Vitae Review: Dr. Sullivan

I am a clinical psychologist.  I have a client for whom I conducted a set of diagnostic clinical interviews and I arrived at a diagnosis for the family situation.  A custody evaluation was involved in this matter as well, and the custody evaluator referred my client to Dr. Sullivan for treatment of the child’s and family’s attachment-related pathology.

I will be providing my client with my opinions as to whether Dr. Sullivan represents an appropriate therapist for severe attachment pathology in the family.  My review and opinions will be based on the evidenced background and professional experience of Dr. Sullivan with regard to the following areas:

  • Attachment pathology (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Sroufe, Fonagy, Tronick),
  • Personality disorder pathology, complex trauma, and persecutory delusions (Millon, Kernberg, Beck, Linehan, van der Kolk),
  • Child development (Tronick, Stern, Shore, Kohut)
  • Family systems therapy (Minuchin, Bowen, Madanes, Haley, Satir)

This is Dr. Sullivan’s professional vitae retrieved from the Internet through a link provided on his website.

Dr. Sullivan Professional Vitae

Education:

As is traditional, Dr. Sullivan begins his vitae presentation with his educational background:

A.B. Human Biology (1978) Stanford University, Stanford, California

Ph.D. Clinical/Community Psychology (1985) University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

That’s a solid educational background, an undergraduate degree from Stanford in a science (not psychology) then a Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland with his doctoral study divided into three domains, Research methodology, Community-based interventions, and Clinical psychology diagnosis and treatment (i.e., a Ph.D. in Community/Clinical Psychology).

Of note is that Dr. Sullivan had no prior education or training in any area of psychology prior to beginning his doctoral studies.  The only coursework education Dr. Sullivan has ever received in psychology has been solely from his doctoral program.  Dr. Sullivan appears to have had no prior preparation in any area of psychology for his doctoral studies in Clinical psychology.

Also of note for me is that his doctoral program had an additional Community psychology training component.  I have Community-Clinical psychology training from my Master’s degree at Cal State, Northridge, so I know what that domain of Community psychology knowledge entails.

Community psychology has to do with organizational development and consultation, and teaches approaches to community-based systems interventions to resolve problems in society and with pathology.  For example, a community based intervention might be to address medication management problems with the clinic’s schizophrenic patients by developing a mobile assessment and medication management van that travels to the patient rather than expecting the hallucinating and delusional patient to come to the clinic on a regular basis.

Another example of a Community intervention for a pathology would be what I’m doing with divorcing families in the family courts, altering the response of the family court system to better address a resolution of a psychological pathology in the family (a shared delusional disorder), this represents a Community psychology intervention surrounding that component of my intervention.

Limitations to Education

Dr. Sullivan’s undergraduate degree is in Biology, not Psychology, meaning that he had no educational preparation in any of the knowledge of professional psychology before he began his doctoral studies.  The only coursework in psychology Dr. Sullivan has ever taken is limited to only his doctoral program (and this was forty years ago).  If he did not have a course on a topic during his doctoral training, then Dr. Sullivan has no knowledge of that information from professional psychology.

Dr. Sullivan’s limited education in professional psychology would benefit from additional training and education post-doctorate to compensate for his absence of undergraduate preparation for graduate study in Psychology.

Also of note is that Dr. Sullivan has a Ph.D., not a Psy.D. doctorate degree, so his doctoral study was further divided into coursework on Research methodology, in addition to the Community psychology courses in his program, leaving only minimal time for actual educational coursework in Clinical pathology and treatment.

Contrast in Preparation

By contrast, my undergraduate degree from UCLA is in Psychology, which means I had four years of college courses in the information of Psychology.  Dr. Sullivan has zero.  Generally, a Biology major is focused toward pre-med.  Those students interested in graduate study in Clinical Psychology typically are Psychology majors as undergraduates.  Dr. Sullivan’s preparation for graduate study in Clinical Psychology appears minimal with no prior coursework in Psychology, and no prior clinical experience or placements during his undergraduate study.

For contrast, in addition to my BA in Psychology from UCLA, during this time I also obtained additional clinically related experience with the Suicide Prevention Center in Los Angeles as a Crisis Counselor and shift supervisor, then subsequent work experience in a variety of adult and adolescent psychiatric hospitals, and then a Master’s degree in Community-Clinical psychology all prior to beginning the Psy.D. doctoral program at Pepperdine.  That was all preparation for my doctoral studies.

Dr. Sullivan had none.

Typically, a quality doctoral program in Psychology will require that its students have prior preparation for study in Psychology (i.e., a BA in Psychology and possibly some entry-level placement experiences at group homes or counseling centers).  Dr. Sullivan has an undergraduate degree in Biology, but the University of Maryland overlooked his lack of preparation in Psychology (Biology is called a “related field” – but it’s a weak entry into graduate study requiring substantial catch-up in additional study over the course of the early career).

Dr. Sullivan will need to make up for his lack of preparation for the study of clinical psychology with additional training following the award of his doctoral degree, particularly in treatment since this is the most advanced area of clinical psychology and will therefore be most severely impacted by his inadequate preparation and breadth of study.

My specific psychotherapy training tracks from the Pepperdine Psy.D. doctoral program were family systems therapy and humanistic/existential psychotherapy – i.e., my specialty areas of treatment are from the child and family-oriented school of psychotherapy and from the growth and self-actualization school of psychotherapy – those are my specialty training areas from Pepperdine.  I also sought out additional training as a Gestalt therapist through the Gestalt Institute of LA during my Master’s years.

I wonder what professional orientation Dr. Sullivan works from?

  • Psychoanalytic (Kohut, Stolorow, Tronick, Stern, Bowlby; self psychology)
  • Cognitive Behavioral (B.F. Skinner, learning theory, Beck)
  • Humanistic-Existential (Rogers, Perls, Yalom, Maslow, Frankl)
  • Family Systems Therapy (Minuchin, Bowen, Madanes, Haley, Satir)
  • Social Construction (Solution-Focused; Narrative; Feminist; Cultural)

As a Psy.D. doctorate, I am professionally conversant in all those schools and approaches, and I can work from any of them, my primary advanced domains are family systems therapy and humanistic-existential therapies of growth and self-actualization.

Based on his vitae, Dr. Sullivan’s does not have much coursework or training background in Psychology.  A Bachelor’s degree in Biology provides no training or coursework in Psychology, and Dr. Sullivan apparently went directly from his Bachelor’s degree to his Doctorate program, graduating his Bachelor’s in 1978 and beginning his doctoral studies in 1980.

There appears to be an odd little gap in 1979, he apparently graduated Stanford in 1978 and yet waited a year to begin his doctoral studies in Clinical/Community psychology at U. of Maryland in 1980.  It is typically odd for a Stanford student to take a year off between college and graduate study, they tend to be very linear and goal oriented at that level.  A Biology major at Stanford is often pre-med.  I wonder if he applied for medical school (i.e., his Biology major was pre-med) and he didn’t get in, so he decided to go for a psychology Ph.D. doctorate instead?  I digress in musings.

For a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Dr. Sullivan appears to have as minimal a preparation as is possible for an established APA accredited education.  His professional credibility will therefore be dependent on the breadth of subsequent training and experience he received following his doctoral degree, since he had no preparation or educational training prior to beginning his brief and diverse doctoral coursework focus.

Dr. Sullivan does not list where he did his year of supervised pre-doctoral internship hours or where he acquired his year of supervised post-doctoral clinical training hours needed for licensure.  That would shed additional light on his training background.

Questions:  Was the pre-doctoral internship APA accredited? (probably).  Was it a child internship? (unknown).  Where was the post-doctoral training year completed? (unknown).   Was it a child post-doc? (unknown).

For contrast; my pre-doctoral internship was at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (APA accredited), a child oriented internship, and I did two years of post-doctoral training also at CHLA, an additional two years of child training rotations.  Dr. Sullivan does not report on either his additional pre-doctoral training or his post-doctoral training.  By all appearances, Dr. Sullivan has minimal training and education in professional psychology.

For contrast: Dr. Childress Vitae

Honors:

Dr. Sullivan next lists his “Honors,” which is an odd choice and is not typical for a professional vitae. The next domain of note for a professional vitae is Work Experience, not “Honors” received.  Typically “Honors” are reported last on the vitae (if at all), not second in importance right behind Education.

When evaluating a professional vitae, the most important areas are Education and Work Experience.  Elevating “Honors” to the preeminent position above actual Work Experience is an odd choice, Honors received is rarely an area of substance (i.e., “Best Handwriting in the Fifth Grade”).

It is an interesting note about Dr. Sullivan that he believes the “Honors” he’s received are are a preeminent aspect of his professional vitae and presentation, not his Work Experience.  The typical order for a professional vitae is: Education – Work Experience – Additional Training Received – Publications/Seminars Provided – Awards (if noted at all).

That Dr. Sullivan would so prominently elevate his “Honors” over actual Work Experience is of note, and interest – what Honors has he received that are so notable in his background for such elevation in their prominence on his vitae?

National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship​, 1980-1981. Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Wait.  The second most important thing on Dr. Sullivan’s vitae beyond his having a doctorate degree is that he received a fellowship award forty years ago – 40 years ago – while a beginning graduate student?  The professional tone of the vitae is emerging.

Yes, the National Institute of Mental Health is an impressive name to place on a professional vitae – but not for a fellowship award as a beginning graduate student 40 years ago.  High School Penmanship awards do not belong on a professional vitae – especially not as the second most important factor after Education.

When did Dr. Sullivan receive his doctorate degree?  1985.  When did he receive his fellowship award?  1980-81.  He won an award as a student.  Forty years ago.  And that is the top accomplishment listed by Dr. Sullivan on his professional vitae forty years later.

That is a phenomenally minor “Honor” to lead a professional vitae.  He appears to be trying to pad his vitae and take focus off of his Work Experience.

While I certainly laud Dr. Sullivan’s industriousness as a graduate student 40 years ago, I would suggest that it is time to stop resting on that accomplishment as the second most important aspect of your vitae beyond your doctorate degree.  An award that you won as a student 40 years ago does not count now to your professional credit.

What other Honors are so important as to elevate the reporting of his “Honors” received to the second most important thing about Dr. Sullivan’s professional background?

Certificate of Recognition​, in acknowledgement of contributions to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Meritorious Service Santa Clara County Family Court, 1994.

Wait.  What?  That is the next most important “Honor” that elevates the domain of professional “Honors” to such prominent reporting – A “Certificate of Recognition” – that’s it?  Someone liked him… twenty five years ago.  That’s nice.  That is hardly an achievement of remarkable professional prominence – that someone liked you 25 years ago.

I have about ten or twelve of those, I typically don’t keep them.  People give them to you as a psychologist when you do something nice for them.  One time I gave a set of seminars to summer camp counselors for Los Angeles County, and the Board of Supervisors gave me a “Certificate of Appreciation” (in lieu of money).

Granted, Dr. Sullivan’s Certificate of Recognition (Recognition? That’s it? Just, “Recognition” – doesn’t seem like much of an “Honor” – “Recognition”) is more recent than his other “Honor” of the fellowship award from 40 years ago that he received as a student, at least this “Recognition” is only twenty-five years ago.

He was apparently recognized for “Meritorious Service” by a group of local-area family court judges.  Meritorious likely means he did something nice for them and they appreciated it.  Congratulations on your “Certificate of Recognition.”  I’m pleased to hear that someone liked Dr. Sullivan 25 years ago, yet that does not actually bear on his professional knowledge or professional qualifications.

With each entry, I’m getting the sense that Dr. Sullivan may be trying to pad his vitae, trying to make it appear more impressive than it actually is.

What’s next for these “Honors” he’s received that are of such prominence that they elevate his Honors higher in importance than his Work Experience?

Certificate of Appreciation,​ in acknowledgement of “exceptional work contributed on behalf of the families and children in Superior Court”, Family Court Services, Santa Clara County, 1995

So if I’m understanding correctly, the following year the same group in the family courts in Santa Clara County once again acknowledged his “exceptional work” with “Appreciation.”  But seriously, a “Certificate of Appreciation” from twenty-five years ago isn’t really much of a professional qualification document.

A vitae is a professional presentation of qualifications.  So far, on the two top domains he has presented, he has presented an Education in which he has minimal preparation (A.B. Biology) and a presentation of “Honors” as his lead-in, that turn out to be empty and vacuous.

A student award from 40 years ago, a “Certificate of Recognition” from 25 years ago and a “Certificate of Appreciation” he received 25 years ago, are not Honors of substance or particular note, especially since they are opening Dr. Sullivan’s professional presentation.

We are in the second most important aspect of his vitae presentation – first he presented his Education – next his Honors – elevating Honors above Work Experience – and so far his elevated Honors are entirely insubstantial and seemingly vacuous entries.

What is the forth and final Honor of such elevated note from Dr. Sullivan?

The Joseph Drown Award Recipient,​ for “Outstanding Services to Children”, the highest honor for an Association of Family and Conciliation Court (AFCC) California chapter member, 2012

An award from a state Chapter of the AFCC professional organization for forensic psychologists and family law attorneys.  That’s it?  Not even an award from the National AFCC, an award from a state Chapter of the AFCC – eight years ago.  Their “highest honor”?  That’s sweet.

How may AFCC members in a state Chapter?  Five?  Twelve?  Twenty? I honestly don’t know.  What do they do, pass the “Award” around among the Chapter members, each one gets it in turn?  Dr. Sullivan’s turn was in 2012 apparently.  Is there a set number of years of Chapter membership that’s required before getting the “highest honor for an AFCC chapter member” to put on their vitae as well?

I wonder if they’ve ever heard of Groupthink?  I doubt it.

I find it odd to have a psychologist touting the value of the Honors bestowed upon him, especially when the Honors are of such vaporous insignificance.  It’s almost like he’s trying to present as important, but he never established the substance of foundational support; i.e., knowledge.

His “Honors” aren’t important, his success at solving things through the application of professional knowledge is what’s important.  What does he know?  I don’t want to know how important you think you are, I want to know what do you know?

What is your background?  What professional information sets do you possess? Do you know autism?   Do you know trauma?  Do you know attachment?  Do you know school-based ADHD and learning disabilities?  Do you know personality disorders?  Do you know psychosis?  Do you know mood disorders?  Do you know child development?  On, and on, and on…

That is the purpose of a professional vitae.  Tell me what you know, what domains of professional information do you know.

By Contrast (Dr. Childress Vitae).

I too break from the traditional presentation of a vitae and delay Work Experience to the third position.  I did this in deference to the Courts for reference when my vitae is submitted to support my qualification as an expert witness for testimony.

I present my Education and then I list a series of recent talks focused on court-involved family conflict.  This orients the Court that in the following mix of clinical psychology Work Experience is an expertise in court-involved family conflict.

A professional vitae should address, “What do you know?” – for this, I orient the Court for my court-involved practice on my first page.  On Page 2, I lead with my Work Experience – each entry represents a domain of pathology, a domain of knowledge, and a domain of professional information sets that I know.  My knowledge is evident in my Work Experience.

Notice that I END my career in Private Practice, that’s not where I started.  I started by working directly with children and family pathology, first one pathology domain, then the next, then the next, trained in each – ADHD & pediatric-medical psychology, school-based behavior problems, autism-spectrum pathology, early childhood mental health, attachment, trauma, complex trauma and child abuse – then Private Practice.

Work Experience on my vitae is then followed by a section for additional training I’ve received following my doctorate degree, primarily in Early Childhood Mental Health. Not training I’ve given, training I’ve received – my knowledge and the source of my knowledge.

I know two additional diagnostic systems beyond the DSM-5 and ICD-10, I know two early childhood attachment therapies (Wait, Watch, and Wonder; Circle of Security), and I have Certification training (not a “Certificate of Appreciation” – Certification training) in Infant Mental Health from Phillips Graduate Institute.

My professional Publications are listed next, followed by my Presentations separated into topic area; court-involved family conflict, early childhood mental health, and Internet psychology.

A professional vitae presents what the professional knows.

Dr. Sullivan’s Honors

Dr. Sullivan’s vitae indicates a lack of preparation in his Education.  He was a Biology major, not a Psychology major, so his pursuit of a Psychology career was his second choice when his initial goal for a Biology major was unsuccessful, and his vitae evidences no other training or placement work experience in Psychology other than his graduate coursework (he does not report on the location for his pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training for licensure hours).

A vitae’s purpose is to present what Dr. Sullivan knows.  His second presentation is of his “Honors” which prove to be four entirely empty and vacuous entries without substance of any kind.

I do not see any merit or professional substance to any of the Honors listed by Dr. Sullivan to his supposed credit, and his vitae is highly suspect for “padding” of his importance that is otherwise insubstantial.

Positions:

That is another slightly odd twist to the vitae of Dr. Sullivan, normally this is called Experience or Work Experience – I call mine, Employment History – “Positions” is a slightly odd choice of terms for this domain on a professional vitae.

This will be his vitae domain of substance – his Work Experience.  This is the domain of this vitae that will reveal his professional domains of competence.  What is his professional background and training in attachment pathology?  Where did he receive his background and training in family systems therapy, in personality disorders, in complex trauma?

All of this will be reflected in his Work Experience.  What types of pathology has he worked with?  Has he worked with school-based oppositional-defiant children?  With juvenile justice and probation children? With trauma and child abuse children?

His work experience will also reveal where he had his additional training in family systems therapy and in attachment pathology, or his absence of training and background in family systems therapy and attachment pathology – knowledge or ignorance in domains of pathology will be revealed in the Work Experience section of the vitae.

Note, for example, on my vitae I have no Work Experience wth eating disorders or substance abuse treatment.  Those domains are beyond the boundaries of my competence.  Note also, that I have no Work Experience with PTSD in combat veterans, so despite all my knowledge and background in childhood trauma and complex trauma, treating combat veterans for PTSD is beyond my current boundaries of competence (unless I received additional training and consultation support).

A doctoral degree is just a couple of years of coursework covering a lot of areas in a broad pass, and the coverage of Clinical psychology in the coursework is limited, especially in the complexity of differing schools of psychotherapy, and especially when the additional areas of Research and Community psychology are also added to the courseload to be studied in only a couple of years of classes.

Plus that’s just classes, where did Dr. Sullivan learn the application of knowledge?  What is the breadth of training and professional background for Dr. Sullivan?  This will be evidenced in his Work Experience section:

Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice​ – Providing general psychological services to Children, Couples and Families, specializing in Child and Family Forensic Psychology 1990-present

That is it.

That is the entirety of Dr. Sullivan’s professional background training, knowledge, and experience.  He has been a private practice forensic psychologist for the past thirty years.

Notice Dr. Sullivan began his career in Private Practice and has done nothing else, while I ended my career in Private Practice after a multiple variety of professional work experience.

The remainder of Dr. Sullivan’s “Positions” are Appointed positions to various advisory boards, no active assessment, diagnosis, or treatment with any population of pathology. It becomes clear now why he titled this section Positions instead of Work Experience. He has no Work Experience, only the one entry.

When his vitae is correctly re-ordered and re-organized along proper professional lines it becomes:

Education:
A.B. Human Biology (1978) Stanford University, Stanford, California
Ph.D. Clinical/Community Psychology (1985) University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Work Experience:
Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice​ – Providing general psychological services to Children, Couples and Families, specializing in Child and Family Forensic Psychology 1990-present

That’s it.  That is the entirety of Dr. Sullivan’s professional vitae.  The rest is his pontification of his opinions in various formats, his opinion in writing (Publication) and his opinion in words (Presentations) but his entire opinion is based on his Education and Work Experience – his knowledge base.

And that’s it.  Dr. Sullivan’s vitae is many pages long, but it is only two entries of substance, the rest is padding.

Not a single article is any actual research, all of them are merely pontificating opinion pieces not grounded in any established domain of professional psychology (attachment, family systems therapy, complex trauma and personality disorders, or child development research).  All of his professional opinions are based entirely on his Education and Work Experience – and that’s it – those two entries are the entirety of Dr. Sullivan’s vitae.

He graduated with his Ph.D. in ’85, he did a year of pre-doc and a year of post-doc that he doesn’t list, that’s to 1988 maybe, he lists private practice since 1990 – that is all he has ever done – the only thing Dr. Sullivan has ever done are these child custody evaluations of forensic psychology – $20,000 to $40,000 and six- to nine-months to complete – that and perhaps “reunification therapy” (there is no such thing).

He has no background experience with:

  • Attachment pathology
  • Family systems therapy
  • Personality disorders
  • Complex trauma
  • Child development research

Nothing.  Dr. Sullivan has no professional background training or education in any of those domains – despite his court-involved work with attachment pathology – family conflict – personality disorder pathology – complex trauma – and child development.

Yet he has no background professional training or knowledge in any of those areas of professional psychology.  That is a problem.  That means for the past 30 years, Dr. Sullivan has apparently not had the professional knowledge needed for the task he was undertaking.

That is not good.  Standard 2.01 Boundaries of Competence becomes relevant.  I’m not seeing from those two entries on his vitae, Education and Work Experience, that Dr. Sullivan has the professional background, education, and experience to be working with attachment pathology, or family conflict, or even children.

He is a solo practitioner – private practice – his entire career, no oversight, no supervision, no training in any form of pathology, not attachment pathology, not complex trauma, not personality disorders, nothing – just child custody evaluations. Probably a lot of those.

Apparently conducting child custody evaluations and doing some form of treatment (currently from a non-specified approach) with court-involved family conflict is the only thing Dr. Sullivan has done.  It is unclear what treatment approaches and models Dr. Sullivan has been trained in (and where), and it does not appear that Dr. Sullivan possesses any domain of professional competence beyond his limited custody evaluation domain of “forensic” psychology.

If accurate, that would be troubling.

To NOT possess professional background training and experience in attachment pathology when assessing, diagnosing, and treating attachment pathology would be deeply troubling.

To NOT possess professional background training and experience in family systems therapy when assessing, diagnosing, and treating the complexity of family conflict would be deeply troubling.

To NOT possess professional background training and experience in personality disorder pathology and complex trauma when assessing, diagnosing, and treating personality disorder pathology and complex trauma would similarly be deeply troubling.

To NOT possess background training and experience in child development when assessing, diagnosing, and treating issues of child development would be immensely troubling.

And the additional question emerges, in thirty years of professional practice, why didn’t Dr. Sullivan ever even try to obtain any of this knowledge?  Is it mere laziness?  Does he think this knowledge from professional psychology isn’t relevant to the pathology he’s treating that he doesn’t even need to know the knowledge?

Does he believe that he doesn’t need to know family systems therapy to assess, diagnose, and treat family conflict?  That understanding Minuchin and Bowen is not relevant?

Does he believe that he doesn’t need to know about the attachment system when assessing, diagnosing, and treating the worst attachment pathology possible, a complete breach to the parent-child attachment bond?

Does he believe that he does not need to know and apply the knowledge domains from personality disorder pathology when assessing, diagnosing, and treating the impact of parental personality disorder pathology in the family?

Does he believe that he does not need to know the research on child development when assessing, diagnosing, and treating problems in child development?

Or is he just lazy and slothful through 30 years of professional practice, to never have bothered to learn and apply any of this information from professional psychology?

I’ll allow Dr. Sullivan to provide his reasoning regarding his apparent professional sloth.

Google ignorance: lack of knowledge or information

  • Is Dr. Sullivan ignorant about attachment pathology?  Apparently from his vitae, he is.
  • Is Dr. Sullivan ignorant about family systems therapy?  Apparently from his vitae, he is.
  • Is Dr. Sullivan ignorant about complex trauma and personality disorder pathology?  Apparently from his vitae, he is.
  • Is Dr. Sullivan ignorant about child development research?  Apparently from his vitae, he is.

His vitae indicates an absence of knowledge in all of these domains of professional psychology – i.e., he is ignorant about many things that he should know in order to work with children and family conflict.

Boundaries of Competence

At this point, the issue of relevance becomes Dr. Sullivan’s compliance with Standards 2.01, 2.03, and 2.04 of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association regarding Boundaries of Competence and the application of professional knowledge.

It is not evident from Dr. Sullivan’s offered vitae that he possesses the necessary professional competence to work with attachment pathology, family conflict pathology, personality disorder pathology and complex trauma, and it does not appear that he has  proper educational background and training in domains of child development necessary for working with children.

All I am seeing is a doctorate degree from 35 years ago, and then a solo private practice ever since.  That is it in its entirety, Dr. Sullivan’s professional substance, that sentence.

That is the entirety of Dr. Sullivan’s professional vitae; two entries.

Education:
A.B. Human Biology (1978) Stanford University, Stanford, California
Ph.D. Clinical/Community Psychology (1985) University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Work Experience:
Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice​ – Providing general psychological services to Children, Couples and Families, specializing in Child and Family Forensic Psychology 1990-present

The remainder is of no substance.  Let’s continue.

Appointment to Task Forces, ​Commissioned by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts on practice guidelines for Parenting Coordinators and Special Masters, June 2001, reappointment, September, 2003, Re-appointed, 2017.

The remainder of his “Positions” are merely “Appointments” to various advisory task-forces, none of which involves any actual assessment, diagnosis, or treatment of pathology.

Dr. Sullivan is apparently active in the AFCC constructing the “parenting coordinator” system within the family courts.  By contrast, in clinical psychology there is no role other than a clinical psychologist.  We don’t need an additional role other than a clinical psychologist.  Apparently, in forensic psychology they construct new roles, and Dr. Sullivan is a participant in that role construction.

Why do we need “parenting coordinators”?  Why not just a family therapist?  Why do they need a new role?

Yet, his “Appointment” to an AFCC commissioned “task force” to develop the role of “parenting coordinators” in the family courts does not actually involve the assessment, diagnosis, or treatment of any child or family pathology.  Being on a “task force” is little more than pontificating opinions in a group of like-minded individuals.

Dr. Sullivan’s vitae appears to be a lot of emptiness without much actual substance.  “Appointment” to a “task force” is not Work Experience.  It begins to become evident why this section is called Positions and not Work Experience.

Appointment​ to represent the American Psychological Association (APA) to the APA/American Bar Association Collaborative Working Group on Psychological and Legal Interventions with Parents, Children and Families, January, 2007.

Again, an “Appointment” to a “working group” is not Work Experience.  Dr. Sullivan is apparently involved with the AFCC and their hierarchies of professional standing.  His involvement with the AFCC appears to extend into an advisory involvement with the APA.

Appointment to Co-Chair​ the Task Force commissioned by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts on the Professional Practice guidelines for court-involved therapists, June, 2008

Again, another “Appointment” to a “Position,” not actual work experience with any type of child or family pathology- “commissioned” by the AFCC.

Beyond his private practice as a “forensic” psychologist – he has no other actual work experience with children or families.  Apparently he is prominently involved in the AFCC professional circles, with extensions into a variety of “task forces” and “working groups” over the past 30 years (of providing no solution whatsoever within the family courts for these families).

So if I understand correctly, apparently Dr. Sullivan is lauding his active and involved consultation and advisory influence through 30 years of seemingly abject failure to solve anything in the family courts.  An interesting assertion of “qualifications,” to assert when everything is broken that, “I served on the advisory working groups that created this professional court-involved mess.”

Scoreboard

Just so everyone is aware, I’m calling Scoreboard on Dr. Sullivan’s vitae, 30 years of abject failure is not a recommendation. Among sports fans, an end to all circular debate on woulda-coulda-shoulda is “Scoreboard,” who won and who lost.

Is everything all-wonderful in court-involved family conflict?  No, it is a complete mess.  Dr. Sullivan has had 30 years of alleged influence in shaping exactly this current complete failure of professional psychology to solve anything in the family courts.  Thirty years, complete failure, and Dr. Sullivan is holding this failure to his supposed credit.

I would see it a little differently than Dr. Sullivan.  I don’t think it’s to his credit that he’s been an abject failure for 30 years.  I’ll allow him to argue that the current mental health system in court involved pathology is successful for families and children in restoring normal-range and healthy childhoods to the children.

Dr. Sullivan is admitting his advisory involvement in a system that has been an abject failure – and his ONLY professional involvement for the past 30 years has been this court-involved family conflict pathology.  That’s all he’s done, and it’s been a complete failure to solve anything for the child, for the family, or for the courts.

So… how’s it going, Dr. Sullivan?  Do you have it all solved yet, in 30 years, Dr. Sullivan? How much more time are you estimating you’ll need until things are entirely solved for these children and families in the courts?  Another 30 years?

Because if it’s not solved in the 30 years of your advisory guidance… then maybe we should consult someone else for guidance.  Thirty years of abject failure is not a professional qualification.

Consultant​American Psychological Association Parenting Coordination Program in Washington, D.C. 2008-2011

Of note is Dr. Sullivan’s self-acknowledgement of his extension and influence into the APA in an advisory capacity.  The ethical standards of practices in forensic psychology need OUTSIDE review – they should NOT be allowed to self-review.

It appears that generally, Dr. Sullivan is presenting himself as an active Consultant and advisor to the policies of the family courts throughout the decade of the 2000s, and I would assume through the decade of the 2010s as well.

The current system within forensic psychology and the family courts is apparently of his construction, which he appears to hold to his credit, the current forensic psychology approach to child and family conflict and attachment bonding pathology – he apparently thinks the system is working well and he’s taking credit for it.

I don’t agree at all.  It is an absolute mess.   And yet he’s proudly reporting his advisory role in creating what we currently have… a complete mess.

Appointment​ to Task Force commissioned by the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) to develop ethical and training guidelines for the practice of Eldercare Coordination, 2013-2015

Another “Appointment,” another task force, this during this past decade.  Dr. Sullivan appears to present himself as influential in shaping policy (“eldercare”? He has geriatric background somewhere?).

Founder/Owner: California Coparenting Clinic​ – a clinic providing low-cost co-parenting services to clients and training to professionals, 2014-2016

This seems to be basically re-stating his private practice, offering a slight extension into some sort of “low-cost” clinic that apparently failed (2014-2016).  A failed effort to establish a personal clinic (Owner) also seems a dubious professional “qualification.”

Associate Member: ​ American Psychological Association Ethics Committee, 2017-2019

That’s interesting. Dr. Sullivan was on the APA Ethics Committee that received the Petition to the APA signed by 20,000 parents seeking examination of professional ethical standards of practice in forensic psychology.

What has been the response of the APA Ethics Committee to the Petition to the APA signed by over 20,000 parents seeking review of the ethical practices in forensic psychology?  Silence – two years – absolute silence.

Perhaps we should ask Dr. Sullivan for a response, since he was on the APA Ethics Committee that received the Petition to the APA.

Also of note is that the Petition to the APA was also delegated to a “Working Group” headed by Dr. Deutsch, a forensic psychologist professional colleague of Dr. Sullivan (Dr. Deutsch: Working Group).  What has been the response of the “Working Group” to the Petition to the APA signed by 20,000 parents?  Silence – two years – absolute silence.

APA: Collusion with Child Abuse

Since Dr. Sullivan is so clearly concerned about ethical issues, I’m confident he’ll respond to the many ethical concerns surrounding the practices of child custody evaluations and forensic psychology: Dr. Sullivan & the AFCC.

But Dr. Sullivan’s participation on another “working group” or “task force” is not actual clinical experience, no assessment, no diagnosis, no treatment of anything.

That’s it.  That is the professional knowledge, training, and background professional experience of Dr. Sullivan.  He obtained a doctorate degree in 1985, he entered private practice as a forensic psychologist in 1990, has been doing only that for thirty years, and he proposes that he has been influential in developing and is responsible for the current mental health response to court-involved family conflict.

Is there any evidence of background professional knowledge, training, or experience with attachment pathology in children?  No.

Is there any evidence of background professional knowledge, training, or experience with family systems therapy?  No.

Is there any evidence of background professional knowledge, training, or experience with personality disorder pathology, complex trauma, and delusional disorders?  No.

Is there any evidence of background professional knowledge in child development?  No.

  • Attachment: Bowlby, Ainsworth, Sroufe, Fonagy
  • Family Systems Therapy: Minuchin, Bowen, Madanes, Haley, Satir
  • Personality Disorders & Complex Trauma: Beck, Kernberg, Millon, Linehan, van der Kolk
  • Child Development: Tronick, Stern, Shore, Kohut

There is no evidence of any background in any area of pathology.  Dr. Sullivan appears to have worked solely with court-involved family conflict for the past 30 years.

I wonder what his success rate is?  How often does his involvement resolve things?  In 30 years, surely he has Outcome Measures – a treatment plan – Goals, Interventions, Outcome Measures, Time-Frames.  Surely in 30 years of practice, Dr. Sullivan has collected Outcome Measures.

In thirty years of practice I’m confident he has those numbers, although, curiously, he’s never reported on his success rate in treatment, or with his “custody evaluations.”  In what percentage of family conflicts does his involvement resolve the matter successfully for the child and family?  I wonder what Outcome Measures he uses?

Dr. Sullivan next turns with his vitae to his teaching positions.

Faculty Appointments:

Lecturer/Assistant Professor​ – Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, 1991-1998

Clinical Instructor ​- Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1992-1998

Dr. Sullivan did some minor teaching twenty years ago, in the decade when he first got going, but nothing since 2000, this domain is insubstantial.

Pacific Graduate institute is a lower-tier professional school (not a Psychology program located in an established University), and “Lecturer” and “Assistant Professor” is a low-level position.

Stanford is a higher-order University, but the position of a “Clinical Instructor” is of dubious role – not Professor, not Assistant Professor, not Lecturer – a “Clinical Instructor,” I’d want further clarification if it was relevant, but from 20 years ago, neither of his teaching positions are relevant experience.

Professional Licenses:

Dr. Sullivan is apparently a licensed psychologist in California, and had a brief licensure period in Vermont.

Licensed Psychologist​, April 1987 – Present
California Board of Medical Quality Assurance, License Number: PSY10214
Vermont Board of Psychology, 2014-2016 # 048.0101834

Professional Organizations:

Nothing of note.  Dr. Sullivan belongs to the APA and AFCC.  The vitae at this point is devolved to nothingness.

Member: American Psychological Association; Association of Family and Conciliation Courts

Editorial Boards:

Dr. Sullivan also indicates his prominence and influence during the decade of the 2000s in guiding child custody policy for the family courts during that period.

Editor​: Journal of Child Custody, 2003-2013

Apparently, Dr. Sullivan views the child custody situation during that period speaks to his favor, I’m not confident of that.  Being an influential figure in failure is not to one’s credit, it will be to Dr. Sullivan to defend how the policies of child custody from 2003-2013 are to his credit in influence and guidance, resulting in a successful family court approach to sustained and highly litigated family conflict during that period.

Acknowledging one’s role in creating failure is typically not seen as a professional qualification to one’s credit.  I’ll allow Dr. Sullivan to argue the success of forensic psychology and the family courts over the past two decades of his active involvement and advisory guidance.

Organizational Boards:

Dr. Sullivan cites active participation in the AFCC during this past decade, serving on several boards in a variety of capacities.  Of note is that none of this involves the actual assessment, diagnosis, or treatment of any pathology.

Dr. Sullivan presents as being active in the AFCC, which he apparently deems to his credit.  As a court-involved clinical psychologist, I have many-many ethical concerns surrounding the practice of forensic psychology and the AFCC, so I look forward to hearing a response from such as forensically well-positioned source as Dr. Sullivan to my concerns: Dr Sullivan & the AFCC; Standard 9.01 Assessment

Director: Association of Family and Conciliation Courts International Board of Directors, appointed 2009; Conference chair, 2013 to present, Treasurer, 2014-16; Secretary, 2016, Vice President, 2017, Executive Committee, 2014 to present. http://www.afccnet.org.

Director: Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, California Chapter Board of Directors, 2012-2016

Founder, President Overcoming Barriers, a non-profit organization providing  innovative ​programs for high-conflict post-divorce families, 2007-present. 2012-2014 ​www.overcomingbarriers.org​.

Two things are troubling about the Overcoming Barriers entry even before we reach an examination of what the Overcoming Barriers program is…

1.) Sloppy Professional Work

Note his original posted vitae – the word President is out of place and I needed to clean it up for the sake of proper coherence.  Note also a confusing set of dates reported, one from 2007 to present and one from 2012-2014 without clear referent to meaning of either.

If the treatment “program” was initiated in 2007, then the current claim on his vitae that a program from 2007 is “innovative” is bizarre.  After 13 years, a program is no longer “innovative,” and substantial Outcome Research is anticipated documenting its success.

Dorcy Pruter has single-case ABA data on the effectiveness of the High Road workshop, and she’s not a psychologist.  She’s a businesswoman and family coach.  I would expect licensed psychologists with 30 years of professional experience to at least meet the standard of professional work (outcome measures) set by a businesswoman and family coach, and expected from a psychologist as standard of practice.

I have not yet reviewed the “outcome data” for the Overcoming Barriers program, but I am less than optimistic based on my initial approach and understanding for the scope and nature of the reported data.

For a program as proposed by Overcoming Barriers, it would be anticipated to have outcome data within two years showing efficacy… in thirteen years… there should be substantial data demonstrating treatment success rates and contributing factors.  I will review the Overcoming Barriers program separately.

With regard to Dr. Sullivan’s professional vitae, incoherence on one’s professional vitae presented publicly through your professional website is simply sloppy professional attention and it does not reflect well on Dr. Sullivan’s standards of practice; he’s sloppy and inattentive (and potentially lazy and slothful in his acquisition of knowledge and study).  A professional vitae is a representation of the professional, and it is notable when it contain episodes of incoherence and sloppy work.  That is a reflection on the professional practices of its owner.

2.) “Innovative” is a troubling adjective for Dr. Sullivan to use.  The necessary and typical adjective use is “successful” – a successful intervention.  The substitution of the term “innovative” is of professional concern.  Innovative is not a good thing – professional practice is grounded in the established knowledge of professional psychology.  An “innovative” failure is not a good thing – it is not described as “innovative,” it’s described as a failure.  There are many-many innovative new ways to fail.  It’s not the innovative part that’s important, it’s the success or failure part.

If Dr. Sullivan’s Overcoming Barriers program has been available throughout this past decade, from 2007 until present, then I would imagine there is substantial evidence by now that it is not only “innovative” (since 2007?  How is something from 2007 “innovative”?) but also “successful.”

I will be examining the Overcoming Barriers program separately so I will reserve observations on this program pending a more complete review of the outcome data from the past 13 years of reported operation (2007 to present).

Publications:

The next area are his Books and Articles, we are nearing the end of the vitae presentation when we reach the books and publications sections. This is an entirely fluff and no-substance area on the vitae… EXCEPT… for a Research vitae.  For a university research vitae like Dr. Nuechterlein, Dr. Swanson, or Dr. van der Kolk, the Publications section is the full strength of the vitae, with Work Experience in the second role.

Publications are relevant to research, if it’s not research, it’s an opinion, that’s it.

In a non-research vitae, if the rest of the vitae supports the presence of acquired knowledge, then the titles of the Publications will indicate the scope and degree of professional knowledge and interests, but for a non-research vitae that’s the extent of the value for Publications if they are not research articles .

Dr. Sullivan lists one co-authored book from 2015 regarding parenting skills recommendations (he was third author), a list of Book Chapters, and then a host of opinion-piece articles from over the years, but no actual research.

Which is somewhat odd.  In thirty years of active involvement with the pathology, including over a decade for some form of treatment intervention, yet Dr. Sullivan has not generated a single research study in all that time?

Again, by comparison, Dorcy Pruter, a businesswoman and family coach, not a licensed psychologist with a Ph.D. degree, has generated single-case ABA data of her workshop’s successful recovery of a child from three years of documented child abuse.  In 30 years of practice in forensic psychology, Dr. Sullivan does not appear to have reached the level of professional practice (outcome measures and program evaluation research) adopted by Dorcy Pruter.

That speaks to the professional practices of each.

He concludes with a lot of presentations he’s given, and notable by absence are the seminars and trainings he’s received.  Dr, Sullivan lists the many times he’s presented his opinions to others, but he does not indicate what additional training he has received.

Given Dr. Sullivan’s minimal preparation in Psychology as an undergraduate before beginning his divided-scope doctoral degree program, followed by exclusively solo Private Practice, the absence of any substantial additional training of substance is not reassuring regarding the basis for his professional knowledge regarding established domains of professional psychology; attachment, family systems therapy, personality disorders, complex trauma, child development.

Google ignorance: the lack of knowledge or information

Based on the absence of evidence for any domain of professional knowledge (besides “forensic” psychology) from his professional vitae, the question becomes the scope of Dr. Sullivan’s ignorance (i.e., lack of knowledge or information).  Is he ignorant about attachment pathology?  Is he ignorant about family systems therapy?  Is he ignorant about personality disorder pathology?  Is he ignorant about complex trauma, delusional thought disorder pathology, and child psychological abuse?  Is he ignorant about child development research?

The remaining question based on Dr. Sullivan’s vitae is what is the scope of his apparent ignorance (lack of knowledge or information)?

In summary, all Dr. Sullivan’s publications and presentations are entirely opinion pieces, apparently applying forensic psychology constructs but no established knowledge from any domain of established professional psychology – no attachment constructs, no family systems therapy constructs, no knowledge or constructs from complex trauma or personality disorders, and no applied knowledge from child development research.

A word search for relevant terms from established psychology in his Publications produced the following results:

  • Attachment: 0
  • Family systems therapy: 0
  • Cross-generational coalition: 0
  • Emotional cutoff: 0
  • Differentiation of self: 0
  • Personality disorder: 0
  • Narcissistic: 0
  • Borderline: 0
  • Splitting: 0
  • Complex trauma: 0
  • Breach-and-repair: 0
  • Cognitive dissonance: 0
  • Transference: 0
  • Trans-generational trauma: 0
  • Persecutory delusion: 0
  • Mental Status Exam: 0
  • Thought disorder: 0
  • Self-object functions: 0
  • Emotional regulation: 0
  • Role-reversal: 0
  • Intersubjectivity: 0
  • Regulatory object: 0
  • Child Psychological Abuse: 0

In 30 years of writing about court-involved family conflict – not once did Dr. Sullivan apply any of those established constructs in his opinion-analyses of the court-involved family conflict pathology.

Based on his vitae, pehaps it is because he doesn’t know any of those constructs.

This would appear to violate Standard 2.04 of the APA ethics code Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgements:

2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments
Psychologists’ work is based upon established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline. (See also Standards 2.01e, Boundaries of Competence, and 10.01b, Informed Consent to Therapy.)

The established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline is Bowlby (attachment), Minuchin (family systems therapy), Beck (personality disorders), van der Kolk (complex trauma), Tronick (child development), and Kohut (self psychology).

In 30 years of writing about court-involved family conflict, Dr. Sullivan apparently did not apply any area of professional knowledge even a single time… in 30 years.

I will not append the five pages of opinion-piece articles, book chapters, and presentations provided on Dr. Sullivan’s vitae and will instead refer the reader to the source material available from his website.

Professional Analysis

Dr. Sullivan’s vitae presents an unfocused Ph.D. doctorate and immediate private practice with no evidence of training in any form of psychotherapy, in child development, or in child pathology and family therapy.  The substance of Dr. Sullivan’s vitae is entirely contained in two entries:

Education:
A.B. Human Biology (1978) Stanford University, Stanford, California
Ph.D. Clinical/Community Psychology (1985) University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Work Experience:
Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice​ – Providing general psychological services to Children, Couples and Families, specializing in Child and Family Forensic Psychology 1990-present

Dr. Sullivan’s undergraduate degree was in Biology, so the only Psychology courses he has ever taken were limited to his doctoral program, and these courses were divided between Research methodology, Community psychology, and Clinical psychology.  He seemingly has only the minimal level of training needed for a doctoral degree.  Dr. Sullivan does not provide an indication of his pre-doctoral or post-doctoral training sites.

Upon licensure, Dr. Sullivan immediately entered private practice and then forensic psychology and that has apparently been his sole domain of experience for the past 30 years.  He has not worked with any other child or family pathology – not trauma – not attachment – not oppositional-defiant pathology in the schools, not juvenile justice, not autism-spectrum or ADHD.

Private practice in forensic court-involved family conflict for the past 30 years.  That appears to be the extent of Dr. Sullivan’s professional experience.

He also asserts prominence in his advisory role in developing the mental health policies within forensic psychology that represent the current mental health approach.  As to whether this is to his credit or detriment depends on one’s assessment of the current situation in the family courts.

If things are solved and functioning well, then Dr. Sullivan’s advisory guidance is to his credit – and – if things are not solved and are not functioning well after 30 years of his active advisory guidance – then a different approach is needed toward a soution… 30 years, no solution – Scoreboard, we need to develop a different approach to solution than the one advocated by Dr. Sullivan for the past 30 years that leads to this current situation of no solution.

I have deep reservations about the ethical standards of practice for child custody evaluations, it is a deeply flawed approach that violates multiple standards of ethical practice, including a foundational Principle of ethical practice; Justice – equal access and equal quality.

I have noted my prominent ethical concerns elsewhere (Dr. Sullivan & the AFCC) and I still await any response from Dr. Sullivan, the AFCC, and the APA.  Dr. Sullivan indicates he was recently a two-year Associate Member of the APA Ethics Committee and he is the President of the AFCC, so I’m confident that Dr. Sullivan will address the ethical concerns surrounding the practices of forensic psychology and child custody evaluations.

Associate Member: ​ American Psychological Association Ethics Committee, 2017-2019

Wait.  When was the Petition to the APA submitted?  2018.  I was told by the APA representative we delivered it to that she would additionally submit it to the APA Ethics Committee.  The Petition to the APA, signed by over 20,000 parents raising ethical concerns about forensic psychology was given to the Ethics Committee with Dr. Sullivan as an Associate Member.  Interesting.

What has been the response in two years from the APA Ethics Committee to the Petition to the APA signed by over 20,000 parents?  Silence.

There needs to be independent review of the professional practices in forensic psychology.  I am awaiting reply to my professional ethical concerns, raised pursuant to Standards 1.04 and 1.05 of the APA ethics code.

There needs to be outside review of the ethical standards of practice in forensic psychology.

Conclusion

I do not see from his vitae that Dr. Sullivan has the necessary professional knowledge in attachment pathology, family systems therapy, complex trauma, personality disorder pathology, delusional disorders, or child development necessary for competent professional practice with attachment pathology, with complex and high-intensity family conflict pathology, with personality disorder and delusional pathology, or with children.

It is also unclear what training he has had in psychotherapy beyond his doctoral coursework.  It is currently unclear what treatment orientation he applies, psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic-existential, family systems, or social constructionist.  It is nowhere evident from his vitae that he received any training in any of these established forms of psychotherapy.

The apparent absence of training or application from any established school of professional psychology makes the assertion by Dr. Sullivan of an “innovative approach” to treatment in his Overcoming Barriers program all the more troubling, since it is not yet clear that Dr. Sullivan understands and applies any established approach to psychotherapy yet.

In professional psychology, we start with established approaches to psychotherapy – psychoanalytic (Kohut; self psychology; Kernberg, Bowlby, Stern, Tronick) – humanistic/existential (Rogers, Yalom, Perls, Maslow, Satir, Oaklander) – cognitve-behavioral (Skinner, learning theory, Applied Behavioral Analysis, Functional Behavioral Analysis, Beck, Linehan) – family systems (Minuchin, Bowen, Madanes, Haley) – social construction (solution-focused, narrative, cultural, feminist).

First, apply knowledge, apply standard and established approaches to case conceptualization and treatment.  Then, if the established approaches don’t work (they will work) – then, an “innovative” approach can be tried under data-collection circumstances of “novel” treatments.

Apply knowledge first.  Always.  For family conflict, family systems therapy (Minuchin, Bowen, Madanes, Haley) is the appropriate treatment model to apply.  Do that first.  Then, if family systems therapy is not effective and an “innovative” treatment is needed, develop it and collect data on its efficacy relative to standard family systems therapy.

The only entry for Work Experience on the vitae of Dr. Sullivan is 30 years of Private Practice.  All the other material in his vitae is not-of-substance, fluff and filler to make his vitae appear larger than just the two entries of substance.

Education:
A.B. Human Biology (1978) Stanford University, Stanford, California
Ph.D. Clinical/Community Psychology (1985) University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Work Experience:
Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice​ – Providing general psychological services to Children, Couples and Families, specializing in Child and Family Forensic Psychology 1990-present

I am not convinced that Dr. Sullivan possesses the necessary professional competence and knowledge in the necessary domains of professional psychology needed for the treatment of my client, and I will be recommending against the referral of my client to his care and treatment.

If treatment is extended to Dr. Sullivan despite my recommendation, then I will recommend a written treatment plan with the following components to ensure adequate professional treatment is provided:

Case Conceptualization Diagnosis: Preferably drawn from family systems therapy, solution-focused therapy, schema therapy, and emotion-focused therapy;

Categorical Diagnoses: Both a DSM-5 diagnosis and an ICD-10 diagnosis;

Goals: Specified with measurable outcomes and time-frames for Goal accomplishment;

Interventions: Specified Interventions for each Goal; with consideration given to Interventions drawn from family systems therapy, schema therapy, emotion-focused therapy, solution-focused therapy, self psychology, DBT, attachment and child development research;

Outcome Measures: To identify benchmark progress, and Goal accomplishment;

Time-Frames: Specified for benchmark and Goal accomplishment,

Consultation Support: I’d recommend the consultation support of Dorcy Pruter with the treatment team, relative to complex trauma recovery from psychological child abuse in children and families.

However, a referral to Dr. Sullivan for the treatment of attachment pathology and delusional trauma pathology is not warranted by the professional background evidenced for Dr. Sullivan that lacks both evidenced knowledge and experience with attachment pathology, complex trauma, and delusional pathology in a parent-child bond.

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

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