Hey, APA… you do realize there’s an urgency here?
Every day – every single day – more and more families are being sacrificed to the pathology of a narcissistic/(borderline) parent.
Every day – every single day – more and more loving and beloved targeted parents are witnessing their beloved children being “killed” by the pathology of their narcissistic/(borderline) personality ex-spouse.
And that’s exactly what this pathology is – the killing of children. The authentic child of the targeted parent – the beloved and loving child – their authentic child – is being killed by the angry-vengeful pathology of a narcissistic/(borderline) personality parent.
The grief of the targeted parent as their beloved child is killed right before their eyes is profound and deep – enduring grief and suffering.
And day-after-day, more and more families are being sacrificed to the pathology – to the suffering. Childhoods are stolen – and these lost childhoods are gone forever. Once lost, childhood can never be reclaimed.
Bonds of love between child and parent are being destroyed, and the years of childhood love and bonding to a beloved parent, once lost, can never be reclaimed. Future restoration is possible – but the lost childhood is gone.
There is only a year of the child being 10. There is only a year of the child being 12. This time of childhood is fleeting, and once lost it is lost forever.
And with each passing day, more and more families are being sacrificed to this pathology while the APA stands by and does nothing – inert an impotent in protecting children.
Hey, APA… you do realize there’s an urgency here?
It’s been over half a year since you announced plans to form a “working group” to “study the research” and you still have not announced the working group membership. That’s over half a year of lost childhoods – over half a year of profound parental suffering and grief from watching their beloved child be killed right in front of them – while the APA does nothing to stop it.
You do realize there’s a urgency here, don’t you?
And all you’re actually going to do is just appoint a “working group” to “study the research.” You’re not actually going to do anything to stop the immense suffering of these families.
Really, APA? You need to “study” the research on the attachment system? You don’t already know the substantial research on the attachment system?
You really need to “study” the research on narcissistic and borderline personality pathology? You don’t already know the substantial research on narcissistic and borderline personality pathology?
You really need to “study” the research on family system therapy? You don’t already know the substantial research on family systems therapy? Really?
Here, let me help. For starters, I”d suggest:
Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss. Vol. 1. Attachment. NY: Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss: Vol. 2. Separation: Anxiety and anger. NY: Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss: Vol. 3. Loss: Sadness and depression. NY: Basic Books.
Ainsworth, M.D.S. (1989). Attachments beyond infancy. American Psychologist, 44, 709-716.
Personality Disorder Pathology
Beck, A.T., Freeman, A., Davis, D.D., & Associates (2004). Cognitive therapy of personality disorders. (2nd edition). New York: Guilford.
Kernberg, O.F. (1975). Borderline conditions and pathological narcissism.. New York: Aronson.
Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York, NY: Guilford
Millon. T. (2011). Disorders of personality: introducing a DSM/ICD spectrum from normal to abnormal. Hoboken: Wiley.
Family Systems Therapy
Bowen, M. (1978). Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: Jason Aronson.
Haley, J. (1977). Toward a theory of pathological systems. In P. Watzlawick & J. Weakland (Eds.), The interactional view (pp. 31-48). New York: Norton.
Minuchin. S. & Nichols, M.P. (1993). Family healing: Strategies for hope and understanding. New York: Touchstone.
Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and Family Therapy. Harvard University Press
Titelman, P. (2003). Emotional cutoff in Bowen family systems theory: An Overview. In Emotional cutoff: Bowen family systems theory perspectives, P. Titelman (ed). New York: Haworth Press.
You know what, let me make this a little easier. Since we’ve already lost so much time that can never be recovered in the lives of these suffering children and families, let me give you my personal reference lists.
This reference list contains some of the particularly relevant quotes from some of the sources for my ease of reference surrounding particular issues.
This is my reference list (extracted from the general AB-PA list) for just the construct of parental “psychological control” of the child.
The parental personality pathology we’re dealing with is called the Dark Triad (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellian manipulation). These are my references (extracted from the general AB-PA list) for the personality pathology of the Dark Triad, the “core of evil” (Book, Visser, and Volk, 2015).
There, that should help seed your review of the research literature. Notice that NONE of the research I use to support AB-PA is research on “parental alienation.” It’s all standard and established stuff.
But, APA, can you please get a move on – please… children and families are going through such immense and continual suffering of the highest order, and the level of professional ignorance and incompetence that these families must endure is so utterly profound and appalling.
All we need from you, APA, is a statement that the pathology exists – call it whatever you want – and a statement that these children and families represent a “special population” requiring specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently assess, diagnose, and treat.
That’s not a major statement. That’s simply upholding Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code. It shouldn’t require exhaustive “study” to simply issue a statement upholding Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code.
If the hang up is about acknowledging that the pathology exists – and if it would help move things along – just refer to the existence of “attachment-related pathology and personality disorder pathology.”
Here, I’ll even write the statement for you if that helps move things along (because these families are suffering such immense grief and emotional trauma – day-after-day without end – there’s an urgency here).
Statement on High-Conflict Divorce: Attachment-related pathology and personality disorder pathology exists and can influence family relationships following divorce. The inter-related family issues can be complex to diagnose and treat. Children and families evidencing attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce represent a special population who warrant specialized professional knowledge and expertise to competently assess, diagnose, and treat, consistent with Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code.
There. Now was that so hard?
I’m doing everything I can to make this easy for you, APA. But you’ve got to make an effort. Your impotence in responding to the immense pain and suffering of these parents as they are forced to watch – day after day – as their beloved children are being killed before their eyes, and your tolerance of the profound professional ignorance and incompetence surrounding the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of this pathology is sacrificing more and more families – with each passing day – to this terrible-terrible pathology.
Do something. Make it stop. Require professional competence in the attachment system, in personality disorder pathology, and in family systems constructs consistent with Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code.
That’s not a lot to ask. So why is that so hard for you to do, to end the suffering of these parents and families?
Lost childhoods can never be recovered.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857