A Single Voice

Targeted parents and their children need us to solve this.  This is an immensely tragic and serious pathology of the highest order.  There is no room for professional egos in solving this.  Leave your ego at the door.  Bring your A-game.  Nothing less is acceptable.

AB-PA is not Dr. Childress.  The solution available through AB-PA is not Dr. Childress.  There are larger forces at work here.  AB-PA is the catalyst for change.  I am a conduit bringing forth the catalyst for change.

The catalytic agent is the return to the path of established professional psychology by using only the constructs and principles from standard and  established professional psychology to define the pathology.

Standing on the foundational ground of established professional psychology, we can establish defined standards of practice.

My role is to catalyze this change, this return to standard and established professional psychology.  No “new forms of pathology” proposals.  My role in this regard is to blow up the “Bridge on the River Kwai” (Gardnerian PAS) so that we can win the war.

This is part of a larger flow.  My role is to generate the catalytic agent.  I have accomplished my role.

The next phase is to actualize the solution.  There are many who will have a role in actualizing the solution – Dorcy, Wendy, Dwilene, you.

My role is shifting now into becoming the resource to be used in the change process.

But this is not about me.  This is larger than Dr. Childress.  I fully understand that.  This is all part of a larger flow within the universe that leads to a solution for these families and children.  The time is now.  The battle to recover these children is now.  We have everything we need.

We are fundamentally changing how the mental health system and the legal system respond to high-conflict divorce and child custody.  Massive systems-wide change, in the U.S. and everywhere.  That is a huge undertaking.  Far larger than Dr. Childress.  I’m just a lone clinical psychologist in Southern California.

I generated the “information-structures” needed to catalyze the change, the return back to standard and established professional practice.  That was my role.  This new phase of actualizing the solution requires all of us – working together – toward the same goal… a solution.

I cannot fulfill my role as the catalytic agent of change if I bring my ego to this.  If this becomes about Dr. Childress, it will distort and fail.  I suspect that the universe brought me AB-PA because it knows that it had formed me to the point in my spiritual-psychological development where the gift of AB-PA would not adversely distort my ego.  As an old clinical psychologist with Joseph Campbell overtones, I recognize that there is a source of all things, and I understand that I am not that source.

I do what I do, I let my work enter the universe, and allow the universe to manage the unfolding.  My responsibility is to my authenticity in doing what I do, my responsibility is to act with integrity, and my responsibility is to always bring my A-game.

With “parental alienation,” the ONLY thing I care about is solving the pathology as quickly as is humanly possible, and we solve the pathology as quickly as is humanly possible when all mental health professionals speak with a single voice.

Returning to the foundations of standard and established constructs and principles brings the solution.  I am asking that all mental health professionals come together to support the return to standard and established principles and constructs of professional psychology.  We need to leave our egos at the door, these children and families need us to leave our egos at the door and for us to come together into a single unified voice for change.

Let’s get to work on solving this.

The primary issue we need to address is the massive level of professional ignorance and incompetence in professional psychology.  We must get a handle on the professional ignorance and incompetence.

The ground foundation for establishing standards of professional practice is in the assessment process.  If we want to establish professional competence, we begin by establishing a structured and standardized assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

AB-PA isn’t about Dr. Childress.  AB-PA is functional.  It’s a practical tool.

AB-PA provides the impetus for a system-wide re-examination from ALL mental health professionals regarding how attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce is assessed and diagnosed.

Let that settle in for a second. AB-PA is practical.  AB-PA is a tool towards a goal.  The goal is professional competence.  AB-PA, by its very nature, will require ALL of professional psychology to re-examine how attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce is assessed and diagnosed.

Then, from this opportunity, we are going to weave into the assessment procedure a structured and standardized assessment protocol to establish a ground of professional competence.

To achieve a standard of practice in assessment, we need two things:

Diagnostic Structure: A clear diagnostic formulation that will support a structured and standardized assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

Structured Documentation: The structured and standardized documentation of the information collected from the assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

The categorical three-symptom diagnostic structure of AB-PA provides the requirements for a clear and structured diagnostic framework that will support a structured and standardized assessment protocol.

The assessment documentation instruments for AB-PA provide the structured and standardized documentation at the core of a structured and standardized assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

A critical lynch-pin focal point in the assessment is the change to the construct of pathogenic parenting – we are assessing for pathogenic parenting (patho=pathology; genic=genesis; creation).  Pathogenic parenting is the creation of significant psychopathology in the child through aberrant and distorted parenting practices (we are returning to standard and established constructs and principles).

The Diagnostic Checklist and the Parenting Practices Scale provide the structured and standardized documentation of the assessment data.

The Parenting Practices Rating Scale documents the potential pathogenic parenting of the targeted-rejected parent (Categories 1 and 2; indicating severely problematic parenting).

The Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting documents the potential pathogenic parenting of the allied and supposedly “favored” parent (a cross-generational coalition with a narcissistic/(borderline) personality parent).

That is the core of a structured and standardized assessment protocol.

The structured and standardized AB-PA assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized) can be delivered through a structured and standardized six-session Treatment-Focused Assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

See how, step-by-step, we are constructing a standard of practice in the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

“What if people want to add to or change the protocol?”

A:  There’s a saying, a camel is a horse built by a committee.

I am going to move forward with the core assessment protocol offered by AB-PA. Once we have a standard of practice established for the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce, we can adjust, modify, adapt as warranted. First things first. Establish a standardized and structured assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

Domestic Violence Assessment: I would fully support a Domestic Violence component to a structured and standardized assessment (semi-structured; flexibly standardized) of attachment-related pathology.  A proposal for a Domestic Violence assessment protocol will need to come from expertise in that domain, and from the collaborative consultation among that professional expertise.

I am professionally familiar with domestic violence, primarily surrounding its trauma impact on children.  Within the AB-PA assessment framework, domestic violence is identified on the Parenting Practices Rating Scale:

Level 1- Item 6: Domestic Violence Exposure.
Level 2 – Items 7; 8; 11 are additional surrounding indicators identifying concern.

A Level 1 or 2 rating of the targeted parent would rule-out AB-PA because the parenting practices of the targeted parent are not normal-range.

Should mental health professionals assess for domestic violence?  An unqualified yes.  The information issue surrounding domestic violence is managed within AB-PA, but domestic violence is not the primary goal of the AB-PA assessment protocol.

Once we have a standard of practice established for the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce, we can adjust, modify, adapt as warranted.  First things first.  Establish a standardized and structured assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

AB-PA will create the need for a system-wide review of how attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce is to be assessed.  That’s the function of AB-PA.  We need everyone to work with us on enacting that function of AB-PA, creating a system-wide review of how attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce is assessed.

Through this opportunity created by AB-PA, we will establish a structured and standardized assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized) that will provide a ground expectation for professional competence in assessment.

Building system-wide professional competence unrolls in a spiral, we’ll keep circling back with rounds of adaptive solutions built around a basic core – the need for a structured and standardized assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

First things first, step-by-step.   We need to establish a structured and standardized assessment protocol for attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.  We need to establish a ground foundation for professional competence.

AB-PA Certification

All of the information for conducting a structured and standardized assessment for AB-PA is out there.  Mental health professionals do not need to be “certified” to conduct a semi-structured and flexibly standardized assessment for the pathology described by AB-PA.

AB-PA Certification is not a requirement for expertise, I think of it as a verification of expertise.

AB-PA Certification is a specific statement from me.  I am verifying that this mental health professional possesses a specific skill set:

1.)  Foundational Knowledge:  This mental health professional is verified to possess a foundational core of knowledgeable regarding the attachment system, personality disorder pathology, family systems therapy, and complex trauma relevant to assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

2.) Treatment-Focused Assessment Protocol:  This mental health professional has the required knowledge to conduct a structured and standardized six-week Treatment-Focused Assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

3.) Treatment-Focused Report:  This mental health professional can generate a structured and standardized treatment-focused report for the Court regarding the presence or absence of AB-PA (a semi-structured; flexibly standardized report).

4.) Documentation:  The results of the Treatment-Focused Assessment protocol will be documented using the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting and the Parenting Practices Rating Scale.

The Diagnostic Checklist will assess for potential pathogenic parenting by the allied parent in a cross-generational coalition with the child.

The Parenting Practices Scale will assess for pathogenic parenting by the targeted-rejected parent.

Treatment recommendations will be data-driven.

Both documentation instruments will be provided to the Court in  appendix to the Treatment Focused Assessment report.

5.)  Contingent Visitation Schedule:  This mental health professional has the knowledge and training necessary to construct and implement a Contingent Visitation Schedule Strategic family systems intervention.

6.)  Long-Term Family Stabilization:  This mental health professional has the knowledge resources necessary to provide long-term stabilization for high-conflict families.

AB-PA Certification serves as the foundational ground for an established standard of practice regarding the assessment and diagnosis of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

Notice I did not say, “parental alienation.”  We are returning to standard and established constructs and principles ONLY – no “new forms of pathology” proposals.

Again, think of this like a spiral.  We will keep spiraling around the core, improving and adapting over time.  But first things first.  Let’s establish the core.

The mere existence of AB-PA requires a system-wide review of the procedures for assessing and diagnosing attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.  Through this review, we will establish a structured and standardized assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized).

I’m asking all mental health professionals to join us in achieving the systems-wide review of how attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce is assessed.

I’m asking all mental health professionals to join us in achieving a structured and standardized assessment protocol that ensures a foundational ground for professional competence.

Join us in a single voice for professional competence.

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

2 thoughts on “A Single Voice”

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