Prove me wrong…

To my professional colleagues…

The field of professional psychology surrounding high-conflict divorce is rife with professional ignorance and incompetence. 

Prove me wrong.  I dare you.  I double-dog dare you.  Go ahead, prove me wrong.

Because you know what?  I’m not wrong.  The field of professional psychology surrounding high-conflict divorce is rife with professional ignorance and incompetence.

A Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck description of attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce identifies four domains of professional knowledge required for professional competence:

The attachment system;

Personality disorder pathology;

Family systems pathology;

Complex trauma.

The vast majority of mental health professionals who are assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce do NOT possess the professional knowledge required for competence.

Prove me wrong. 

You can’t.  Because I’m right.  This needs to change.

High-conflict divorce surrounding child custody is not a legal problem, it’s a professional psychology problem.  Interpersonal family conflict is not illegal, it’s unhealthy… and it’s solvable through professional psychology.

The abject failure of professional psychology in solving the attachment-related family pathology of parent-child bonding and in helping the family to successfully adjust to a new and healthy post-divorce separated family structure is then spilling into the legal system through continual litigation of family conflict.

The attachment-related family pathology of “parental alienation” is NOT a legal issue, it is a professional psychology issue.  It only becomes a legal issue because professional psychology is failing in its obligation to solve the pathology. 

Why is professional psychology failing in its responsibility to solve pathology?  Because of professional ignorance and incompetence. 

Prove me wrong.

Trauma Informed Care

The pathology of “parental alienation” (Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck; AB-PA) is a trauma pathology

Clinical Definition:  Prominent attachment-related pathology surrounding divorce represents the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma from the childhood of an allied narcissistic/(borderline) parent to the current family relationships, mediated by the personality pathology of the parent that is itself a product of this parent’s childhood attachment trauma.

The attachment-related family pathology of “parental alienation” (Bowlby-Minuchin-Beck; AB-PA) is a trauma pathology.  This pathology requires “trauma-informed care” in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. 

Failure to possess the professional knowledge required for trauma-informed assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment-related family pathology surrounding divorce represents practice beyond the boundaries of professional competence, in violation of Standard 2.01a of the APA ethics code. 

If professional ignorance of trauma-informed care leads to harm to the child and parent in their bonding following divorce, such as by preventing or delaying their bonding through inadequate assessment, inaccurate diagnosis, and ineffective treatment, then this would be a violation of Standard 3.04 of the APA ethics code.

To my professional colleagues… prove me wrong.

Because if I’m not wrong – and I’m not – then things need to change, and change quickly.  Causing harm to clients, potentially irrevocable harm to children and families, because of professional ignorance and incompetence is entirely unacceptable.

We are done tolerating professional ignorance and incompetence.  Those days are over.  All mental health professionals will be held accountable for the professional knowledge and expertise required to SOLVE pathology.

Trauma informed care.

Professional-level knowledge and expertise in:

The attachment system;

Personality disorder pathology;

Family systems pathology;

Complex trauma.

The world is changing.  Professional ignorance and incompetence are no longer acceptable.

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

2 thoughts on “Prove me wrong…”

  1. “Interpersonal family conflict is not illegal, it’s unhealthy… ”

    But – Pathogenic Parenting, leading to Child Psychological Abuse is/should be illegal? Where is the “hammer” in this – what will stop one from pathogenic parenting?

    Where emotional/psychological abuse does not legally rise to the equal of physical/sexual abuse (I know it does not in NY, inre mandated reporting), where is the force to effect correction?

    I have seen the Court shrug its shoulders for years now, I can’t see “unhealthy” prodding them off their asses.

    I understand the “trigger” – suppression of the attachment system (rejection of a parent), the virtual black-eye, belt mark, cigarette burn that indicates the problem.

    I understand the Dx of Pathogenic Parenting to follow. But I have lost the flow from there – what “forces” correction? What “forces” penalization for abuse?

    I know I have probably read this here prior – but I am currently missing the “linkage” that evidence of pathogenic parenting leads to timely and overwhelming corrective action.

    Thank you.

    1. The DSM-5 diagnosis for severe pathogenic parenting (such as AB-PA) is V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse. The treatment for all forms of child abuse is to protectively separate the child from the abusive parenting. There is your “hammer.”

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s