The Silence of the APA

“If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity” – Albert Einstein

Standard 2.01a of the American Psychological Association’s ethics code requires – requires – professional competence.  Yet profound professional ignorance and incompetence is tolerated in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of parent-child attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

At what point does the silence of the American Psychological Association become complicity with professional ignorance and incompetence?

In their silence, the American Psychological Association is tacitly allowing rampant professional ignorance and incompetence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-related pathology to go unchecked.

Silence is complicity.

Child Psychological Abuse

Pathogenic parenting: patho=pathology; genic=genesis, creation.  Pathogenic parenting is the creation of significant psychopathology in the child through aberrant and distorted parenting practices.

Pathogenic parenting is an established construct in both developmental and clinical psychology and is most often used in relation to attachment-related pathology, since the attachment system never spontaneously dysfunctions, but ONLY becomes dysfunctional in response to pathogenic parenting.

The attachment system is the brain system that governs all aspects of love and bonding throughout the lifespan, including grief and loss.  A child rejecting a parent is fundamentally an attachment-related pathology caused by pathogenic parenting, either by the targeted-rejected parent (through child abuse), or by the allied and supposedly “favored” parent (through a cross-generational coalition of the child with the allied parent against the targeted-rejected parent; Bowen, Haley, Minuchin).

Pathogenic parenting that is creating significant developmental pathology in the child (attachment system suppression), personality pathology in the child (five a-priori predicted narcissistic personality traits), and delusional-psychiatric pathology in the child (an encapsulated persecutory delusion) represents a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, Confirmed.

Many-many-many court-involved mental health professionals are NOT EVEN ASSESSING for the standard psychological symptoms of attachment-system suppression, personality disorder traits, and an encapsulated persecutory delusion that are created by one parent’s pathogenic parenting.  As a result, these mental health professionals are missing making the diagnosis of Child Psychological Abuse. They are allowing, through their ignorance and incompetence, the continued psychological abuse of the child.

And the APA remains silent.

The silence of the APA has become complicity in the ongoing psychological abuse of children.

Incompetent Assessment

Standard 9.01a of the APA’s ethics code requires – requires – that psychologists base their diagnostic statements and forensic testimony on “information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings,” yet many-many-many court-involved mental health professionals are NOT EVEN ASSESSING for the symptoms of attachment-system suppression, personality disorder traits, and an encapsulated persecutory delusion that are created by the pathogenic parenting of a narcissistic/(borderline) personality parent.

Not even assessing.  Yet the APA says nothing.

The silence of the APA is complicit in the ignorant and incompetent assessment of pathology.  The APA allows professional incompetence by remaining silent.

Professional Competence

Attachment-Related Pathology

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.

Many-many-many court-involved psychologists have no professional-level expertise in the attachment system, and yet they are nevertheless attempting to assess, diagnose, and treat attachment-related pathology despite their professional ignorance and incompetence regarding the characteristic functioning and dysfunctioning of the attachment system.

When the APA remains silent; their silence is complicity.

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 develops, 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.

Many-many-many court-involved psychologists lack professional-level expertise in personality disorder pathology, and yet despite their professional ignorance and incompetence these mental health professionals are nevertheless attempting to assess, diagnose, and treat family pathology that is being created by a parent’s personality disorder pathology, to the great and lasting harm and detriment of these families.

And the APA remains silent.

Silence is complicity.

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.

Many-many-many court-involved psychologists have no professional-level expertise in family systems therapy and family systems constructs, and yet despite their professional ignorance and incompetence regarding the nature of family interrelationships these mental health professionals are nevertheless attempting to assess, diagnose, and treat family pathology involving complex family dynamics.

And the APA remains silent.

Silence is complicity.

Complex Trauma

Mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating the trans-generational transmission of complex trauma within family relationships need to be professionally knowledgeable and competent in the nature of complex trauma, as expressed both individually and through family relationships.

Failure to possess professional-level knowledge regarding the trans-generational transmission and expression of complex trauma when assessing, diagnosing, and treating family pathology involving complex trauma would represent practice beyond the boundaries of professional competence in violation of professional standards of practice.

Many-many-many court-involved psychologists have no professional-level expertise in complex trauma pathology as it is transmitted across generations, yet despite their ignorance these mental health professionals are nevertheless attempting to assess, diagnose, and treat family pathology created by the trans-generational transmission of complex attachment-related trauma, despite their professional ignorance and incompetence.

And the APA remains silent.

Silence is complicity.

Complicity is Not Acceptable

The American Psychological Association needs to:

1.)  Acknowledge that the pathology exists.

The APA needs to formally acknowledge that the pathology of pathogenic parenting by a narcissistic/(borderline) personality parent (Beck, Kernberg, Linehan, Millon) forming a cross-generational coalition with the child against the other parent (Haley, Minuchin) following divorce can result in an emotional cutoff (Bowen) in the child’s relationship with the targeted parent.

They can call the pathology whatever they want.  Just acknowledge it exists.

2.)  Special Population Status

The APA needs to designate the children and families evidencing this form of attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce as a special population requiring specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently assess, diagnose, and treat.

Children are being psychologically abused by the activated narcissistic and borderline personality pathology of their parents surrounding divorce, yet the APA remains silent.

Mental health professionals are attempting to assess, diagnose, and treat complex attachment-related personality disorder family pathology that is outside of their knowledge and beyond the boundaries of their competence, yet the APA remains silent.

The time has come for the APA to speak up.  Their continued silence becomes complicity with the psychological abuse of children and becomes collusion with professional ignorance and incompetence.

“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” – Mohandas Gandhi

The APA is complicit in the psychological abuse of children. – C.A. Childress

To the APA:  You know the pathology exists.  Say something.  Continued silence becomes complicity.

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

11 thoughts on “The Silence of the APA”

  1. From Germany. Literary EVRY article I got to read from you dr. childress, was like my own private story I went trough. The 5 typical behavings of the manipulated child (those starting with GRANDIOSITY, over absolute Lack of empathy to the believing that targeted parents must fullfill evry wish or symptomatic cutting contacts with all family members of themy targeted parent..)

    I read your textes, and read my own post divorce story. This made me recognise that many many many other dads like me must have gone trough the same proces, so many times and so significantely TYPICAL that you have just listed it as hard facts, like something evident, material… something which is so obvious. Yet, at courts “specialists” that I was forced to accept and pay for shitty work, had no clue what I was talking about, looked strange when i gave them your PAS scripts, and compared my recent experience with your texts… Even worse, they disregarded PA all together…. it seems, usually they deal with simple minded dads who are affraid of false accusations, or many of the standard repertoire ex-wife program, and keep quite.. After a twp yars cpurt battle, I got single custody of two of my four kids, which, even my lawer told me, having such huge false accusations (was acused by “standard program”, sex and violence) is a “great success”… What asuccess??Sick, narcisoid mom did not managed to send me to jail and ruin my existance for no reason, my kids are separated in half, including twins, one at each parent, and I stil fear if one day message will come, that manic/depressiv, stadium3, with haluzonatiin AND on treatement, new husband of my ex wife, will one day jump over my two daughters living there and do some of his crazy stuff…..
    but BOTH daughters wanted alsp to live there. One of them now fully detached, total emotional cut off. In my experience, most psychologist are very incompetent, not really specialised in the field, and social workers involved are in 90% hardely above the analphabetic level…. but, it seemed to me,most of the last ones, are very well educated in feminism, womens rights and gender studies. e.g. before they even start talking to you, you see clearely, they are biased.
    I feel your fight and support it for the sake of all the missused kids worldwide.
    Thank you
    neb.

    1. Dr. Childress, I can’t believe I’ve come across you 20 yrs later on the same subject & still nothing has changed. My children where taken from me due to an incompetent court appointed therapist not there own therapist that they had a 3 yr relationship with. But the guy who has no license now. I was unable to fight because I was having 23 surgeries in another state & now it’s too late. And I have to live my life some how. Until the silence is broken people will suffer & even die because of it. Dr Childress once again gives me hope that the silence will be broken once in far all & this insanity will stop ruining life’s for no reason but greed & power! Thank you Dr. Childress!

  2. “When the APA remains silent; their silence is complicity.”

    Echos the quote that has gone through my head so many times over these last difficult years:

    “When truth is replaced by silence,the silence is a lie.”

    ― Yevgeny Yevtushenko

  3. Excellent article and it amazes me that the APA has not responded appropriately to attachment based parent alienation. How can such a professional body of people sit back and allow this abuse which has been going on for years. It is difficult for me to understand. The alienator and abuser fools many people in his or her circle to believe them. This includes mental health, legal system, school staff, educators, friends and others. The sad experience in all this is that the flying monkeys put the abusers interest above that of what is best for the children/adolescent which is to be loved by both the father and mother so the child may develop into the best person possible. The trauma the children experience turns into psychiatric difficulties in their furture life. This is what is allowed and happening this very moment. On the bright side because of your efforts and desire, Dr. Craig Childress, your efforts have all ready saved some children and more will follow. Thanks and respectfully,
    Ken Iles

  4. I did receive a reasonably official response from the APA about their plans to appoint a working group for topics related to parental alienation. It came from their public relations department, in conjunction with the board of directors:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s