It’s confirmed and set:
Thursday, June 1 from 3:30 – 5:00 at the Annual Convention of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
Workshop 29 – An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation: Diagnosis and Treatment
Presenters: Craig Childress & Dorcy Pruter
The solution is here.
The trans-generational transmission of “disordered mourning,” mediated by the personality pathology of a narcissistic/(borderline) parent in a cross-generational coalition with the child against the targeted-rejected parent.
“The deactivation of attachment behavior is a key feature of certain common variants of pathological mourning” (Bowlby, 1980, p. 70; emphasis added).
Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss: Vol. 3. Loss: Sadness and depression. NY: Basic Books.
The attachment system is the brain system that governs all aspects of love and bonding throughout the lifespan, including grief and loss.
The suppression of a child’s attachment bonding motivations toward a normal-range and affectionally available parent is fundamentally an attachment-related pathology.
The solution is here. June 1, 2017 from 3:30 – 5:00. Boston.
I am going to focus on diagnosis during my potion of the talk. So far, I have been relatively quiet about the Associated Clinical Signs. In Boston, June 1, from 3:45 to 4:30, I am going to unpack the origins of each of these 12 Associated Clinical Signs. Diagnosis is recognizing the complete pattern of symptoms.
The High Road Protocol
What’s more, for everyone who wants to know how the High Road protocol achieves a restoration of the child’s normal-range attachment bonding motivations within a matter of days, we will explain the High Road protocol and we will explain how it accomplishes what it does.
Several years ago, when Dorcy first approached me to review her High Road to Family Reunification protocol, I was working on a model for “reunification therapy” (Reunification Therapy: Treating “Parental Alienation”; Childress, 2014). Dorcy approached me after a conference we both attended and said she disagreed with my position that restoration of the child’s normal-range attachment bonding motivations would require six months to a year of therapy, and she said that she could restore the child’s normal-range attachment bonding motivations within a matter of days.
I’m a clinical psychologist. I do psychotherapy. I teach models of psychotherapy at the graduate level. Needless to say, I was skeptical. There is not a model of psychotherapeutic change out there that can restore a child’s normal-range attachment bonding motivations within a matter of days. Yet I knew enough to know what I don’t know (if that makes sense), so I withheld judgement until Dorcy and I met in my office a few weeks later to allow me to review the content of her protocol. A meeting planned for 2-hours became a 6-hour discussion.
Within the first 30 minutes of reviewing the content of her protocol I immediately recognized how she achieves a restoration of the child’s normal-range attachment bonding motivations within a matter of days – typically about the middle of the second day, sometimes into the third day, then – pop – the attachment system reactivates. No force. No focus on the past. No blame. A gentle solution-focused approach that simply involves watching videos (videos that activate normal-range empathy, compassion, and critical thinking skills) and family workshop activities teaching structured problem-solving and family communication skills. But it’s the sequence… I see how this works… first…. and then… and then… and pop – the attachment system reactivates. Okay, I get it.
I teach models of psychotherapy. I know models of psychotherapy. Any form of psychotherapy will require six months to a year of treatment to reorient the child to the child’s distorted grief response surrounding divorce. No form of psychotherapy could restore the normal-range functioning of the child’s attachment bonding motivations within a matter of days.
But the High Road protocol is not a form of psychotherapy.
As a clinical psychologist, I am excited to present to professional psychology an alternative model of change – a catalytic rather than integrative model of change.
Professional psychology emerged from Freud’s “talking cure” that sought to resolve the person’s deep inner conflicts. Then differing models of psychotherapy developed from within differing schools for creating change, cognitive-behavioral models of change are based on principles of behavior change discovered with lab animals, humanistic-existential models of personal growth are based in life’s larger meaning, and family systems models of change recognize children’s behavior as embedded in the surrounding family context of relationships.
But the High Road protocol uses none of these approaches. It is an entirely different universe of change. A gentle step-wise sequence of catalytic change in the brain systems surrounding the attachment system, the brain systems of empathy, compassion, and critical thinking (executive function). Step-by-gentle-step, the High Road protocol activates normal functioning in these surrounding brain systems… and then – pop – the normal-range functioning of the attachment system reactivates. Bonding, love, tears. The grief resolves. All fixed.
On June 1, 2017, Dorcy has agreed to present her protocol in a way that allows the audience to understand, aided by my descriptive commentary, how it achieves what it achieves. We will walk, step-by-step, through the protocol structure leading to the “pop” – the restoration of the child’s normal-range attachment-bonding motivations.
One of my excitements as a clinical psychologist is that I recognize that this type of catalytic-change approach – which is unlike anything we do in psychotherapy – is applicable to other life-issues beyond attachment-related issues. The proper catalytic steps in the proper sequence can restore the normal-range functioning of previously dysfunctional “software patterns” in these brain systems.
June 1, 2017; 3:30 – 5:00. Boston. Workshop 29.
An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation: Diagnosis and Treatment
Presenters: Craig Childress & Dorcy Pruter
The solution to the attachment-related pathology of AB-PA… and the beginnings of a very interesting dialogue within professional psychology regarding catalytic-transformative solution-focused interventions.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857