I recently responded with three posts to a Comment in my Facebook group, the Alliance to Solve Parental Alienation. I think what I discuss in the posts to the Alliance are important enough that I want to provide this commentary to by blog as well.
Facebook Comment Post 1
Professional psychology became split by Gardner’s proposal of a “new form of pathology” and by several subsequent poorly conceived positions by Gardner that polarized professional psychology.
Gardner’s proposal that children’s allegations of abuse could be discounted if there was “parental alienation” present provoked the domestic violence and child abuse protection advocates into becoming adversaries of the construct of “parental alienation,” and then he made distasteful comments about children’s sexuality that further activated opposition to his proposal for a “new form of pathology.”
You can still see the echos of turning the domestic violence protection advocates into our adversaries in the official position of the APA on Parental Alienation Syndrome
Furthermore, not only did Gardner create a schism in establishment professional psychology, his proposal for a supposedly “new form of pathology” gave away all of the power because it placed targeted parents and their mental health allies in a position of having to prove the existence of a “new form of pathology.”
Immediately, the opponents of PAS stated – accurately – that there was no scientific basis to PAS, and that it was a “discredited” unacceptable proposal. This also created a mindset in targeted parents and their mental health allies that they had to prove “parental alienation” exists as a construct and have it “accepted” by professional psychology.
Gradually, the construct of “parental alienation” was grudging accepted by most individual mental health professionals, but the overall construct of Parental Alienation Syndrome proposed by Gardner continued to be rejected. This creates the fertile breeding ground for professional ignorance and incompetence in which mental health professionals just start making up their own subjective and idiosyncratic definitions of what constitutes “parental alienation.”
In addition, by proposing that “parental alienation” represents a “new form of pathology” unique in all of mental health, requiring a unique new set of symptoms unlike any other symptoms for any other pathology in all of mental health, the Gardnerian PAS diagnostic model does not provide a professionally anchored description for what the pathology is. It’s this unique new thing – with no anchoring professional-level explanation for what it is or how it works.
Gardner skipped the step of professional diagnosis. Diagnosis is the application of standard and established constructs and principles to a set of symptoms. Instead of applying the rigor of professional standards of practice for diagnosis, Gardner too quickly abandoned professional practice by proposing a “new form of pathology unique in all of mental health.”
By leaving the path of established professional psychology, Gardner led everyone into the wilderness, and targeted parents and their mental health allies have been struggling ever since.
In developing the solution to “parental alienation” I spent about a year back in 2008-2009 simply analyzing the nature of the problem and laying out the course needed for the solution. I then set about correcting the step skipped by Gardner – diagnosis – in order to return us to the path of established professional psychology.
By returning to the path of established professional psychology we define the pathology from entirely within standard and established constructs and principles, which then defines domains of knowledge needed for professional competence. We leave the wilderness of “new forms of pathology unique in all of mental health” and return to the solid foundation of established constructs and principles.
Gardnerian PAS as a supposedly new form of pathology unique in all of mental health is a theory that needs to be proven.
AB-PA is the application of standard and fully established constructs and principles – constructs and principles already amply proven in the scientific research and professional literature – to a set of symptoms. This is called diagnosis. AB-PA is NOT a theory, it is diagnosis.
AB-PA goes back and corrects the step skipped by Gardner – diagnosis. By correcting this step, AB-PA leads us out of the wilderness of “new and unique forms of pathology” and returns us to the path of established professional psychology.
By NOT proposing a “new form of pathology,” but instead defining the pathology entirely from within standard and established constructs and principles, AB-PA provides a compromise solution to end the schism in professional psychology; establishment psychology does not need to accept a “new form of pathology unique in all of mental health,” and we have the pathology of “parental alienation” formally defined and acknowledged by all of mental health, with formal standards of practice for its assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
Facebook Comment Post 2
Let me introduce a secret that I know but haven’t disclosed yet, I’m operating at about five to ten years ahead of what is currently taking place in this solution to “parental alienation.” That’s why I’m beginning to shift my focus over to unlocking the terrorist mind:
AB-PA is already solved. It is simply a matter of how long it takes for the solution to be enacted.
I’ll be describing this to the Advanced AB-PA Certification mental health professionals attending Day 3 the Pasadena seminars, so that they too will begin operating about 5 years ahead of the current situation.
The Basic AB-PA Certification seminar on November 18-19 will train to expertise in activating the current “information-structures” of the solution, the professional knowledge base, the assessment and diagnosis protocol, and the beginning treatment protocol.
The Advanced AB-PA Certification seminar on November 20 will train to expertise in the next phase – the opening of intersubjectivity (Stern, Fonagy, Shore, Tronick, Trevarthan) which will fully open the treatment component of the solution, and in the actual “meme-structures” – the information structures; the underlying “code structures” – for both the pathogen and the solution.
The solution offered by AB-PA operates on many-many levels. On Day 3 of the AB-PA Certification seminar, I’ll be explaining the “meme-structure” of the pathogen, the origins and maintenance of the professional schism, and the fullness of the solution. I’m really looking forward to this portion of the seminar. It would take me a book to explain what I did with AB-PA and how AB-PA is working to create the solution – AB-PA will, with 100% certainty, create the solution. It’s simply a matter of how long it takes the meme-structures of AB-PA to propagate through the mental health system.
If the meme-structures of AB-PA propagate fast enough, then I’ll still be around to help support the solution’s development into its full completeness. If not, then it will be to the next generation of mental health professionals to fully activate the complete solution that will be emerging into the attachment system field, the personality disorder field, and the complex trauma field.
The AB-PA Advanced Certified mental health professionals will be trained to a high level of expertise, and will also be operating at about 5 years ahead of the current situation. They will be the ones who will be leading professional psychology into the emerging solutions provided by AB-PA. These emerging solutions will not only be about “parental alienation” in high-conflict divorce, but will extend significantly into both attachment research and attachment trauma pathology (complex trauma).
Currently, the field of “parental alienation” in high-conflict divorce is a little known and little attended to backwater in professional psychology. In about 5 years it will explode front-and-center into the professional fields of attachment research, personality disorder pathology, and complex trauma. In about 10 years, implications growing out of AB-PA will be central in both research and in solving a variety of attachment-related issues affecting the mental health of our society.
My shelf life is limited. By the time these expansions of the implications take place I’ll be gone or preparing to leave the planet. It will be for the next generation to activate these information structures. Leadership in the next generation will be from the AB-PA Advanced Certified mental health professionals. If I don’t leave the planet abruptly (I’ve already had one stroke), then I figure I have about 10 years to teach and train the next generation of expertise. If it takes about 5 years to ramp-up this training, that means I have about 5 years of fully active training and teaching before I pass the baton to the next generation of expertise.
The current phase of the solution we are enacting is to eliminate the profound professional ignorance and incompetence in professional psychology that has been allowed to fester under the Gardnerian PAS paradigm. That’s why I had to excoriate the remaining Gardnerian PAS “experts” back in August and September. Think of it as cauterizing the remaining open wound in professional psychology that continued to act as a source for professional ignorance and incompetence.
The phases that will be emerging next will be to leverage AB-PA into the necessary systems changes within the family law courts, and also to open up more fully the treatment-related domains of the solution.
The phases that follow the family court and treatment solutions will be to extend AB-PA into the fields of attachment theory, personality disorder pathology, and complex trauma.
My personal focus will be shifting to the viral code-structure of the Terrorist Mind (same core structure as AB-PA, different surrounding meme-structures), and to other domains that I wanted to get to before I became involved in “parental alienation.”
My shelf-life is limited. There are things I want to get to before I leave.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
Facebook Comment Post 3
The best way for me to explain how AB-PA works is simply to create the solution with it. As the solution manifests, people will gradually see how it’s working in creating the solution and they’ll start to go, “Ooooooh, I see. I get it.”
The phase we’re in right now is clearing out the professional ignorance and incompetence in professional psychology that 30 years of Gardnerian PAS has allowed to fester and grow unchecked. This is through AB-PA’s meme-structures that define domains of professional knowledge needed for professional competence, which then activates Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code, which then empowers targeted parents to file licensing board complaints based on these domains of competence. Using the Standards of the APA ethics code, we will expel professional ignorance and incompetence.
This current phase of building professional expertise is supported by my Certification seminars, by establishing standards of practice for “assessment of attachment related pathology surrounding divorce,” and by the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA that define the pathology (present-absent) in all cases.
We are currently in the process of establishing a ground foundation for professional competence, and then ultimately expertise, in required knowledge, in assessment, and in diagnosis (and later, in treatment, although I’m already opening the treatment door with the Contingent Visitation Schedule).
The next phase will be to leverage the professional expertise we establish in professional psychology to create the systems change needed in the family court system. I’ve recently opened the meme-structures (information structures) for this solution with the AB-PA Key Solution Pilot Program for the Family Courts.
These resources all represent complex “meme-structures” (information structures) that will solve the problems in the mental health system and legal systems. Through the AB-PA Certification seminars I will be creating the professional expertise needed to actualize this solution.
The solution is already here. It’s just a matter of how long it takes for the meme-structures of the solution to propagate through the mental health and legal systems.
In the Basic AB-PA Certification seminars on November 18-19 I will be training to expertise in activating the basic meme-structures of the solution; the knowledge base, the assessment and diagnosis protocol, and the treatment protocol (the Contingent Visitation Schedule and the ability to work in collaboration with High-Road augmented recovery).
In the Advanced AB-PA Certification seminar on November 20 I will be training to expertise in the next set of meme structures that open magnificent doors of understanding; intersubjectivity (Stern, Fonagy, Shore, Trevarthan; Tronick) and the meme-structures themselves (the code structures of the pathology and of the solution).
Seeing the “meme-structures” is like seeing the code in the movie The Matrix. Once the underlying meme-structure code is recognized, everything become clear, both the pathology and it solution.
The solution is already in place. Sufficient “meme-structures” (information structures) to create the solution are already in the “meme-scape.” It is just a matter of how long it takes for these meme-structures to propagate through the mental health and legal systems.
If you think of the pathology as a “computer virus” in the love-and-bonding “software programs” of the brain (the attachment system) that is crashing the child’s attachment system, then AB-PA represents the “anti-viral” program that:
1.) Identifies the “computer virus” by its code structure (the three diagnostic indicators of AB-PA);
2.) Quarantines the child’s love-and-bonding “software programs” from the active source of the “computer virus” (the protective separation);
3.) Restores the normal-range “code structure” and functioning of the child’s love-and-bonding “software programs” (the child’s healthy attachment bonding to the targeted parent);
4.) Installs “anti-viral software” in the child’s love-and-bonding programs to prevent reinfection by the “computer virus” contained in the love-and-bonding system of the previously allied parent (stabilization of the child’s recovery);
The child is then reintroduced to the source of the “computer virus,” (the personality disordered parent) with monitoring to ensure that the child’s love-and-bonding “software programs” do not become “reinfected” by the “computer virus” in the love-and-bonding “software” (the attachment/personality disorder pathology) of the formerly allied parent.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857