Pilot Program Proposal for the Family Courts: The Key Solution

The Childress Institute is collaborating with Children 4 Tomorrow in Houston, Texas in developing a pilot program proposal to bring AB-PA training and Certification of mental health professionals and attorneys to the Houston area family courts to create the Key Solution to high-conflict divorce by teaming an AB-PA Certified mental health professional with an AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorney.

I have written a booklet to support the pilot program proposal that describes the background of AB-PA as the solution, and the Key teaming of an AB-PA Certified mental health professional with an AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorney to solve the attachment-related family pathology of “parental alienation” (AB-PA) in high-conflict divorce.

I have posted this pilot program proposal booklet to my website.

The Key to Solving High-Conflict Divorce in the Family Courts: 
Proposal for Pilot Program in the Family Law Courts

The Key to solving “parental alienation” in high-conflict divorce is knowledge.  This pilot program proposal will provide the Court with the necessary professional expertise needed to solve the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” in high-conflict divorce.

On October 20th, Children 4 Tomorrow will be sponsoring a one-day seminar event in Houston, Texas in support of the pilot program proposal:

Attachment-Based Parental Alienation (AB-PA): The Solution to High-Conflict Divorce

There will be five components to this seminar:

Foundations of AB-PA
Diagnosis of AB-PA
Assessment of AB-PA
Treatment of AB-PA
The Key Solution & Pilot Program Proposal

Step-by-step we will continue moving forward into the solution.

Our only adversary is ignorance, the solution is knowledge.

The current level of professional incompetence is profound.  We cannot solve “parental alienation” in any single case, for any single family, until we solve it for all children and all families.

The attachment-related family pathology of “parental alienation” represents a complex interrelated pathology that requires specialized professional knowledge and expertise in the following domains to competently assess, diagnose, and treat:

The Attachment System: A professional-level knowledge and expertise is required regarding the attachment system, what it is, how it functions, and how it characteristically dysfunctions; including grief and loss, internal working models of attachment (attachment schemas), and the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma.

Personality Disorder Pathology:  A professional-level knowledge and expertise is required regarding narcissistic and borderline personality pathology, the origins of these types of personality pathology within childhood attachment trauma, the assessment and diagnosis of narcissistic and borderline personality traits, and the characteristic expression of narcissistic and borderline personality pathology within family relationships, including role-reversal parent-child relationships, use of the child as a “regulatory object” to stabilize the parent’s pathology, and the collapse of the narcissistic and borderline personality structure in response to divorce.

Family Systems Therapy:  A professional-level knowledge is required for family systems constructs, including homeostasis, triangulation, cross-generational coalitions, and emotional cutoffs, and regarding the principles of family systems therapy to restore normal-range and healthy family relationships.

Complex Trauma:  Complex trauma is the chronic exposure to relationship-based emotionally and psychologically traumatic experiences.  A professional-level of knowledge and expertise is required in recognizing and diagnosing the impact of complex trauma, the trans-generational transmission of complex trauma in reenactment narratives, and the differential symptoms of authentic current trauma versus trauma reenactment.

Because of the interrelated complexity of this pathology, the children and families affected by “parental alienation” warrant the professional designation as a special population who require specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently assess, diagnose, and treat.

Currently we have plastic surgeons doing open heart surgery, and all the patients are dying.  They may be wonderful plastic surgeons, but they are not heart surgeons – and the patients are dying because of professional ignorance and incompetence.

Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code requires that psychologists practice only within the domains of their professional competence. Mental health professionals are not allowed to be incompetent.  It is a violation of professional standards of practice.

Standard 9.01a of the APA ethics code requires that the diagnostic statements of psychologists, including their forensic testimony, be based on “information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings.”  If a mental health professional has not even assessed for the pathology of pathogenic parenting associated with an attachment-related pathology, then the diagnostic statements and forensic testimony of this mental health professional cannot possibly be based on “information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings.”

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) represents a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

It is simply a matter of ignorance and incompetence that is preventing an accurate DSM-5 diagnosis of the attachment-related pathology of AB-PA.

Mental health professionals are not allowed to be ignorant and incompetent (Standard 2.01a and 9.01a of the APA ethics code; Standards 3.10 and 3.1 of the ethics code for Marriage and Family Therapists; Standard C.2.a of the Code of Ethics for the American Counseling Association; Standard 1.04 of the Ethics Code of the National Association of Social Workers; Standard II.6 in Canada, Standard B.1.2 of the Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics; Ethical Principle 2 of the British Psychological Society).

Mental health professionals are not allowed – by all of the professional standards of practice governing all mental health professionals – to be ignorant and incompetent.

The Attachment System:  Mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment-related pathology need to be professionally knowledgeable and competent in the attachment system, what it is, how it functions, and how it characteristically dysfunctions.

Failure to possess professional-level knowledge regarding the attachment system when assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment-related pathology would represent practice beyond the boundaries of professional competence in violation of professional standards of practice.

Personality Disorder Pathology: Mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating personality disorder related pathology as it is affecting family relationships need to be professionally knowledgeable and competent in personality disorder pathology, what it is, how it functions, and how it characteristically affects family relationships following divorce.

Failure to possess professional-level knowledge regarding personality disorder pathology when assessing, diagnosing, and treating personality disorder related pathology in the family would represent practice beyond the boundaries of professional competence in violation of professional standards of practice.

Family Systems Pathology: Mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating families need to be professionally knowledgeable and competent in the functioning of family systems and the principles of family systems therapy.

Failure to possess professional-level knowledge regarding the functioning of family systems and the principles of family systems therapy when assessing, diagnosing, and treating family pathology would represent practice beyond the boundaries of professional competence in violation of professional standards of practice.

The proposal of a family court pilot program in the Key solution of teaming an AB-PA Certified mental health professional with an AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorney will provide the Court with the necessary professional knowledge and the required professional expertise to solve the family pathology of “parental alienation” in high-conflict divorce.

The only barrier is ignorance.  The solution is knowledge.

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

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