Amy Baker & Jennifer Harman: Standards 2.01 & 2.04

Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman are both research professors. They are not licensed clinical psychologists.

They have never been educated (doctoral courses) in clinical psychology, i.e., in the assessment, diagnosis, treatment of pathology. They have never been trained (two full years of supervised practice) in the assessment, diagnosis, or treatment of any pathology – ever in their lives.

They are not competent by their background education, training, and experience in the assessment, diagnosis, or treatment of any pathology.

Their competence is restricted to their research – only. They may discuss their research – but – they should NOT opine on the nature of pathology, it’s assessment, diagnosis, or treatment. The domain of clinical psychology, the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology, is beyond their boundaries of competence based on their education, training, and professional experience.

2.01 Boundaries of Competence
(a) Psychologists provide services, teach, and conduct research with populations and in areas only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study, or professional experience.

Offering professional opinions on issues of pathology, its assessment, diagnosis, or treatment, is substantially beyond the boundaries of competence of Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman, and is in violation of Standard 2.01 Boundaries of Competence of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association.

Clinical Psychology

I am a clinical psychologist with a doctoral degree in the coursework of  Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. I have the required one year of supervised pre-doctoral training from the APA accredited internship at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), and I have two years of supervised post-doctoral training at CHLA.

This educational and training background then qualified me to sit for and pass the licensing examination for the state of California. That is the required education, training, and professional experience required to be a licensed clinical psychologist.

Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman completed none of that. They have none of the coursework in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of pathology. They have none of the required years of supervised training, pre-doctoral and post-doctoral. They have never taken the licensing exam because they have never been qualified to even apply to take it.

I am working currently working as a licensed clinical psychologist in the field of court-involved family conflict. This professional field involves personality disorder pathology, attachment pathology, complex trauma, and delusional thought disorders, These are the required domains of knowledge needed for clinical competence.

Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman are not competent by their background education, training, or experience in the clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of any pathology.

Not attachment pathology in childhood.

Not personality disorder pathology.

Not family therapy.

Not child development.

Not delusional thought disorders.

Not child abuse and complex trauma.

As a licensed clinical psychologist, I AM competent by my education, training, and experience in all of those domains. I cite to my vitae for support:

Dr. Childress Vitae

I come to the family courts from my position as Clinical Director for a three-university assessment and treatment center for children ages zero-to-five in foster care, CPS was our primary referral source. I have background professional experience in attachment pathology, complex trauma, and child abuse. I also have background professional experience in the assessment and diagnosis of delusional thought disorders. I cite to my specialized expertise:

Dr. Childress Specialized Expertise

I also have specialized professional experience and training in the assessment and diagnosis of Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (DSM-5 300.91; Munchausen by proxy) from my tenure at both Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) for three years of training, one pre-doctoral and two post-doctoral, and from my position on the medical staff at Children’s Hospital Orange County (Choc) as a pediatric psychologist.

As a licensed clinical psychologist, I also have professional background and experience in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the attachment and family conflict pathology surrounding child custody conflict in the family courts, with presentations to the national conventions of the APA and AFCC (among others) regarding the pathology in the family courts, its assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

From my role, position, and professional standing as a licensed clinical psychologist working directly with the pathology in the family courts, I am formally instructing Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman to stop using the construct of “parental alienation” in a professional capacity as this is a rejected diagnostic construct by the American Psychiatric Association for being substantially beneath professional standards of clinical practice.

The diagnostic model of “parental alienation” is the worst diagnostic model for a pathology ever proposed with substantial-substantial flaws as a diagnostic construct, which is why it was rejected as a diagnostic construct by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013 after a full and complete review.

The American Psychiatric Association said no.

The use of the rejected clinical diagnostic construct of “parental alienation” in a professional capacity is in violation of Standard 2.04 of the APA ethics code that requires – mandatory – that the “established scientific and professional knowledge” of professional psychology be applied as the bases for scientific and professional judgments.

2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments
Psychologists’ work is based upon established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.

If, after having applied the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline,” there remains some gap in understanding the pathology in the family courts using the scientifically established constructs and principles from – personality disorder pathology – attachment – complex trauma – family systems – child development – and delusional thought disorders – then, and ONLY then, are they allowed to propose a unique “new pathology” in mental health – so unique that it needs its own unique symptom identifiers.

Apply the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” first. Then, after applying the established knowledge first, if  a unique new pathology is needed to describe the pathology, then, and ONLY then, can they offer their proposal for a unique new pathology in mental health (that has been already been rejected by the American Psychiatric Association).

As a clinical psychologist treating the pathology in the family courts, the use of the construct of “parental alienation” substantially degrades the quality of clinical practice and clinical services that are received by parents and children in the family courts by encouraging professional ignorance and a professional disregard for ethical standards of practice.

The use of the construct of “parental alienation” degrades the quality of clinical services and clinical care received by parents, children, and the courts. It is essential and required that ALL psychologists rely ONLY on the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” as the bases for their professional judgments.

The relevant “established scientific and professional knowledge” of psychology is:

Attachment – Bowlby and others

Family systems therapy – Minuchin and others

Personality disorders (Dark) – Beck and others

Complex trauma – van der Kolk and others

Child development – Tronick and others

Self psychology – Kohut and others

Thought disorders – DSM-5 diagnostic system

This represents the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” that is required to be applied as the bases for scientific and professional judgments – first – not after – not instead of – FIRST.

By using the rejected diagnostic construct of “parental alienation” and promoting this made-up pathology to the general public, mental health professionals, and the court, Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman are degrading the quality of professional clinical services and clinical care received by children and parents in the family courts, and they are providing the courts with substantially inferior and professionally rejected professional information on which to base its decisions (rejected by the American Psychiatric Association as a legitimate clinical diagnostic pathology).

The use of the construct of “parental alienation” in a professional capacity degrades the quality of clinical services received by parents and children in the family courts – and is in violation of Standard 2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments.

Neither Amy Baker nor Jennifer Harman are licensed – they have never been educated nor received the training necessary to be qualified for licensure. Neither is competent by their background education, training, or experience to opine on the assessment, diagnosis, or treatment of pathology – any pathology.

As a licensed clinical psychologist, I believe that there “may have been an ethical violation” of Standards 2.01 and 2.04 by another psychologist, Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman, when they opine on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the pathology in the family courts, and when they rely on the rejected diagnostic construct of “parental alienation” as the bases for their scientific and professional judgments.

As are result of their being unlicensed, however, no recourse to their licensing boards is available for correction of their apparent violations to Standards 2.01 Boundaries of Competence when they opine on the assessment, diagnosis, or treatment of pathology, or for apparent violations to Standard 2.04 that degrades the quality of clinical services and clinical care received by parents and children.

Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman are not licensed clinical psychologists, so no corrective guidance is available from their licensing boards for their degradation of clinical care in the family courts because of apparently unethical practice (violations to Standards 2.01 & 2.04).

As a licensed clinical psychologist active in the family courts, I am therefore instructing Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman to discontinue using the construct of “parental alienation” in a professional capacity as it substantially degrades the quality of clinical services provided to parents and their children in the family courts, and to restrict themselves to the application of the “established scientific and professional knowledge” of professional psychology as the bases for their professional judgments first – not after – not instead of.

First.

The relevant established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline is:

Attachment – Bowlby and others
Family systems therapy – Minuchin and others
Personality disorders – Beck and others
Complex trauma – van der Kolk and others
Child development – Tronick and others
Thought disorders – DSM-5 diagnostic system

Ethical practice is not optional. It is mandatory for all psychologists, including Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman. Ethical Standards apply to everyone, or they apply to no one. Standard 2.04 says what it says, and the “established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline” is what it is.

We need to establish baseline standards for professional clinical practice in the family courts. By disregarding the mandatory requirements of the APA ethics code and spreading misinformation to the general public, other mental health professionals, and to the court, Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman are encouraging others to do the same. Either the APA ethics code applies to ALL psychologists, or it applies to NO psychologists.

It applies to all psychologists. Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman are not exempt from their mandatory ethical obligations under Standards 2.01 and 2.04 of the Ethical Standards of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association. The APA ethics code is mandatory – ethical practice is NOT optional

Google mandatory: required by law or rules; compulsory.

Google required: officially compulsory, or otherwise considered essential; indispensable.

Google indispensable: absolutely necessary.

Ethical practice by all psychologists is indispensable and absolutely necessary. Compliance with ethical Standards 2.01 and 2.04 is mandatory-required.

Unethical practice and the spread of psychiatric/psychological misinformation degrades the quality of clinical services and clinical care delivered to children and parents in the family courts. The children, their parents, and the Court, deserve the highest quality of professional services, not the lowest.

Compliance with the APA ethics code is mandatory – compulsory – essential and required – for all psychologists. Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman are not exempt from their professional ethical obligations to restrict their views to the boundaries of their competence (2.01), and to rely on the “established scientific and professional knowledge” as the bases for their scientific and professional judgments (2.04) – first – not after –  not instead of.

As a licensed clinical psychologist working directly with these children and parents in the family courts, I am instructing Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman to discontinue the use of “parental alienation” in a professional capacity because the use of that construct substantially degrades the quality of clinical services received by parents and children in the family courts.

Promoting the APA-rejected diagnostic construct of “parental alienation” through the Internet to the general public and to other other mental health professionals, represents a reckless and irresponsible spreading of psychiatric/psychological misinformation to the general public, causing substantial harm to the parents and children in the family courts, and it substantially degrades the quality of clinical services received by children, parents, and the Court.

Standards 1.04 & 1.05

I am required – mandated – by Standard 1.04 of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association to bring apparent ethical violations to the “attention of that individual” seeing informal resolution.

I am doing that through this notification in an attempt at an informal resolution, because, as a licensed clinical psychologist working with parents and children in the family courts, I believe there may have been an ethical violation by another psychologist – Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman.

By their continuing irresponsible spreading of medical-psychiatric misinformation to the general public about a non-existent pathology, their disregard of their ethical obligations under Standard 2.01 and 2.04 is causing substantial harm to the parents and children in the family courts by degrading the quality of clinical services they seek and receive.

If the concerns for apparent the ethical violations to Standards 2.01 Boundaries of Competence and 2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments are not properly resolved by bringing it to the attention of the individuals involved, then I am required (mandatory) under Standard 1.05 to “take further action appropriate to the situation” – with offered guidance from Standard 1.05 of making a “referral to state or national committees on professional ethics, to state licensing boards, or to the appropriate institutional authorities.”

Since neither Amy Baker nor Jennifer Harman are licensed clinical psychologists, no recourse to their licensing boards is available because they have none, leaving only the other recommended options for “further action appropriate to the situation” – i.e., referral to state or national committees on professional ethics, or to appropriate institutional authorities.

As a licensed clinical psychologists, for the well-being of the parents and children in the family courts who need an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for the pathology in their families, I urge Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman to restrict themselves to the application of the established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline FIRST – not after – not instead of – FIRST.

The appropriate clinical descriptions of the pathology to provide to parents, other mental health professionals, and the courts are the following:

Delusional thought disorders – cite to Walters & Friedlander (2016), cite to Childress (2015)..

Cross-generational coalitions and emotional cutoffs – cite to Minuchin and Bowen.

Personalty disorders – cite to Beck, Millon, Kernberg, Linehan, and Dark personality research.

Complex trauma and child abuse – cite to van der Kolk and Cicchetti.

Attachment – cite to Bowlby, Tronick, Lyons-Ruth, Sroufe.

If you are not competent in these domains of established scientific and professional knowledge, then I refer you to Standard 2.03 Maintaining Competence.

2.03 Maintaining Competence
Psychologists undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence.

The continued spreading of psychiatric/psychological misinformation on the Internet must stop – it substantially degrades the quality of clinical services received by parents and children in the family courts, causing substantial harm to both the children and their parents.

There is a reason for ethical Standards of practice. There is a reason they are mandatory. Unethical practice hurts people – a lot. Like here.

We must establish a baseline of professional quality in the clinical services provided to these parents and children in the family courts. I urge Amy Baker and Jennifer Harman to more fully embrace their ethical obligations under Standards 2.01 and 2.04.

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

One thought on “Amy Baker & Jennifer Harman: Standards 2.01 & 2.04”

Leave a Reply to 1959gayle Cancel reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s