My role is to be a resource for targeted parents in achieving professional competence in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of your families.
In order to achieve professional competence, we must establish standards of professional practice in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce (“parental alienation”; AB-PA).
We start with assessment. Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment.
I am announcing another resource for parents to use in acquiring professional competence, a new booklet describing the assessment protocol that targeted parents and their attorneys should seek from the Court:
In order to solve “parental alienation” (AB-PA), targeted parents must obtain a professionally competent assessment of the attachment-related pathology in their families. This booklet is designed for targeted parents to provide to their attorneys, and for their attorneys to provide to the Court.
The assessment protocol described by this booklet is what you want the Court to order in terms of assessment: The Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology Surrounding Divorce.
“Your honor, we want this; a treatment-focused assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce as described by Dr. Childress in this booklet.”
This booklet is designed with the goal of helping targeted parents obtain a professionally competent assessment. It briefly describes the nature of the pathology and the assessment protocol that’s needed. I intentionally kept the booklet short. It is only 40 pages long, 20 pages of description and 20 pages of supporting appendices of the practical tools used in the assessment.
This booklet is designed for targeted parents to provide to their attorneys, and for family law attorneys to provide to the Court. This booklet describes the assessment protocol that the Court should specifically order in all cases of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.
“Your honor, this is the assessment we want you to order.”
There remains the challenge that currently there are no mental health professionals with the knowledge-based needed to conduct the assessment protocol. But this booklet can also be provided to mental health professionals;
“This booklet describes the assessment protocol the Court has ordered and we would like conducted. Dr. Childress is available for consultation if needed.”
On November 18-20 I will be conducting the first AB-PA Certification seminars at the Westin in Pasadena (registration through The Childress Institute Website) in which I will be training mental health professionals in the 6-session treatment-focused assessment protocol and in the development and management of the Contingent Visitation Schedule.
This coming Friday, October 20, in Houston I will be presenting a seminar on the AB-PA Key Solution Pilot Program for the Family Courts that can quickly bring the required professional knowledge base and competence to entire geographic regions.
We will be working to solve the professional knowledge issue. In the meantime. the Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology Surrounding Divorce is what targeted parents and family law attorneys need to be seeking from the Court, and the Contingent Visitation Schedule is the treatment-focused remedy when the pathology is identified.
The Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology Surrounding Divorce is a companion resource booklet to the Contingent Visitation Schedule. These two booklets work in tandem. The Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology describes the assessment protocol. If the pathology of AB-PA is identified by the assessment, then the Contingent Visitation Schedule describes the remedy.
These two booklets are designed to help targeted parents fix the broken mental health system and the broken legal system responses to the pathology in their families.
Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment. Assessment is the key. We start with assessment.
Each of the three legal system solution booklets address a different facet of fixing the broken mental health/legal system response to the pathology,
Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology: This booklet is designed to acquire a professional competent assessment of the pathology.
Contingent Visitation Schedule: This booklet is designed to address the remedy to the pathology.
Key Solution Pilot Program for the Family Courts: This booklet is designed to achieve the systems-wide professional competence in conducting the treatment-focused assessments and managing the Contingent Visitation Schedules.
Together as a set, these three booklets provide the solution to fixing the broken mental health and legal system responses to the attachment-related pathology of “parental alienation” (AB-PA) surrounding divorce.
In addition, I use the opportunity provided by each booklet to highlight a different facet of the overall pathology.
Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology: In this booklet I address the importance of each type of parent-child relationship: mother-son, mother-daughter, father-son, father-daughter. I describe that each of these relationship types should be fully supported by child custody visitation decisions and that a 50-50% shared custody visitation schedule is the only scientifically supported visitation schedule that supports the unique and special value of each relationship type.
In the Assessment of Attachment Related Pathology, I also describe the critical importance of NOT making the child a “custody prize” to be “won” by the supposedly “better parent” in their spousal dispute surrounding divorce. A shared 50-50% custody is the recommended custody visitation schedule to avoid making the child a “custody prize” to be awarded in the spousal conflict.
While the treatment-focused assessment protocol is separate from the custody visitation schedule that is ordered – the assessment protocol is not dependent on the custody visitation schedule – I nevertheless took the opportunity provided by the booklet to address these issues with the Court.
Contingent Visitation Schedule: This booklet provides the treatment remedy when the pathology of AB-PA is identified by the structured and standardized (semi-structured; flexibly standardized) treatment-focused assessment protocol for attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.
In the Contingent Visitation Schedule booklet, I more strongly emphasize a family systems description of the pathology, and I more fully describe the difference between a family’s post-divorce transition to a healthy “separated family structure” rather than to a pathological “cutoff family structure.” I also provide a stronger section of quotes from the research literature on the construct of the parent’s “psychological control” of the child.
In the Contingent Visitation Schedule booklet, I also make explicit the direct linkage of the pathology to a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, which then provides the professional rationale for the protective separation of the child from the psychologically abusive allied parent. The pathology of AB-PA is not a child custody issue, it is a child protection issue. Through the Contingent Visitation Schedule booklet the issue of child protection concerns are explicitly raised for the Court’s consideration.
I also take the opportunity provided by the Contingent Visitation Schedule booklet to list the Associated Clinical Signs. I do this to begin sensitizing the Court to these characteristic features of the pathology, such as the use of the word “forced” in characterizing the child’s visitations with the targeted parent (ACS-1), the empowerment of the child through statements like “the child should be allowed to decide on visitation” and the allied parent seeking the child’s testimony in court to reject the targeted parent (ACS-2), the exclusion demand of the child restricting the parent’s access to the child’s events (ACS-3), the unforgivable past event used as the justification for all current and future rejection of a parent (ACS-5), excessive texting and phone calls with the allied parent while the child is in the care of the targeted parent (ACS-9), and the continual disregard of Court orders for child custody and visitation (ACS-12). Once the Court is alerted to these symptom features, these characteristic signs of the pathology will begin to jump out in the declarations of the allied narcissistic/(borderline) parent.
Through each booklet, I take the opportunity offered to describe to the Court a slightly different aspect of the pathology. My goal is to both educate the legal system with each booklet regarding the nature of the pathology, with a slightly different emphasis in each booklet to describing the pathology, and to also provide the legal system with a structured data-driven solution.
My goal with these two court-related booklets, the Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology Surrounding Divorce and the Contingent Visitation Schedule, is to provide targeted parents and family law attorneys with the tools needed to solve the pathology.
“Your honor, this is the assessment protocol we want you to order. We have located a mental health professional who is willing to conduct the structured data-driven assessment protocol described by Dr. Childress in the Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology Surrounding Divorce, and Dr. Childress has indicated his willingness to consult with this assessing mental health professional as needed in conducting the structured assessment protocol.”
“Your honor, the treatment-focused assessment protocol that was conducted by the mental health professional assigned to this case indicates a severe attachment-related pathology being created by a cross-generational coalition of the child with the allied parent, and we are therefore requesting that a structured Contingent Visitation Schedule be ordered as the treatment remedy. We have located a mental health professional who is willing to organize and manage the Contingent Visitation Schedule treatment intervention, and Dr. Childress has indicated his willingness to consult as needed with this assessing mental health professional in the management of the Contingent Visitation Schedule.”
Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment. We need to establish a standard of professional practice for the assessment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.
Both the treatment-focused Assessment of Attachment-Related Pathology Surrounding Divorce and the treatment-focused Contingent Visitation Schedule rely on data-driven decision making which serves as the ground foundation for establishing a professional standard of practice for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.
Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment. We start with assesment.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857