Top Tier


Let’s begin with trauma world.

In childhood trauma, the three biggest kahunas are Bruce Perry, Bessel van der Kolk, and John Briere.  I adore the work of all three.  Complete roll over and play dead fan of everything Perry, everything van der Kolk, and everything Briere.  Absolutely brilliant trauma work and knowledge.

So lets pick one.  Let’s pick Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, because of the three I especially love his work.  There is not a breath of daylight between Dr. Childress and Bessel van der Kolk.  I would consider van der Kolk required reading for all child and family psychologists.  Trauma expertise at 100.

So let’s compare vitaes, Dr. Childress and Bessel van der Kolk.


vdK 100; Dr C 0

That’s not a valid comparison for a PsyD.  We sacrificed publication for pathology and treatment knowledge.  A PsyD vitae is evaluated on the work experience and work level side of the vitae.

Work Experience:


vdK 100; Dr C 90

There is absolutely no doubt on the van der Kolk side of work experience, on the Childress side is attachment trauma in the foster care system ages zero to five, early childhood neuro-development of the brain, including infant development and infant trauma, three-university clinical director assessment and treatment center that included university-collaborating occupational therapy and speech-and-language assessment and treatment.  I’m strong.  I’m in the mix.

And remember, knowledge is equal.  We both work hands-on with the same pathology, trauma.  We both have the same knowledge base of evidence.  Van der Kolk extracts information sets from the pathology through the application of research and the scientific method.  He then reports on these information sets from trauma, and I read about the information sets, and I acquire the same knowledge.  So knowledge is equal.  Does the source matter?  No.  Information is information, knowledge is equal.


vdK 100; Dr. C 90

Actually, I might have a stronger attachment background than vdK, but if I do its by a hair.  I’m early childhood, including infant, van der Kolk is trauma.  I know two early childhood diagnostic models and two early childhood attachment treatments, Circle of Security and Watch, Wait, and Wonder.  But to be generous, we’ll give van der Kolk attachment too. Still, treating zero to five in the foster care system is spot-on the attachment years and spot-on attachment trauma… I may have him on attachment.

Early Childhood

Vdk 100; Dr. C 90

Now I don’t think that’s accurate.  I love the work of van der Kolk, but from everything I’ve read, he’s trauma.  Down’s syndrome, Prader Willie syndrome, autism-spectrum pathology, the neuro-biology of ADHD in non-trauma, van der Kolk doesn’t address these issues, because that’s not his area… his area is trauma not developmental disabilities or autism, so I think early childhood I’m stronger… but I’ll even be generous and give van der Kolk early childhood as well.

So where do we stand in work vitae. Van der Kolk 3, Dr. C 0.  But wait, there’s more… we just went toe to toe on van der Kolk’s strength… I still have to bring my full strength of vitae to the table, so hold on.

And while it’s three to nothing van der Kolk, I’m still in the ballpark at 90s, and it could be 2 to 1 in favor of van der Kolk if I get early childhood; and I’d argue that it’d be 2 to 1 advantage Childress with both early childhood and attachment. 

The point is, we’ve just gone through the heart of van der Kolk’s strength, and I’m in the ballpark and could be a 2-1 advantage with favor, or he could be 3-0 with favor.

Now… to my vitae.

Trans-Generational Trauma

Childress 100; vdK 98

The trauma of AB-PA pathology is the trans-generational transmission of trauma, not direct aggressive child abuse, or sexual child abuse, or neglect child abuse – those are vdK trauma – this pathology is a second-generational ripple of trauma being expressed through the family.

Trans-generational transmission of trauma is mine.  I can’t give this to Bessel.  I’m infant mental health and infant mental health is fully informed in trans-generational trauma transmission. Watch, Wait, and Wonder is a fully informed trans-generational trauma treatment.

Multi-generational trauma is also Murray Bowen in family systems therapy, the emotional cutoff and self-differentiation, so I bring an additional information set to the trans-generational transmission of attachment trauma and its effects on family relationships.

I’m stronger in the trans-generational transmission of trauma, which is the type of trauma we’re talking about in divorce-related attachment pathology.


Childress 100; vdK 98

This is a feature of trauma and the neuro-development of the brain. These are the information sets from Stern and Tronick.  Again, van der Kolk is amazing and all homage to him, I’m going to claim advantage on intersubjectivity because of my extension into autism pathology.  So I have normal-range, I have trauma-range, and I have autism-range intersubjectivity.  Slight advantage Childress

Family Pathology and Family Therapy

Childress 100; vdK 40

This is the trans-generational transmission of trauma into the family relationships (Bowen), and knowledge of family therapy and the impact of trauma within a family context is relevant.  I’m top tier family system therapy, multiple models, strong Structural and strong Strategic.  Family therapy is not van der Kolk’s thing. Totally understandable.  He’s wonderful exactly where he is.  I’m just saying in comparing… I’ve also got family systems therapy and Murray Bowen, supported by Minuchin, Haley, and Madanes knowledge.

So… where do we stand at the end of a review of work side vitaes? Bessel van der Kolk 3; Childress 3.  And with generous valuation it could be Childress 5-1 if I get attachment and early childhood.

Wow.  It could be 5-1 advantage Childress over van der Kolk in trauma domain?  It’s not important if that’s actually reality, that it is in the realm of reality means I’m strong trauma, very strong trauma.  All from direct assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of trauma pathology, in all its forms and variations.

So that’s my expertise in trauma that I bring on the behalf of you, the parents and children caught in a trauma pathology created by a pathological parent, and supported by the trauma pathology of the bystanders who collude with the pathology.

I am top tier trauma.  Not “parental alienation.”  Poof.  No, I mean real pathology. Trauma.  I am a top-tier trauma expert in the nation – PsyD pathology and treatment, vitae to vitae with Bessel van der Kolk, I can stand my ground as a PsyD.  I sacrificed the publication side of my vitae by sacrificing training in research in favor of additional high-order advanced knowledge in pathology and treatment.

When I testify on your behalf and on behalf of the child, I am testifying as one of the top trauma experts in the United States.  I’d say top; 5-1 advantage Childress with a favorable eye.  On the other hand, I’m certainly zero to 100 with a five-year-old on the publication side of the vitae.  I’m PsyD.  I sacrificed publication for expert knowledge.


Where is Dr. Childress as an expert in attachment pathology?

My vitae: Early childhood mental health, this is spot-on directly attachment.  I’m at 100.  Foster care.  This is spot-on attachment trauma.  Substantially solid 100.

So who should we compare to, we could choose Sroufe – he’s magnificent with a longitudinal research study on attachment.  Oh my god, it is the best.  Extremely impressive research and information coming from Sroufe. 

Or we could choose Ainsworth.  But that wouldn’t be fair to me, would it?  I mean I’m just a clinical psychologist and Mary Ainsworth learned directly at the feet of Bowlby, and she’s the one that grounded attachment into the scientific literature with her research.  How could I possible match vitaes with Ainsworth on attachment?

You know who I am really head-over-heels in love with in attachment is Lyons-Ruth.  Oh my god, her work is immensely wonderful stuff.  I don’t want to match vitaes with her just because she’s so wonderful I wouldn’t even think of it.  So not her.

So it’s between Sroufe and Ainsworth.  Let’s pick Ainsworth.  I know it’s hopelessly not fair to me, but lets see what it turns out to be.


Ainsworth 100; Dr. Childress 100

So clearly Mary Ainsworth is at 100 in attachment.  Pffft, no doubt.  But wait.  I’m at 100 too from early childhood, and it’s a solid 100 with treatment in the foster care system.  Was Mary Ainsworth a clinical psychologist treating attachment trauma hands-on in the foster care system, or was Ainsworth a university researcher running experiments in her laboratory classifying attachment patterns using structured activities and one-way mirrors?

Which provides better knowledge of the attachment system, and remember, I read everything from Ainsworth, so whatever knowledge she has, she shares, and I acquire, so I have at least as much knowledge, and then I have direct experience with all forms of attachment trauma in early childhood.

My expertise in attachment comes from assessing, diagnosing, and treating children age zero to five in the foster care system.  Physical violence trauma and abuse, beatings with electrical cords, cigarette burns, domestic violence; disrupted attachment by foster placement, and attachment instability from changes in foster placement, sexual abuse trauma compounded by neglect trauma from a drug parent, attachment complicated by pre-natal exposure to drug use; and the outcome of severe neglect created in Eastern European orphanages, expressing now in the adoptive family.  I’ve assessed, diagnosed, and treated all of that.  I’ve seen childhood trauma in all its forms, up close and personal, for diagnosis and in treatment.

The world of attachment is wonderful with knowledge, Bowlby and Ainsworth lead, and a host of magnificent researchers add knowledge, Bretherton is wonderful, Fonagy is my favorite of all time, and Sroufe’s longitudinal research is magnificent.  I use every bit of the knowledge these wonderful people provide… and I treat.  I’m the hands on.  No research.  Not one bit on publication or research.  I’m treatment.


Ainsworth 100; Childress 100

Everything from Mary Ainsworth is stellar, and… she’s not an early childhood mental health psychologist; intersubjectivity, affect regulation, language acquisition, autism-spectrum pathology, and the neuro-development of the brain. She’s an attachment researcher. Intersubjectivity is the information sets from Stern and Tronick.  I don’t think Ainsworth has applied intersubjectivity information sets to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of attachment pathology.  Uh-oh.  With that last sentence, I may be stronger than Ainsworth on intersubjectivity.  Strong in attachment leads to the knowledge of Stern and Tronick, so I have no doubt of her expertise in this area.  I’m at 100, this I know.


Childress 100; Ainsworth 50. 

I treated children ages zero to five in the foster care system.  That’s spot-on trauma. Mary Ainsworth, god bless her, is a university researcher on attachment patterns, she’s not in the trenches of trauma. I’m stronger trauma.

Family Therapy Context for Attachment Trauma

Childress 100; Ainsworth 20

Mary Ainsworth is a university researcher, not a family therapist.  That’s wonderful and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And I’m stronger on family systems therapy.

So where do we stand? Ties on two and advantage Dr. Chidress on two.

What?  I just went toe-to-toe with Mary Ainsworth on vitae expertise on attachment and we’re tied two and advantage Childress two?  That’s flabbergasting.  No it’s not, I’m strong.  That’s what a PsyD means.  We’re pathology and treatment.  We don’t get attention because we have sacrificed our publication vitae for knowledge… and that’s a good thing for our clients.  I never imagined I could possibly go toe-to-toe with Mary Ainsworth for expert in attachment, but treatment and trauma bring strength to my expertise.

Who’s more expert in attachment, Mary Ainsworth or Dr. Childress?  I’ll easily and happily defer.  What I will say is that I’m top tier.  If I’m not top, then I’m top five.  My expertise in attachment is in the company of Sroufe and Lyons-Ruth, but just from a different source, a treatment rather than research source.

Personality Disorder Pathology

I’m early childhood and attachment, I am not adult personality disorder.  There is, however, considerable overlap.  Attachment trauma creates the narcissistic and borderline pathology.  In attachment, we fully understand the narcissistic and borderline personality, we just know it as attachment trauma.

Who do we have to pick from in personality disorder pathology.  I don’t know who is leading in this field right now, several of the advanced experts have passed away.  How about we say Aaron Beck, who is top-top tier for CBT therapy, and Marsha Linehan with borderline and DBT therapy.

I would never presume to even bring my vitae in the room with Aaron Beck.  I concede at the first whisper of the idea.  So, it must be Marsha Linehan I guess.

Oh my god, Linehan is another of my all time favorites.  She’s so magnificently wonderful with borderline personality pathology, the integration of mindfulness is superb, and DBT is a work of artistic genius.  So, on to our vitaes.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Linehan 100; Childress 70 – actually, Linehan 250; Childress 70

Drop the mic.  I am such a fan of her constructs with regard to the borderline personality.  In my defense, I am very strong in the next two features, trauma origins of affect regulation problems, and the borderline personality parent.

Trauma and Affect Regulation

Linehan 100; Childress 100

I bring strong background in the neuro-development of the brain, trauma, and ADHD. Regulatory systems are core knowledge throughout early childhood mental health, as these systems are rapidly maturing across early childhood.

Affect regulation is an area of high strength for me because of the linkages to ADHD and my expertise there.  And for Marsha Linehan, this may be another one of those 250 ratings, off the chart.  So I’ll concede on both the first two.  Not a peep from me, totally fine with that

Borderline Parenting on the Child

Childress 100; Linehan 100

Now here is where my personality disorder strength is.  I’m not an adult-borderline expert, I’m a borderline parent expert.  My focus is the child, and the borderline parent is into the range of child abuse. Psychologically destructive parenting gets my attention.  I fully understand borderline parenting and the effects on the child, and it’s not good.

My absolute strength on this feature simply warrants a change in position with Linehan, and equal status on this feature.

Family Therapy for Borderline and Trauma

Linehan 100; Childress 100

This is an interesting comparison, DBT with Bowen and Minuchin. They are two radically different approaches, and each is extremely good.  I’m a family systems therapist, Linehan is not, but sort of she is, because DBT would cover that feature with borderline pathology, but not from a family systems approach.  So I’ll go full Bowen and Minuchin to 100, and DBT is wonderful for borderline pathology, so that’s a pick-em.

Narcissistic Personality Pathology

Childress 100; Linehan 98

I move past Linehan when it comes to narcissistic personality pathology. She’s focused and dialed in on borderline pathology.  The two personality pathologies, narcissism and borderline, are variants of the same core pathology, and both are born in childhood trauma.  The two point dink on Linehan is only because she hasn’t directly worked with child abuse by the narcissistic parent.

So where do we stand on a comparison of Childress with Linehan on expertise? Linehan 1, Childress 1, and three ties.  Again, I will once again gladly and happily defer to Marsha Linehan on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of personality disorder pathology, but once again I’m in the ballpark of top-tier.

And if we add the domain of attachment, I’m stronger in attachment, and I’m stronger on trauma generally. So potentially if we added attachment and trauma, it would be Linehan 1, Childress 3, and three ties.

“Dr. Childress, are you saying you’re more of an expert on narcissistic and borderline personality pathology than Dr. Linehan?”  Heavens no, may those words burn your tongue as you speak them.

Top Tier Expertise

I bring the strength of my expertise to my voice in support of the parents seeking to reunify with their children, restoring love and bonding damaged by the pathology of a fragile parent.  My expertise in trauma, in the attachment system, and in family therapy is national level top tier.  It’s not publication strength, but it is professional vitae strength, solid strength.

I wanted to get as far down the road to solution as I could before alerting the trauma pathogen of my trauma expertise, because this trauma pathogen recruits both enacting and enabling allies, and it is vicious in its malignancy.

This is a narcissistic pathogen, asserting expertise is a narcissistic act that could potentially draw the trauma pathogen’s attention and attack on what it perceives to be a narcissistic exposure (a narcissistic vulnerability).  I’m hoping it will my on my assertion of top tier trauma expertise.  Not only does my vitae provide adequate support for my statements, an attack by the pathogen opens a beneficial counter.  Challenge my expertise?  Then take Foundations to top tier and see what they say.  Works for me either way. 

The strength of my expertise as a psychologist benefits you and your children, families seeking love and protection from abuse.  I’m asserting national-level top-tier expertise in trauma, in attachment, and in family therapy – on the work side of the vitae.  I’m Psy.D.

If you disagree, bring a vitae to compare.  My vitae can hold it’s own with the best.

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


2 thoughts on “Top Tier”

  1. I am glad you brought up VanDK, he is a personal hero of mine. But you do not need to compare yourself to him or to anyone. I would also remind you that you are an activist in a field that is under fire. That makes you a good person and (probably) underpaid. I wish you could have helped my kid, but the courts are not there yet. After I deal with my trauma, I hope she is open to dealing with my childs.

  2. Reblogged this on Parental Alienation and commented:
    Borderline Parenting on the Child
    Childress 100; Linehan 100

    Now here is where my personality disorder strength is. I’m not an adult-borderline expert, I’m a borderline parent expert. My focus is the child, and the borderline parent is into the range of child abuse. Psychologically destructive parenting gets my attention. I fully understand borderline parenting and the effects on the child, and it’s not good.

    My absolute strength on this feature simply warrants a change in position with Linehan, and equal status on this feature.

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