The Pathogen is Afraid of Us

The pathogen sees Dorcy and me.  And it is afraid.

Expect to see the attacks on Dorcy and me increase in intensity, and notice something about these attacks – they won’t be attacks on the substance of AB-PA. The attacks will be personal attacks seeking to damage our credibility.

There’s a reason for this.  The substance of AB-PA is true.

AB-PA is an accurate description of the pathology.  The pathogen cannot attack the substance of AB-PA.  Its only hope is to attack Dorcy and me personally.

Attack 1: Linking AB-PA to PAS

The first thing the pathogen will try to do is try to link AB-PA to Gardnerian PAS, and then it will use the same tried-and-true attacks that were used against Gardnerian PAS.

But this line of attack will fail.

AB-PA is not Gardnerian PAS.  Gardner proposed a “new form of pathology” unique in all of mental health, identifiable by a unique new set of symptoms that Gardner simply made up uniquely for this supposedly “new form of pathology.”

AB-PA, on the other hand, does not propose a “new form of pathology.”  AB-PA is defined entirely through established psychological constructs and principles.  AB-PA is not a “new theory” – AB-PA is diagnosis.

Diagnosis is the application of standard and established psychological constructs and principles to a set of symptoms.

AB-PA and Gardnerian PAS are entirely different models of pathology. Anyone who claims they are the same is simply nuts.  I mean that.  They are delusional (out of touch with reality). 

I would also note in this regard that diagnostic indicator 3 of AB-PA is an encapsulated persecutory delusion.  This pathology is delusional.  We can expect to see delusional allegations emerging from the flying monkey allies of the pathogen – delusion: a fixed and false belief that is maintained despite contrary evidence.

AB-PA is NOT a “new theory” – AB-PA is diagnosis. The application of standard and established constructs and principles to a set of symptoms.  Diagnosis.

Attack 2: Returning Children to Abusive Parents

The second line of attack that the pathogen will level against Dorcy and me is that we are returning children to abusive parents – again, this is the same line of attack the pathogen used with Gardnerian PAS.

This line of attack will also fail.

First off, with regard to Dorcy, she does not diagnose.  Nor does she issue the court order for a protective separation.  So this line of attack is completely irrelevant to Dorcy.  But this pathology is delusional.  Truth and reality are not relevant to this pathology.

Every single targeted parent understands the pathogen’s use of wildly untrue false allegations.

The blatant falsehood of this line of attack relative to Dorcy is irelevant to pathogen – because the pathogen’s delusional.  Actual truth and actual reality are of no concern to the pathogen (and there is a reason for this).

In truth:  A mental health professional makes a confirmed DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse regarding the parenting practices of the allied narcissistic/(borderline) parent.

In truth:  The judge who hears the evidence in the case is the one who makes the order for a protective separation because of the confirmed DSM-5 diagnosis made by a mental health professional of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.

Dorcy has nothing to do with this.  Dorcy does not make the diagnosis. Dorcy does not issue the court order.  Yet truth and reality are not relevant to the pathogen.  The only thing that is relevant to the pathogen is to stop Dorcy from restoring the normal-range functioning of these children’s attachment systems.

Yet listen for it – the line of attack by the pathogen will be that Dorcy returns children to an abusive parent, entirely disregarding the role of the mental health professional and the confirmed DSM-5 diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse made by the mental health professional AND the role of the judge in listening to the evidence in the case and issuing a court order – by the judge – based on the evidence presented in court.

This attack by the pathogen will also fail.

But the pathogen will not stop at Dorcy in this line of attack.  It will attack me personally as well, claiming that I am in favor of returning children to abusive parents.  And listen for this line of argument offered by the pathogen:  The reason I’m supposedly in favor of returning children to an abusive parent is because I endorse the High Road workshop of Dorcy Pruter for resolving the child’s attachment-related pathology of disordered mourning surrounding high-conflict divorce.

But wait, didn’t we just establish that it’s not Dorcy who makes any sort of diagnosis – it’s the involved mental health professional who makes the diagnosis?  And just to be clear, in the vast majority of these cases I’m not the involved mental health professional making the diagnosis.

And didn’t we just establish that it’s not Dorcy who issues the court orders for the protective separation from the psychologically abusive parent; it’s the judge. 

So what kind of convoluted and twisty line of reasoning is that?  Dorcy’s not responsible for the making the diagnosis and she is not responsible for issuing the court orders, but she’s somehow responsible for supposedly returning children to abusive parents… and I’m supposedly responsible for returning children to abusive parents because I say – correctly – that Dorcy’s workshop protocol will restore the normal-range functioning of children’s attachment systems.

With the pathogen, logic and reasoning swirl in confusion and inflammatory false allegations.  Truth and reality are irrelevant.

Notice that the pathogen won’t attack the mental health diagnosis.  Instead, it makes a false inflammatory allegation that Dr. Childress seeks to return children to an abusive parent – which, by the way, is exactly the same line of attack the pathogen used against Gardner and Gardnerian PAS.

Why These Attacks

The pathogen is simply trotting out it’s Gardnerian attacks and applying them to AB-PA, whether they are relevant or not.  Why?

Because the pathogen is stupid. 

The pathogen is incredibly dangerous.  The pathogen is incredibly manipulative.  But it is also stupid as sin.

The pathogen is comprised of a specific set of damaged information structures in the attachment system, and it has particular structures that shut down functioning in certain areas of the frontal lobe executive function system having to do with reasoning.  The brain infected by the pathogen (by this specific constellation of damaged information structures in the attachment system) can’t reason.

The pathogen shuts down brain systems associated with rational thought and reasoning – hence the delusional component of the pathology.  Truth and reality become malleable constructs in a brain infected with the pathogen (a specific trauma-created constellation of damaged information structures in the attachment system).

Instead, the pathogen attacks.  It hurls out a barrage of wild attacks, irrespective of reason or truth.  Then, whichever attack seems to stick, the pathogen will increase its focus on that line of attack.   That’s the “strategy” of the pathogen.  Wild attacks, place the other person on the defensive, and follow up with whatever line of attack seems to be productive.

I know this pathogen better than anyone on this planet.  I know exactly what it is.  I know its structure.  I see it.  And AB-PA is going expose it from behind its veil of concealment.

And then Dorcy is going to extract the pathogen of “disordered mourning” from the attachment system of the child, restoring the child’s attachment system to healthy normal-range functioning.  Once the High Road protocol extracts the pathogen from the child’s attachment networks (reorients a specific constellation of damaged information structures in the attachment system), then a capable and competent mental health professional will help stabilize the normal-range functioning of the child’s recovered attachment system.

Ta-da.  Solution.

The Pathogen is Afraid of Us

The pathogen sees Dorcy and me now.  It sees the threat we pose to it.  Watch, the attacks against Dorcy and me will begin to escalate – but they will be personal attacks not attacks on substance, because the pathogen can’t reason.

Nowhere in any of these attacks will the critique be directed toward the substance of AB-PA.  Notice that.  That will be very telling for identifying the allies of the pathogen who are seeking to maintain the pathogen’s hold on the child to meet their own needs.

I am totally okay, and indeed welcome, a substantive discussion of the foundations of the AB-PA model.

But that’s not the attack that will come from the pathogen.  The pathogen will ignore the substance of AB-PA (because the pathogen has shut down the reasoning systems of the brain), and instead the pathogen will:

1.)  Try to link AB-PA to Gardnerian PAS, and then trot out the same tired arguments it used to disable the threat posed by Gardnerian PAS (“new theory” – “peer-reviewed research” – “returning children to an abusive parent”)

That’s why I addressed each of these irrelevant lines of attack in the Flying Monkey Newsletters up on my website.  When these attacks come – these irrelevant Gardnerian-based attacks on AB-PA – I can simply refer to the edition of the Flying Monkey Newsletter that addresses that particular irrelevant attack.

2.)  Personal attacks.  With Dorcy, the attack will be that she doesn’t have a college degree and that she seeks to return children to abusive parents .  With me it will be that I am unethical and seek to return children to an abusive parent because I support Dorcy.

In these non-substantive personal attacks against Dorcy and me, listen for the splitting pathology of demonization in these attacks.  According to the pathogen, Dorcy and I are evil incarnate.  Listen for the demonization inherent to splitting pathology.

The pathogen is incredibly dangerous.  It will seek to destroy Dorcy and me, both professionally and personally.

The pathogen is incredibly manipulative.  It will trot out an array of flying monkey allies who will levy attacks of profound maliciousness.  But let me issue a cautionary word of warning to these flying monkey allies – there are libel laws.

Libel: A published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.

What you won’t hear from the allies of the pathogen are attacks based in the substance of AB-PA, because the pathogen is stupid as sin.  The pathogen’s structure shuts off cognitive reasoning systems of the brain. 

It is defenseless against AB-PA.

The three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA can identify the presence of the pathogen in the child’s attachment networks 100% of the time.

The three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA can differentiate this form of attachment-related pathology (disordered mourning) from all other forms of child pathology 100% of the time, including childhood trauma exposure and including authentic parent-child conflict caused by problematic parenting of the targeted parent.

The presence of the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA leads 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 disorder pathology in the child (diagnostic indicator 2), and delusional-psychiatric pathology in the child (diagnostic indicator 3) in order to meet the emotional and psychological needs of the parent is a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

What will be happening more and more is that mental health professionals will begin using the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting and the Parenting Practices Rating Scale in their assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.  And when the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA are present, these mental health professionals will make a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

We will have identified the pathogen.  Gotcha.

Then we begin the process of extracting the pathogen (the set of damaged information structures in the child’s attachment networks) that is creating the attachment-related pathology of pathological mourning:

“The deactivation of attachment behavior is a key feature of certain common variants of pathological mourning.” (Bowlby, 1980, 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.” (Bowlby, 1980, p. 217)

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

The pathogen now sees Dorcy and me.  Dorcy and I represent a threat.  The pathogen is deathly afraid of us – and it should be. 

We’re coming for it.  We see it, we know what it is, and we are going to stop it from distorting children’s love for their authentically beloved parent into abhorrent symptoms of malicious hatred and rejection.  No more.  The nightmare tragedy of “parental alienation” stops.

Pathogenic parenting is not a child custody issue.  It is a child protection issue.

Children have the right to love both parents, and to receive the love of both parents in return.

The battle for you children is now.

Dorcy and I will stand squarely in the center of the battlefield, with firm resolve and unwavering commitment to your children, we will refute the false allegations and the slander hurled at us by the pathogen’s allies that is designed to destroy us personally in order to prevent our efforts to restore your children to you.  We are fighting for your authentic children and we will not give an inch of ground to the allies of the pathogen that seek to keep your beloved children from you.

You, the targeted parents, must continue moving forward as Dorcy and I hold the center of the battlefield.  Contact the APA (Arise).  Contact your state legislators (Arise).  Hold mental health professionals accountable for standards of professional competence (AB-PA Has Teeth).

The battle to recover your children is now, come together for each other.  You are all in this together.  We cannot solve this horrific pathology in any one case until we solve it for all families and all children.  Come together, work for each other, and become an unstoppable force for change.

AB-PA is your weapon.  AB-PA exposes the pathogen from its hiding.  Through the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA we can return your children to you.

The pathology of “parental alienation” is not a child custody issue, it is a child protection issue.

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

8 thoughts on “The Pathogen is Afraid of Us”

  1. “the splitting pathology of demonization in these attacks” Godspeed to you Dr. Childress, at some point in “their” pushback against logic, you will probably attain the Hitler association. Desperation has a common face.

  2. Ilona this article makes reference to diagnosing for child psychological abuse… call me if you have questions

    On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 6:02 PM, Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based “Parental Alienation” (AB-PA) wrote:

    > drcraigchildress posted: “The pathogen sees Dorcy and me. And it is > afraid. Expect to see the attacks on Dorcy and me increase in intensity, > and notice something about these attacks – they won’t be attacks on the > substance of AB-PA. The attacks will be personal attacks seeking” >

  3. Have NO fear, Dr.

    YOU are fighting the good fight.

    Our current political climate is bring many of these behaviors into the limelight..(and, I believe this is good for AB-PA awareness) which will also force their defense mechanisms into play even more deeply. Rest assured, WE know the truth you speak and will defend your honor and that truth.

    The reason you’ll be attacked, as you are obviously aware, is because you’re right. And, if “they” admit it… then so many other decisions they’ve made were wrong… and “they” can’t let that happen. They “can’t” handle that reality.

    Unfortunately, I also believe another line of attack will be an increase of “false allegations” against targeted parents. As you indicated, a key attack will be “returning children to abusive parents.” Without “guilty” verdicts, that argument is nullified. Therefore, they will seek more guilty verdicts… by any means necessary. No doubt, a disturbing reality.

    Me? I’m not afraid. Not in this fight. And, should you choose to reach out to me, I’d be honored to bring my horsepower to these efforts on the digital front (where I can make a difference.)

    Stay strong and stay true. YOU have made a difference… and you continue to do so.

    Infinitely grateful. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your words of support. Trust me, I have known how dangerous this pathogen is from the start. I’m okay. I can take care of myself with this pathology. Parents don’t need to defend me. Parents need to keep moving forward with the APA, legislators, and expecting professional competence.

      The pathogen (the constellation of damaged information structures in the attachment system) is using the child as an external “regulatory object” for the “host organism” of the now narcissistic/(borderline) parent. The host organism of the narcissitic/(borderline) parent NEEDS the external “regulatory object” of the child to stabilize the damaged personality structure of this person from collapse into the void of inner emptiness of the narcissistic and borderline self-experience.

      When anyone threatens to rescue the child and remove the child from this role as an external “regulatory object” for stabilization of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent, the pathology of the parent will respond to the treat of collapse into the inner void of self-experience with a violent tirade of accusations commensurate with the risk to self-experience this person feels.

      The analogy would be to a psychological vampire feeding on the self-structure of the child. If we try to take away the vampire’s psychological food – the child – then we represent an existential threat to the vampire, and the vampire will attack us with frightful malevolence to maintain its needed source of psychological food – the child’s self-structure development.

      This is the nastiest, most evil pathogen on the face of the planet. Incredibly dangerous. Which is why professional mental health needs to clearly recognize its existence. It’s fundamental structural core is an incest pathogen that entered the attachment system a generation or two prior to the current “alienation” expression of the trauma pathology, and its power comes from remaining hidden. Once it’s exposed – just like incest – once it’s exposed it loses all of its power.

      The pathogen is using the child as a “human shield” to prevent its exposure (“It’s not me, it’s the child who…). AB-PA is specifically designed to expose the pathogen from its veil of concealment, not by seeking to penetrate the to the pathogen itself, it’s too good at hiding, but instead by remaining entirely focused on the pathogen’s use of the child as a “human shield” to remain hidden. The pathogen cannot psychologically control the child without leaving “psychological fingerprints” of this control in the child’s symptoms. What AB-PA does is identify the “psychological fingerprints” of the pathogen’s psychological control of the child.

      No other pathology in all of mental health will produce the three diagnostic indicators of pathogenic parenting (the psychological control of the child) identified by AB-PA, other than the pathology I describe in Foundations. The key to exposing the pathogen is to NOT try to expose the pathogen directly – it’s too good at remaining hidden. The key is to remain entirely focused on the effects of the pathogen in the child’s symptom display.

      AB-PA will expose the pathogen’s influence on the child 100% of the time, and will differentiate this form of pathology from all other forms of pathology in mental health. Only the pathology as described in AB-PA (Foundations) will produce this specific set of child symptoms. When this specific set of three child symptoms are present, there is only ONE explanation.

      All we need to do now is get mental health professionals to assess for this set of symptoms in all cases of child attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

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

  4. My kids are grown adults now. Their mother was a master at what you all describe. The terminology she used is exactly on target. After thousands of dollars and years of litigation I rarely seen our children nor had authentic relationship. Once, a counselor after a full year of service was finally witnessing this behavior, my ex fired her and was allowed to and we had to start over. I pray for the change you are working hard for and will try and do my part. hurting for the children Rick in Massachusetts

  5. I have read most of your postings for AB-PA, which have enabled me to identify and attempt to counteract the effects on my children by firstly resolving my own childhood attachment trauma issues, working on becoming the best version of myself and not jumping into the quick sand with them. In England I continually watch them being emotionally and psychologically torn apart effects of which they physically and verbally beating themselves to cope with the pain of rejection/adoration with professionals who accept that they are suffering emotional distress, not yet psycholical and with a court system who doesn’t cares. I try to remain strong and grounded until your fantastic work ( which I can relate to every aspect of the pathology) reaches our shores and they can receive the correct help they need and I can finally end this cycle of abuse.

    1. I agree on all points, Paula. Dr. Childress’s understanding of this otherwise-clouded issue is beyond compare. I am grateful, along with many others, for what he offers us. Who else has the guts to talk about a Mind Pathogen?

      The paradigms we have had before simply do not explain the kind of actual behavior and attitudes I see going on when my NPD husband falls into his madman-state. Something truly evil enters him. Narcissistic abuse is just beginning to be open to the light of acknowledgement. Most people simply do not understand the pain of having your soul obliterated, by someone you believed loves you. It is as if your Being is slowly erased. Then to realize this is also being done to your children, by a parent, is chilling beyond imagining.

      The morning this began for us, in Family Court, I sat ten feet from my husband of several decades, whose shirt I had ironed not an hour before and clothes I had laid out to look civil in court, only to hear him turn into the devil incarnate and accuse me of the sort of heinous things I had not previously imagined could even exist. I don’t think serial killers get that badly treated. This was the man I had trusted 110%, for so many years. Suddenly, it was truly as if he was possessed, and testifying against some hard-core criminal, instead of his loving wife who would have put her life on the line for him or our children should that ever have been necessary.

      Unless someone has experienced this psychological stunning, there is no way to fully describe it. When your once-trusted spouse becomes a monster, it is bad enough. When your loved children follow suit, it is as if the world has stopped turning. Trying to tell onlookers it is not simply a matter of divorcing parents failing to “get along” is a waste of breath.

      Yes, take some counter-active measures by attempting to heal your own childhood trauma. Pathological Narcissists usually go after certain types — the vulnerable, self-sacrificing caretakers, who give and do all. What is that about, inside of yourself? I sense it is an insecure Attachment (see John Bowlby’s work). What can heal that sort of trauma, to eradicate at least one-half of the equation your children are labouring under? I find that Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing technique is helpful. Also the work/suggestions of Peter Levine and Bessel van der Kolk and Margaret Paul. Try the online Narrative Course by Daniel Siegel, or the similar Self-Authoring Program by Jordan Peterson and colleagues. If Marsha Linehan’s DBT techniques can help cure those with Borderline Personality Disorder, as stated in the up-to-date literature, then perhaps the victims of the personality-disordered stand a chance of healing too. Strengthen yourself on the inside.

      I think that working on healing yourself will have a big payback in all of this horror.

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