I recently met with a targeted parent for a consultation.
Following our meeting, I wrote him a follow-up letter to emphasize a point that emerged within our discussion, and I think this broader point is of value for all targeted parents to hear and understand… I am your weapon, not your warrior. You are the warrior.
So here is my follow-up letter to Tom (not his real name).
As a follow-up to our conversation, everything… everything, is within the flow of that-which-leads. I am just fulfilling my role within a larger force that is guiding things.
One of the elements of this larger guiding force is that it wants to awaken targeted parents from their slumber of helplessness imposed by trauma (this is a trauma pathology moving through generations).
As a result, my role is not to solve things for them – for you. I am your weapon, not your warrior.
If parents leave this to me to solve, my work, my path, will solve it in about five to seven years. There are meme-structures I’ve put into play that will take a while to incubate into fruition.
It’s like pushing a boulder. At first you push and push, and the boulder just sits there. Then it starts to move an inch. You continue to push and push, and it starts to slowly turn. Keep pushing and it starts to roll over… and then it starts to turn and it starts to pick up momentum, and now your pushing starts to increase its speed, and then it starts to roll on its own momentum, and then it becomes an unstoppable force; an unstoppable rolling boulder sweeping away everything in its path.
The solution is moving along several simultaneous lines. The AB-PA pilot program for the family courts is going to be a major part of the solution. In addition, there’s the push to get the APA to change its position statement on Parental Alienation Syndrome, there’s licensing board complaints to create professional discomfort in the mental health system and provoke a risk-management response of eliminating ignorance, and there’s legislative efforts to change the child abuse reporting laws. Movement forward in any one of these areas ripples across all the others.
About a year from now I’m going to open up another area, my writing for and publication in professional journals (I just don’t have the time for that yet – it’s a slower avenue for creating change).
Bear in mind, I only have about 4 to 8 hours a week to work on this. I’m a psychologist who sees patients to pay for my kids’ college, my house payments, car payments, etc. My work in “parental alienation” is after hours and on weekends. I’m just a single lone psychologist in private practice here in Southern California trying to create change in major systems that have been massively broken for decades.
Fundamentally, though, this isn’t my fight. I’m not a targeted parent. My kids are fine, my family is fine. This is your fight, these are your kids. I am not your warrior, I am your weapon.
But if targeted parents don’t pick up the weapons I’ve forged for them, if targeted parents are waiting for someone to rescue them, that’s not a me issue. I’m fine. My life is fine.
The universe is limiting me so that targeted parents activate. These are your children. My Jack and Annie are fine. I’m not an alienated dad. The universe wants to awaken targeted parents from the slumber of their trauma – these are your children, this is your fight, you are the warriors for your children, not me. I am merely your weapon.
In Foundations and AB-PA I am giving targeted parents the weapons you need to fight back against the profound ignorance, incompetence, and apathy in the mental health system and family courts that is stealing your children – the weapons that you need to fight back against the professional incompetence in mental health assessment, in diagnosis, and in treatment that is stealing your children from you, and to fight back against a legal system that is massively broken and that colludes with the pathology to maintain a corrupt status quo that financially eviscerates vulnerable families.
I am your weapon, I am not your warrior. You are the warrior.
I can act as an expert consultant on a class action or Rico lawsuit, but I cannot file a class action or Rico lawsuit.
I can encourage targeted parents to write to and put pressure on the APA, but I cannot write the letters for them.
I can cite the specific APA ethics codes that incompetent mental health professionals are violating, but I cannot file the licensing board complaints holding mental health professionals accountable to basic standards of competency.
I can support the efforts of targeted parents to meet with their state legislators to change child abuse reporting laws to include a definition of child psychological abuse (consistent with the DSM diagnostic system), but I am not a constituent of these legislators.
Are you waiting for someone to rescue you? No one is going to rescue you. You are the warrior. Your children are waiting for you to rescue them. I am not your warrior, I am your weapon.
The other important thing that the universe wants from targeted parents is an end to their narcissistic self-focus. Over-and-over again targeted parents seek my advice and help on their specific situations; and over-and-over I tell them that until we fix the broken systems there is NO solution.
There is no solution. Let that fully sink in. There is no solution. In order to solve “parental alienation” for any one family, in any one situation, we must solve it for ALL families and ALL children.
To obtain solution in any single case, we must first fix the surrounding broken structures of the mental health system response, and then use the mental health solution to fix the legal system response, and when we do this then we will solve it for ALL children and ALL families. Targeted parents need to stop being so self-focused on finding a solution only for their specific family. I know how much you love your children, I know how heartbreaking it is for you each individually, but targeted parents need to begin working for each other, to solve this for all children and all families.
For example, what good will it do in your specific case to file a licensing board complaint? Absolutely none. But that particular therapist will then take it upon themselves to learn about AB-PA, and that particular therapist won’t be incompetent for the NEXT family.
Once mental health professionals understand that they will – with 100% certainty – face a licensing board complaint from targeted parents (under Standards 2.01a and 9.01a of the APA ethics code surrounding competence and competent assessment), then they will become competent (assess and document the child’s pathology using the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting; their reading Foundations would be good). As long as targeted parents – as a community of consumers – accepts professional ignorance and incompetence, then that’s exactly what they will get – ignorance and incompetence.
APA Ethics Code
2.01 Boundaries of Competence
(a) Psychologists provide services, teach, and conduct research with populations and in areas only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study, or professional experience.
Psychologists are not allowed to be ignorant and incompetent.
9.01 Bases for Assessments
(a) Psychologists base the opinions contained in their recommendations, reports, and diagnostic or evaluative statements, including forensic testimony, on information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings.
If a psychologist has not even assessed for pathogenic parenting surrounding an attachment-related pathology (the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting), then their diagnostic statements and forensic testimony cannot possibly be based on “information and techniques sufficient to substantiate their findings.”
2.03 Maintaining Competence
Psychologists undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence.
It’s not up to targeted parents, or me, or anyone else to educate psychologists. It is their responsibility to “undertake ongoing efforts” to remain educated and competent.
Attachment System Competence: 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 Competence: Mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating personality disorder 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 pathology in the family would represent practice beyond the boundaries of professional competence in violation of professional standards of practice.
Family Systems Competence: 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.
Complex Trauma Competence: Mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating the trans-generational transmission of complex trauma 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.
Notice I did not use the term “parental alienation.” Not once.
In defining the pathology entirely from within standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology, AB-PA activates Standards 2.01a, 9.01a, and 2.03 of the APA ethics code for targeted parents. But if targeted parents do not pick up the weapon I have forged for them, if they just let it sit there because they expect me to be their warrior and they’re waiting for me to rescue them… then my path will solve this in about five to seven years.
The flow of the universe wants to limit me because it wants to awaken targeted parents from their trauma-induced slumber. When a select group of warrior parents awoke and created a Petition to the APA, the boulder began to inch forward. When warrior parents awoke and contacted their state legislators, the boulder began to turn. As warrior parents pick up their sword and spear of AB-PA that I have forged for them, and awaken from their trauma-induced slumber to fight for each other and for each other’s children – to solve this for all children and all families – then the boulder of change will start to roll, and will become an unstoppable force for change.
I am not your warrior. I am your weapon. These are your kids. You are their warrior.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857