I just posted the following Comment to Karen Woodall’s Blog “Fake News and Fabrications” in which I provide an alternate label for AB-PA (the Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck model of attachment-related pathology) and invite her to a professional-level conversation about attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce using a joint blog format.
Since Comments to her blog are “moderated” my invitation may not become posted, so I wanted to make this invitation public using my platforms. I think a professional-level conversation of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce between Karen Woodall and Dr. C would be extremely helpful in moving the field forward.
Hello Karen. You’ve changed your blog design. Very bold coloring. And you’ve taken off the “Parental Alienation Expert” appellation. I tend to like softer coloring, as you’ll see shortly.
I understand that you’ve taken to labeling me a “guru” because of my diagnostic description of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce. I want to take this opportunity to clarify that what I describe is all standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology applied to a symptom set. That’s called diagnosis. AB-PA is not a theory, it’s standard diagnosis.
Perhaps you’re confused by the label attachment-based “parental alienation” (AB-PA) and think I’m proposing something “new.” That’s not at all the case. I’m simply using this label of AB-PA to quickly reference a constellation of standard and established constructs and principles of professional psychology.
You say other people have described all this before me. You’re absolutely correct. Bowlby, Minuchin, Haley, Beck, Millon, Kernberg, van der Kolk, a whole host of preeminent figures in professional psychology.
From Bowlby, it’s called “pathological mourning” and it’s linked to the “disordered mourning” of personality pathology.
From Minuchin, it’s called a “cross-generational coalition,” and it’s linked to the “emotional cutoff” described by Bowen.
From Beck, it’s the embedded “schema” patterns for interpreting relationship interactions that links to the complex trauma work of van der Kolk.
So in the effort to achieve greater clarity, I thought it might be helpful to add a second label – an equivalent label – for the attachment-related pathology I describe. Let’s call it the Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck model of “parental alienation.” Will that help?
I supposed we could call it the Bowlby-Minuchin-Haley-Bowen-Beck-Millon-Kernberg-Linehan-van der Kolk model of “parental alienation,” but then that becomes kind of long and defeats the purpose of having a convenient label.
So why don’t we just go ahead and use the label of the Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck model of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce.
My point is, this isn’t me saying this stuff. This is them saying this stuff. I’m just quoting from them. Will that help?
One more thing, I think it would be really helpful to gain professional clarity within the field of attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce if you and I could have an open professional-to-professional dialogue about the pathology commonly called “parental alienation.” I think this would be amazingly educational for all mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing and treating this pathology, to provide them with the benefit of our joint knowledge.
It seems difficult and inconvenient to have a professional-to-professional dialogue across two separate blogs, and I thought it would be really powerful to set up a joint blog where you and I could have a professional-to-professional level dialogue about the pathology.
Toward that end, I have set up a WordPress blog for you and me. If you email me I’ll give you the password to it and then you and I can jointly blog back-and-forth on a single blog in a professional-to-professional level discussion of pathology. Wouldn’t that be something. Karen Woodall and Dr. C in a professional-level conversation about the pathology…
I’ve even given you top billing.
I know you’re concerned about all the different types and variants of parent-child conflict out there, and we can discuss all these “hybrid” cases of parental alienation, as well as the more “severe” or “pure case” described by the Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck model.
A joint blog and professional-to-professional dialogue of the pathology: Two of the top “experts” in “parental alienation” (although I don’t consider myself an “expert” in “parental alienation,” I’m just a clinical psychologist). Whaddya say? Just email me, I’ll send you the password, and we can get the professional-to-professional dialogue underway.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857