My Experience with Dorcy Pruter

This post has been a long time coming, and I’m glad we’re finally here.  I’ve been hiding under the cover of Dorcy taking all of the vitriol of the pathogen, happy that the pathogen hadn’t seen the threat I pose to it from diagnosis. But as an AB-PA argument package enters the family courts, the pathogen is going to become more acutely aware of its exposure by diagnosis.

I am a top trauma expert, specifically in the trans-generational transmission of trauma.  The best way to acquire professional expertise in trans-generational trauma is in infant mental health, and to get there you have to go through the neuro-development of the brain, lots of science stuff, brain systems, neurological networks and processes.

Once you get through all of the neurological brain stuff and the psychology stuff of early childhood, then you’re ready to go infants.  To work infant mental health requires the top expertise in all of clinical psychology.  There is a lot of neuro-developmental stuff going on in the first 12-months, brain systems coming on-line all over the place in infancy.  It’s challenging to assess infants and there are limited paths for intervention.

Assessment in infancy is complex.  Administering a Bayley scale – the standard infant assessment instrument – needs two people and several hours to administer, one person keeping track of the test materials and handing them to the examiner, and the examiner actively engaging the infant through several hours of the assessment. It is a very skilled test-assessment to administer, the Bayley.  If you can do the Bayley, there probably isn’t an instrument you’re not familiar with and can’t administer.

And treatment in infancy is completely on the generational transmission of trauma. 

First, think about all the different types of things, the types of abuse, neglect, physical abuse, trauma, that could get a six- or nine-month old child into the foster care system.  Then, what’s the treatment for a 9-month old with trauma?  I can’t talk to the child.  I’m not a bonded person to the child so the child is not interested in me.  What can I do, how can I access and heal the trauma? 

Through the mother.  She has psychological access to the child.  I treat the infant through the mother.  But the mother is often the abuser.  I’m entirely in the world of trans-generational trauma, changing the trauma patterns in the mother so she responds differently to the child, and so that she will respond to the child in ways that heal the child’s trauma.  That is highly sophisticated psychological therapy work, infant psychology takes a very high level of skill and knowledge.

I’m establishing that I know what I’m talking about.  I’m one of the best clinical psychologists, top notch, top training, top knowledge. 

Why would I stake all of my professional credibility on a coach?  Have you ever wondered that? 

There are two parts of my endorsement of Dorcy Pruter, one is my endorsement of the content of what she does, the other is the strength of my support for her.  Doesn’t it seem a little odd that I am so strongly in support?  Does that make sense?

I can endorse Dorcy and the High Road without staking my entire professional reputation on her.  After all, she’s not a psychologist, she’s just a coach.  She’s not licensed, she’s not part of the club. Fine, maybe she has a nice thing that she does, I could just say that… Dorcy has a nice thing she’s doing and that’s it, get back to my stuff.

If this were a card game, I’d only need to bet 20 on Dorcy.  Instead, I’m pushing my entire stack of chips to the center of the table, all in. Why am I doing that?  I don’t need to do that.  To endorse Dorcy only takes 20, but I’m going all in.  Why?  Does that make sense to you?

You all would be terrible clinical psychologists. For a clinical psychologist like me, things have got to make sense.  If they don’t make sense I just stay on it.  What’s going on, that doesn’t make sense.  That’s what I do as a clinical psychologist, things have to make sense, and if they don’t… I just keep on that until they do.

Let me puzzle you a little more.  There’s a turf thing between coaches and psychologists I want to orient you to.  Psychologists are licensed.  We go through three years of doctoral coursework and a year of supervised internship training to get our doctorate.  But we’re not licensed yet.  To get our license we have to go through another year of supervised internship training after we receive our doctorate, the post-doc year.  But wait, that only allows us to now sit for the licensing examination which is a test of our knowledge in psychology – a doctoral level test of psychological knowledge as a gateway to licensure – that’s a hard test.

Only when we pass that test, then we get our license as psychologists.  Three years of doctoral coursework, two years of supervised training, and a comprehensive test of our psychological knowledge base.

And in that context, along comes a profession called coaching, somewhere about the 1980s and 90s.  It gained particular traction in business – a personal coach for the business person.  Licensed psychology couldn’t really stop this from happening, but licensed psychology was not all that happy with new, untrained, and unmonitored people coming in, calling themselves coaches and avoiding all responsibility, and then doing kind of psychology-like change with people.  It can be a little professionally tense between psychologists and coaches.

On the other side, big figure coaches like Anthony Robbins were off the chart popular (I think of it as a coach when working with an individual; and a motivational speaker to a group).  So these top tier motivational speakers and coaches prevented licensed psychology from using their clout to claim “practice without license.”  Psychology quivered on the edge of playing “practice without a license” on coaches, but that chance to play “practice without license” passed long ago .  Yet coaching world is still mindful of the “practice without license” threat of licensed psychology, and psychology world is none too pleased with coaching.

So into this context, Dorcy Pruter enters my life.  You know me, I know a lot of stuff.  I also don’t suffer ignorance well in colleagues, and I can be… shall we say, direct in my critique of a colleague’s work.  Dorcy comes up to me after a presentation on AB-PA, and she says some social nicety stuff, and then she says she disagrees with me regarding my statement on treatment, when I said that it would take six to nine months to treat this pathology.  Dorcy tells me that she can resolve the child’s symptoms in a matter of days, in a 4-day workshop.

That’s not possible for psychology to do.  I’m a clinical psychologist.  This is spot-on my pathology; trans-generational trauma.  I am top tier trans-generational trauma… and a coach is telling me I’m wrong about treatment.

And your name is?  That is how I met Dorcy Pruter. 

Now I’m not huffy puffy psychologist about coaches on anything… except quality.  There is no way to ensure quality.  Coaching has increasingly developed certification programs and training, but who knows on the quality of those either, so that doesn’t reassure much.  I’m old-school conservative clinical psychologist, I just want to protect vulnerable people from charlatans and frauds. 

One of the ways that coaching has handled quality is by results.  If you’re a coach and you get results for your clients, you get more referrals.  Actually, I think that’s an excellent way to establish quality.  So at top coaching levels, I’m okay with quality assurance.  What’s my proof.  If they’re getting a lot of referrals it means a lot of people are happy with their work, and that’s all that matters… results.

There are psychologists who produce no change and no growth, no results.  They’re pretty worthless.  There are coaches who produce change, success, and solutions.  They’re valuable.  So that’s my position on licensed psychology and coaching – old-school conservative puffy professional.  I’m not prejudiced, some of my best friends are coaches.

So Dorcy makes her pronouncement of her abilities to me, and I had a few moments… so I asked her some questions, because a 4-day intervention that completely resolves the child’s symptoms simply isn’t possible. I know all the forms of psychotherapy.  I know the pathology, it’s my specialty – high-level expertise knowledge. There is not a psychotherapy on the planet that can solve the child’s symptoms and restore the child’s normal-range bonding in just a couple of days.  So I remember the thought I had at the time, let me ask her a couple of questions to see where the nonsense is.

She answered my questions, and I was surprised.  Nothing in what she said would invalidate the possibility of her claim.  I thought for sure her answers to my questions would reveal the nonsense… but no nonsense.  Hmm.  Curious.  I don’t yet have insight into how she would accomplish it, but nothing she said so far was nonsense.

I agreed to meet Dorcy at my office.  I knew she wanted to talk to me about the High Road… but after she survived my questions without giving me nonsense, now I wanted to talk to her as well. Something didn’t make sense, how did she navigate my questions without invalidating herself?

So she arrived at my office, somewhere around two in the afternoon I think. I had an open afternoon and evening schedule that day.  I figured we’d talk for maybe two hours, I’d look at what she had, I’d see the flaw, offer some suggestions and that would be it.  Plus… she’s a coach working in my pathology… who are you and are you going to hurt people.

Now I’m a clinical psychologist.  If I’m working, you don’t have casual conversation with a clinical psychologist.  You may think it’s a casual conversation, and it might sound like a casual conversation.  If I’m working I’m doing a clinical assessment, I’m not “talking” about stuff. 

I’m meeting with a coach who is making a pretty interesting claim about my domain of pathology.  I’m working.  You might think we’re talking, we’re not.  I conducted a clinical assessment of Dorcy.  Who is she.  She may be talking to me.  I’m assessing her.  Did she know that?  Who knows, probably not.  She might just be finding that out now as she reads this. Surprise.

A coach is making a claim about my pathology that I know to be impossible to do in clinical psychology.  I’m doing a clinical assessment of this person’s psychological… material.  Two hours, more than enough time to get pretty much everything I need. 

Well I was pleasantly, oh so pleasantly surprised by who was sitting in my office.  Dorcy Pruter is one of the top trauma interventionists on the planet.  I’d say best. That’s the word we’d use to describe what Dorcy is doing over in trauma world, she’d be a trauma interventionist, a para-professional delivering a non-therapy trauma recovery intervention.  Dorcy doesn’t have to call herself that.  She can describe what she does.  In trauma world, she’d be known as a trauma-intervention specialist.

Consider this, Dorcy Pruter is able to accomplish what Dr. Childress, with all my puffy psychology knowledge, cannot accomplish.  And, get this… I have never, not once, asked Dorcy to train me in how to do the High Road.  I would be terrible at it.  I can’t help myself, I’d fall into being a psychologist and I’d screw it all up.  Seriously.  I know exactly what she’s doing and I know exactly how she’s achieving her results, and if I tried to do it I’d just make a big mess.

She doesn’t train psychology people to administer the High Road, with absolutely solid reasons that I totally agree with.  This is a job for coaches.  Do you know how to judge the quality of a coach?  Results.  Solutions.  Change.  Kind of like a PsyD, you don’t judge a coach on puffy vitae… you judge a coach on results.

So I’m assessing the psychological… material of Dorcy, wondering about any nonsense in her psychological stuff.  No nonsense.  Pretty remarkable.  Dorcy Pruter is a very healthy human.  I’d place her right about top level healthy.  In the psychology world of healthy, we turn to humanistic-existential psychology to get a gauge on degree of healthy.  That’s the best information sets for what makes for a healthy human.  Dorcy is a seriously healthy human.  Open, honest, lots of integrity, authentic, present and aware, sharp mind.  And boy does she love your kids.  She was one of your kids once.  I went all over the place with her on that. She’s a remarkable human.

I asked how she did it.  How did she survive deep trauma and emerge so fully actualized and healthy – don’t get me wrong, she’s quirky, and fun, and odd, and grumpy just like we all are… but she’s both grounded and in flow at the same time, alive.  But that doesn’t make sense, not from the trauma background she comes from.

Trauma leaves damage, and it can be substantial damage.  Even if healed, there are psychological scars.  But I don’t see any damage.  From the trauma she comes from as a child… that doesn’t make sense.  We never see this degree of healthy come out from that degree of trauma.  Doesn’t happen.

Things have to make sense to me.  That didn’t make sense.  Kids in that kind of trauma world don’t come back to healthy, and certainly not remarkably healthy.  How?  How did this child of deep trauma, not only recover, but now prosper?  She told me of the price she paid for trauma physically.  I understand.  That makes complete sense.  When last I left trauma world I was incorporating Perry’s work on the localization of trauma in muscles and the body.  Perry describes that deep trauma is captured in the body, and deep muscle massage, rhythmic deep muscle, assists in organizing the traumatized nervous system.  Trauma goes to the body level of the brain through the fight-and-flight system, and it can devastate physical body systems.

Clinical psychologists learn our knowledge from pathology.  We spend the first years of our doctoral program in book-learning, preparing our knowledge for the real learning, then learning directly from pathology.  After our book-learning phase, we enter two years of supervised training doing therapy with pathology.  This is where we learn therapy, through mentoring from more experienced therapists.  Then we go into the world and work with the pathology directly.  The pathology that psychologists work with is the one that calls us, and typically that’s because it’s our stuff, and we begin learning of pathology directly from assessing, diagnosing, and treating the pathology.  In clinical psychology, we learn directly from the pathology.

Dorcy also learned complex trauma directly from the pathology.  She has acquired some deep knowledge for trauma from the pathogen itself.  She doesn’t have the book-knowledge of Dr. Childress, but her trauma knowledge is spot-on accurate.  She absolutely knows what she’s talking about.  She doesn’t think like a psychologist, which is a really good thing.  She sees.  All of us psychologists, we learned stuff that now boxes in our perception, we can now only see what our psychology minds allow.

Psychology training is not the path Dorcy traveled to get here, and its not the path she walked into her wisdom.  She has wisdom, she has solution.

For us psychology people, we learn from the pathology at a distance.  In assessing  pathology we learn its features, in treating the pathology we learn its core.  Dorcy took a different path for her knowledge.  A more dark and difficult path.  She was a child of trauma.  She was there.  She was that child.  That’s a special kind of learning.  Better than mine.

There’s a problem with that type of learning, though.  When you go deeply into trauma, deep enough to get the really good knowledge… it destroys the child.  They don’t come back, not all the way… not from deep trauma, severe trauma.  So while you may acquire the knowledge of deep trauma from experience, you can’t use it because it has distorted you in its discovery.

But Dorcy came out.  How did you come out of that?  Nobody comes out from that.  Oh, I understand.  You paid a price in physical for the protection of psychological.  The destruction that was meant for your soul, was able to be contained in the body.  I understand.  That explains your remarkable self-actualization, pain is the origin of transformation.  Lots of pain provides the higher order transformations.  Most people don’t get that much pain because it destroys them psychologically.  That must have been very hard on that little girl, and on you.  I understand why you don’t want it to happen to any other child.  Makes total sense.

So after about four hours of talking with Dorcy, I finally asked to see her protocol.  My impressions of Dorcy the person at that point were that she is solid and no nonsense authentic.  And she’s smart.  Four hours of talking to her, high level.  Not one bit of nonsense out of her.  She knows her stuff.  I trust her.  Within the scope of who she is from my assessment of her, she warranted substantial trust, which is uncommon for me.

She opened her computer and began to walk me through the High Road protocol, explaining and showing me, step-by-step, what she does in the High Road.  Three minutes in I’m impressed, five minutes in and I fully understand what she is doing, and it is going to work.  It is not like anything we do in clinical psychology.  I cannot do what Dorcy does.

Is it complicated?  No, not particularly.  There is a degree of artistry to it.  Can it be learned by para-professional coaches?  Yep, that would actually be the appropriate instructor level, trained para-professional.  The activities are just watching videos of stories, like you might see on Saturday morning TV, and educational videos about how we form beliefs and attitudes, and structured workshop activities in healthy communication and problem-solving.  The media pieces and workshop activities are very average and mundane, but each has a type of effect, some open compassion, some support critical thinking.  It’s both the effect, and the sequencing.  I’d describe the High Road protocol as elegant trauma recovery work.

No talk of the past.  No blaming.  Nothing at all remotely like therapy.  Just normal educational interesting kind of stuff.

Somewhere in the middle of the second or third day, the child’s normal attachment system pops back, and then hugs and crying, and the parents will cry, and Dorcy will cry.  The final part of the workshop is the family jointly planning together for stabilizing their family when they get home.

It’s not a complicated thing.  If you were to see it, you wouldn’t see anything special.  Just watching videos, some communication workshop stuff.  Nothing particularly remarkable.  But what’s going on in the seemingly unremarkable videos and activities of the High Road workshop is actually quite remarkable. 

The pathogen saw Dorcy early.  She’s out there rescuing the children. She’s recovering the child’s healthy authenticity.  The pathogen can’t have that.  It came after her early and savagely.  It wanted her entirely nullified as a threat. 

The pathogen unleashed a malevolent and vicious component of allies, the brown-shirts of the Nazis, the thugs, the ones I labeled flying monkeys from the popular culture term.  Their function in the trauma pathogen is to lie and abuse, to intimidate by vile assault.  They attack relentlessly with lies and slander, seeking to nullify the threat.

The purpose of the pathogen’s attack is not to score points on attack, the pathogen can’t think, it can’t form an attack on a target.  Instead, the purpose of the attack is to put the target on the defensive.  As long as the target is defending, the threat from the target is nullified.  It doesn’t matter what allegation is hurled, only that it makes the target begin defending. 

When you hear the attacks on Dorcy, they’re obviously not credible, but credibility is not the purpose.  The purpose is to sow confusion by slander and to make Dorcy defend herself against some wild accusation, because when she defends herself from the accusation she’s amplifying the allegation by attending to it, but if she doesn’t answer it then it stands unchallenged.  Do you recognize the double-bind?  That’s a classic symptom of trauma pathology.  Either way is bad, no escape. 

The pathogen doesn’t want people poking around who might locate it, so it distracts away from itself by making the target of its attack the focal point of everyone’s attention.  Parents, look at what is happening to you with this pathology, people aren’t focused on the manipulative and destructive parenting of your ex-, everyone is instead focused on whether you are a bad parent.  It’s put you on the defensive of trying to prove that you’re not “abusive,” and defending yourself that you’re not a bad parent who “deserves” to be rejected.  You’re on the defensive, with therapists, with the court, with the “bystander” role in the trauma-reenactment, and as long as you’re defending yourself, the pathogen remains hidden from the view of others, hidden from the rescuers.

The trauma pathogen assaulted Dorcy pretty violently through the flying monkeys, not physical violence, although the threat is ever-present, but savage emotional and psychological assault.  I’m choosing my words with intent – violence and assault.   It’s not physical violence, and hopefully it will stay contained, but she has definitely endured a prolonged period of violent assault from the pathogen.  And the lies have been relentless.

The pathogen must discredit and nullify Dorcy at all costs, because she carries the solution, the way to gently and effectively extract trauma from people.

I used my authority as a psychologist to protect her from slander.  I anchored truth.  The Gardnerian “experts” also launched an assault on her.  A more insidious and hidden one.  They tried to nullify her by general expulsion from the club of “parental alienation,” the bona fide expert nonsense.  My credibility as a psychologist prevented the pathogen from gaining access to her and kept her from being excluded by puffy vitae psychology. 

The pathogen didn’t like that.  It turned its flying monkeys on me for a while, seeking to somehow get past me to get at Dorcy, but it couldn’t find a way past me.  The content of attacks on me from this flying monkey period are because I support Dorcy, they’re not directly at me because the pathogen can’t think, so it doesn’t know what AB-PA is.  The pathogen hadn’t noted my threat to it.  I was not the target.  It just wanted to get past me to get to her.

During this period, I’m learning huge amounts of information about the flying monkey aspect of the pathogen. That’s not a characteristic of any other pathology.  At its upper reaches, the flying monkey psychological assault can move into gang-stalking and a severely abusive form of malignant narcissism.

Flying monkeys… you’re going to be famous.  I’m sure it will be wonderful for you.

Dorcy’s had to endure their aggressive assault on her for several years.  Again, I choose my words… assault.  While I could protect Dorcy somewhat from the most dangerous of the pathogen’s attack, she still had to endure the savage and brutal assault of the pathogen through the malevolence, slander, and lies of flying monkeys.  Not a pleasant work context, Dorcy is top trauma, she doesn’t miss a step.

I’ve been exploiting the pathogen’s focus on Dorcy to fly under the radar, to not be recognized as a threat, or at least to distract the pathogen into thinking that I am a known threat of no importance.  From the pathogen’s perspective, I’m the Dorcy protector that must be eliminated in order to destroy Dorcy.  The pathogen hadn’t seen my threat posed by diagnosis.  That’s changing as I’m entering the court system as an expert witness and an AB-PA argument package is being formulated in the family courts.  The pathogen sees my threat now, and I’m expecting it to more directly seek to discredit me and the threat I pose.

But now here’s the puzzlement I pose to you.  I could accomplish everything by just keeping Dorcy standing in response to the pathogen’s attacks and by offering the High Road my endorsement… that’s only a bet of 20 from my professional credibility on her for me to do that.  Why am I going all in with all my chips on Dorcy, putting my professional credibility entirely on the line for a coach?  I don’t need to do that.  Does that make sense to you?

Let me help you make sense of that seemingly odd behavior of Dr. Childress.

I am a top trauma expert.  Personally, I’d say I’m top, but who’s quibbling.  Dorcy Pruter is the real deal.  Her work is solid and substantial professional work and is an impressive professional achievement.  In my view as clinical psychology, Dorcy Pruter is a top tier trauma interventionist.  Best I’ve seen.  I don’t know how she’d feel about that label, but from my world that’s the term for it, a trained and knowledgeable para-professional who specializes in work with trauma.  That’s called a trauma interventionist in trauma world. 

For example, it might be the pediatric nurse working with a trauma infant or toddler through home visits, employing advanced trauma knowledge with the parent and young child to resolve trauma, in both.  The role of that pediatric nurse would be considered a trauma interventionist, a para-professional who is delivering high-caliber trauma recovery intervention, most likely the pediatric nurse would be part of a larger multi-disciplinary trauma recovery team of professionals.

Dorcy can call herself whatever she wants, I’m not putting her in my psychology box.  She’s not part of my psychology box.  But she’s top trauma.

Her integrity is exceptional and beyond reproach.  She is a solid, healthy, and actualized person.  She is authentic.  She loves your kids.  She was them.  She is a remarkable human, wonderfully unique with enlightenment.

I didn’t go all in on Dorcy because it serves a purpose.  A lesser level of support would have served the same purpose.  I pushed all my chips to the center of the table because I recognize the truth, Dorcy Pruter is a top trauma interventionist, I’d say the best.

That’s why we went to the AFCC.  I hope to have the opportunity to present with her at the APA at some point.  I would look on that as a distinct honor and delight, and if I have my way the seminar would be entirely about her body of work, it is warranted.

The pathogen likes to try to demean her by attacking her educational level, she’s “just a high school graduate.”  I’m a doctoral psychologist.  I find that line of attack on her exposes the cruel malevolence of the pathogen, and it’s also amusing, and it’s not one that has any landing spot in her.

As a clinical psychologist who knows lots and lots of really doctoral level stuff… I would describe it this way, Dorcy Pruter does not have a doctoral degree, and thank god.  Think about this carefully, Dr. Childress cannot accomplish what Dorcy does.  I don’t even try.

I would consider Dorcy Pruter my professional peer.  I have learned from her, I would seek her consultation, and I would value her consultation.  She has endured great slander, psychological assault, and the lies of the pathogen with courage and professionalism.  I would frame it this way, Dorcy Pruter is my professional peer, she doesn’t have a doctoral degree.

I am most impressed with her parenting curriculum, Higher Purpose Parenting.  Her parenting curriculum is some of the most sophisticated trauma work I’ve ever seen.  It is subtle, elegant in its simplicity, and powerful in its formulation. 

The pathogen lives in lies.  Lies can damage.  Truth is stronger.  Truth takes time, but truth is stronger.

So bring all the attention from lies and slander you want stupid pathogen, because Dorcy’s the real deal.  I didn’t go all in on her for a purpose.  I pushed all my chips to the center of the table because she’s the truth.  Dorcy Pruter is a top tier trauma interventionist, with top tier knowledge, and she’s produced some strong and remarkable work. 

Give credit where credit is due.

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



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