The Childress Institute

My attorney is currently in the process of establishing The Childress Institute as a non-profit 501(c)(3) which has among its goals, providing professional-level training for mental health and legal professionals in the pathology of attachment-based “parental alienation” (AB-PA).

By providing training and education seminars to mental health and legal professionals, The Childress Institute will construct the two component parts of the KEY to the family law solution; a set of AB-PA Certified mental health professionals and a set of AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorneys that the Court can then draw on in constructing the team of mental health and legal expertise needed to address and resolve high-conflict divorce.

The Childress Institute:  MISSION STATEMENT

To use the latest scientific knowledge in the fields of child development and the healthy neuro-development of the brain during childhood to create solutions for the social, emotional, and psychological challenges facing children and their families.

The Current Focus of The Childress Institute

Training and Certification in AB-PA:  Fostering the highest level of professional expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the family pathology surrounding attachment-based “parental alienation” (AB-PA) through training, education, and research.

Beginning in the fall of 2017, The Childress Institute will begin offering Basic and Advanced training and Certification seminars for mental health professionals in the family pathology of AB-PA, with the goal of creating the professional expertise necessary to resolve the attachment-related family pathology of AB-PA surrounding high-conflict divorce.

Beginning in the spring of 2018, The Childress Institute will begin offering one-day training seminars for legal professionals in AB-PA with the goal of creating a pool of AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorneys for the Court.

The teaming of an AB-PA Certified mental health professional with an AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorney is the KEY to the family law resolution of high-conflict divorce.

The goal of The Childress Institute will be to provide the Court with the required professional expertise needed to construct the mental health and legal team necessary to foundationally resolve high-conflict divorce.

If a mental health or legal professional has been through the training Certification and education seminars offered by The Childress Institute, the Court can have confidence in the professional expertise of that mental health or legal professional, and the Court can act with confidence in assembling a KEY team from among the Certified mental health professionals and Knowledgeable legal professionals available.

For Mental Health Professionals:

Basic Certification:  A two-day Basic Seminar on the foundations, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the attachment-related family pathology of AB-PA.

Foundations of AB-PA:  A professional-level analysis and description of the attachment-related origins of the pathology, the personality disorder origins of the pathology, and the family systems origins of the pathology.

Diagnosis of AB-PA:  A professional-level description and analysis of the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA and the 12 Associated Clinical Signs, as well as the diagnostic indicators of authentic versus inauthentic parent-child conflict and the symptom indicators of a cross-generational coalition creating the child’s symptoms.

Assessment of AB-PA:  Professional-level instruction in conducting a six- to eight-session Treatment-Focused Assessment protocol, with descriptions of key lines of clinical assessment inquiry during the three phases of the Treatment-Focused Assessment protocol.  Training in data-driven documentation and report writing for the Court, and data-driven diagnostic and treatment-related decision-making.

Treatment of AB-PA:  Professional-level description of treatment-related approaches to restoring the child’s normal-range attachment bonding motivations, including professional-level instruction in constructing and managing variations of a Strategic family systems intervention that can potentially release the child from the loyalty conflict without the need for a protective separation period.  Basic Certification also includes a professional-level discussion of data-driven decision-making in treatment, and the development of a Single-Case ABA design for assessment and remedy.  An introduction to collaborating with High Road augmented recovery will also be provided.

Professional Consultation:  Basic Certification in AB-PA through The Childress Institute programs provided in Southern California also include four hours of post-seminar professional case consultation with Dr. Childress.

Advanced Certification:  Advanced Certification in AB-PA includes an additional one-day Advanced Seminar for Expert Certification in AB-PA.  This advanced seminar more fully examines the damaged information structures of the attachment system that create the themes of AB-PA as manifesting in the expression of the personality and family systems pathology.  Prior completion of Basic AB-PA Certification is required.  An additional two hours of post-seminar professional case consultation with Dr. Childress is included with Advanced Certification.

For Legal Professionals

AB-PA for Legal Professionals is a one-day seminar designed to provide education training for legal professionals in working collaboratively with the AB-PA Certified mental health professional during both the initial phases of treatment and across the long-term stabilization of the high-conflict family.  The content of this one-day seminar will cover mental health constructs but will not assume a prior mental health background.  An additional focus of this one-day seminar is on the Court orders that may be needed at various phases of the family’s recovery and long-term stabilization.  This will include a description of the Strategic family systems intervention that may be enacted by the AB-PA Certified mental health professional and the required Court orders to support this family systems intervention.

Future Projects of The Childress Institute

While the primary current focus of The Childress Institute will be on solving the family pathology of AB-PA, the mission of The Childress Institute is broader and more encompassing.

The goal of The Childress Institute is to achieve the highest level of professional expertise in all aspects of supporting healthy child development and resolving the social and psychological problems created by childhood trauma.

Future anticipated directions for The Childress Institute include:

The Terrorist Mind:  Developing an attachment-based understanding of the terrorist mind, pathological hatred, and fanatical extremism, with the goal of developing primary and secondary treatment-related interventions to resolve the social and psychological trauma-related pathology of terrorism and the extremism of pathological anger.

Developmentally Supportive Parenting and ADHD:  Providing education and training in developmentally supportive parenting for all parents and all families, with a special focus on providing education and training in relationship-based parenting that can effectively resolve the symptoms of attention deficits, impulsivity, and hyperactive behavior in children through non-medication relationship-based parenting approaches.

Redeveloping Education Infrastructure:  Providing leadership in developing a model for foundationally reformulating the educational approach for children in the United States away from the current 12th Century “Cathedral School” model toward a 22nd Century education model based in the scientific research on child development, the scientific research on learning, and the available advances in the full range of supportive information technology and media.

Reduction of Prison Recidivism:  Intervention-development and research into catalytic intervention models for reducing the trauma-impacted mindset that leads to recidivism in released prisoners and juvenile offenders.

Solving AB-PA in High-Conflict Divorce

The first focus of The Childress Institute is on providing the necessary training and education to the mental health and legal systems that is required to solve the attachment-related family pathology of AB-PA surrounding high-conflict divorce.

In addition to the education and training seminars offered in Southern California, contract seminars in Basic Certification in AB-PA for mental health professionals, Advanced Certification in AB-PA for mental health professionals, and training seminars in AB-PA for Legal Professionals can be arranged for other locales, organizations, and groups in coordination with The Childress Institute.

Currently, steps are underway to provide AB-PA training and Certification for mental health professionals (and possibly attorneys) in Houston, Texas on July 13th & 14th.  I’ll have more information about this potential education and training opportunity in the coming days.

Down the road, there is the potential for establishing data-driven pilot programs in various legal jurisdictions for training and Certification of KEY teams of mental health and legal professionals in collaboration with The Childress Institute for addressing high-conflict divorce and custody-related family conflict.

There are also preliminary discussions for hosting training and Certification seminars across a European tour, to establish European professional expertise in AB-PA.

As these AB-PA training and Certification processes begin to develop and move forward, if additional training of High Road facilitators is engaged through Dorcy Pruter, then High Road augmented recovery of children in high-conflict families who are evidencing AB-PA will also become more extensively available, and a comprehensive solution can be implemented.

The Future

I have only about another decade of active shelf-life on my professional career, perhaps less depending on the will of that-which-leads in calling me home.  I have been studying and working out the nature of this pathology (AB-PA) for the past 10 years.  I know this pathology.

When I leave the planet and return home to that-which-leads, I hope to leave a legacy of expert mental health professionals who can ensure that all families make a successful transition to a healthy separated family structure following divorce, and that all children are ensured their fundamental right of childhood to love both parents, and to receive the love of both parents in return.

I will rely on these expert mental health professionals to train the next generation of experts, and to lead professional psychology into a future that solves the trans-generational impact of childhood trauma.

When I embarked upon this journey to solve the family pathology of “parental alienation” I was a lone psychologist in private practice in Southern California.  We now stand at the point of solving “parental alienation” in high-conflict divorce.  The only barrier is ignorance.  The solution is simply knowledge.

My hope is that through The Childress Institute, not only will we ensure the highest caliber of professional expertise in treating children and families surrounding divorce, but also that through understanding the impact of childhood trauma we will ultimately be able to unlock the trauma-related pathology of the terrorist mind and pathological anger and that this will ultimately lead to trauma-informed interventions that resolve terrorism and the extremism of pathological anger; that we will be able to resolve the psychological-behavioral regulatory disorder of ADHD through relationship-based (not behavioral) parenting approaches, alleviating the need to medicate tens of millions of our children; that we will develop a 10-year roadmap for fundamentally restructuring the foundational infrastructure and approach to educating our children (think Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the moon), creating a 21st century approach to education; and that we recover our children lost in the criminal justice system by creating trauma-informed interventions that effectively resolve the impact of unresolved childhood trauma.

Audacious goals.  All achievable.  I see clearly the path toward achieving each of these goals.  It’s just a matter of enacting the solution, step-by-step.  This is the mission of The Childress Institute.

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

21 thoughts on “The Childress Institute”

  1. God Bless you Dr. Childress!! Karen Eames -Hernquist 619.880.9323 Mother of alienated 17 and 15 year old children by their father, an Esquire of the Court


  2. May God provide all that is needed to propel your work and spread truth and healing across the country and beyond, so that our children and all damaged families can receive the right assistance once and for all.

  3. Woot woot! Does future plans include certification training for child advocates? In some instances, the chaos of high conflict co-parenting spill into the child’s education setting creating more irreparable harm for a child. Especially when a child is academically diagnosed with an Emotional Disturbance and has and a “more than de minimis” Individualized Education Program. The triangulation is a major hindrance to a child living a balanced life across all evirinmental setting.

    I appreciate your hard work and contributions in this pathology and resolving childhood trauma

  4. Dear Dr Childress, I am a targeted father of two boys, 13 and 15 ars old. The pathogenic parenting ob my ex spouse is going on for 6 years, und I do not haven any contact to my boys. What you describe with the AB-PA model is EXACTLY what I am observing in my case.
    I am from Germany and currently I am living in Michigan for a temorary job assignment. I have been following your work for some time and I am impressed with the clear and fundamental AB-PA model and your effort to train professionals to bring PA to an end. You have a clear plan which makes a lot of sense.
    Your work motivated me to take another attempt to have the situation of my children classified as a serious child abuse issue.
    Is there any plan to have your books translated to German language? Is there any support that I can provide to have this introduced in Germany?
    Appreciate your work.
    Best regards,

  5. In my divorce decree the judge admitted that I am the better parent, yet I was given no reunification therapy or access to my child unless she wanted it. The judge also said my desire for 50/50 parenting was unrealistic.

    If you want my decree in order to prove the point, it’s all yours.

    Also – my child is now back in my life and we have a wonderful and close relationship.

  6. In my divorce decree the judge admitted that I am the better parent, yet I was given no reunification therapy or access to my child unless she wanted it. The judge also said my desire for 50/50 parenting was unrealistic.

    If you want my decree in order to prove the point, it’s all yours.

    Also – my child is now back in my life and we have a wonderful and close relationship.

    I. Getting a notice that i already said this on this site and that’s not correct.

  7. Best wishes for quick success. I look forward to reading about milestones and challenges as this develops.

  8. Fantastic initiative of setting up this not for profit educational organisation.

    In Australia medical doctors have taken on the role to help out society in assisting with so many social and behavioural issues that become medical issues, ie smoking, obesity and domestic violence.

    From you can see that doctors in Australia see themselves as warriors in the fight of domestic violence which they see includes psychological abuse. Their aim is to have all their members educated and doing their part in the prevention, identification and response to this problem.

    Medical doctors see a unique concentration of indicators of the pathology of AB-PA. Hopefully the Childress Institute can soon develop training for medical doctors which can defend against the pathogen at an earlier stage than once children have been through a long Court process.

    The best education programs IMHO would be for educationalists so that children have some tools to defend against the pathology and bring awareness to the entire community of the scourge of AB-PA. Hopefully this is coming soon.

    Once again, fantastic initiative.

  9. As always, Dr. Childress, we are overcome with gratitude and relief. Thank you. Your mission is going to have an enormously positive impact in the family law arena and society.
    In my 17 year’s experience advocating for my daughter in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada, I feel confident with the assumption that by the time most triangulated, high conflict family law situations enter the courtroom, the pathogen of AB-PA has already broken the authentic self of the child and most definitely damaged the alienated parent. High Road Protocols require time, effort and significant costs to recover and restore previously healthy attachments.

    Besides parents, guardians and grandparents, Teachers have the most contact with our children on a daily basis. In the past decade, researching AB-PA and high-conflict family disputes, I have observed that teachers tend to “side” with the custodial and/or pathological parent rather than choosing to remain neutral, support the child or involve both parents. In most of the cases I researched, including my own, the children and the targeted parent experienced prima facie discrimination and exclusion which only served to further empower the high-conflict parent and isolate the victims. Teachers and educational assistants appear to be primarily motivated by a fear of losing their employment, self-interest or ignorance when forming an alignment with the pathogenic parent. I look forward to the day when we are certified through the Childress Institute and are able to travel around to schools and communities, enlightening flying monkeys and establishing a new moral code in child protection. God be with you, Doc.

  10. Brilliant!
    Entirely therapeutic to the Special Population of AB-PA.
    As a targeted-Parent and an advocate against Domestic Violence and Parental Alienation for over 18 years, I’ve sought for and heard of many ‘solutions’, none of which addressed PA in a comprehensive way. When you are affected by something so diabolic, it is almost impossible to fully convey the magnitude of this pathology. Then came Dr. Craig Childress.
    I too add my voice to the international chorus of “Thank you, Dr. Childress”

  11. What exciting news! What a declaration! You’ve driven your stake in the ground and now proclaim, “No More!” This is all so well-thought-out. What a gift and what a legacy. Thank you – Alyson Lee, Boston

    1. Yes it is. It appears we Childri are a compassionate sort. I’ve discussed this with my attorney and he does not see a problem. Down the road, given the shared family name-background, the shared interest in children and trauma (one physical trauma one psychological trauma), and my background working at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Hospital of Orange County, I can potentially see a possibility for collaboration. But for the moment my goal is simply to establish the training and Certification of mental health professionals in AB-PA.

      Craig Childress, Psy.D.
      Psychologist, PSY 18857

      Craig Childress, Psy.D.

  12. What if anything is being done to try and awaken the narcissistic parent??? In all the reading and research I have done on my case I have not found an effort to awaken the pathological parent. This to me seems like a worthy cause. Thank you so very much for this material. It has provided me a path to healing and recovery. I am hopeful that by building and maintaining my own mental and emotional health, I will be able to provide a path to healing for my children and my ex-spouse.

    1. At it’s foundational core, the pathology of AB-PA is a shared delusional disorder (an encapsulated persecutory delusion; google encapsulated delusion). A delusion is a fixed and false belief that is maintained despite contrary evidence – despite contrary evidence. While professional mental health should seek to increase self-insight with the narcissistic/(borderline) parent, it is highly unlikely that efforts to increase self-insight with the narcissistic/(borderline) parent will succeed. The solution must assume that the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent will remain unchanged. We must be able to prevent the pathology of AB-PA assuming the pathology of the narcissistic/(borderline) parent will remain unchanged. If we can change it… great. But the solution to AB-PA must be a solution without anticipating any change in the narcissistic/(borderline) parent.

      Craig Childress, Psy.D.
      Psychologist, PSY 18857

  13. Congratulations!!!This is fantastic news!!! I wish I could kiss you for all the amazing work you have accomplished, you are a gift from god. I am currently attempting to access the right kind of help for the 5 time with organisations available in England. My children are screaming out for help with self harm, abusing themselves, me and the dog. Showing all the signs of psychological emeshment with the pathogen. I was totally alienaited by my youngest a couple of weeks ago who was coerced into calling his new wife mum and also that they (her children) are his new family and he is to move in with them. The only saving grace is that I still have custody. So the fight goes on and on and on and on and on Yawn!!! love and light to you all xxxx

  14. I want to thank you as a mental health professional residing in Missouri. I look forward to receiving training from your institute. Updates would be welcomed. Working with family court, as well as parents stuck in this battle for ongoing connection with their children,continues to drive my work and calling as a therapist. Your publications have proved a tremendous asset for myself in providing an evidence based approach to this problem.

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