The renowned family therapist, Salvador Minuchin, has passed today.
A brilliant man. My clinical work as a family therapist is strongly influenced by Minuchin. I had the benefit of hearing him lecture at a conference, and the statement of his that resonated with me most is when he said, “A child cannot be as powerful as an adult unless he’s standing on someone’s shoulders” – speaking about the cross-generational coalition.
The second important influence on my work from Salvador Minuchin is his recognition that a dysfunctional system is stable WITH the symptom present. In order to create change, we must first disrupt the stability of the dysfunctional system. Then, as the system begins to re-stabilize from the disruption we intentionally create as the family therapist, we can remove the symptom and help the system reorganize into a healthier set of relationships.
This is at the core of my work in bringing change to the dysfunctional mental health and legal systems surrounding the pathology of “parental alienation.”
The broken mental health and legal systems are stable and resistant to change. Everything I am doing is with the goal of first disrupting the stability of the dysfunctional systems – AB-PA, at its core, has this as its purpose, the disruption of the dysfunctional system. AB-PA is challenging the APA from its slumber, AB-PA is challenging the ignorance of therapists out of their incompetence, AB-PA is challenging the status quo of child custody evaluations, AB-PA is challenging the complacency of Gardnerian PAS “experts.”
Through AB-PA, I am disrupting the stability of the dysfunctional systems. This is by design and is directly the result of Salvador Minunchin’s influence on my work. He is a guiding force in my work to solve “parental alienation,” from start to finish.
In 1993, in his book Family Healing with Michael Nichols, Salvador Minuchin provided a structural family diagram for the pathology of “parental alienation” – called a “cross-generational coalition” in family systems therapy.
AB-PA is not Childress. It’s Minuchin.
He lives in me, and his life ripples through my healing with families. Bless you dear man. You live in every family therapist, and your influence to heal children and families continues.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist – and family therapist – PSY 18857