Dallas – April 29
The Parental Alienation Symposium: Solutions for Professionals and Families to be held in Dallas on April 29th is just weeks away. I’m excited to be invited to speak at this Symposium.
I want to take a moment to describe what I’ll be talking about at the April 29th Symposium in Dallas.
Most professional conference presentations on “parental alienation” are simply echo chamber discussions from “experts” about how damaging “parental alienation” is to children and families, and lamenting the failure of the mental health system and legal system to address this horrific family nightmare.
In my view, this is a given. “Parental alienation” is bad and the mental health and legal systems are not adequately addressing the pathology. Yeah. Done.
I will not waste your time by lamenting what is – or more accurately, what has been – the problem. The title for this Symposium is Solutions for Professionals and Families, and that’s exactly what I plan to discuss… Solutions. So bring your notebooks.
I plan to discuss what to do to solve the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” surrounding divorce – specific and actionable. My talks will be addressed equally to mental health professionals, including CPS social workers, parents, and legal professionals. I’m ready.
The time to end “parental alienation” is now. Now.
In my opening keynote talk I will only briefly address the structure of AB-PA. Hopefully everyone will be familiar with the structure of AB-PA. Read Foundations. I’m going to figure that most people in the audience will be somewhat familiar with AB-PA so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the structure of the AB-PA model.
I plan to highlight one aspect of the family systems component that I haven’t emphasized previously, I will emphasize a couple of features at the personality disorder level, and I will touch on the trauma reenactment narrative, specifically highlighting the anxiety management features of the corrective changes to the original childhood trauma.
The point of these highlights will be directed toward mental health and legal professionals in the audience to identify specific characteristic features by which attachment-based “parental alienation” can be recognized and identified. I just want to highlight a couple of key features for mental health and legal professionals.
I will then turn to describing the three broad fronts of our battle to achieve professional competence in mental health assessment and diagnosis of the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation”:
1.) The APA Front: Our efforts to change the APA position statement on “parental alienation” and the call for the APA to convene a high-level conference of experts who will produce a white paper on the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” surrounding divorce;
2.) The Legislative Front: The legislative efforts that are underway to amend mandated child abuse reporting laws to include specific reference to child psychological abuse (citing the three symptoms of AB-PA), consistent with the identification of Child Psychological Abuse as a diagnostic entity in the DSM-5 diagnostic system (V995.51);
3.) Case-by-Case Competence Front: Professional-to-professional consultation and the approach of targeted parents holding individual mental health professionals accountable for professional competence, one-by-one, in order to obtain professional competence in the assessment and diagnosis of the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation.”
I will then address the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-based “parental alienation.” Most of this portion of my talk will be spent describing a structured cost-effective approach to assessment that can reliably identify the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation.” This section of my talk will be focused primarily toward mental health professionals, but both targeted parents and legal professionals will benefit greatly from understanding the assessment approach needed from mental health.
I am going to close my keynote address with an announcement that I believe is of substantial significance and that will hopefully produce substantial ripples into solving the pathology of “parental alienation” for all children and families.
The Afternoon Talk
In the afternoon, I have second talk. In this talk I’m going to start with the diagnostic features of AB-PA, but I’m only briefly going to mention the three diagnostic indicators. Again, I figure that most attendees will be familiar with the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA.
On April 29th, I’m not going to spend much time going over the basic stuff. Solutions – what we need to do now to solve “parental alienation.” Now. That’s what I’m going to focus on.
So instead of talking about the three diagnostic indicators, I’m going to focus more on describing the AB-PA origins of the 12 Associated Clinical Signs and their role in diagnosis. I haven’t discussed the 12 Associated Clinical Signs so far because I didn’t want people to get confused on the diagnosis: three diagnostic indicators. Three. That’s all.
But the 12 Associated Clinical Signs are exceedingly helpful. This section of my talk will be for mental health professionals, custody evaluators, CPS social workers, and legal professionals, such as guardians ad litem and minor’s counsel, as an aid to recognizing the pathology. This is going to be a nice, full, and rich discussion of identification and diagnosis.
I’m then going to turn to describing what targeted parents can do to interrupt and potentially prevent – to the extent possible – the pathology of “parental alienation” from taking hold with the child while we wait for professional competence to develop and be evidenced in the mental health system.
The current level of professional ignorance and incompetence in professional mental health is profound. In this portion of my talk I’ll be addressing what parents can do in the meantime, while we wait for professional competence to develop.
I will then turn to a discussion of a simple school-based intervention that could significantly help all children who are adjusting to divorce, but particularly children who are enduring a high-conflict divorce situation with their parents. Schools face a difficult challenge when the parents are in a high-conflict divorce. There is a simple step that schools could take that would be immensely helpful in stabilizing the children’s emotional and psychological functioning while their parents go through divorce, especially high-conflict divorce. So I’ll talk about that.
I’m then going to conclude my afternoon talk with a discussion of treatment-related issues. I will discuss what treatment entails and I will tie the previous discussions of assessment and diagnosis to treatment. This will lead to a comprehensive framework for assessing, diagnosing, and treating the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” surrounding divorce – from assessment, through diagnosis, to treatment and resolution. This concluding section of my talks will help mental health professionals understand their role in resolving the pathology of “parental alienation” in high-conflict divorce, and will help legal professionals understand the various options they have available for solving the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation.”
April 29th – Dallas – I’m ready.
And that’s just my part. You also get Dorcy and some other very knowledgable people, Rod McCall, Shelbie Michaels, Rebecca Bradley, Eric Ransleben, covering all the aspects of this family pathology, from the parent’s perspective to the therapist’s, from the school-related issues to legal issues. A full smorgasbord of knowledge. And Dorcy, she’s one smart lady. Gonna be good stuff.
Boston: June 1
Then, June 1 in Boston, Dorcy and I are going to present at the annual AFCC Convention. More good stuff.
I’m going to cover material on assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of AB-PA; and then Dorcy and I are going to unpack the High Road protocol at a professional level of analysis, explaining why it works and how it achieves the success it does. Gonna be fun.
You wanna know how the High Road protocol achieves the success it does? We’re going to explain it at a professional level of analysis.
Look, if you follow my work you’ll know that I am NOT afraid to speak truth to power. And I can be blunt and very direct in my critiques.
If Dorcy and the High Road workshop didn’t work, I would be both direct and scathing in my critique and analysis. I don’t mince words when it comes to protecting children and professional competence.
So it should mean something that I have reviewed the High Road protocol, that I understand exactly how it works, and that I have watched Dorcy in action running the High Road workshop, and I am providing the High Road protocol with my full and unqualified endorsement as an effective remedy for the attachment-related pathology of AB-PA.
You wanna know why? June 1, Boston. I’ll explain exactly why.
The week before this presentation to the AFCC, Dorcy is going to be speaking at the International Conference on Shared Parenting. She’s scheduled to speak on the same day as my son’s birthday and he lives in D.C., so I’m going to be down in D.C. that day to be with my son on his 23rd birthday (woo hoo), otherwise I would 100% be at Dorcy’s talk. She’s one smart lady.
And on May 31 from 10:00 to 12:00, the day before Dorcy and I present to the AFCC, I’ve been invited by Representative Chris Walsh of the Massachusetts State Legislature to present a briefing on grandparent alienation. The pathology of “parental alienation” affects everyone in the family, as the documentary Erasing Family so poignantly illustrates. Grandparents are an integral part of children’s lives, and grandparent lovin’ is often the best kind of lovin’ a kid can receive – all the good stuff of being loved bunches and bunches, with not so much of the grumpy discipline stuff.
The attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” devastates entire families. Each child belongs to two families, and these families are part of the very fabric of the child. To lose an entire side of the family is to lose an entire half of one’s identity. So on May 31 from 10-12 I’ll be presenting a briefing on grandparent alienation at the request of Representative Walsh. Thank you Representative Walsh for the invitation.
There’s a lot coming up, starting April 29 in Dallas at the Parental Alienation Symposium: Solutions for Professionals and Families
The winds of change are coming. We will not stop until all of your children – all of them – are back in your arms again.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Psychologist, PSY 18857