Amy? Amy Baker?
Hi Amy. You’re probably aware that I’m trying to entice Karen Woodall to become AB-PA Certified this fall with an offer to train her up on the Conflict Coding System, and then to support her as we bring a structured and standardized AB-PA assessment protocol to the British mental health system.
As I was writing to Karen, I kept thinking about what a wonderful research instrument the Conflict Coding Scale could be. If we were to collect lots and lots of ratings from families in high-conflict divorce, I wonder what the distribution of codes would be? I suspect we’ll get a lot of cross-generational coalitions, but what would be really interesting is if we found some correlational strands that cohesively held together – sets or stings of associated conflict codes. Maybe we could identify a code pattern for high-conflict divorce and begin to unravel its features.
You know, I’m putting together this pilot program for the family law courts that teams an AB-PA Certified mental health professional with an AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorney. We could wind up getting lots and lots of court-involved high-conflict families coming through these pilot programs.
The Key Solution process starts with an assessment. When the Court encounters a case of “attachment-related pathology” surrounding divorce, the Court, at its discretion, orders a Treatment-Focused Assessment from an AB-PA Certified mental health professional.
If the Treatment-Focused Assessment recommends the construction of an AB-PA Key Team, then the Court can appoint a new and different AB-PA Certified mental health professional to be teamed with an AB-PA Knowledgeable amicus attorney. This Key team will be tasked with stabilizing all psychological-family issues surrounding the family’s transition from the prior intact family structure to a healthy separated family structure.
Everything about the Key Solution is data driven – evidence based. The Diagnostic Checklist, the Parenting Practices Scale, and for ongoing treatment monitoring; The Parent-Child Relationship Rating Scale.
As we get these pilot programs in place, we’ll be looking for local-area university faculty partners to collaborate on the program evaluation research component of the pilot program, that is once we get these Key Solution pilot programs up and running. First things first. But I was thinking that you might want to partner on the research side when we reach that point? Whaddya think?
We could get you the data from these pilot programs once they’re up. That’s gonna be a choice research population; clearly defined.
Entry Criteria: Attachment-related pathology surrounding high-conflict divorce.
Operational Definition: Court referral to the Key Solution pilot program.
Consider if we also collected the Conflict Coding Scale on every family. At the end of the six-session Treatment-Focused Assessment, the AB-PA Certified mental health professional could provide a summary Conflict Code for the family. Doing that would help summarize the assessment findings, and it would generate lots and lots of Conflict Codes for a defined population of families.
I figure as we open a Key Solution Pilot Program in a region, we will team with an area university. There will be data generated intrinsically to the pilot program, and I can also envision the collaboration with a local university faculty generating its own independent collaborative research project, with its own separate protocol of research related measures.
The families in the Key Solution family court programs could represent an important population for research on high-conflict families.
Back when I worked as a research associate with the clinical research project at UCLA many years ago, we had a 16-hour intake assessment battery with schizophrenic patients. It was a big, national-level research project at UCLA. We had so many collaborators, each with his or her assessment protocol – 16 hours of testing.
I was just a minion back then at that stage of my career, picture me as one of those little yellow critters, yep, that was me. A minion. I was responsible for managing all aspects of the data collection and data processing side of the project – all the data systems. I gained incredibly valuable experience on the practicalities of running a large-scale research project.
We used to collect a lot of data at intake, remission, relapse, one-year and at various time and symptom intervals after that. Longitudinal research. Our location was in the UCLA medical complex, but we sent the data over to our Westwood VA collaborators; the “stat lab” located at the VA complex. The VA was also the home of the diagnostic unit. The VA stat lab and diagnostic unit collaborated with a whole bunch of projects, not just ours.
So you and I could collaborate kinda like that if you want, once we get the pilot projects up and running I could send the data to you as a collaborating research investigator. We could add research measures as well, pending IRB approval. For my part, I want to add the H scale of the HEXACO, it’s associated with the Dark Triad personality. That’s how 16-hour intake assessment protocols begin… “let’s add just the one more, just one more, this one’s really important…” But the H scale of the HEXACO is really important.
Throw some research measures into the mix… Bill Bernet’s new splitting scale perhaps, or something you’ve got… I’m fine with that. Make the argument to add the measure and we can do that. I’m even fine with the final author position on any research articles generated – Baker, Childress, fine by me..
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
Bill Bernet: think about this… if you and I were collaborating on an article for DSM-6 revisions as a Trauma Stressors disorder (with the Shared Psychotic Disorder criteria), the AB-PA Key Solution pilot programs could provide us with a valuable research population for establishing the foundations for our case.