Unpacking “Conversations”

The primary challenge faced by targeted parents and their children is the professional incompetence of the mental health assessment and diagnosis of the attachment-related pathology in their family.

We must acquire professional competence in the assessment and diagnosis of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.  To achieve professional competence, we must establish standards for the domains of knowledge needed for professional competence to which all mental health professional can be held accountable.

Gardnerian PAS cannot accomplish this.

AB-PA activates Standards 2.01a and 9.01a of the APA ethics code.  In the Conversation series, I lay out this line directly.

Previous seminars (such as the Master’s Lecture Series) and descriptions of the pathology (such as in Foundations) provide an overall structural analysis of the pathology.  In the seven core Conversations with Dr. Childress, I apply the constructs of professional psychology to the symptom sets displayed by the child during the assessment.

Two branches emerge from the core line of seven Conversations, one describes the specific assessment protocol (4.01; 4.02), and the other branch (8-Series) activates standards of professional practice from the APA ethics code.

The Assessment Protocol (4.01; 4.02)

The foundation to building professional competence is establishing a ground standard of practice for documentation of the initial assessment.

Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment.

Building professional standards of practice begins with establishing a structured and standardized assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized) that is documented in the patient record.

When we are medically ill we go to the physician, and the doctor’s office collects a structured and standardized assessment of our “vital signs” (blood pressure, weight, and temperature) as simply a matter of course – a standard of practice – for the intake assessment surrounding a medical concern.

With attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce, the Parenting Practices Rating Scale and the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting represent a structured and standardized intake assessment protocol for attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce (the “vital signs” for attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce).

The Parenting Practices Rating Scale and the Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting are documentation instruments.  They document information collected during the initial assessment. 

A structured and standardized assessment protocol (semi-structured; flexibly standardized) is the foundation to establishing a professional standard of practice, which is critical to building professional competence in the assessment and diagnosis of pathology.

Conversations on Competence (8-Series)

The 8-Series Conversations on Competence represents the ability of AB-PA to leverage change.  The 8-Series on professional competence can be leveraged to require a systems-wide review of how attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce is assessed and diagnosed. 

What represents professional competence?  That is the issue addressed in the 8-Series. 

I provide the answer from AB-PA in 8.01 Domains of Knowledge

In 8.02 Violations of Competence, these domains of knowledge are linked to the Standards of the APA ethics code.  Conversation 8.02 empowers targeted parents to expect and require professional competence. 

In Conversation 8.03 and Conversation 8.04, the power of targeted parents is flexed to motivate systemic movement toward professional competence.

8.01 Domains of Knowledge

Once the pathology is described within standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology (Foundations; Conversations 1-7), this then defines the domains of knowledge needed for professional competence. 

That’s Conversation 8.01, in which I describe the domains of knowledge required for professional competence.  Step-by-step we are building professional competence and professional standards of practice. 

8.02 Violations of Competence

Once domains of knowledge are defined for professional competence, this then activates the Standards of the APA ethics code.  That’s Conversation 8.02, in which the domains of knowledge required for professional competence are directly linked to Standards of the APA ethics code; Standards 2.01a and 9.01a.

This represents the power available from remaining within standard and established constructs and principles in defining pathology.  We can absolutely solve this pathology, as long as we remain within the standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology. 

The first step is to acquire professional competence and professional standards of practice for the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.

8.03 Licensing Board Complaints

In Conversation 8.03, I am demonstrating what it means to fight for targeted parents and their children.  I am directly challenging my mental health colleagues through the line created by Conversations 8.01 and 8.02. 

This is a trauma pathology.  There is a trauma-slumber associated with it, a learned helplessness acceptance-of-abuse enters the mindset.  I am waking up the field from its slumber.

Targeted parents and their children have the right to expect professional competence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of their families.  All of the various ethics codes governing all mental health professionals have Standards that require professional competence.  For psychologists, it’s Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code.

Once the pathology is defined entirely by standard and established constructs and principles, this defines domains of knowledge needed for professional competence, which then activates Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code.

The activation of the APA ethics code empowers targeted parents to expect and require competence.  The trauma-slumber of helplessness ends. 

In Conversation 8.03, I am directly challenging my professional colleagues to dispute what I am saying.  Dispute Conversation 8.01 that defines the domains of knowledge needed for professional competence.  Dispute Conversation 8.02 that links these domains to the APA ethics code.  Dispute them or they stand. 

And if they stand, then targeted parents become empowered to expect and require professional competence in the four domains of professional-level knowledge described in Conversation 8.01:

1)  The Attachment System
2)  Personality Disorder Pathology
3)  Family Systems Therapy
4)  Complex Trauma.

Standards for professional competence. 

8.04 Risk Management

In Conversation 8.04, I am demonstrating what it means to fight for targeted parents and their children.

I would expect that all mental health allies of targeted parents and their children to take a stance of advocating for professional competence with our professional colleagues.  The fight to acquire professional psychology as an ally for targeted parents and their children is now.  Mental health allies of targeted parents and their children should not abandon targeted parents to fight this fight for professional competence on their own.

By defining the pathology entirely from established constructs and principles, AB-PA provokes a system-wide review of the mental health response to attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce. 

AB-PA leads to domains of knowledge required for professional competence.

Establishing domains of knowledge required for professional competence activates Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code that requires professional competence (and all standards requiring professional competence in all professional ethics codes everywhere, across the U.S. and internationally). 

Activating APA ethics code Standards empowers targeted parents to expect and require professional competence .

The empowerment of targeted parents makes them dangerous to ignorance and incompetence. 

The dangerousness of targeted parents provokes a risk-management response across professional psychology to become professionally knowledgeable and competent.

Our Goal:  Defined standards for professional competence and defined standards of practice in the assessment and diagnosis of attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce.

The Conversation with Dr. Childress series is designed as a professional-to-professional resource that targeted parents can direct the mental health professionals to who are assessing and diagnosing the pathology in their families.

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

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