2020 – Goals for the New Year

My five goals for 2020:

1.  Diagnosis

We need to start getting an accurate diagnosis for this pathology so we can develop an effective treatment plan. The DSM-5 diagnosis is V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse, and the ICD-10 diagnosis is F24 Shared Psychotic Disorder.

2.  Resources

We need to develop local-area mental health resources for parents to efficiently assess, accurately diagnose, and effectively treat attachment-related pathology and complex trauma pathology surrounding divorce.

I will be initiating my training period from 2020-2022, offering a three-day training seminar in Southern California twice a year, spring and fall, for mental health professionals in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of court-involved family conflict.

My longer-term goal is for this next generation of professionals to then carry knowledge and conduct training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of court-involved family conflict pathology surrounding divorce.  I train – you train is the fastest way to spread professional standards of practice.

These parents and children are immensely vulnerable because of their court-involved position.  These parents and children warrant the highest standards in the application of knowledge and professional standards of practice, not the lowest.

The court has an awesome and profoundly serious responsibility surrounding the family.  The decisions of the court regarding this family matter will have immense consequences for the lives of the child and the parents.  Professional responsibilities to the court in its decision-making warrant the highest standards in the application of knowledge and professional practice, not the lowest.

That is the standard I will be training to, twice a year in Southern California. 

My first training for mental health professionals will be extra-special, because I’ll be joined by Dorcy Pruter for a four-day collaborative training.  The mental health professionals who train with both of us will leave as the best trained professionals on the planet in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of complex court-involved family conflict.

We’re getting rid of “experts” and are instead establishing boundaries of competence for all mental health professionals working with court-involved family conflict pathology.  The standard of practice for professional competence is to know everything there is to know about the pathology, and then read journals to stay current.

In 2020, we will begin training to that standard.

3.  Research – CCPI

I would very much like to enlist some university-based research over here.

It is sorely needed.

There is zero actual-real research over here, and nearly everything is opinion pieces.  The only “research” are a few soft retrospective self-report studies with problematic operational definitions of constructs.

We need to get some actual scientifically grounded research over here.  My goal for 2020 and beyond is to get university-based researchers involved in collaborative pilot program research with the family courts for solutions.

In addition, I would like to get university-based researchers hooked up to Dorcy Pruter (through a Memorandum of Understanding; MOU) regarding trauma recovery and family pathology surrounding divorce.

She’s not a psychologist.  She’s not in a university doing research.  She’s a businesswoman, she’s a professional life and family coach, and she is out here actively recovering children from complex trauma and child abuse.  She’s not the one at the university doing research, that’s all of you.

I’ve worked with top-tier researchers at UCLA (Keith Nuechterlein, Ph.D.; schizophrenia) and UCI (Jim Swanson, Ph.D.; ADHD).  Those are both top of their respective fields.  I absolutely know what top-tier NIMH research looks like.  The research coming from a collaboration with Dorcy Pruter and the Conscious Co-Parenting Institute will be of that caliber.

She is not the principle investigator, that’s you.  She is a consultant collaborator through an MOU.  You’re the researcher, she’s the consultant in recovery from complex trauma.

On a scale of 1-to-100, I’d put Keith Nuechterlein and Jim Swanson at 98, I’d put Amy Baker’s research at about 10 and Jennifer Harman’s at about 5, retrospective self-reports on samples of convenience are just about worthless as research.  When I think research, I think the MTA multi-site research on ADHD or Sroufe’s longitudinal research on attachment, or Nuechterlein’s research on schizophrenia.

My professional estimate of the research potential from a major university collaboration with Dorcy Pruter and CCPI is that it would yield research product in the 90-95 range.  Superior and substantial.

Whoever develops a research collaboration with Dorcy Pruter and CCPI will be an incredibly happy researcher.  My professional estimate from my background with other research at UCLA and UCI is there will be at least 10 years of very productive trauma and attachment research from that collaboration, as well as substantial research on solutions for court-involved family conflict.

You’re the researcher.  That’s you.  She is a trauma recovery consultant on an MOU agreement.

Dorcy’s a businesswoman, a life and family coach, and a child of alienation herself.  She has a recovery workshop for complex trauma and child abuse that can fully recover the child’s healthy and normal-range development gently and in a matter of days. And she has more.

Her workshop approach has application across a range of trauma-involved pathologies, from substance abuse recovery to prison recidivism.  And she has more.

I’m hoping 2020 sees the emergence of research opportunities from university collaborations, both through university-led evaluation research of pilot program solutions for the family courts, as well as through separate MOU collaborations with Dorcy Pruter and CCPI across multiple levels.

4.  Vitae & Standards of Practice

The exploitation of these parents stops. The destruction of their lives, and the lives of their children, stops.

I’ll be bringing personal-professional “peer-review” and standards of practice to court-involved clinical psychology.  I am an old-school conservative clinical psychologist.  If you’ve ever seen the John Houseman character in Paper Chase…  My manner is gentler, but no less direct and clear.

I will begin this focus on improving standards of professional practice by focusing on vitaes.  To do this, I become the first review.  It is incumbent upon me to establish my professional foundations and qualifications to review the vitaes and professional practices of others.  I have. 

My vitae is available online for review: Dr. Chldress Vitae

I have a YouTube Series regarding my vitae: Dr. Childress: YouTube Vitae Series

I have background professional education, training, and experience, evident on my vitae, in the following domains:

  • Attachment pathology
  • Trauma and child abuse
  • Family systems therapy (all schools and theorists)
  • ADHD and school behavior problems
  • Oppositional-defiant and conduct disorder
  • Juvenile justice pathology
  • Autism-spectrum pathology
  • Pediatric psychology (including Munchausen by proxy; DSM-5 Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another).
  • Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders
  • Early childhood mental health and the neuro-development of the brain in childhood.

I consider the standard for professional competence is knowing everything there is to know about the pathology, and then reading journals to stay current.  That has been the accepted standard of practice everywhere I have ever worked.  I am asserting that personal standard for professional competence with the above pathology domains.

Now I wish to peer review my professional colleagues.

If you challenge my authority fine, lets hear your challenge.  Otherwise…

The financial rape and exploitation of these parents stops. The destruction of their lives and the lives of their children… stops.

I have prepared two evaluation instruments to assist in my analysis of professional reports:

This is consistent with my role as a clinical psychology consultant to parents and their attorneys.  I am currently and will be providing a review of mental health reports using these two instruments for the Custody Resolution Method.

This “Psychology Tagging” of mental health reports and vitaes is a stand-alone service offered through the Custody Resolution Method (Dorcy Pruter; CCPI), as well as an included service in their larger data-tagging of data sets offered through the Custody Resolution Method (CRM).

If parents or their attorneys believe it would be helpful to have the mental health reports in their matter reviewed directly by Dr. Childress using the Checklist of Applied Knoweledge and Vitae Documentation Form, contact the Conscious Co-Parenting Institute and ask about their “Psychology Tagging” of mental health reports.

5.  Dublin, 2020

I will be presenting in Dublin, Ireland April 18-19 at the Alex Hotel.  I will be joined by Dorcy Pruter.  On Saturday, I will discuss foundations, assessment, and diagnosis.  On Sunday, Dorcy Pruter and Dr. Childress discuss solutions.

I anticipate this is the last initiative I will take in Europe, and I will more directly focus my attentions on the United States and Canada.  I believe the emerging forces for change in the Netherlands are on a positive path of consideration, I would like to open up Spanish language translations and collaborations.

Our seminars in Dublin in April will bring excellence in professional knowledge and standards of practice to the British isles.  England is the home of John Bowlby and attachment. That they should be self-inflicting attachment pathology on their families is entirely unnecessary and deeply unfortunate.

I am hoping that Cafcass will take the opportunity afforded by Dr. Childress and Dorcy Pruter traveling to Dublin to attend and engage the dialogue on the application of knowledge and solutions.

We present on Saturday and Sunday.  During the week, the Gardnerian PAS “experts” have a full conference offering their perspectives.  This represents the perfect opportunity to hear both positions, side-by-side, consider, and make informed decisions on the path forward.

I am recommending the development of three pilot programs for the family courts (AB-PA/High Road is one, develop two more).  Recruit university involvement for implementation and evaluation research.  Implement the pilot programs, collect data, see what works. Do that.

In April, Dr. Childress & Dorcy Pruter travel to Ireland. Registration is available on my website, scroll down the page.

Dr. Childress & Dorcy Pruter: Dublin, April 18-19

1.  Diagnosis

I’d like to get my second book out and published in 2020, An Attachment-Based Model of Parental Alienation: Diagnosis.  We’ll see what happens.  These are milestones on the path, it’s like giving birth to children. Women, I feel your pain.  That – has to come ouf of – me?  I guess so.  You’ve heard the formulations and echoes in my Alliance posts this past year.

Foundations, Diagnosis, and Treatment.  I’m envisioning three.  We’ll see how much I can get done.

Clinical Psychology:  Assessment leads to diagnosis, and diagnosis guides treatment.  The assessment is always directed to the referral question.  What’s the referral question?  The assessment is designed around the referral question, the assessment answers the referral question.

Referral Question: Which parent is the source of pathogenic parenting creating the child’s attachment pathology, and what are the treatment implications?

That is a limited-scope and focused referral question that can be answered. Which parent is creating the child’s attachment pathology, and how do we fix it?

We need a treatment plan.  Treatment is guided by diagnosis.  You tell me the diagnosis, and I’ll tell you the treatment plan.

A persecutory delusion.  An echo of trauma and abuse from many years ago.  A shared persecutory delusion imposed on the child.  A shared delusion (ICD-10 F24 Shared Psychotic Disorder).

From the American Psychiatric Association:

From the APA: “Usually the primary case in Shared Psychotic Disorder is dominant in the relationship and gradually imposes the delusional system on the more passive and initially healthy second person… Although most commonly seen in relationships of only two people, Shared Psychotic Disorder can occur in larger number of individuals, especially in family situations in which the parent is the primary case and the children, sometimes to varying degrees, adopt the parent’s delusional beliefs.” (p. 333)

A shared persecutory delusion, use the BPRS to anchor the symptom rating. This is not new knowledge, there is no “new theory” – the established knowledge of professional psychology, the ICD-10 and the DSM-5

Pathogenic parenting that is creating a delusional-psychotic pathology in the child is a DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse.  Mental health professionals need to step-up to their professional obligations in diagnosis and the assessment of pathology.

The ICD-10 and DSM-5 are not new.  We need a treatment plan.  Treatment depends on diagnosis.  You tell me the diagnosis, and I’ll tell you the treatment.

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



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