they ignore even mentioning it.
  • The neurologically-based description of the addition of spitting pathology to the cross-generational coalition that leads to a neurologically imposed imperative for the narcissistic/(borderline) parent to make the ex-spouse an ex-parent.  The ex-husband MUST become an ex-father, the ex-wife MUST become an ex-mother.  This is a neurologically imposed imperative of the splitting pathology.  This is huge.  Yet they ignore even mentioning it.

These are four major scientific advances in our understanding of the “parental alienation” pathology found in AB-PA.  Major conceptual advances.  And they are all completely ignored by the Gardnerian PAS experts as if they didn’t even exist.   I am their Lord Voldemort – he-who-shall-not-be-named.

Why don’t they want to discuss these major advances in defining the pathology?  Because they just want AB-PA to go away.  Dr. Bernet, in his “Old Wine in Old Skins” article even overtly said that there was nothing new in AB-PA.  It was just a version of PAS.  What?  That’s absurd.  Dr. Bernet and the Gardnerian PAS experts want AB-PA to go away.  They want to bury it so it never sees the light of day.  That is why I am he-who-cannot-be-named.  The mere mention of me or AB-PA gives life to AB-PA, and they desperately want AB-PA to just die in obscurity.

The Gardnerian PAS “experts” are no allies.

Diagnostic Indicators

But the issue is NOT which model defines the pathology – the issue is which set of diagnostic indicators is used to diagnose the pathology:

The 3 definitive diagnostic indicators of AB-PA, or

The 8 symptom indicators of Gardnerian PAS

THAT is the question. 

Since the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA are grounded in the Foundations of established and fully accepted psychological principles and constructs, we can now hold ALL mental health professionals accountable to an established standard of practice in the assessment and diagnosis of this form of attachment-related pathology.

The use of the Gardnerian 8 symptom indicators of PAS, on the other hand, give us exactly the situation we have right now.  For thirty years we’ve been using the Gardnerian 8 symptoms of PAS and this is what they have given us – no solution whatsoever.  The Gardnerian 8 symptoms ALLOW professional incompetence.

Again, don’t believe me?  One word: Scoreboard. 

30 years.  No solution.  Rampant professional incompetence. Scoreboard.

It’s not just about which model is used to define the pathology, it’s about which set of diagnostic indicators are used to diagnose it. 

So here is another vital point to understand:

When we re-frame the pathology away from the construct of “parental alienation” that is used in Gardnerian PAS, over to the construct of pathogenic parenting used in AB-PA, look what happens:

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.

There.  Right there.  That is the solution.  See it?

The AB-PA definition of the pathology leads to the 3 diagnostic indicators, which then leads directly to the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

There.  Right there.  That is the solution.

But in order to achieve this solution, we must switch from the Gardnerian definition of the pathology and its 8 symptom identifiers over to the AB-PA definition of the pathology and its 3 diagnostic indicators. Get it?

Adding Descriptions

If the Gardnerians wish to add Gardnerian PAS to AB-PA, that’s fine by me.  Just SWITCH to the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA so we can get the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed that is available through AB-PA. 

My goodness, if they want to add a theory that “alienating parents” are products of Atlantis created by ancient aliens, fine by me… Just SWITCH to the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA so we can get the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

One critique I sometimes hear is that AB-PA doesn’t address mild and moderate cases.  So what.  Let’s solve the severe cases and then we can solve the mild and moderate cases.  Holy cow people.  You’re going to wait on solving the severe cases until we also solve the mild and moderate cases?  That’s absurd.  Besides, the mild and moderate cases are just standard cross-generational coalitions without the addition of parental personality disorder pathology.  Easy-peasy.

Ahhh, but there’s a problem for the Gardnerians in switching to the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA.  The three diagnostic indicators are ONLY available through the AB-PA model.  They’re not available through the PAS model.  So while they can ADD the PAS model to AB-PA, they nevertheless have to accept the AB-PA model in order to get the three diagnostic indicators that define the pathology as a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51, Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed. 

And the moment they accept the AB-PA model, the domains of expertise switch to the attachment system and personality disorder pathology, not Gardnerian PAS, and since they are only experts in Gardnerian PAS they immediately cease to be experts.  Wow.  Now that’s a problem for them.  If they switch to the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA, then they immediately cease to be experts in “parental alienation” because they have to accept an AB-PA model in which the construct of “parental alienation” disappears into standard and established constructs and principles.

Quite the professional dilemma for them.  What will they do?  That’s been the question they’ve been facing for several years now.  I’ve known it, and they’ve know it.  I provided ample opportunity for them to join me in enacting the solution.  They’ve had ample opportunity to switch to the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA that immediately – immediately – provide the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

But what is their choice?  None of them has switched to the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA, none of them even acknowledges that AB-PA exists, and most recently Linda Gottlieb creates an article-essay thingy falsely claiming that “Science Discovers PAS and Declares it Psychological Child Abuse.”

They are trying to co-opt the claim that PAS is Psychological Child Abuse.  That would be fine if it were true.  But it’s not.  It’s a lie.  Science has not “discovered” PAS.  That’s absurd.  30 years.  Nor has science declared that PAS is psychological child abuse.  That is simply false.  It is a lie.

So why did Linda Gottlieb say this?  Because they are threatened by the fact – the true fact – that the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA lead directly to a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse Confirmed.

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.

If they adopt the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA then they cease to be experts in “parental alienation.” So what do they do?  They make up a lie that PAS also leads to a diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse.  It doesn’t.

They have decided they would rather try to remain experts in “parental alienation” than switch to the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA that provide an immediate DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.  That’s the relevance (and backstory) of Ms. Gottlieb’s recent article-essay thing in which she claims that “Science Discovers PAS and Declares it to be Psychological Child Abuse.”  They’ve decided to try to find some way of making PAS be a DSM-5 diagnosis of child abuse because come hell or high water, they will NOT adopt AB-PA which provides an immediate DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

But here’s the problem with what Ms. Gottlieb did.  In making the false claim that science declares PAS to be Psychological Child Abuse (as if wishing made it so), Ms. Gottlieb muddies the waters with regard to establishment mental health.  Establishment psychology hears something like that and says that’s ridiculous. 

Establishment Psychology: “There go those “parental alienation” crackpots again, making false claims that science has declared “parental alienation” to be psychological child abuse.”

Then, when we present to establishment mental health the true diagnosis, that the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA are a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, we will be dismissed as just making the false PAS claim.  So it will take us an additional year or longer to clear up the confusion caused by Ms. Gottlieb, requiring us to explain to establishment psychology that AB-PA is not PAS, and that the claim of AB-PA is true, whereas the other claim regarding PAS is false.  In writing her article-essay thingy making the false claim that science declares PAS is Child Psychological Abuse, Ms. Gottlieb threatens to delay the solution to “parental alienation” by a year or more by muddying the waters with false claims.

All so that the Gardnerians can try to remain relevant and hold on to their self-assigned roles as “experts” in “parental alienation.”

That is the back-story.

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.

Right there.  That is the solution.  But it is only available through the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA.

Why is AB-PA / PAS Important?

The solution to the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” is found in the set of diagnostic indicators we use to diagnose the pathology.  THAT’s why the debate surrounding which model is adopted is critical.  It’s not about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, it’s about which set of diagnostic indicators are we using to diagnose the pathology.

Because AB-PA is based entirely within established constructs and principles of professional psychology, we can hold ALL mental health professionals ACCOUNTABLE (using established ethical Standards for professional competence) regarding their assessment and diagnosis of the standard and established forms of attachment-related and personality disorder related family pathology.

In proposing a “new form of pathology” – a new syndrome – Gardner took everyone away from established standards of practice in professional psychology – specifically the established professional practice standard for professional diagnosis (the application of established and accepted constructs and principles of professional psychology to a set of symptoms.).

AB-PA leads us out of the brambles and overgrowth and returns us BACK to the proper path of professional psychology.

Assessment leads to diagnosis.  Diagnosis guides treatment.

A proper assessment of the pathology using the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA will lead us directly to a proper DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

Simple.  There is the solution.  Right there.  And this solution is available immediately. Right now.  Today.  This instant.

I don’t care if the Gardnerians ADD Gardnerian PAS to AB-PA, or add ancient alien theories, or theories that link “parental alienation” to a race of underground reptoids.  It doesn’t matter to me one bit.  Just switch to the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA that immediately give us – every targeted parent and every mental health professional working with this form of attachment-related pathology – the immediate DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.

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.

But instead of switching, we are watching the Gardnerians twist themselves into knots to the point of making false and misleading statements, trying to somehow make Gardnerian PAS lead to a diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse.  It can’t be done.  If it could be done, I’d be fine with that.  There would have been no need for me to spend the last 10 years working out the solution provided by AB-PA.  But Gardnerian PAS does not lead to a diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse.  Gardnerian PAS leads us nowhere.

Scoreboard.

If the Gardnerian PAS experts are so desperate for a DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse, all they have to do is switch to an AB-PA definition of the pathology and they immediately have it.  No need to twist themselves into all sorts of convolutions trying to make Gardnerian PAS into a form of Child Psychological Abuse.  Just switch to AB-PA.  Poof.  Done deal.

But no.  Absolutely not.  Why not?  Because then they also have to accept AB-PA and they will cease to be “experts” in “parental alienation,” because they are only experts in Gardnerian PAS.

Let there be no misunderstanding.  The Gardnerian PAS experts hate me.  They want to destroy me and kill AB-PA.  They want AB-PA to go away and never see the light of day.  They are no allies.  I’ve known this for quite a long time now.  But it’s time to bring this out into the open because we are entering a new phase in the solution.

My battle will soon be with the pathogen itself, as represented by its allies in establishment psychology.  I suspect that Dr. Silbert and Dr. Meier may be leading this opposition, but I will not pick a fight with them if they don’t pick a fight with me.  I absolutely 100% understand the concerns of Dr. Silbert and Dr. Meier and of all of the authentic child abuse and domestic violence protection advocates.  I listened to their valid concerns and I have addressed them in AB-PA.

Dogs exist.  And cats exist.  The existence of dogs does not nullify the existence of cats.  Both authentic child abuse trauma AND the psychological decompensation of parental narcissistic and borderline personality pathology surrounding divorce exist.  The diagnostic indicators of AB-PA will differentiate dogs from cats 100% of the time.  Our goal is to protect all children, 100% of children, 100% of the time from all forms of child abuse, physical, sexual, and psychological.

I will not be entering with any preconceived notions regarding conflict with Drs. Silbert or Meier, or others who seek to protect children from authentic child abuse.  I have worked in the foster care system.  I understand what child abuse looks like up close and personal.  I understand the legitimate concerns of mental health professionals regarding protecting children from child abuse.  Dogs exist.

Cats also exist.  Narcissistic and borderline personality pathology exists, and narcissistic/borderline personality pathology is particularly vulnerable to collapse in response to rejection and abandonment, which are exactly the circumstances surrounding divorce.

PAS is a bad model for a pathology.  I absolutely understand the legitimate concerns of professional psychology with regard to the PAS model.  AB-PA resolves these concerns.  AB-PA is based entirely within standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.  What’s more, AB-PA is true.

AB-PA affords us the opportunity to end the rift in mental health surrounding the pathology of “parental alienation” and bring mental health back together again into a single voice to protect all children, 100% of children, 100% of the time from all forms of child abuse, physical, sexual, and psychological.

I am willing to work collaboratively with everyone seeking to solve the legitimate attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation.”  The allies of the pathogen will reveal themselves as we move toward the solution.

For all targeted parents, you will know which model a professional is using by the diagnostic indicators they use to diagnose the pathology; the 3 diagnostic indicators of AB-PA or the 8 symptom identifiers of Gardnerian PAS. 

If they are using the 8 symptoms of Gardnerian PAS, this is just more of the same.  Thirty years; no solution. 

If they are using the 3 diagnostic indicators of AB-PA, then they are on the forefront of scientific advancement and are on the leading edge of enacting the solution.

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.

That is the solution.  Right there.  This set of diagnostic indicators emerges from AB-PA and is only available from the AB-PA model.

The time is now.  The solution is available now.  The battle to reclaim your children is now.  Join us in moving forward.

Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Psychologist, PSY 18857

6 thoughts on “Why is AB-PA vs PAS Important?”

  1. Hi Dr. Childress How are you? Still busy, I see Just touching base and saying thank you, again And thank you for helping Barbara Your Light is so bright, it’s breathtaking. Best  Karlene

  2. I do hope those that are fighting AB-PA are reading the comments. I have never taken any courses in psychology but multiple narcissists on both sides of my family and my ex-husband took me to school. My precious 17 year old is now alienated from me. She didn’t understand why she felt “stressed” and “uncomfortable” at my house. She actually WANTED to understand why she felt that way. This is a girl that doesn’t cry and she cried. I am good to her and she knows it. She willingly went to counseling and I was shocked and massively disappointed by an incompetent mental health professional that claimed to understand “parental alienation”. The counselor made the most ridiculous circular argument for my daughter’s behavior. My daughter started accusing me of things I didn’t do. A couple weeks later after the last visit with the counselor, my daughter left a note on my desk that she was going to live with her father 24/7. She will be 18 in 7 months and is in survival mode with no phone, no drivers license, no car, hasn’t seen her precious sweet grandparents (my parents) but once in 7 months or her best friend (who doesn’t like her pathogenic parent), and she has to act like she doesn’t want any of it to survive. I found Foundations and Dr. Childress’ blog too late to stop the complete alienation of my daughter.

    To those that would oppose AB-PA: You must set aside your personal beliefs, status and feelings and consider the facts. I live in a HUGE city and found NO competent mental health professional that could help me. I’m not going to beat a dead horse but why hold onto something that is SO INEFFECTIVE?? Why fight something so specific that it cannot be denied? The checklist is so simple for goodness sake! Even I could understand it and could easily produce plenty of evidence that my daughter meets every one of the criteria! Why would you turn your back on something that could help children that are suffering from child abuse?! Certainly you may be offended by he-who-shall-not-be-named but please set the egos aside and think of the thousands of children that are suffering!

    To Dr. Childress – Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your tireless work on this incredibly important subject. I was schooled in narcissism but was so good to both my children I thought that would keep the pathogen from alienating them. I was utterly and completely wrong.

    There is good news though. Your lectures, videos directed at children and Foundations helped me better understand what was happening. The new found knowledge resulted in me being calm, gentle and completely non-reactive to ANYTHING the pathogen did or said. My daughter hasn’t been home but she stopped accusing me falsely and has actually let me take her to supper a couple of times. I imagine this is an unusual case. I can tell my daughter has figured some things out but she is too scared and trapped to talk about it. That’s ok. I am in this for life and she’ll be 18 soon.

    Dr. Childress please continue on your course. You are making progress. Truth and justice for children and families will prevail!

  3. Thank you! I was hoping for this one. Crystal clear clarification.

    The targeted parents get it.
    The ‘experts’ don’t WANT to get it.

    Pretty simple to me!

  4. Thank you Dr. Childress for your excellent work for all of us who experience AB-PA. I am a grandparent and believe me when I say extended family members experience this evil. I have along with my other loved ones. I have seen it up close and personal. I am an advocate for you and your work! Recently I received information from the petition many of us signed which stated that the APA has passed from one committee board and now is going to a higher up board within the APA. Do you have any information on this? Thanks

    1. No more than you. I am hopeful. The American Psychological Association is a serious professional organization of well-qualified professionals who are very much concerned with professional standards of practice and the well-being of client-consumers. I am hopeful.

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

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